Monday, August 29, 2016

Job Search from Hell

After months of hearing stories from other travellers who had done the working holiday visa thing in Australia I came here with the misguided expectation that finding a job would be a breeze. Instead there were hordes of people staying in hostels where the common topic of conversation was how abysmal the job search was, I had other Canadian friends who left Melbourne after a month to try farming since there were no jobs to be found in Melbourne and I persevered through 3 crippling months of endless job hunting and increasingly sketchier job offers.

Wasting time on Hosier Lane
There was the occasional sketchy job I had found online but a lot of these winners came from posting my own ad on Gumtree (as safe as Craigslist...) searching for work. Unfortunately I was unable to apply for a lot of jobs because of the following reasons:

1.    I am not a permanent resident. Backpackers will often quit after two weeks due to this, have given us a shit name, so now a lot of places refuse to hire backpackers.
2.    Many bars/restaurants here seem to want you to have 3-5 years of experience in the field and since they’re crazy for coffee, they want 5-7 years of barista experience.
3.    I did not have access to a car – then again I don’t even have a full drivers license back in Canada!
4.    I cannot speak mandarin….a surprising amount of jobs on Gumtree required Mandarin.

The following are jobs that I was offered in my fun time of job hunting:

Weird Job #1 – Foot fetish
Almost immediately after placing my want ad on Gumtree I started receiving text messages from one guy who made sure to reassure me that he was 24 (because that makes it less creepy) and offered to pay me to massage and lick my feet. I may have been down for a paid foot massage but the foot licking, especially by a stranger, wasn’t for me. Thank god this was early in my job search, had it been much later I may have considered it instead of sending an immediate “hell no!”

Weird Job #2 – Nude model
I received another text fairly early on from another man who made sure to reassure me he was a lawyer (do people think being 24 or being lawyers make them less creepy when making weird proposals to girls online??) and then proceeded to say he’s an amateur photographer and needs some more nude shots and would pay me to model. I may be gullible but not enough to justify going to some old dudes house and stripping down for him.

Weird Job #3 – Softcore porn?
A friend of mine saw an ad in a laundromat looking for women to pose nude, he made it sound like it was for an art class or something and they paid $250 so I contacted the number and even went in for a meeting with them. Turns out it was a very very different thing. I will admit this much, their offices in Brunswick were very professional, the two ladies I spoke with were exceptionally businesslike, but none of that made me inclined to take the “job”. Essentially they run a  website where girls focus a video camera on just their faces, proceed to masturbate till they reach an orgasm so the camera sees their reaction, then give a nude interview in the same clip after. NOPE. Hilarious part is I mentioned the website to a friend and they actually recognized it, damnit I could've been famous.

Weird Job #4 – Waitress for a psycho
I got a trial for a waitressing gig at a pizzeria in Melbourne Central and decided to ignore the warning signs from the initial contact and meeting with the owner that he may be a psychopath. Well I started my trial, was given no direction or even explanation of the layout of the place or menu, then I was berated for taking a second to say whether the customer ordered the schnitzel or schnitzel burger. I was asked to leave my trial early and felt overwhelming relief that unemployment was better than working in that toxic environment.

Weird Job #5 – Brothel
While searching online I found a reception job for Gotham City. In my naivety I assumed it was some nerdy place like a boardgame shop. After doing a bit of research I discovered it was a brothel and did more research to find out that brothels are legal in the state of Victoria. As long as I wasn’t having to take customers or strip I was fully on board with working at the place, so I applied and almost instantly got a call that they’d love to interview me and I was perfect for the role…until they realized I wasn’t a permanent resident. My dreams of working in a brothel were sadly flushed down the drain.

Weird Job #6 – Kidnappee/Future Ditch Occupant
I got a text from a potential employer who asked if I could come in for an interview that day. I tried to get details about the job and it was like pulling teeth trying to figure out was the job was, finally he said Customer Service rep. Then after asking a dozen more times what the business was, he admitted it was an auto shop of some sort. The fact that the person wanted me to come in asap for an interview on a Sunday night should’ve been enough red flags but I still kept trying to get more details from the person and to find out where the address of the business was. I sent more follow up questions where I tried to get more details in hopes of finding out if I was going to be murdered or employed and finally I got one last message from the creep ignoring every single one of my questions and simply saying “Okay, meet me at Dandenong station, get in my car, and I’ll drive us to the place”

Well not only in the station nearly an hour away, but it is apparently one of the sketchiest places in Melbourne so getting into some random internet guys car around 9pm on a Sunday without any details is usually not a good choice.

I replied “No need to pick me up and inconvenience yourself, just tell me the name and address of the business and I’ll meet for the interview there”….and I never heard from the creeper again. Somewhere out there is a ditch with my name on it.

Weird Job #7 – Slave Labour worker
I got an interview for a job in a cafĂ© near my apartment so I was ecstatic when I was offered the position. Until I found out the pay. Minimum wage in Australia is $17.30, which is considered low here but it much better than minimum wage back home of $11.25. Well they were paying $11 an hour, and would not be giving enough hours to even make my rent, but would eat up all my potential interview hours so I couldn’t find anything better.

Weird Job #8 – Topless waitress
I received a call from someone asking if I was still looking for a job and when I replied yes, they asked me a few more follow up questions (what kind of experience do you have, have you ever served, what uniform size would you need), then the questions turned weird…

Caller: “Okay, next question, how large are you in the chest?”
Me: “Well I’m …wait what?”
Caller: “How large are you in the chest?”
Me: “Excuse me but what kind of job is this??”
Caller: “Topless waitressing. Now, how large are you in the chest”
Me: “I’m sorry but I would not be interested in the position.”
Caller: “FINE, you can wear a bikini. NOW, how large are you in the chest?”

Wonderful Job #1 – Almonds

After the longest and most financially crippling job search of my life, Hays Recruitment finally was able to find me a temp position at a company where my role was preparing shipping documentation for sending Almonds to India. A part of me was mildly disappointed that I’d failed at finding a backpacker style job and was yet again at a desk but after all of those messed up jobs I was more than happy to resume my rightful place staring at a computer screen. Plus I am swimming in free almonds!

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