So, plans for the ‘new life at work’ thing sort of fell through. Really should’ve guessed that wouldn’t last, especially since whenever Janice was boiling her kettle, I was using my hairdryer and Karl was warming up his soup in the microwave, the whole place would lose power. Didn’t happen very often, mind you. Don’t I see why we now have Melbourne’s best commercial energy monitoring checking out our every electrical move. We can’t even charge our phones without boss asking us just what we think we’re doing.
So don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been coming to the café a lot recently. My favourite seat has two electrical outlets, and if you book the last cubicle in the toilets the hairdryer lead will just reach the outlet. That’s because…I haven’t paid my electricity bill in seven months. I figured with this new relaxed policy at work, I could get away with it! I wake up, have a shower, go to work, dry my hair, make my tea, heat up my porridge (with milk in the mini-fridge under the desk) and that’s the morning done. Lunch is easy; usually I just keep sandwich material in the fridge, or just go and get a sandwich. And I stay late every night, so that I can use my microwave to make some kind of microwave dinner.
By that time my phone is charged, my laptop is charged and I don’t need any more food. Back home I go to light some candles and watch the TV shows I downloaded during the day. It sure was nice while it lasted, and now that it’s very suddenly over, I’m up the creek. No energy company wants anything to do with me, so I’m trying to sneakily run my life through the café. And that’s just taking advantage of Johnny’s hospitality, really.
YES, I KNOW, this industrial energy monitoring scheme is pretty much the fault of people like me. I should just pay my bills and not abuse the power outlets at work. But I just thought I had a good thing going.
Two weeks ago my grandfather got home from church in a fluster and told me that he needed to call someone about pest inspections. Dandenong united church has been my grandfather’s second home for over thirty years, he loved that place like no other.
When he mentioned the termites I was a little shocked. I asked him what he needed a pest controller for and he told me that the church was falling to bits. Everyone in the church was starting to notice how bad the place was beginning to look. Admittedly they had been putting off a pest inspection for the past year because all the donation money was going to feed the homeless..
My grandfather noticed the floorboards in the Sunday School room were so bad that it was a hazard for the children to go in there. He asked me if I knew of any good termite treatment companies in Dandenong the area. I told him about a good termite company that my wife had contracted when they found white ants in her art studio. The company was quick, affordable and professional. I still had their business card at home so that night I sent my grandfather the details.
Later that week my grandfather called the place and arranged for a quote to get the church inspected for termites. Because my grandfather wasn’t a great driver he asked me to drive him to meet the pest controller. When we arrived at the church the pest control van was waiting in the car park. We walked the men through the church and my grandfather pointed out where most of the visible damage was. The guys were surprised that the church hadn’t done something about the problem sooner. A termite removal really needed to be done before anyone entered the church again. Especially if people would be singing and dancing with children running around.
My grandfather booked in the termite treatment for the next available time and with that we went home. I could tell my grandfather was relieved, but concerned at the same time about the cost of everything. I told him not to worry as the people at church would be more than happy to help out, and if they still didn’t have enough I would be able to cover the remainder of the cost. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my grandfather more proud of me.
Stupid seminar, with its stupid life-changing advice. Who needs seminars, anyway? I can run my life! I mean, like, I can’t, which is why I went to the seminar. But even after its over and I’ve done something with the advice I was given, I still don’t know if it was the right thing. Is there a seminar I can go to on the topic of how to respond to a seminar?
Okay, real talk. I’m having a good time, actually. I finally followed my dreams and started a pet minding business to cater to people in the Lorne area. Genius idea, right? People can bring their pets on holiday, so while they’re staying in some Lorne hotel somewhere, they can leave their pets with me overnight! I can look after them as long as they like, though most owners tend to swing by mid-morning and bring them back in the evening. I pride myself on being flexible. And it works no matter what; even if they want to leave Fluffles here for the entire day, at least it’s better than being stuck at home, or in kennels. I basically run a pet hotel, in Lorne. That’s some lifetime movie material right there.
But I just didn’t expect I’d be so…successful. I know, I know, sounds SO ungrateful. Poor me, going to a seminar, following my dreams, being good at it and having holidaymakers throw me both money and pets to look after all day long. Maybe I’m just complaining because it all seems like so much work. That’s the thing about dreams: they’re marvellous, until they’re all fulfilled at once and you realise that some things need building up. I’m having to make business decisions on the fly, look for new accommodation because what I have right now isn’t big enough, trying to work out business taxes…and I might even have to hire help, if things keep going this way.
The Lorne beach apartments around here have been helpful, as well as my main source of business. But I’m heading up a new industry here. There’s just SO much to think about.
Why is it that the dumbest things can give us such emotional reactions?Doctor Roo is probably the worst sci-fi show in existence. It’s about a kangaroo (played by a guy in a terrible fur suit) who travels across space and time, causing trouble and leaving before it’s fixed. It’s terrible, the acting is bad, the music is…surprisingly good, and the whole thing is just meant for non-discerning kids.
