Thursday, 10 May 2012

(Day 52) Training Day III

Monday 23rd April (Day 52)

So, I am back here again for another training day.  My last training day was just over 2 weeks ago.  I still can’t believe I am back here again, at the same company that let me go less than a week ago.

I felt quite confident about the training day whilst looking around at the people who had come here for the first time.  I have been here before and they haven’t.  I felt like I was second in command, sure Alexis was doing the training day but I already felt like a team leader.  Hell I didn’t even have to go for an interview, just straight to the training day!

Breaking the ice

Alexis was the head of this department and the guy who invited me to come and work for him.  It was his energy that drew me to him in the first place and that was not in short supply today.  The first thing he got us to do was to write 3 things about ourselves on the whiteboard with 2 of them being true and one of them being a lie.  The game was we each had to guess what each person was lying about.

My 3 facts were:
  • ·         I want to do stand-up comedy.
  • ·         I am both left and right handed.
  • ·         I once played tennis at Wimbledon.

Which one of these facts about me is a lie?

This was a good way of breaking the ice in the group and getting to know a bit about everyone.  If I ever end up doing job interviews with groups of people I would definitely start off with this.

Down to business

After this game Alexis started the training by telling us everything about fundraising.  Well when I say telling us, I mean shouting at us and bouncing around the room.  I think I now know why the whiteboard in the room is in such poor condition.  He doesn’t write on it he attacks it with his pen.

Most of the training was stuff I already knew but it was nice to hear about the same stuff but from a different person.  One thing I didn’t know was the new script.  Since it was for a different charity most of the script was different.  My last charity was to do with saving children and the charity I had to learn about now are a foundation that are focused on conserving parts of Australia.

What’s he doing here?

So the training was fine but the new script was still a lot to take in.  At the end he asked us individually when we wanted to start working (either tomorrow or Wednesday).  I would have said tomorrow but I didn’t want to work Tuesday.  The reason being is because of the Tuesday morning meeting where everyone else in the office will be there.  All the people I had previously worked with will be there and there is nothing wrong with the people I have worked with but I just get the idea that they are going to give me funny looks whilst thinking stuff like “what’s he doing here? Didn’t he get fired?”

I was going to have to face them soon, but not now, next week after I have been in the job for a few days and maybe have a few signups to justify my existence in the company.  Maybe by next week they would have forgotten what I look like and just think I’m another new person.

Monday, 7 May 2012

(Day 51) Mexican Night and the Bandit

Saturday 21st April (Day 51)

The Sombreros

Sometime this week I was walking back home through the alleyway behind my house when I came upon a large bag of sombreros.  A lot of stuff gets dumped in this alleyway including odd bits of furniture and small electrical devices, some of it we salvage and use in the house.

However a large bag of bright red sombreros!  This was by far the best thing I have seen in our alleyway.  I grabbed the bag immediately and took them to our house.  I counted how many sombreros were in the bag and there were 40!

I am not sure what we were going to do with 40 bright red sombreros but we will find a use for them.

Looking back I am not sure if they had actually just been dumped in the alleyway.  They were next to a minibus with the doors open but oh well.  They are mine now!

The Fiesta

Since getting the hats we have had some fun with them.  One activity we enjoyed doing with the hats is throwing them through the windows of the place across the road.

However we all felt these hats deserved more so Saturday night we had a Mexican themed party.  Amy went out and came back with a huge amount of Mexican food.

It wasn’t long until our back garden was full of people wearing the bright red sombreros and getting drunk.  It was a great night and it was what the sombreros would have wanted (if they could talk).

We had good people round, good food, a nice selection of drinks including tequila and a strong punch and we were all wearing bright red sombreros!  This was a great house party.  What could possible go wrong?

The Lone Bandit

Well, of course something had to go wrong.  I got a text earlier that night from my landlord saying we needed to talk urgently about my late rent payments.  Since I have paid my rent on time every fortnight and since I had no credit on my phone I ignored his text.  However he decided to drop by this evening and he was in a foul mood.

The first thing he did was immediately kick everyone out who didn’t live in the house.  He then pointed at JC and me and said that he would be back in an hour and if anyone was left here who didn’t live in the house JC and I would be kicked out of the house straight away.

I wanted to shove a cactus up his arse

He was on a power trip and I have never hated someone so much so quickly.  He showed up in his fancy BMW complete with token Asian bride and the urge to just grab something remotely sharp and scratch the paintwork off his car was dangerously strong.

We live in a house that is totally uncared for and a few years away from probably being uninhabitable and he comes around in his expensive BMW with his expensive wife giving us shit.

After he stormed off a few people came back to the back garden.  I tried to ask them to leave explaining that my tenancy in the house was on the line but they didn’t really seem interested.  Some guys in the house who have lived here for a while and know the landlord quite well assured me that he was just full of hot air and that he would not come back tonight.  I sure hope they are right.  I don’t want to be kicked out of this house, not after only a few weeks here.

I think next time he comes round through the back door into our garden I am just going to run straight through the front door.  If I am not there he can’t kick me out!  That is my theory anyway because he doesn’t know us on a personal level; just some random people paying him good money to live in one of his many slums.

