Feeling like one of those plates in a Greek restaurant today (fragile and flat), however today I am very grateful for the cracker of an autumn day we in Melbourne have had.
Last night I found myself at Ringwood station, normally the sort of place you can’t walk 5 steps without being asked if you can spare a cigarette, but yesterday the scene of something rather special and lovely. There was a poster up at the entrance point, and a box of texters, and members of the public were encouraged to write up what they were grateful for on the poster. Lots of heartwarming contributions – ‘my family’ ‘my boyfriend’ ‘having a caring family and a roof over my head’ ‘my family and sport,’ ‘my awesome school ‘ this beautiful life’. I wrote up my own contribution of course, and then instagrammed it attempting to stay uncynical. All the feels.
Yeah, hokey as fuck, but quite nice. I then headed back to Baysie, where the entire suburb is a mass of orange shirts, as we prepare for the bloody level crossings to be removed.
Usually at this time of year people start to get tired. And by people I mean me. I am really tired. My eyes look like puffy pastries. I’m too tired to blowdry my hair so it stays in perpetual topknotdryshampoo combo/mess. I’m so tired that trying to muster up some sort of energy or inspiration to write is a huge effort.
It’s been a busy year. Lots of good stuff of course, but a few challenges professionally and personally. Also the world has gone a bit mad. Which is a bit terrifying. The presidency anyone? What the fucking fuck…
Anyway, I have begged a day to work from home today so that I may have a bit of extra sleep and a bit of extra headspace. And it seems to be working as I feel more human today than I have all week. Tomorrow I shall dive head first into a bucket of wine (first lot of xmas celebrations with the girls) but for today I shall take some well earned respite from the world. Not putting makeup on or contacts in #bliss
Fossicking around for some #inspo some months ago and came across this. And then did precisely nothing about it and got writing about other shit I was cross about. Until now, where we (I) bring you my day in photos. Yay, #phonesoncameras!
6.30am shine and rise, home
First thing I see in the morning are our dogs, Bob and George, who prefer to stay in bed as long as possible. Similar to LAH, who prefers not to have his picture taken. This was taken on my way out the door.
7am: Heatherdale train station. Coolish morning, in a coat, wondering why I don’t do the sensible thing and drive to H.dale every morning, where I have the choice of many more trains and don’t have to take the dumb replacement buses. Train deserted, so I get seat. Good start to morning.
7.40am coffee, Little Bourke St. Skinny latte from Higher ground. Very nice people here, and hipster AF, but the reason I go is their coffee is strong and delic. That’s better!
8.30 now in office, CBD. This is what I look at most of the day. Living the dream….
10am boss puts up today’s The Age word scramble. It took me many hours to get today’s puzzle.
12pm, Latrobe St: daily lunchtime walk around the streets – lovely clear day but cool wind. Here is an old w class tram on the city circle tourist route filled with tourists. Bless.
1pm sushi for lunch, back at desk: Quite ordinary sushi actually but filled the gap!
3pm, at desk: check fit bit – 6324– not heaps. Might walk to Richmond
4.30, Yarra River: walk to Richmond down the Yarra and over the bridge to the MCG. Lovely afternoon…Coat now off.
And some random stuff, near the Princes Bridge:
6pm get home. Greeted by Bob who is more awake now.
Check on veggie garden also – Kale going nuts. What to do with it? Am a bit over frittata.
7pm Dinner served by Chef LAH. He breaks the news he ate my last skinny cow icecream last night! This is his cauliflower and hot smoked salmon one pan wonder (so he’s forgiven now). Bloody yum.
9pm, couching n chillaxing infront of the ABC… cup of tea and dogs. Bed soon!
Two things on my mind today:
- Whoever chose to schedule the spring carnival in the middle of spring was having an off day. Melbourne doesn’t actually have a spring. It has a turbulent four months of wintery rain and wind, with intermittent patches of cold sunlight and the occasional humid-ish evening to keep 6.9 billion mosquitoes happy. The weather here until maybe December is mad. The term spring carnival, therefore, is a misnomer, just like Bayswater and fun run and leftover wine.
- Eyelash extensions are everywhere. Everywhere. But they are out of control. One woman on the train last week looked like she had a huntsman sleeping under her eyelid.
- Sorry, three things – I lost money on the stupid NZ mules today, so no eyelash enhancement money for me.
Many years ago back in New Zealand, I was answering the phones in a busy call centre. The customer I was dealing with had a high bill enquiry, and asked for a discount overall on her bill if she paid the whole lot in one go, over and above her prompt payment discount.. Well, I had never come across such a situation before, so I called the call management desk to ask for a solution. No one answered. So I then called my TL who didn’t answer. After raising a case and promising to come back to the customer with an answer, and mindful I did not want to make a promise to the customer I was unable to keep or step outside my financial mandate, the call ended.
