Thursday, April 18, 2013

No Regrets

Hello!  And welcome back.  This post is about recent happenings, what's next in life, and some fun colloquialisms...and then a couple songs to serenade you.

What's Happened Recently?

Well I'm glad you (errr...I) asked.  I went to that training session in Sydney.  After staying at the Carnivore (sic) Lodge: I stayed with Gaby, Josh, and Adrian...we'll say "family friends" for simplicity's sake.  They should be getting a bottle of wine and some chocolates as a token of my appreciation sometime around when I'm writing this.  I came back and fished for some info from the company as to when I'd possibly start.  Yada yada yada, I got a call last week to say I'd be teaching a training session on their company's processes this Wednesday to Friday as a "checkout" (verification) that I can do it at their level.

Now, at this point, you should be asking yourself: "Nick, I'm reading this on Thursday...which I know to be your are you writing this AND teaching/working?"  Or at very least you're reading this sometime later and wondering why I'm obviously talking in retrospect.  Well, you, my intelligent and astute reader, are quite clever.  I made it past day one of the training session, or rather to the morning of day 2...and I walked out.  For the remainder of this story I'm going to have to be a other words, let's grab a drink and I'll talk you through my logic (or possible lack thereof) for leaving.

Have I had other interviews/opportunities?  Yes!  Wow, yes.  It's strange how many seem to come up.  For instance, "Gabs" (Gaby) put my name "in the hat" for her company.  I like to think it's because I'm good looking (HA!), but maybe it's because at some point I said something smart...or, more likely, she's very kind.  Also, I went ahead and had an interview with a company the same day I walked out on the other company.  It went well...but who knows?  Theoretically...that company could even hire me in the States and I could work there... OR I could be based in the States and travel to Australia for periods of time to work.  Even with these possibilities, I have reached a breaking point and I "can't be fucked" (they say that here to say they don't want to do something...I like it!).

So with all this, I'm leaving...or rather, I'm headed back State-side.  I told my plans to my group of friends here and they were tear-jerkingly good about it.  "We're going to miss you, you're part of the crew!"  Notice the italics on the last part?  Slight tangent: when I left, my mother thought it a good idea to buy me a kid's book (see below).  I found this quite strange or at very least condescending that that's where she thought my reading level was.  Turns out the book is about this kid who's having a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day" and at the end of each of his rants about his bad day...he says he's going to move to Australia.  Well, I've had that book with me every step of this journey and I thought it might be fun to use it as a bit of a "year book" and have the friends I've made here sign it before I head back (I won't be reading their messages until I get home).  Sure, maybe it's lame.  But maybe it's just right too.  Someday, sitting in my pajamas on a Sunday, getting all nostalgic and teary eyed, and being able to whip out some good memories of this trip and how the people I've met made it worthwhile...I don't really care that it's lame.  This as close to scrapbooking as I can muster...

Some Occurrences:

- Whilst doing my end-of-the-day-feedback for that "checkout", the instructor said: "I can't tell if what I'm saying is landing or not, you have an unusually difficult face to read."  I laughed (with him or at him, I'm not sure).  I informed him "I play poker".  Which, really, was bullshit.  The reason I had a total blank stare is because I was thinking about a million other things than his critique of my teaching.  "Oh, I did your style of teaching out of order for that particular slide?  Totally.  I super seriously regret it and see the value in you pointing it out."  Or rather, "note to self, this guy is pointing out things that matter a lot to him but not explaining why they should matter towards teaching a concept in general...I wonder if I'll be in Melbourne next week to care about these things.  I wonder how much flights cost right now.  I wonder if he knows he's sounding more like he's part of a cult than a teacher of business processes.  I wonder if I decided to do this for a living if I'd be an indoctrinated automaton as well."  These were my thoughts...he didn't stand a chance against that amount of ADD and rationalized apathy.  Poor fella.  But seriously, I left them on good terms (feel free to ask me for the email I sent to them as a wrap-up and my followup phone calls with them).  There's truly no reason to be an ass and leave anyone with a sour taste.  They're human, just like me, and deserve to be treated well.

