Sunday, 29 May 2011

End of comfort zone. Caution : deep water

I’ve got so many first days at so many things at the moment that I had 2 choices. Get out there , out of my comfort zone and pretend I know what I’m doing or stay indoors and watch more ‘’ Grey ‘s anatomy ‘’ episodes. Since I only had 1 season left to watch ( and that I would soon not be able to afford renting it since my hours at the front counter at the café were dropping ) , me and my French accent decided to get out there.
When I was working in Kipps backpackers hostel in England I was always completely amazed by these people leaving their whole life behind to live in a different country with no job perspective. I would print their CVs , tell them where to go and drop them off or sometimes help them to learn a restaurant’s menu by heart before their trial day as a waitress. I always wanted to know what it felt like. Today I can.
But first I had to go swimming. Part of my comfort zone. But that night , if I wanted to swim I had to join the swimming club. No worries I am a swimmer I can cope. Easy. 10 minutes later, the teacher created an ‘’ Annabelle lane’’. For those who thought they were good at swimming but actually completely suck at it. The ones with no dignity left ( but with a French accent) . That’s when I REALLY learnt how to swim. With a half naked sexy Aussie man telling me ‘’ Mate, you wanna reach the other end with your arm’’ Okay. Let’s reach the other end then.
I went and dropped off my resumes / CV s everywhere with a smile. ‘’ We don’t need anyone at the moment but we will get back to you if we do!’’ Hang on a minute, that’s MY line. That’s what I used to say to people looking for a job at the hostel . Usually the next step was the bin. Damn it IS my turn now. Action / Reaction. I would let the job come to me.
And guess what sort of job came to me? Volunteer work . Yes, the ‘’ work for free but bring so much to others ’’ sort of job. My favourite kind. So yes, next week I will be a teacher in the best primary school in Australia. A French woman who is going to teach Australian kids how to read in ENGLISH. Hilarious. I might also work in a retirement home , just talking to people. I always wanted to do that. Now I can! Life is sweet.
Back on Planet Earth people say that you need MONEY to survive. Ah yes. That one. How do you get a paid job? Hmmmm I realized I could get paid to do what I love in Life. Writing about Life. It’s called Free Lance writer mate. Sounds sexy. I’ll try that one. So I wrote to French magazines. Well it’s not going to bring immediate money is it? So I played Lotto. Not working either. I was ready to ask my blog readers to sponsor me when Pip , my dear friend and housemate found me a job offer on the newspapers. ‘’ What? Week end Waitress in the poshest restaurant in the area? Have you looked at me? Haha’’ 2 days later I was called for a trial. ‘’Dress in black and white’’ Oh my God. Of course the only black and white thing I had was a pair of thongs /flip flops. I run to the closest Op Shop / Charity shop ( NB to Brits and Aussies : Could you please speak the same language that’d be awesome.Thanks.) And I tell them I have a trial in that restaurant and I’ve got nothing to wear. Panic. So we did the cheap version of Pretty Woman. You know when Julia Roberts tried all these outfits. Mine cost 16 dollars including the shoes. Seriously. I promised my new friends I would come back and tell them if I got the job. And maybe volunteer there too. Of course.
Look and act posh. Smile and pretend I know what I’m doing. There I was , trying to remember a whole food menu in 15 minutes. What’s that? Fish. And that? French Pate. You silly. Of course I could not pretend to be posh and quiet for more than an hour. I ended up taking pictures for customers, joke with people in the kitchen and ‘’flirt’’ with 80 year old Australian men . No it can’t be Champagne you’re ordering because only the FRENCH can call it that. What am I saying it’s my TRIAL day… But I managed to make a whole table laugh. Slightly embarrassing when they asked me if they could take a picture of me. 1.2.3 Fromaaaaaaage! The boss was watching. Marvellous.
Table 22 pork salmon chicken gooooo. Can’t you carry 3 plates at the same time. No sorry. Where the hell is table 22. Is that a latte? No that’s a Cappuccino. Isn’t it obvious. 6 hours and bleeding feet later I was not very impressed with myself.
‘’ We would love to have you’’
Me, working in a posh restaurant. And teach kids how to read. In Australia. Last thing I expected. Life is in charge of the decisions Mate. We’re not. Not really.
Just go with the flow and… swim.

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