Gainful employment

The time has come to find what I have always referred to as ‘a real job’, by which I mean one that is not unskilled and in the primary industries. There is a reasonably good chance that I am going to kill one or more of my co-workers if I am party to one more discussion about the evils of immigration and the futility of getting an education. I am starting to become embarrassed by the casual racism and gung-ho jingoism of my workmates and the assumption that our Korean fellow workers don’t understand what they are hearing. So, full of a kind of fatalistic determination, I take to the employment web-sites, throwing my life into the air to see what might turn up.

A job that pays roughly what I earn as a manual labourer comes up in the area where I grew up – a beautiful coastal strip that rivals the unemployment statistics of famously dole-reliant areas like Byron Bay. I decide that I could live there again, and apply, but am told they want someone just starting uni. In rapid succession I apply for jobs on Melville Island, in Adelaide, Liverpool, the Western Plains of NSW and, most amusingly, the Burdekin – not the place to go if the problems I am having with rural Australians are my main reason for looking for new pastures.

I stop this carpet-bombing approach to seeking employment when I realise that I can’t remember what I have said to each Human Resources department, or even where I have applied for which job. Then the Owl’s garden starts producing for another summer, and the parrots come back, and my Honours supervisor gently suggests that I would be good at research if I could just stick to doing one thing at a time, and one morning on the way to work I see the quoll again, calmly gnawing the leg off a wallaby with no concern for passing traffic, and I give the employment web-sites a rest for a bit longer.

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3 comments on “Gainful employment

  1. Dammit! I just entered a comment and it went AWOL. I’ll try again.

    I love your turn of phrase (carpet bombing / calmly gnawing / throwing my life in the air) and your account of how change frenzy can turn to delight in where you are. Happy hunting for the pasture that will always be green!

  2. I want to see your quoll!!!!

  3. just realised it sounds obscene

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