- I "interviewed" (insert laugh-track here) with a guy to be a tech-lead (or whatever the hell) for an Asian fashion website back in January-ish.  He emailed me recently to ask if I wanted to help him with "Adobe systems", because he remembered my expertise in that.  Well, sufficed to say, I'm quite happy someone's memory is worse than my own.  I have not responded; I'm hoping he's up to his ears in Kabuki (yes, I realize this is Japanese and leaves out a GIANT part of the Asian countries) and doesn't notice my rudeness.  I saw it bud, I just don't know how to answer you seriously.

- I received an email from the "modeling agency" I worked with that gave me a card (a conglomeration) of head-shots they send to their clients (TV shows, etc).  It's kind of like when you very first hear your recorded voice and say, "people tolerate me even though I sound like this!?" except that I now know how I sound AND how I look...and not only that, but how I look when I'm at my supposed BEST.  I feel like a house-wife hating on those "skinny bitches" of models when they read trashy glamour magazines.  Yes yes, I realize this was a vain rant.  Go get a mess of pictures taken of yourself and try to tell me your vanity doesn't increase ten-fold.

What's Next?

- I'm coming back to the States...obviously.  Sheesh!  But seriously...
- I'll be between Phoenix and Tucson whilst looking for work so feel free to write me whenever and I'll do my best to meet up.
- Applying to jobs in 3 cities: Denver, Austin, and SF.
- I'll have a new phone number within a few days of returning, email/FB me if you want it.
- My job search will be conducted via "head hunter"...because god dammit I'm tired of doing my own job search!  Let's be honest though, I'll be doing my own job search in parallel with the head hunter.
- *Hopefully* there will be a climbing trip - post haste - upon my return.  To my climbing friends at home: be ready!
- I've been toying with writing up an exposé on a juxtaposition of Australian politics with US politics.  Maybe I'll do that.  I'm not sure I foresee anyone finding this interesting...except for myself.

Colloquialisms (Australian or otherwise) I've Picked Up Since Being Here (thanks Gen for the help with these):

- "How ya going?"
Definition: "How are you?"

- "I was just taking the piss"
Definition: "I was just joking with you"
Anecdote: When a friend told me she was doing this, I asked her: "why would anyone want to take someone's piss?"  When thought of literally, this phrase is at best toilet humor and at worst an autoerotic disorder.

- "Grouse"
Definition: "Cool"

- "Partner"
Definition: "Long-time girlfriend OR boyfriend OR wife/husband"
Anecdote: I thought a friend of mine was a lesbian (not that there's anything wrong with it...ahem, Seinfeld) for a while because of the liberal use of "partner" here.  Personally, I really like that this is done because it shouldn't matter whether the person your friend/acquaintance is referring to is male or female, it just matters that they love them.

- "Rock up"
Definition: "To get somewhere." E.g. I rocked up to the crag, ready to go.  We rocked up to the bar and had a couple drinks.  I rocked up to the interview, ready to espouse my American-made business skills and knock their socks off.

- "Chockers"
Definition: "Full"  It comes from "chock-a-block" as opposed to what I thought, which was: "chock-full"

- "Cheeky"
Definition: "Smart ass."  I believe it's a derivative of "tongue-in-cheek"...I know I could look it up and verify....but I'd be disappointed if I found out I was wrong!  I heard this phrase a lot from people describing me...I'm sure you're all surprised.

- "Maths"
Definition: "math."  They add an "s" to it...which actually is probably correct seeing as though it's "mathematics" for the full word.

- "Zed"
Definition: "Z."  E.g. The bank ANZ is pronounced "A-N-Zed".  And I will never understand that.

- "Heych"
Definition: "H." Likewise to "Zed", H is no longer a's a word.  Ask an Australian about their HR'll wonder why it's no longer an acronym but a word and a letter (Heych R).

I'm sure there's many more, but these are the ones I can think of currently.  I had been meaning to make a list of some colorful ones for your/our entertainment so this is my attempt!

Don't Worry: (nevermind the odd music video, I think you'll get the point)  (skip to the minute 1:09 for the chorus and share some laughs with me)

Cheers and be well.  I hope to see all of you soon.


  1. Welcome back! I saw your FB location go to Tempe, but I wasn't sure if it was just temporary. I'm happy to have you back, though I'll miss the stories from Down Under. Best wishes on your job search!!

  2. I am possibly one of the only people who would find an 'exposé on a juxtaposition of Australian politics with US politics' but I await that post =)