Sunday, March 17, 2013

How Did I Get Here?

Ok, first off, I realize just how hyperbolic the title of this is...but hopefully I'll persuade you of its appropriateness by the end of this post.  This post is about me kind of, sort of, but not really finding a job.

Complexity, thy name is life:

I'm sitting here in my "twin room" (which really just means twin bed and a shared bathroom) in Sydney writing this post after speaking to the "Landlord" (for lack of a better term) of this "Lodge" (see picture below).  As he took down my name from my "Ahhh Arizona!" Driver's Licence he said my name aloud: "Nickah Alanah Nashah".  But why am I here meeting this lovely Asian fellow with the fanny pack?  Let's go back in time a couple weeks.

I had a second interview with the company on March 4th where I had to present from a power point about Six Sigma.  Skilled in the art of bullshittery, I apparently impressed them enough for a third interview.  I found myself last week, last Wednesday (the 13th), in Sydney to conquer all other candidates before me and to enlighten the managing director on the finer points of American tenacity.  I succeeded/failed.

Apparently, there was another candidate who was "equal on all other fronts" except that he was an Australian.  Mmmk, on to the next dashing of hopes...or was it?  "Nick, they were very impressed with you and would like to try something they've never done before."  Well that just sounds overwhelmingly ominous right there doesn't it?  Turns out, it was.  "They'd like for you to attend a two-week leadership training course on Monday." He told me this last Thursday on a 9:30pm phone call, aka 4 days prior.  Well, swell, right?  Perhaps.  I was to fly myself out and pay for accommodations as well.  Sufficed to say, I did this ($1k later) and am here now.

Tomorrow morning I start my training.  Supposedly, if I do well (which how does one do well in training?) and the stars align ever so slightly, there will be work for me in Melbourne in my near future along with the all together reasonable possibility (so many qualifying words) that I may get a more permanent work visa.  How could I say no?  It's (tragically) the most promising job prospect I have had, even if it does require an upfront compromise of my dignity and my wallet.  To say that I'm disenfranchised with this whole finding-a-job-in-another-country process...would be like saying: <insert your own bleak analogy here>.  I feel this post has been melodramatic enough!  Let's look at this optimistically shall we?

Optimism, my long-time friend:

I've been here in Australia for 6 months come the 22nd.  I have met incredible people who have, per their introduction at the start of this sentence, been incredible to me.  I have gone outdoor climbing for the last 7 out of 10 weekends.  I have had "practice" with 11 interviews (8 at different companies/consultancy firms and 3 at this current employer) and 2 "psychometrics" tests.  Hell, I'm at a baker's dozen for interviews/psychometrics!  I have seen multiple cities here in Australia with two of my best friends and many new ones.  I have learned what true hospitality is all about (not referring to my short stint in bartending...but rather through different friends and camping expeditions).  And I have been in 5 different episodes of TV shows (3 on Neighbours and 2 on Winners and Losers).

And now, I'm in Sydney.  Sydney!  The idea of this even a year ago would've seemed preposterous.  For all the amenities this "lodge" leaves me wanting's a stone's throw from the Sydney Harbor Bridge and more Thai restaurants than even I know what to do with.  This job, even given what I've stated above, is by far the best chance I have of a long-term stay.  It pays well, the people seem competent, and it seems to have a good reputation.  Oh, and I'd like the work!  That part is not trivial.

As I write this, I've worked with a local non-profit for 6 months now.  Doing their financial forecastings, helping with business strategy, and writing their business plan (finishing this tonight!).  I can rightfully say that once they get funding, I helped start a business.  All of this while, technically, travelling!  Even if this "goes tits up" (a new phrase I've been taught) I'll have had some great experiences and some highly hilarious ones as well.  For everything I've done wrong, I've stumbled on a lot of right.


I can't even pronounce the name...but I think the lodge eats meat.  I can't be sure.

Who knew a hand dryer could be endearing?  This one, with it's interesting title of "Rorsche" 2400 Turbo (I can only assume I'm supposed to conjure up images of a Porsche), decided its logo should be a kangaroo and an Emu...because when I think turbo...I think kangaroos and Emus.

A friend recently gave me a free ticket to a networking event with Engineers and Lawyers.  The drinks were free...  Anyway, this is the reverent masses (~200 ppl) listening to one of the worst public speakers I've heard in a long time.  They were far more respectful.  I decided to attack the bar and the hors d'oeuvres (yes, I had to look up how to spell that...twice).  

This is the bottle of wine a friend bought for me (far too long ago) that I will be celebrating with should I get a/the job.  It's a Durif...which as I'm told, is a fancier version of a Shiraz.

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