Sunday, August 20, 2006

A day in the life: A videoblog

So yeah, last thursday was exciting. It was my first day proper at the new telemarketing job I've got here, and I saw Faithless for the first time, at Dublin's Marley Park.

I thought I'd take the opportunity to try vblogging for the first time. So I took short videos throughout the day, and whacked them together into a 6 minute video. Sadly, what with this being a first attempt, some of the best stuff I filmed was awful quality and therefore unusable, but still, here's what you can find in the vid:

Scene 1 - Tired Introduction
2 - Tour of flat
3 - The morning walk to work
4 - Workstation. Eek!
5 - How the first day went
6 - Annoying innocent Subway employee
7 - Pretty gig ticket
8 - What Marley Park looks like
9 - Awful quality video of faithless. Especially the sound.
10 - On the River Liffey
11 - Bye then


Sunday, August 13, 2006

The bar work, the phone work, and the final lull in work

Day 54 of Super-Mega-Travel-Adventure-2006.

Interesting week. So when last I blogged I was putting myself up for charity work, yes? Well the next morning I got a call from a bar very local to me named Hanlons, asking if I could come in for an interview the next evening (Saturday). Turned up, chatted with one of the managers, Marie, and 5 minutes later she told me to come in for a trial shift the following Friday.

Excellent stuff, even if the further six day wait was frustrating. Now, remember that interview for the telephony job I had, that I thought I'd ballsed up the interview for? Skip forward three days to Tuesday, and my interviewer calls me and offers me that job too. After giving it some thought, I accepted it, and told myself that it'd be good to have two jobs for a spell. Hedge my bets or something. I'm going in on Tuesday to start training for it. After that the hours are Monday - Thursday, 9.30 - 7.30. The main (some would argue only) plus of the job is the earning potential. It's minimum wage, but with generous bonuses for those who are good at it. We'll see.

Friday night and the first shift at Hanlons then. It's basically a very well known pub/bar/club in the centre of it's community. They're just coming to the end of a huge renovation (hence the taking on staff) which will see it reopen as a really quite flash young-upwardly-mobile-attracting type joint, comprising of a main bar, a nightclub upstairs, an old man bar, function rooms and smoking terraces. I'm reliably informed that it will be constantly rammed full once it all opens up, but in the meantime it's quiet as sin with 30 customers at the busiest point on a Saturday night

For other aspects of the job, here are some scores out of 10:

Female manager, Marie - 6.5 (usually nice but introduced herself to me my explaining that she's "really anal, swears a lot and everybody thinks she's a bitch". This so far appears not to be hugely inaccurate.)

Male manager, Bernard - 7.0 (Seems a lot like my boss in Tenerife. Harsh but fair type)

Male colleague, Carlo - 6.1 (half irish, half italian, and quite reminiscent of Boycie from Only Fools And Horses. Quite scares me.)

Female colleague, Janice - 8.0 (lovely 25 year old single mum who started on my 2nd shift last night. It's her first job in ages, and she's v v sweet)

The bar - 8.0 (will look very nice once it's finished)

The pay - 7.0 (It's Ã??10 an hour, (equals about Ã?7) which is the going rate for bar work in Dublin apparently)

Overall - 7.2 (It's better than the Tenerife job. If this is all I'm doing until I come home I'll settle for it.)

And they've agreed to have me only work Friday and Saturday nights for the meantime. They do think I'm staying in Dublin for 6 months though. I'm not going to let the cat out the bag on that one just yet.

Not literally. Please be assured that if there was any furry feline creatures being held captive in some sort of satchel or backpack or something, I would be there fighting to get it freed from it's awful prison. I'm not some sort of crazed, kitten hoarding mentalist or anything.

Anyway, that's enough job talk. Bar a couple of good but un-noteworthy drinking sessions this week there's not much else to report. Worked out that in preparation for these interviews and jobs I've spent Ã??115 altogether on clothes. That hurt. Discovered the Ipod alarm feature that allows me to wake up to any song I want to, instead of my mobile's ultra-annoying standard alarm. Found out that Keane are playing a secret gig in Dublin on August 31st for the Vodaphone TBA series of gigs. Them being one of my favourite bands, playing in this city, for that TV show is a particularly saucy coincidence, so I'm doing what I can to try and get to go to it. Which probably won't be easy. Seeing Faithless on Thursday night which has got me very excited.