And yet I was watching what I think was the season finale, and they had this massive emotional scene right at the end, where Doctor Roo passes on the responsibility of travelling through space and time to his joey and jumps into, like…maybe the space vortex or something? I don’t even know the lore, but the whole thing was SO SAD.
I’m not an emotional person. I just went to a seminar in Melbourne on making a will, which I thought was going to be a straight-laced affair, all a lot of legal jargon and helpful workshops. But no, the lady taking it had to open with this fifteen minute story of how her Mum and Dad died in a hang gliding incident, and how she had to cope because they hadn’t left a will and didn’t know anything about succession planning, so it was a really tough time for their close family as all these relatives came from out of the woodwork and tried to get a piece of everything. It just went on and on, and while I’m sitting there wondering when she was going to get the the part about actually making a will with a lawyer, everyone starts crying. I mean, it was sad, sure. I felt sorry for her. But I was also bored, feeling a bit shortchanged and really keen to get the part of the seminar where we’d meet those top Melbourne estate planning lawyers the brochure promised. And then the whole thing was delayed because everyone was crying too much.
Why is it a stupid alien kangaroo who opens the floodgates?
Movie studio ‘Bizney’ certainly have been busy, releasing all their old movies again in exactly the same way as before, but now live-action. As a business plan, I guess it works. All you need to do is make the trailer just that little bit different to convince people they’re getting something new, but also familiar enough to cling to, and then…just dig out the old script and make real life people say it, I guess. Nice work, if you can get it.
Just came out of Snooty and the Yeast, the tale as old as time about a high-class rich girl sent to work in a bakery who learns a valuable lesson about humility. It was alright, if almost identical to the cartoon version. Personally, I think the best one they’ve done so far is Solarella, the one with the girl who goes on a campaign against solar panels, until she falls in love with a guy who does solar panel cleaning. Melbourne has a bit of an industry happening there, which I think was the reason they let them shoot on-location. First time I’ve ever seen blatant product placement in a movie and still approved, because solar panels really are something we need to invest in. Call me an environmentalist, and maybe I am, a little bit, but they really could be humanity’s future.
I like how they changed the story from the original, too. Here the main girl had a fear of heights, which added layers to their complex relationship since he did everything from solar panel cleaning to roof maintenance, and all his jobs were way up high. There’s this whole subplot where she has to talk to him while he’s patching up a two-storey roof and she’s all conflicted about seeing him there, and there’s a song…I just think they handled the remake a whole lot better, and made Melbourne’s leaking roof business look great in the meantime. If a company as big as Bizney promote solar panels, maybe people will start taking them seriously.
Oh great, Christmas shopping! Woe is me. It’s a perfectly acceptable option to curl up in a ball and hibernate until December is over, right?
It’s not that I hate Christmas in general, but the whole deal with having to buy stuff for people you only sort of like is exhausting. Then movies and TV have hammered in the idea that only the perfect gift is acceptable. It has to be emotionally poignant, and it HAS to be beautifully-wrapped. I do not have time for those kinds of shenanigans. What with the tree going up and all the stress that comes with it.
It’s a great time for Melbourne’s tree removal people, I guess. What a jolly season to be an arborist, everyone asking you to chop down trees left right and centre. And then they’re the people with all the specialised tree transporting equipment. How do they even deal with the influx? Maybe they hire extra folks over Christmas. Not that I’m looking for any extra work…there’s enough to do, and I’d rather not come home every day smelling of pine.
Actually, that doesn’t sound SO bad, but no.
Makes me wonder at the statistic of people traipsing out into the wilderness to find a good tree to cut down and getting themselves seriously injured. Oh, we’ve had real trees in our home before, back before I finally caved in and bought a decent-looking fake tree to make it all easier. They’re a thousand times harder to decorate, they leave needles all over the place and really, is more Christmas stress necessary? I already have to think about presents, so a faulty tree tilting to one side is out of the question.
Well, I hope the fine tree lopping and tree pruning specialists of Melbourne have a good Christmas. I’ll be dashing around the shops and dragging things out of dusty boxes, like every year ever.
There comes a time in every young man’s life when they have to put down the toys and start being an adult. That’s what Dad said, anyway. I kinda figured I was an adult when I turned eighteen and started driving, but now I find out there’s more to being an adult? Ugh, why do people even DO this?
It was stressful enough being a teenager, and now apparently I have to learn about taxes and mortgage rates. Seriously, Dad has set up Thursday night classes where he wants me to learn everything there is to know about…adult things. We’ve already covered taxes, and not we’re moving onto how to save electricity. No, really, kill me now. Week nine of the syllabus is apparently ‘Using Melbourne Property Conveyancing Services’, so I’m really hoping I don’t violently die from boredom before we get there. THAT’S something I can really get on board with, since it means moving out and living the sweet independent life. For some reason ‘PAYING RENT ON TIME’ is lesson eleven. I guess I should start saving now, because I’m not stupid; I know having a house is the key to a financial future, or whatever. Don’t even need to wait until week four, ‘The key to a Financial Future’. Houses are super expensive, so owning one is a good thing. Conveyancers and people like that help you to buy houses, I’m pretty sure. Though the week nine required reading is the sale of land act 1962, and that sounds like it’d finish me off.