I then received a tap on the shoulder. My TL took me aside and said the reason she had not been answering my call is because she had been listening to the call for quality, and that I really must learn how to deal with those sorts of calls myself. I learned that day that was perfectly fine to offer a customer x percentage off the total bill in such a satiation and there was no reason why I shouldn’t have offered that. I weakly protested that I never had bene trained in that, and although iwas keen to show my initiative, I literally had n idea this was a business rule (there was no KM system to instruct me otherwise.) But I knew for next time and apologised to my TL for not knowing.
15 years later, I find myself in a role that I was recruited to, untrained for, and in an eerie similarity to the above situation, I was expected to know things that I had never learned before. I have tried, I made a deal with myself to give it a red hot go, and I have asked for help – but something was still not clicking. Sunday nights my stomach would be leaden with dread, knowing I had to face it the next day.
As often happens, some things came to a head this week, and on Monday and I went home for the day. The next day it was raised by my senior that this probably wasn’t the job for me. Feeling as if my credibility and confidence was being eroded, and after some soul searching, I came to the conclusion I would leave the role.
Here’s some observations:
- 10 years ago I would have kept going, feeling like a failure, pushed shit up a hill for probably the same outcome in a month
- At that time It would have completely floored me and devastated me
- Now, I know that the problem isn’t just me. I was recruited to a role I was not suited to skillwise. I took a risk and it didn’t work out. But I didn’t do this all on my own and thus am not entirely culpable for what has happened
- I’m not being weak or retreating but preserving my dignity and personal brand.
Now, others might say I have been put in a fairly shit position. My boss – the man who head hunted me – is feeling dreadful, and well he might – but the net outcome is I don’t have a job. For some people that might be confronting. For me? The lesson is learnt that such a role is not for me, a position description may or may not tell you everything you need to do; and that people can be duplicitous in a work environment.
Look, I’m not going to lie and say things are peachy, but it is far better to remove yourself from a shit situation like a job if its not working. Life is much much too short to not enjoy your work. It would have been better to get a new job before I resigned, but I have looked for work before and something more appropriate for me will emerge.
And I feel a lot better. And I have learned something. No point in getting fucked off. There are plenty of people worse off than me.
It occurs to me this afternoon that I am fast becoming a suburbanite. Today I have gardened, played with dogs, walked, made cheesecake for dinner guests this evening, had long gossipy conversation with K regarding her lovely 7 month old son (he’s lovely) and done some chores. Back in the day my Saturday would have looked like this:
- Wake up at 11, hungover
- Go downstairs, despair at state of kitchen, and go fuck it, I am going out
- Go and spend money at a café for brunch
- Go shopping for unnecessary items (probably with K)
- While away afternoon until it’s time to drink again
- Go out and get pissed and laugh with mates.
But these days I find myself actually excited over budding strawberries, tiny sunflower fronds and fledgling zucchinis.
I do have an aperol spritzer right here though. So all is not lost.
Running update: Did 10k with sister last week around Jells Park. Quite the challenge with it’s undulating paths. Was awarded the spoon. Quite funny, but even funnier? The time was my pb.
Melbourne update: in a daring and unoriginal way for Fairfax to provoke the chattering classes, domain.com.au published it’s liveability index last week, which pitted suburb against suburb, ranking each in terms of liveability, using such criteria as proximity to the CBD, proximity to the coastline, the open spaces, the congestion, public transport options, and of course, the availability of the ubiquitous Melbourne latte. Where we live came 189th out of 300 odd, which in such a nice city I don’t actually think is that bad, personally.
I was 24. I was new to town, a bit naïve, and getting ready to go to a party, when my flatmate at the time, McD, introduced me to a friend of hers. I didn’t know that many people, and I’d been burnt a few times, so I was surprised when I met her friend Marco how well we got on.
He made me feel beautiful. He paid me attention. He gave me glasses of wine and asked me questions. We had a steady relationship for 10 years – even keeping in touch when I moved to Dublin for a one year working holiday. Hell, I used to give him a card and a bottle of wine at Christmas. But, over time, Marco became a bit… complacent. Assuming I would always return. I was faithful to him, even when he kept me waiting 20 minutes, or passed me to someone else.
But life changes and now I find myself in the outer east after many years within tramming distance of Marco, and I felt like it was time to look around for other possibilities.
So, I am having a passionate fling with Jose the hairdresser at Knox. Feeling flippant and daring last Friday night, I let him do exactly want he wanted with my hair and he made it modern and stunning and charged me less, and didn’t keep me waiting. I don’t feel much guilt about Marco, not yet. He might not even miss me. I know it’s the first flush of this fledgling hairdressing partnership, but it feels good for now, even if it doesn’t end up being a lifelong commitment.
Running Update: a bit meh at the moment, two or three 5k-runs a week. Will attempt to up the ante this weekend and come back to you.
Melbourne update: (New!) it’s pissing down rain, everyone is talking about Michelle Payne’s victory and the racegoer in the blue dress who pushed a cop into a bush infront of a channel 7 cameraman. 60000 Oaks Day punters are currently heading in the direction of Flemington to get their headwear rained on. Have fun and be safe, kids; and stay away from them cameras.