Thursday, June 29, 2006

I Knew It Was A Trap!

(Oh, and before I start this tirade, I should mention that almost as soon as I finished blogging the last entry, the phone rang again and I got an interview for Wednesday morning at 10:30. When it rains, it pours. Or.... does it?)

So I had my first interview Tuesday at 3 at George Street Marketing Agency. After filling out a huge application form (6 pages of 'what would be your dream job' and 'why do you feel you are a self-motivator', what a bunch of bollocks) I interview with a really cool enthusiastic guy who tells me all about the company and how they work for Energy Australia and Citibank, and how they do below-the-line marketing. Sounds good. Then they say that they want people who want a foot in the door and a career and such. Sounds great. Then we talk for a bit, and I come off all smooth and everything. He says I'd be dealing with business-to-business marketing to keep existing customers, and it'll be 36 to 37K per year. That gets my attention. I say "Well, as long as it's not going to be selling stuff to people on the street, it's fine." He tells me to come back for second interview, which would occur at 8:30 on Thursday, in which I could go to the location and see what they're doing and whether I like it. Sweet.

On to the next interview. It's at PhD Marketing (part of the RISA group, which apparantly is 200 marketing companies in 24 countries and is flush with moolah). They say (after having me fill out another big application ('Are you comfortable working in a team environment? Give specific examples of when you were part of a successful team.') that they do below-the-line-marketing for AAPT telecommunications and they want 100 people by April, 10 of whom will be in supervisory roles. Sounds good. They also do business-to-business marketing. Right. Ok. Sounds familiar, but do go on. Same speil, but he says I should come back Monday for the second part of the application process, which is a one-day trial. Nine to five. Unpaid. Competing against another guy (Oh, and this interviewer also has a wierd habit of asking me questions about my interests as listed on my application and then zoning out when I respond, so I end up talking and then trailing off, and there's a moment of silence and he blinks and gives himself a shake and goes "...Right!." and we proceed). So I leave, with a wierded feeling, and get home to explain this stuff to Tanja. She gets all nervy about the one-day-trial-unpaid thing, which is apparantly incredibly illegal under HR legislature, and I decide not to go back to PhD or to the Monday thing.

So. Wednesday. 10:30. I show up at the interview for Elite Advertising Group. I fill out, I shit you not, the EXACT same application from the first place. Then in I go. She goes over my application and everything's good. Then she says she's in charge of below-the-line marketing for Doctors Without Borders and World-Vision (uh oh). And what she wants me to do, is join her team of (and I apologize for this, but I have to stress it) PEOPLE WHO STAND OUTSIDE TRAIN STATIONS TRYING TO CON PEOPLE INTO CREDIT CARD DONATIONS!!! Gah! I take her card and leave, thinking that I'm never answering a call from them again. Also, on the way back, I stop at Lowes and Myer and get some dress shirts (as the one respectable one I have is showing wear), which is an adventure in its own right as I'm a size 39 in a size 44's world.

Anyway, this morning I show up at 8:30 at the office, and another guy gives me a whirlwind talk about the job without telling me anything new, and then says "Ok, Henry here will be taking you out on the job to Caringbah." Caringbah's a suburb that's an hour train ride away. I know this because I had to ride the train there. And pay for my own ticket. It would have been $8.80, but I had my student card, so it was $4.40. I asked Henry if they reimburse for travel, to which he replied that he keeps all his weekly tickets and they reimburse him 30% of them at tax time. Uh oh.
So on the train ride, Henry explains stuff to me. He (and I) would be canvassing businesses. Cold. We were going to walk into a business, ask to see the manager, inquire about their outstanding debts and credit cards, and offer to pay them all and charge only 6.9% interest with no account fees. I wasn't impressed. Apparantly it's completely commission-based. No base salary. He gets $40 for each person he signs up, with bonuses for the options they get. I was about half an hour, then I stop him and say "Look, I think this is where I leave you."
"Yeah. This isn't what I expected."
"Yeah, Ok. See you."
And I wander back to Caringbah station, feeling like crap, then have to wait 30 minutes on the platform for the 1 hour ride to the city. There go three days of my holidays. And I had to return a shirt to Myer because it had highlighter on it! Pink highlighter! And they didn't have my size in the style I wanted! So I had to pick a less-good style.