Guess I’ll just press on. Really, anything that nets me my own place away from here is just fine by me. Even if I have to learn about conveyancing and vendors statements and title transfers and housing tax. Or maybe I should just get a student house and see how I like it? Not seeing ‘STUDENT HOUSING’ anywhere on the syllabus…
Well, THAT strategy away day was the ultimate waste of time. Can’t believe the company actually paid for that stuff, especially since it’s a busy time of year for us and we’re all behind as it is. I have so much paperwork that if it all collapsed, it’d take several days and an excavator to find my body.
Doesn’t matter…it’s over now. Actually, no, I’m NOT letting it go, because we got to meet people from all sorts of different companies and I walked away with the solid idea that they all have better jobs than us. There were the normal bunch from Lawrence Corp who all made it seem like their lives are one giant party, for which they are paid obscene amounts. Definitely the worst. The Melbourne Property Conveyancing League are just as nice but without all the fakeness behind it, so they were better. I was paired with one of them for the ‘Trust Falls WITH A TWIST’ session, and we were talking about some of the work we did. So now at least I know what a conveyancer actually does, because I was thinking ‘estate agent but more filing’. Still, they enjoy their jobs too much as well. And when we were told to crowd surf from a twenty feet drop into the waiting arms of six of our colleagues, that conveyancer guy did it without a hitch. It was like they were a troupe of acrobats. What are they DOING in the conveyancing world that causes them to build trust like that?? You’d think they were flying helicopter rescue missions or something.
At least with them I actually learned something, however. I’ll gladly have a chat about how exciting the sale of land act 1962 is, over one of those Lawrence Corp lackies gushing about their new sauna and hot tub room on every floor. Wow, we get it! Your company is awesome! I just want to be back at my desk…
Cooking gets me stressed, perhaps more than anything in the world. I don’t understand how people do this for a living! And pretty much every family benefits from it every day, and some people go on game shows to prove that they’re the best at it. Really boggles the mind. I get takeout of some sort almost every night, and I can’t help but look at the poor cooks with pity. They have to cook for a job.
I mean, I’ve heard it gets better after you know what you’re doing and stop burning everything, but I don’t know how much better it can actually get. I guess if you did it for a job…but some jobs are easier picked up than others. There’s a job where you stick needles in people, for example. That’s whole different thing, especially for me since I have no hand-eye-coordination. They’re offering dry needling courses in New Zealand now, and it’s supposedly the big thing. You may remember back when personal training was ‘the big thing’. All the ads were telling you to quit your job, be a personal trainer! They must have been effective, because eventually they vanished and suddenly everyone has to quit their job and be a massage therapist. I guess that job filled up, and suddenly it’s all about dry needling. Become a dry needling person! Live a life of greatness!
Okay, they’re not that dramatic, but as I have rejected a life of making pizza, so I must say no to this one. Most of my cooking failure is because I have no attention span or coordination, so I don’t think dry needling is the career for me. Not even the greatest dry needling course in Australia is going to stop me from jabbing people. No hospitality, no health and fitness…guess my job hunt continues.
I reckon I could be a window repair person. I mean, for various reasons I’ve been way up close to windows all through my life. I used to have the ultimate record in my street for windows broken, which I held for eight years until Oscar Gable came along and broke eighteen of them by driving his Dad’s car into the local mirror shop. I still say that mirrors don’t count, but whatever…just sweep all my terrible football kicks under the rug and give the record to him.
Then me and my mate Darren used to go around to the Lawrence place and watch TV from the cover of the bushes underneath their lounge window. They always had the window open, even in winter, and it meant we got to watch season 1 of Bear-Revel without paying for a Neat-Flicks subscription.
Oh, and I’m also very familiar with Melbourne’s window replacement and repair people. My parents always made me call them when I kicked a ball through a window, but by the third call or so that wasn’t really a punishment. They recognised my voice, eventually we all got to know each other by our first names and it became like talking to an old friend. I’d call the window replacement people near where I lived, they’d know my voice, ask what I’d done this time, I’d tell them, we’d have a good laugh about it and rinse and repeat.
I like to think I’ve broken some of those habits now, instead of breaking more windows. I now have my own Neat-Flicks subscription, so I can watch Bear-Revel without crouching in a bush in the freezing cold and looking through a window gap. I play football on a field instead of in the neighbourhood surrounded by buildings. I still think the ranks of Melbourne window repairs could use someone with my on-the-ground experience, but…well, they might just laugh at that idea.