I feel like these are my last couple of relaxed days, then come Tuesday it's all hell-for-leather until I come back home.

Lord knows, I've had enough relaxed days up till now though. Probably shouldn't be ungrateful.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Seeing gigs, visiting birthplaces and being unemployable

Day 44 then. And funnily enough guess what? I haven't got a job yet.

So aside from the all consuming activity of job hunting, what else am I doing to fill my time? Well, hanging about drinking in the flat with flatmates James and Tom for one. The enjoyment of this activity has been increased by the presence of TV channels I've never had before, like MTV, RTE 1 and 2, Sky One, etc. Only a few nights ago I watched the last episode of Series 2 of Lost, which was quite fun having not seen the previous 13 editions. Not exactly an enriching lifestyle I know, but it's been a good laugh so far.

Slightly less dull has been the drinking sessions with hostelmates Lisa and Sharon, who have sadly now returned to their native Cardiff. Also I've been getting back into the habit of enjoying the music scene, helped along by getting on guestlists for gigs, thanks to another girl I met, Tina, who's got some good contacts out here. With her I've been to see 'Joan As Police Woman' (Solo singer-songwriter type woman) and Richard Thompson (Seemingly very popular folk singer) both for free, and both were very fun. Also went to a 1 o'clock in the afternoon secret gig, which turned out to be a band called Republic Of Loose, playing on a floating platform in the middle of the River Liffey, right in the centre of Dublin. All good and very busy, until it started raining halfway through, the guitarist's amp blew, and they had to abandon after only 5 songs.

Also, I've booked tickets to a couple of gigs I'm very excited about. Both are in Dublin next month: Faithless, who it's always been an ambition of mine to see (supported by Kasabian, which was a major draw) and Daft Punk, who I've heard from 3 people who have seen them on this tour already that they've been stunningly good. Can't wait for both.
Yesterday was nice. I got a tram to my birthtown Dun Laoghaire, which is a suburb of Dublin. The last time I was there was in 1998, when I was 14, so it was interesting to see how much I remembered of it. And how much did I remember? Bob all. The only thing I recalled was the tram ride in, which I'd been on 8 years previous, going past the beaches and Lansdowne Road stadium. Even so, it was nice to take an afternoon walking around, exploring the place.

Right, as if I haven't bemoaned the fact already, the job market over here is bloody annoying. I think the best indication I can give of this fact is that even McDonalds and Subway stores aren't recruiting. At all. And yes, I know that because I've asked. It's like this because apparantly every summer Dublin (and Ireland in general) gets swamped with people like me (though mostly coming from mainland Europe, e.g. France, Germany, Poland) looking for summer jobs. To date I've had one interview, my flatmate Tom got me one through a friend of his, a warm-calling telephone job where you phone customers of the company and organise their next appointments with our financial people. Paid well and everything, but, true to form, I royally ballsed up the interview.

It's been ages since I last had a professional-style interview, and so I forgot one piece of necessary preparation: Researching the company that I'm being interviewed for. I mean, the thought to find out a bit about them before I turned up didn't even cross my mind, which is crazy. So anyway I arrive for my interview, and the first question asked of me is: 'So tell me what you already know about the company.' The rest of the interview went okay I guess, but I'm due to hear back about the job tomorrow. I'm not really holding my breath.

With that in mind, today I've taken a decision to try something different, and look for volunteer work in Dublin. There's some great websites on the matter, and there seems to be an opportunity to find something really good to do here. So, even if I don't earn any money I'll have done something worthwhile, and have something to show for this summer. Also, I'll probably bring my return-to-Nottingham date forward to the start of September. I've paid rent up until then, and I'm keen to cut my losses.

I'll see how things pan out over the next couple of days.

Bless y'all,