Friday, 31 January 2014
Ambitions, Hopes and Dreams - Age Fifteen
When I was at school I had the dreams and ambitions that lots of girls have: Hairdresser, air hostess, secretary. Unfortunately getting jobs like that is hard to do when you are homeless.
I applied for an apprenticeship as a hairdresser with Stefans. I was approved. I found out the pay was $70 per week. You are supposed to be living with your parents still at that age and $70 was really supposed to be used for public transport, make up and so on. I couldn't do it. I was supporting myself. So that dream went out the window.
To be an air-hostess you had to know French for some stupid reason. I decided against it. I couldn't study anything - I could barely keep a roof over my head. I wish I did do something now of course. Instead I studied the road of life.
Anyway … a secretary …hmmm. I loved typing fast and accurate. I still do – these posts are typed up on a phone!
I was proficient at shorthand and loved business principles and maths subjects at school. I loved adding up. We didn't have calculators. It was all done in your head and using pen and paper. My business principles and maths teachers were very fond of me and suggested accountancy. After looking at costs and lifestyle I decided I was not in the position to go ahead with accountancy. I am glad now. I would have been stuck in an office with numbers all day. I probably would have lost my liking for them.
So, I managed to get a part time job working as real estate secretary. This was after the meatworks and before I left to go hitching.
Well. The licensee and the top saleswoman of the office were having an affair. They were both married. I caught them in the kitchen at it.
So I was fifteen and a half and already sacked from two jobs - neither of them my fault. All I wanted to do was survive, work and keep busy.
Playing pool was my only outlet. The pub I played pool at the owner knew that I was a kind of street kid even though I had never lived on the street. I had always had a bed in hostels or a share flat. So he told everyone I was his niece and taught me how to pour a beer. In those days it was allowed if you were family. I loved it. Hearing all the jokes and stories from the drunken men, but they all respected me because I was the boss's niece!
Lock out time at the hostel was 10pm. So the publican would get a local taxi driver to pick me up just before 10pm and take me home. He didn't pay me but gave me a nice dinner each night - plus I got tips! Everyone would leave their change.