Thursday, 2 October 2014

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do The Opposite

So now that we were not-so-settled in at Maxx's Den of Debauchery, Yours Truly had to secure another source of income, post-haste. The Boyfriend insisted I didn't take the first job I came across, that I negotiate a wage, that I try to get a position worthy of my time and effort, somewhere I would be happy. I laughed off his lecturing prattle, insisted with an arched eyebrow that I was fully mature enough to do my own job-hunting, thank you very much.
Then, I asked him for a lift to a place miles away where I had secured an interview the following Monday.
He agreed, and as the sun made its slow ascent into the air that foggy January dawn, The Boyfriend and I were on our way to Prahran, a suburb just five kilometres from Melbourne's Central Business District. Prahran is an area primarily dominated by full-time, fake-breasted, 4x4-weilding mothers. Most of the shopfronts displayed are dedicated to high-end fashion brands for toddlers, organic and vegan-friendly cafes, or hand-crafted jewelery and sarongs. Every hand is immaculately manicured, every pair of eyes hidden behind Chanel sunglasses, every cup of coffee is Fair Trade.
Amidst such spectacle, stood Yours Truly attired in my Kmart finest, shoes worn to the sole, pants slumping at the crotch due to over-wear, sweat running down my forehead from the deceptively gentle-looking slope I had to climb to reach the place at which I desperately needed to be hired. Several Glam-Mams shot me disturbed glances. I hadn't time to worry about their haughty opinions - I had an interview to ace.
The cafe looked as out of place on the street as I did - more of a greasy spoon compared to the monochrome stylization of its counterparts. There were about six tables inside, and a small sandwich bar. It was a far cry from Sappy and Boss' set up in the city, and at that moment in time, that suited me to the ground.
No one was around. I was supposed to be meeting a man with a heavy Indian accent; the owner, in fact, of the cafe. Let's call him Mr. Delhi.
 After half an hour of waiting, I decided to ring him to see what was causing the delay. He apologised most profusely, and assured him he was on the way. He told me he would get his "associate" to let me in, so I could sit and wait in comfort. Moments later, a bedraggled looking man in too-tight shorts slowly opened the door, and invited me to wait inside for my interviewer.
I could hear The Boyfriend's voice in my head, shrieking at me to leave right now, to try the job sites again that evening, to forget about this man who couldn't even deign to keep his own appointments.
So I sat inside and waited, staring at the ceiling determinedly, so as not to view the Associate's rather confrontational outfit (it was a cold morning, the poor cratur)
Finally, Mr. Delhi  arrived in a flourish of Hindi and Punjab, shoes polished to the point of blinding, hair swept carefully to the side, chef's coat clearly visible at the collar of his overcoat. He thanked his Associate, who was really just the guy renting the room upstairs over the cafe. He shuffled back upstairs, grumbling and pulling his Speedos out of his arse.
 Mr Delhi bid me sit down ad we talked for exactly four minutes. He asked me all the normal questions and I answered as honestly as I could, considering I could barely understand what he was saying. His accent was insanely strong and I suddenly felt a pang of empathy for the many Aussies who'd responded to The Boyfriend's linguistic idiosyncrasies with mere blank looks of confusion and sometimes, actual pain.
On a completely unrelated note, here's a tip if you're coming to Australia and want a cruisey job - try hospitality. You can't go too far wrong making a sandwich, the money is decent, you don't have to work weekends and an Irish accent accompanied by a relentless smile will get you anywhere. On a related note, don't stay in any hospitality job for too long - it can become absolutely soul destroying if it's not what you love.
Then, all you can do is write blogs to vent your frustration.
Anyway, The Boyfriend picked me up after my meeting with Mr Delhi and listened quietly to my synopsis. He scowled when I was finished. "Where would you be goin'?!" he spluttered "All the way out here, for him not to even show up 'til ten minutes ago? D'bollicks." The Boyfriend is all about punctuality.
I was offered the job and I took it. The Boyfriend shook his head in bafflement, his advice unheeded; Yours Truly simply happy in the knowledge that I could afford cigarettes again.
We're very different really, The Boyfriend and I. Mostly, in that he is almost always right, and I am almost always wrong.