The weird things we do to put bread on the table
As far back as I remember, I was never really interested in going to work or keeping a steady job. At the age of 20, I had graduated from University with a degree in Bugger All, and I had planned to be a dog walker for the wealthy – preferably for randy lonely old women living in the Eastern Suburbs and who didn’t have time to walk their terriers between yoga and brunch.
When I ended up in the hospital after one day of walking ‘Max’, I came to two conclusions: First, never interrupt a dog mating; Second, I needed a new job.
All this got me thinking about what my perfect job would be. Unlike all my other friends with a BA, I had no interest in working at a bank. So instead, I decided I would help save the planet.
In December of 1992 my mother got me a job where she worked, at Greenpeace. I dressed up as a whale, collecting money in a bucket and mostly from Japanese tourists.
I was also required to do some public speaking and various presentations to school groups. On one occasion, the talk was supposed to start at 10am but I overslept and so I had to make it up as I went. I explained to the smelly little brats that the miracle of whales was that they were able to communicate with each other.
Of course, it was only the male whales out on bucks’ nights that were found stranded on beaches, and usually because they had too much to drink and had refused to stop to ask for directions. I was later officially stripped of my whale costume and mercilessly thrown overboard.
With very little ambition, no idea how to fish, but a strong desire not to starve to death, I decided to try something completely different. Knowing someone who knew someone, I was told about a job as a masseuse. The ad read something like this: “Masseuse needed for exclusive celebrity resort, no experience necessary, will train right person”. I had a vision of supermodels with barely covered bottoms.
The first day went well until my first ‘client’ arrived. I opened the door and there, naked, was the largest woman I had ever seen – well, okay, except perhaps for my mother pretending to be a whale at a Greenpeace Christmas party.
I introduced myself and asked her to take off her leg warmers. At this point the woman assured me that she was not wearing any. I knew right then that this profession was not for me.
The next 15 years were very trying on me. I had to change jobs hundreds of times because of one silly mistake after another. Nowadays, to make ends meet I write guff for whoever will publish it, but that doesn’t give a regular income. So now I work in a new job. It has turned out to be my favourite. I am Head of Lift Operations in a snazzy boutique hotel in the city.
Coincidentally, its full of randy older women who want a little company during their holiday stay. You could say it has its ups and downs.
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