So tonight was a night of two halves.  But at least the party had begun to wind down anyway when the landlord showed up, so it wasn’t a total write off.  But I think we will keep social gatherings more low key in future.

Ben (Spanish house mate) and some smacked up Canadian guy

More people were wearing hats later on

Sunday, 6 May 2012

(Day 50) Another door opens

Friday 20th April Day 50

So my job as a street fundraiser ended yesterday and I was walking down Eddy Avenue heading towards the shops.  Eddy Avenue is a busy street in Sydney and is a hot spot for fundraisers.  I have been stopped here by fundraisers before which is how I got into this whole fundraising thing and today was no different.

Come for an interview

First person to stop me was some blonde girl; I could tell it was her first or second day.  We had a brief conversation when a guy called Alex came up to us.  I have spoken to Alex before, he is a recruiter for the fundraising company and told me that they were interviewing on Monday. 

Their office was literally just around the corner from my house but I never really liked the look of this company.  For a fundraising company they seem a bit cold and soulless.  I wasn’t massively interested but I still felt like I had learned a lot about fundraising but had not been given the opportunity to put my new skills to the test.

I will make you good

I left these guys with fundraising on the mind again.  I would like one last go at it, but I wanted to work for the company I had just left.  Those guys were awesome!

It was then when I was stopped by a guy I recognised from the fundraising company I had just left.  He was a very friendly and energetic guy and he greeted me like a good friend.  I explained what had happened between me and the company but I also added that I felt like I had learnt a lot.  He suggested I come back and work for him.  I didn’t think this was possible but he explained that he leads his own department so I would work under him and that would be allowed.

He said, “Come work for me, I will make you good”.  He will make me good eh?  Okay, if he insists.  I liked the look of this guy; he had so much energy.

He invited me to a training day on Monday, I didn’t even have to go to an interview, just straight to the training day.


I guess this is just what I wanted; another chance to work for this wacky and amazing fundraising company.  I wanted to have one last crack at fundraising but only with this company.  And now I can...

Sometimes I think I live a charmed life J

(Day 48) One door closes

Wednesday 18th April (Day 48)

The team

So, today is the day where I sink or swim.  I had to do well today and get some signups or I was going to be fundraising no more.  I was hoping for a good team to work with today and I got one.  I was working with Eric and Will; the 2 fundraisers who I have learnt the most from.  Surely the Gods have conspired to make this happen.  I couldn’t have picked a better team for me to work with.

The setting

However we were working in a place called Rockdale.  I didn’t really like the sound of this place.  I got images of some shady little town with sand and tumbleweeds.  I really wanted to work in the city instead.

I got the train to Rockdale that morning.  It was pretty far out of the city and it wasn’t too different from how I imagined it.  The driving rain that made my day yesterday so miserable was back again.  So the team was great but the setting for my sink or swim day was bad and I didn’t get off to a good start either.  The pressure of knowing this was probably going to be my final day was really sapping my energy. 

That morning

The morning passed fairly quickly and I was doing alright.  Despite the problems I wasn’t going to let this job go without a fight.  I stopped one guy who said he was going to and from a tattoo shop just down the road whilst getting a large tattoo done on his leg.  I suggested that he should join our charity today because whenever he looks at his tattoo it will remind him that he is helping save children’s lives.

Some old guy I tried to stop turned around and said by saving children’s lives we were adding to the problems in Africa with reference to over population.  This is bollocks because over population is caused by poverty, not the other way round.  
The reasons being:

  • Health care and family planning facilities unavailable to most families
  •  Families need lots of children to work to scrap enough money together for the family to live off
  • The fact that most of your children are going to die, so naturally you are going to have more to increase the chances of some making it to adulthood
  • And the fact that as a parent you will probably at this point be critically ill and need children to look after you      

And the charity I was representing is focused not just on saving people’s lives but to break the poverty cycle.  I tried to stop this guy to have a discussion with him about how he was wrong but he didn’t want to.  He just wanted to have his say and to walk away, what an ignorant twit.  Anyway, rant over.

The evening

After lunch I was still trying hard, approaching most of the people who were walking towards me but it was just no good.  The thing is you have to stay positive in this job, if you are not emitting positive energy nobody stops to talk to you.  I just felt like I was staring down the barrel of the gun of being fired.  It was coming and there wasn’t anything I could do about it.

At some points in the afternoon I just felt like “oh, what’s the point”.  Well the point was I really liked this job, I really liked the charity I was representing, I really liked the company and I really liked the people I worked with.  I really wanted to hang on and stay with this job but I just couldn’t make that illusive signup.

By 6 o’clock it was getting dark and it was all over.  I think Will made one signup that morning but that was it.  Wonder boy Eric hadn’t made a signup in the 2 days I have worked with him.  It seemed a bit unfair that he was now going to fire me for not getting any signups whilst he was on zero as well.  But I suppose he has already proved himself.

I was pretty gutted handing in my tee-shirt and folder.  I wanted to stay in this job but I couldn’t, not without any signups.  It’s over, damn.