Thank God Tanja and I are going to the Hunter Valley this weekend.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Interviews and Spitfires

I'm on me holidays this week and next, and I've been using my time constructively (wandering around in my PJs, watching movies (including the awesome Band Of Brothers miniseries, all 12 hours of it). I've also got onto and started applying for jobs and building my profile. Well, this morning I get a call from a place wanting me to come in this afternoon at 3 and apply. Well, great. Then I get another call not five minutes after telling Tanja about the first and they want me to come in at 4:30 and apply too. They saw my resume and were "very impressed". Shit, I know my resume, and I'M not impressed. Oh well, who am I to argue. So I have two interviews this afternoon. Get out the cheap suit once again.

However, isn't it always the way, when something goes right, another goes wrong? I spent most of yesterday cutting a really cool stencil of a Spitfire fighter plane, and when I went to paint it this morning on a cool dark grey shirt. But, of course, the grey is too dark for black, so I painted it in white. Mistake. The stencil was of the shadows and now it just looks wrong. Shoot. I haven't screwed up a shirt in over a year now. Ah, well.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Work, damn you!

I'm writing this in order to (hopefully) stimulate my creative processes. You see, I've finished all the bitch-ass assignments that I had due with the exception of one, and all of the exams I had except one. Shockingly enough, it's for the same subject. Advertising Case Studies. The dreaded Vicki.

I've been frustrated by assignments before. Clauston's mystified me with it's cryptic directions (that we're all sure he's reused from another class). Musgrove's was long, and involved a lot of typing and retyping of the same facts and research results. Steve's snap-focus deadlines gave me small starts of panic ("I want it emailed to me before 9 pm tonight." will be his historic line forever). But I've never felt this angry.

As you may recall, gentle readers, Vicki is the teacher who decided that after half-hols, she was through teaching us, and said that if we needed her, we could damn well make an appointment. Nice of her, wasn't it. She also hardly discussed the assignment after the second day. The idea was for us to work all together in a group to generate all the information for the report, but we were to do individual reports to hand in. Then she went on a tirade about plagiarism. My question is, if, say, Diniz writes the media plan and emails it around, and Matt writes the creative timeline, and we're to include both of these in our reports, how is it not plagiarism? Well, I KNOW that it's not, but I worry what she'll intrepret it to be. Also, she's provided no clear outline of headings or framework that we can punch our information into. I've had to email around and see what everyone else is using as headings so that I'm not way off base.

It's roughly due before the 22nd, which is the day of our exam. It's the 16th. I have another hour tonight, all the 17th, all the 18th (although, Tanja will be home both those days and damnit, I want to spend time with her too), all the 19th, all the 20th, 21st morning, 22nd morning, to write this report. Oh, and go over the case study given to us for the exam too. At some point.

I've gone past the working-with-a-movie-in-the-background phase. I dawdled in the playing-classical-music-and enhancing-my-mellow-so-I-can-work phase. Then the vacuum-and-put-away-dishes-to-clear-my-head-from-the-buzzing-words phase. I'm now smack in the middle of the blasting-Raconteurs(Saboteurs to those in Australia)-really-loud-and-damned-be-the-neighbours-while-I-try-to-make-sense-of-this-rubbish phase.

It's a good phase.

Tonight, Ted, Catherine, Tanja and I are going out for Thai in Newtown. I hope I'm not going to be a gloomy bastard. And I'll try not to drink too much. Maybe.

{note to Blogspot readers. Yes, I changed the title of my Blog again. Funny-Ha-Ha-Funny-Strange just wasn't doing it for me. I contemplated calling it "Across The Andes By Frog: the stirring story of one man and six amphibians who tried to defy the world in the greatest gamble of all", but have settled on "Binge Thinkers Anonymous"}

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Just killing time... no one but me turned up to the last Ethics class we had (irony, thy name is Dale). I picked up my Body Shop assignment. I got 42 1/2 out of 50. Huzzah! And thanks to a bout of middle-ear infection, I was a wreck on Friday and Saturday, missed work on Sunday, but was well enough to finish my big report for Innovation Sunday night.

And, thanks to Tanja's encouragement and a sale at David Jones, I now have a swanky Drizabone leather jacket. It's waterproof too. It's been tested today, thanks to rain.

Oh, and Toronto was nearly blown up by terrorists. They stuck it in as a footnote to the news last night. Fertiliser bomb. Yikes.