Job #14 – Edinburgh Fringe Festival

August 2003

This was the most wild month of my life! (at the time!) I got paid 3 pounds 20p per hour and worked crazy shifts – anything from 8am-4pm to 5pm-1am. As a staff member for Gilded Balloon, we got to see all “our own” shows for free so I saw great acts like Flight of the Conchords (BEFORE they were famous!), GUD (with Paul McDermott), Mitch Benn, Jimeoin, Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen, Stephen K Amos, Mickey D, Puppetry of the Penis, (don’t judge! I was curious! And fairly unimpressed to be honest… And I’m not putting a link in), The Umbilical Brothers, and many more! This is also where I discovered (yes, “I” discovered) The Cat Empire. And it was the start of a beautiful friendship!

We worked crazy shifts, and Edinburgh didn’t sleep for the whole month of August. Normally all pubs would shut at 11pm, and clubs at 1am, but most places stayed open til 5am and re-opened at 10am so there was always somewhere to quench your thirst, rub shoulders with the stars, and generally have a grand old time.

The money was rubbish, we got treated like crap, and the hours were long; but the experience was priceless.

Job #13 – SNIPEF

April/May 2003

Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employer’s Federation, this is Renae.”

Yeah. Quite a mouthful. And I don’t know if you guys have ever tried talking to a Scotsman or Irishman from the country over the phone, but I can tell you I needed a translator every now and then. If I couldn’t understand them, I’d transfer the call to my colleague Moira (who was always “damn fine splendid”) for her to decipher.

I basically got paid 6 pounds an hour to hide in a pokey little room with one other person, on the third floor of the building and answer the phones. That was it. They didn’t mind what else we did, so I used to write letters, read books, write in my journal, or if I was hungover, I’d raid the goodie cupboard. It was HUGE and PACKED with chocolates, biscuits and all sorts of yummy hangover cures.

Job #12 – New Edinburgh Hospital

I think I was only here for a month or so. I worked at the “front reception” which wasn’t anywhere near the front entrance to the hospital which frustrated a lot of people. I was situated at the security desk with the security guards who were lots of fun. One guy would sing “Just walk away Renee” to me most days, and was trying to set me up with his son who was living in America at the time. I politely declined!

I was there to give directions and answer the phone. I also picked up some weekend work during the day, re-filing all the files that we’d re-labled at my old temp job, as well as at the maternity front desk. One day when I was working at maternity, a woman came in at 7:30am, had her baby, and had left when I finished at 4pm! I got paid a lot more on weekends (up to 10 pounds an hour) so it was TOTALLY worth it.

By this stage, I was working 3 jobs at once, but I always found time for the pub!

Job #11 – Roxburgh Hotel

Feb 2003 – May 2003

I can’t believe I almost forgot to include this one! This was a pretty funny job. I worked in the functions and banqueting area in this slightly-dodgy 4 star hotel. My first shift started on Friday afternoon at 4pm and ended at 4am Saturday. But don’t worry, they gave me a break (15 min at midnight) and paid me well (4 pounds 20p per hour). HA! I usually worked a couple of nights during the week, from about 5:30pm til 11pm (as well as my day job) and I worked a lot of Friday nights (til 1 or 2am) and Saturdays, often finishing after midnight. I’d even work Sundays every now and then if I was either a) desperate for money or b) was being a sucker for punishment.

I had some language barriers with some of the Scottish people barking orders at me, and it would take me a few seconds, once they finished talking, for me to catch up. I worked with some “interesting” (translation: disgusting) chefs but met a few fun people who made the time pass quickly. Left this job to start travelling again!

Job #10 – Edinburgh Hospital

Jan 2003 – April 2003

This was my first temping job in Edinburgh after a few months of travelling. There were about a dozen of us hired to reorganise all the patient files into a new system, label them, and re-file them in preparation for moving to the new hospital site. It was a pretty boring job most of the time, but I worked with lots of crazy fun people, a couple of whom I’m still in touch with! (Hi Ezza!)

We used to head to the pub with our boss (who ended up marrying one of the temp workers!!) every Friday around 4pm which was sweeeeeeeeeeeet! Good times.

Job #9 – Cafe Manna (UC Centre)

June 2002 – Oct 2002

Once I finished uni in June, I had some free time on my hands, and the cafe next door to YACMU needed an EXTRA set of hands, so in I went! I used to work in the cafe from 8:30am til 11:30am, then head over to YACMU til 5pm. It was the perfect mix of project work (at YACMU) and people-work (at the Cafe). I gotta say, I made a pretty mean latte! It even had LAY-YERS! (This is not one of my lattes, but it looks about the same!)

Again, I left this job to travel abroad.

Job #8 – YACMU

Jan 2002 – Oct 2002

This was the start of a beautiful friendship!

I was hired by the Youth & Children’s Ministry Unit to implement the Working with Children Checks (Blue Cards) in Queensland Uniting Churches. I worked with an amazing group of people, a lot of whom are still there. I must have done something right, as I was offered 2 more contracts with them over the next few years.

I left to travel overseas for a year!

Mondegreen #8

For those of you getting sick of reading about my jobs, here’s another Mondegreen to keep you entertained.

You thought Kim Carnes was singing
“She’s got Betty Davis eyes” (which is a pretty dumb line anyway)
But what I heard in my youth was
“She’s got better days than I” (okay, that’s pretty dumb too admittedly)

It’s a rainy Melbourne day and I’m feeling particularly nostalgic at the moment. It’s kinda noice! Have a great weekend everyone!

Job #7 – Babysitter

2000-2002 & 2003-2004

I babysat every Thursday night from 5:30pm for 2 gorgeous kids while their parents went out on “date night”. Sometimes I’d work for 3 hours, sometimes 6 or even 7 hours. It was all cash in hand – the easiest money I’ve ever made – and the kids were fantastic. We had lots of fun! I left this job when I went overseas in October 2002, and resumed when I came back in September 2004 for another 12 months. I wonder what the kids are up to now…

Job #6 – O’Malley’s Fitness Centre

2000-2001

I was a child carer here, Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9am til 11am. The money was great and it was cash in hand which was REALLY great! During school term, I’d only have 2 – 5 kids to look after, and not usually all at once. During school holidays, however, I’d have up to 12 kids and sometimes a couple of them were babies. That was a bit much. I used to off-load the babies onto the trainers and then try and keep the other kids under control.

Fridays were sometimes not-so-fun as Thursday night was student’s night at all the night clubs in town which meant $1 drinks. If I didn’t have any kids for a bit, I’d have a little kip in the cubby house! I left this job when the place closed down.