My friends, did I ever explain where I disappeared to for like … a month? On the turnover of completing my bachelor’s degree I got a job!!! (exciting, especially after avoiding one all through study due to le extra curricular activities). Though of course what I didn’t share is that it was at a petrol station.. in the middle of the night.. a 2 hour public transport ride away.. in the heart of winter.. in the hood. It was ahh.. a challenge? Night shift 4 nights a week destroyed my body, my work for the magazine and also my livelihood (did I mention it was in the dead of the night?) Nevertheless, now that it’s in the past- we can confirm that challenges were had and a couple of friends made. I know it’s reckless to say, but it’s tough settling for a place you’re not so keen on when you’ve finished your degree and keep dreaming of the world to come. It had its uses- paid for a trip to Melbourne and a Jack White concert (the real initial reason I looked for the job!), covered the cost of having my wisdom teeth out (over $1000) and also super fancy frames to ease the pain of the cataract I grew up with. Yup- so that’s over and again I need a job. Though this time, hopefully something relevant to my degree in Media Arts (hit me up?). I took photos of my stay, and here they are, and this is the last we’ll hear of it. After this- it’s well and truly behind me and we can move forward!
I woke to darkness every night and caught the same series of empty buses to work- I had to go via the city and the changeover was a half an hour wait. It was the dead of winter, pouring with rain and thick with mist, I wore the same army-coloured coat every night and pair of leggings under my pants. I had my very first overnight shift on my 22nd birthday.
At first I had no idea what I was doing/ what the expectations of me were and I’d work for 8 hours straight without a break just to keep up. I’d also wear three shirts- because that’s how cold it was indoors. We had 50c postmix (coke) and cheap baked goods, so this became my diet. With no vegetables or fruits in sight..
It’d take 2 hours to get home, and when I fell into bed- exhausted- at 8am, with red eyes and exhausted limbs- the sun would be rising and this beautiful light kept me from sleeping/ made me crazy. I hung black sheets across my windows and threw things at my housemates when they made noises every day for over a month until my body accepted the darkness, rather than the daylight (depressing). Sunday mornings the bus wouldn’t come for 2 hours after work so I paid for a taxi across town to take me home. Kind of against the point, huh?!
The same routine continued for over a month til I made friends with some of the people who worked alone with me, and they brought me coffee in my breaks . This didn’t make my work any less awful though, just seemed to go faster. But sometimes we would laugh and laugh and I’d forget I was in a petrol station in the middle of the night in the middle of winter.
Sometimes, I’d go into town early for the change over before work to eat tasty treats at fancy cafes so I could remember what it was like to actually be amongst people who weren’t in uniform. It’d been moths since I’d seen my close friends. I reread my favourite book series “The Song of The Lioness” in cafes, where my favourite character was a determined young girl who trained as a knight in secret. Alanna was a great role model growing up – just sayin’-.
Such a strong female character, this is the cover of the edition of the series that I have. I wear an akin jewel around my neck too. Tell me this would all be over soon so I could go back to fighting dragons?!
Finally made it to Jack White in Melbourne with my friend Steph. It was worth every second of earlier misery- that man is a god. I stayed in Melbourne for about a week and soaked in all the culture, sad that all the inspiration I absorbed was getting wasted, at home there was no time for art or craft, it was just sleep and work.
From here I had my wisdom teeth out and ordered numerous fancy glasses for my eyeballs and therefore decided that it was time to move on- I’d accumulated all I needed to be set free into the world to start over. But it required being polite and giving notice as well as settling a couple of other things before finally leaving. At least now it was the countdown.
Found solace in cute ways of customising my uniform (see the chain holding my new fancy specs to my face? Very now). The customers thought I was crazy, I guess this kept me safe. I only told a couple of work friends that I was set to leave, because I’d found out that the day staff were very gossipy – yuck- and didn’t want to feed their habit.
My housemate turned 24 and I couldn’t be there to celebrate.. cos I was sleeping.. from night shift. So I asked one of the bakers to make him a cake. It was ironic, somehow. I brought it home on the bus as the sun rose and left it on the counter. I think he took it to work to share with his friends, good thing- as I hate raisins.
I kept a shameless instagram update of my frustration, hashtagged it #countdown & used a fancy ap to write how many shifts I had left over the pictures. Is that sad? I never shared where I was working or the name of the company, to keep myself safe.
Cool boy from my old high school came in. He was nice and I felt defeated- so therefore shared it with twitter. It was good to get back to that teenage angst of my youth, even if it was 5 years too late.
On my last shift I changed into the uniform when I got there, so I could leave my house in gear that made me feel powerful, not small. (Powerful = This). Counting down my final bus rides and suddenly – after forever- it was the last one.
It was the turnover of spring and finally, finally the frost and the rain ceased for just a little, and the sun started to rise on the bus ride home- sometimes.
Clearly my suburb is classy- leavin’ this junk about when it’s not the date for hard rubbish collection. I came across this on my walk home as the run rose, and considered taking it with me- as I could finally get back to those creative goals.
Anyway so there’s that story – I guess it had a happy ending! (though the sulking is pretty evident too hah). I hope this is reasonable explanation for my absence, ladiez and gents, always think through the places you apply to work. Woohoo happy September- spring is here! xx