3rd Aug 2011 - 22nd Aug 2011 - Life in Brisbane! Ok.. I suggest making a cuppa before sitting down to read this, oh and just for me have some chocolate digestives too, I'd love one right now! Working life- My work is going fine I have to say, but I really hate waitressing, always have and always will. It's just not for me. But Gambaro's is a great establishment, the food is top notch and very expensive, it's mainly a seafood restaurant and even for someone like me who hates seafood and fish I appreciate how great the plates look. They also have a wide selection of expensive wines and champagnes. An average couples bill will come to $250-$400. I work about 4 shifts a week, averaging 20-26 hours a week. If I'm waiting tables I am usually lucky enough to get tips I've had a few $5+ and a lovely couple left me $29. One night I got $4 and the manager looked sorry for me and said it wasn't much but I told her I was grateful for anything it's better than nothing- she obviously gets paid too much. The other waitresses and bar men are really friendly but the supervisors are up themselves and it annoys me and everyone. But Shan keeps me grounded by telling me it's only a few months and the money I make will help keep us going. Talking of money, I am earning $18.51 an hour before tax so taking home around $250 a week which is actually a fair amount. When I'm not waiting tables for regular customers I have been doing functions and PDAs. I have done private events for politicians, VIPs, and was very lucky to be working at Darren Lockyer's party. 'Locky' is the Broncos team captain and he is retiring at the end of the season and he has just played his 349th game (most played games by a player in Australia) and his party was held at Gambaros after a match with all his family, friends, team mates and wags. I seen a few members of the Broncos and I even asked Locky for his autograph (which Shan loves). The event was an easy one we walked around the VIPs with trays of beers and wines like you see in films with posh people at a party. We also carried big silver trays with canapés around. That was a cool night, and I was so glad I had went to watch the match so I knew who was who. But the nights that I love the most are the nights they call me to tell me they are really quiet and don't need me to work! I also got a phone call about a job in another restaurant also in Caxton street, I went along and was offered the job but I have decided to stay at Gambaros and just ask for more hours, I can't be bothered to get re-trained.
Shannon done 3 weeks training at TSA and every night he came home enjoying it a little bit less. The training started off with games and getting to know the product- of selling Telstra (home phone, internet, foxtel tv) packages. But the great expectation of earning money was far away. During his training he got paid a basic salary but once out on the field it would be commission based only. The people who work there- like in every out going call centre are full of shit, they maybe dont lie but they exaggerate and make themselves sound great and kid on to be interested in the client when really they are just ruthless by wanting their money. And Shannon is far too nice a person to bully someone into a package with Australia's biggest and best phone company when in actual fact they have a better deal already at Optus. Also the customers would be rude and hang up on him (but so would I if someone called annoying me). Shannon didn't believe in the place and realised it wasn't worth it and he quit!
And I was proud of him for leaving because I have grown such a hatred for marketing and sales and charity muggers since coming here. Neither of us consider ourselves quitters but it takes someone with a special talent to work in these places and it's just definitely not for us. Just to put things in perspective 30 people already work at TSA which Shan saw at their desks. 11 people were on Shan's induction, 4 left before the first week training was complete and the day Shan left so did 2 of his friends. So only 4 of the original group are currently still there. And also they do recruitments every week. (also when I worked at Infinity it was the same, only 20 people worked there and yet they recruited 10 people every week) it just shows it's shit. So Shan is currently job hunting again. Spare time- it's great having Shannon around all the time, cause I only seem to work nights so far so we have long lies every day and sometimes just chill pigging out all day, watching tv and reading- I have just finished reading 'The Help' which was a great read. (Australia is behind on film releases it's very annoying so it's not out yet at cinema but can't wait to watch it). We have a loud couple from Newcastle moved in next door and I mean loud in all senses of the word! We go to the hostel to use the Internet and the owner gives us it cheaper, but oh god those backpackers are annoying, they are loud and lazy they all just hang about there all day talking rubbish. And it's the same people, they sleep in dorms for months sharing a room and sharing a bathroom, then some work some just sit around all day, it's similar to our lives though and I'm so superly glad me and Shan have each other cause I now know I couldn't go travelling myself and have to share a dorm with strangers. (no offence to other backpackers its just not my kind of lifestyle). As I said before it's winter but the weather is still hot and sunny most days so it's great and we get a bit of sunbathing in.
Shan even treated himself to a hair cut, first time since way before we left home. Shan thought the 60 year old barber sounded like a typical drunk Aussie you'd find in a bar- crude, rude, racist, and sexist but very humorous. We have also been out exploring Brisbane. We walked round the CBD and seen the city hall, churches sandwiched between sky scrapers, war memorials, iron kangaroo statues, we walked to 'Story Bridge' and got photos of the Brisbane river and CBDs buildings with great views. We also walked to Southbank on South Brisbane and wandered around taking photos of the lagoon, a Nepalese pagoda, Japanese friendship garden, the wheel and great views across to the CBD again. We ventured into 'Max Brenner' which is a chocolate cafe. We have passed it so many time and it is always queued right out the door and looks so popular but it was quieter so we looked at the menu which ranged from chocolate pizza to coconut hot chocolates to chocolate fondue and we settled on a huge extremely chocolatey fudge sundae with hot melted chocolate, pecans, fudge, waffle balls and cream. It was amazing, but we didn't take any photos though because we stuffed our fat faces before we thought of it!
So really we sometimes are just like we were in Guernsey on a day off just being lazy but I don't think you all want to read about normal things so here's some of the fun stuff we have done on our days and nights in Brisbane- we've been to the cinema to watch Planet of the Apes and Friends with Benefits which were good. We are still trying to have a night out every weekend. We have been eating out at restaurants including good old Nando's. We are continuing to try all the Aussie beers at various bars, including the stubbies we have in the house which is called 'Great Northern' and we like that. We are astonished to hear by several sources that Aussies don't like Fosters and also no where sells Fosters! But yet Brits are led to believe it's there national drink. We went a walk to the suburb next to Petrie Terrace which is called Paddington, only a 10 minute walk in the opposite direction on the CBD and it has lots of bars, clubs, shops, restaurants etc and it's got a great view of Brisbane skyline. We have been clothes shopping for trainers and flats for work (for me) and before Shan left his job I treated him to new shirts. Also very excitingly our ASOS parcel arrived so we have an expanding wardrobe (too early to think about weight issues of our bags when we finally leave- oops).