Being a professional Union thug has been just brilliant thusfar. I started nearly three weeks ago now, and I have enjoyed every moment. Who'd have thought work could be an enjoyable experience? Look, I know it is real poor form to bag out your last gig as you leave, but effectively I am now being paid to point out what is wrong with the higher ed sector, and so I will take this opportunity to say that it is a frustrating position to be in when you are dedicated to enacting change within a Victorian (era, not location) institution, and not only can you never get anywhere because you are never given any power to enact change, but it is also assumed that you know less about what you're supposed to be doing in your job because of your cultural background, and really you should just be copying the "experts". I really miss the students who are just the light and (many forget) the purpose of the gig, and some of my colleagues, but I am still a student myself anyway, and will be seeing them around in a much more positive way :D
Back to union thuggery though. So my office is bare, but great. My workmates are cool and not once have they mentioned my choice of jeans and my blue hair, mainly because it just blends in. The work itself is fascinating and inspiring, and I have a fair bit of freedom to express ideas and try stuff out. All brilliant stuff. Except they have already tried to kill me. Yep, this is a true story...
You see, just over a week after I started, I went on my first trip; to Darwin to attend the ACTU Indigenous Conference. Everyone knows I love Darwin, and so I was only too happy to go there. That was until Tropical Cyclone Carlos decided to rock up, rain all over us, and trap us indoors for two whole days until he sodded off west to reek havoc on W.A. So although the conference was good, and I learnt a lot, I was trapped inside and I don't do so well with cabin fever. Started to go a tad mental, and it was a welcome relief when I could actually go walking around on Thursday and lose some of that energy. Got taken out to Monsoons by the legendary Dan and Claire. I was supposed to also be meeting up with my baby bro, but because of the cyclone, flights were cancelled and he was stuck in Brisbane, so his mates took care of me instead! Caught up with Lyn as well whilst in D-town, and it was great to see her.
On Friday, I flew out to Nhulunbuy to spend the weekend with my Mum for her 60th birthday. We dined fine, we avoided crocs, we whinged about all the miners, and had in depth conversations with sulfur-crested cockatoos who steal jeans. It was good to see Ma again, but really sad to leave her so I think I will have to organise another trip again soon.
Now on to the stalking Paul Kelly thing. Basically, on three of my six flights last week, I saw Paul Kelly sitting there, also in economy class, peacefully eating his crap aeroplane food. I found this a tad exciting. Have been a huge fan of Paul's for many many years, as I love what he sings about, he is a brilliant artist, and he just seems to have a truckload of integrity. I have met him twice, and the first time was at the Yeperenye festival when he was going to grab a feed after he'd performed and some bozo security guard didn't recognise him and wouldn't let him in until someone else said "don't you realise who this is???!!!". At that point, I caught PK's eye and rolled my eyes in an expression of frustration on his behalf at incompetent security guards. The second time I met him was at my old work place, and I think I said to him "I've met you briefly before, Paul! Remember that woman who rolled her eyes after some incompetent security guard wouldn't let you into the food area? I was her!". Yep. So this time I just smiled at him and avoided saying anything. It worked out for the best, as I got to follow him from one end of the country to the other, there and back, and I had no incompetent security guards called on me!
Anyway, take care all. Next trip is looking to be to Southern QLD. Yep, my new work is definitely trying to kill me... :D