Monday, October 31, 2005


I thought this exchange was pretty funny, but maybe you had to be there... Anyway, reasons I shouldn't work in a hotel: part one.
Chef: Can you go to HR at four o'clock? They would like to have a chat with you.
Me: Sure! What about?
Chef: *shrugs* I don't know, maybe you get a raise. But don't get your hopes up.


Me: Hi, you wanted to see me at four?
HR: Yes, come in. Have a seat?
Me: *sits, looks at HR expectantly*
HR: Tim we had a complaint from a staff associate regarding your treatment of him.
Me: Really? hmmm, what seems to be the problem?
HR: He says that you made an inappropriate comment to him during dinner service on Thursday.
Me: Oh?
HR: Yes. He says you sent him out of your section for no apparent reason and he is upset about that and the manner in which you told him to leave.
Me: Oh, Phil [name changed]. Yeah, he came into my section and started to take my prep without asking and then tipped a pot of stock into the sink because he needed it.
HR: Okay, did you ask him to-
Me: I said "what the fuck do you think you are doing? Do your own prep. Now get the fuck off my section and stop screwing around."
HR: Oh.
Me: *shrugs*
*long pause*
HR: Do you think you could have been a bit more restrained?
Me: I thought I was quite restrained. I mean, I didn't even mention the stock...
HR: Well, he felt quite, ah. Well, he was not happy with your comments.
Me: He wasn't supposed to be.
*long pause*
HR: Well, do you think you could have made your point without saying- ah, using the language you did?
Me: Without saying "fuck"? I suppose I could have, but I didn't.
HR: Which is why we are chatting about this.
Me: Chat away. I'm still on the clock...
HR: You don't seem to be taking this very seriously...
Me: Not particularly...
HR: right...
*long pause*
HR: In future, do you think you could please be more restrained with comments directed at Phil?
Me: Sure, no problem... As long as he doesn’t come into my section and take prep...
HR: But-
Me: I've got a roast in the oven that I should probably check...
HR: Oh, ah, alright... Ah, thank you for your time. Talk to you soon.
Me: I'm sure we will. Ciao...

Saturday, October 29, 2005


over ten days, I hope no one was holding their breath waiting for this post! Things are different and the same in the environs of my life. The same: still working at the hotel doing soul sucking prep work. Different: found and moved into an apartment so I don't live in a hostel anymore. Work I'll winge about later. The apartment is great. It's usually rented out by the night as a holiday apartment (basically a hotel suite) but because I'm staying longer than a week, I got a huge discount!
Highlights of living in an apartment instead of a hostel include:
Not having to get fully dressed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night,
having a double bed (not to mention a room) to myself,
not having to wear sandals in the shower,
having a clean fridge ALL TO MYSELF,
having an oven (muffins anyone?),
and last, but not least, the apartment comes with linen service!
ooh yeeah! no bed mites for me!
The place also has a really good air con unit, the necessity of which I’ve learned in the last week or two. Daily temperatures here are usually 30 degrees or above and the humidity has been up to 65%. Welcome to the tropics.
Yeah, well, I actually don't even feel like winging about work now (how odd for me!) but i'll try to get a few work stories posted soon for all of you who are sick of the travel content of this blog and want some kitchen stuff again!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


this was supposed to be a longish entry about how the first day of work went yesterday, but I got caught reading updates from certain other people and now have no time left!
anyway, I survived. I am working in 'production' which (for those who dont know) is lots of high volume repetitive work. When you and 700 of your friends go to a hotel and have onion quiche, the onions don't chop themselves (If you to the Mirage in Port Douglas, I do).
It's tough work, but I will survive i think.
Yesterday was 10 months of being away from home. That was a big realization, even bigger was only two more to go...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Stick bugs and lolly pops

I am sitting in what I would like to call the loft above the kitchen/bar/lounge/tv room at Dougies Backpackers in Port Douglas, Tropical Far North Queensland. The sun is slipping behind the trees, taking some of the direct heat with it, but leaving the muggy humidity behind. Internet here is a bit on the pricey side: $1/10minutes as far as Queensland hostels go, but I thought it best to splurge and make contact with the outside world.
The News. I got the job at the Mirage.
I start tomorrow. That was a bit soon to be ready if everything I need for kitchen (clogs, aprons, hats, favorite spatula, microplane, peelers, and KNIVES) was being shipped from Victoria (Aus) to here so a bit of shopping has occurred. I am now the proud owner of new non-slip black shoes, a paring knife and 'D' peeler. Unfortunately, do to a hiccup when leaving Cairns this morning, two of the three above mentioned items are still in Cairns. shitty deal. But I digress. I start tomorrow at 2 pm in the "cold larder" ("Garde Manger" to everyone who knows better). The Chef is a Swiss guy (thanks marco) named Klaus who seems to be a pretty decent guy; here's hoping first impressions aren't deceiving. They want to contract me for a month and are offering wages that are at least double what I made at home which is nice, but I'm not sure about staying that long. I suppose I'll have a better idea by the end of the week.
But yeah, basically: I'm alive, have shelter, have work, and (for tonight at least) have food. Things could be worse!

for some family stuff,
Dad, hope you are taking pictures of Egypt to share
Mum, so cool about the frescos!
Cleh, well, I've talked to you lots this week so.... hmmmm. How is the cat?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Thanksgiving passed without even a whisper here, though I did end up chatting to a hari Krishna for about 40 minutes in the blazing hot humidity of the mid day sun. Following that, I gave thanks for air conditioning. I realized belatedly today that Darwin, (which is my planned next port of call) is even further north than Cairns and I will be arriving there even further into summer. Yeah, smart move on my part.

For the continuing news, I was wakened this morning by a call from the HR department at the Sheraton Mirage in Port Douglas (an hour north of cairns). They had gotten hold of my resume and were wondering if I was interested in an interview. I agreed (not sounding too eager I hope).
Now all that's left is to figure out how to get there by 11am tomorrow and what I can wear. Dressing to impress for an interview when it's 30 degrees and the humidity makes you sweat torrentially is not an easy thing. I have two collared shirts, one black one striped. The black one is out. So supposing I wear a collared shirt, what on the bottoms? My parachute pants, jeans or shorts? Long pants and a long shirt will I think probably kill me of heat exhaustion. Bugger. And the shoes? What of them? I haven't worn closed toed shoes in over a month. I don't even think I'm traveling with socks anymore (and do to afore mentioned bank trouble I can't even get new ones!).
I'm screwed.
But, I'll let you know how it all goes! If anything, this will all make for great story telling over a nice cold sleeman's honey brown lager...
mmmm.... cold sleemans....

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fit of desperation

I had a big post yesterday, but then the spell check ate it and I was in too foul a mood over it to re-type. In fact, I'm still quite bitter. So I will paraphrase.
I am now in Cairns Qld. This was supposed to be a quick stop before heading to Darwin and then back to Melbourne via Alice Springs and Adelaide, but uncooperative bank accounts and a melted visa card have brought travels to a screeching, sweaty halt. I spent a couple days with an old friend and his family (how strange to be in a family setting after how long?) during which I pieced together a resume and slept for free. Yesterday in the heat and humidity of the tropical day I hit the pavement with copies of the resume and did a bit of door knocking. Now I'm breathing. Sitting with fingers crossed in the cool comfort of an internet place ($1 an hour paid for with 10c pieces) waiting for the phone to ring...
come on.... come onnn.... hmmm.
I'll keep you posted.