No one has ever become poor by giving

17.10.09 Melbourne

I’m still working with Zest and donning my Red Cross T-shirts on the streets of Melbourne.  Week 3 was a real turning point for me, I realised that I could do the job, had met some really cool people and can make lots of money, wahey!!!  I hit my personal best of 6 sign-ups in a day and making $360 and the most I’ve made in a week is $900, check me out!  This week has been really tough; physically and mentally I am exhausted, so that has effected my sales but I’m looking forward to next week because I’m going on my first road trip.  It’s to a place called Wagga Wagga with 3 others girls and we’re going to stay in a cabin in a caravan park.  I’m just glad we’re not staying IN a caravan!  We are hiring a car and driving up on Sunday.  We do exactly the same thing as we do here in the city, but because people in country towns aren’t used to seeing our types on a regular basis, they are more likely to stop and talk to us, and people usually double their dosh on a road trip.  I’m setting my target as $1200 and anything else I make would be awesome!  My reward for hitting my goal is to stay for 1 night in a hotel, enjoying a double bed and a room to myself and a very long, hot bath!!!  Bring it on!!!

I’m also happy to get away from Hotel Discovery for a week, because although it’s cheap, handy for work, and filled with good people, I wanted to explore other hostels just for the experience but it’s so easy just to add another week on at a time.  So, after my night of luxury, I’m going to book into a different hostel.  It will either be one close by or one down in St Kilda, which is where I really want to be.  I am, however, hoping to get a flat with a girl from work called Bex who is from New Zealand.  I was originally going to find somewhere with Gordon and Lisa but they’re heading up to Sydney in 4 weeks so we’ve left it a bit late to organise ourselves.

24.10.09 Wagga Wagga

My week in Wagga Wagga with work was a bit of an intense one, especially with losing my Gran the weekend before.  We drove up on the Sunday and after getting lost just leaving the city and 7ish hours later, we arrived at our little cabin in a caravan park.  I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect when we started work on the Monday and it took me over 3 hours to get my first sale but then once I got that, I was on fire!  I wanted to make $1200 for the week and by the end of Thursday I was on $940 so I was sure I’d smash it…but…On Friday I had my first ever “doughnut” day where I didn’t do any sales at all!  It’s normal to have these days when you start the job but the expectation is that on a road trip you double your money, not do a doughnut – just like me not to do things by halves!  I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t hit a grand, but I think considering the week I’d had, I did pretty well.  Socially, it was full-on as well.  There were some Unicef charity workers in Wagga as well so we spent most evenings with them.  One night we had a bbq at theirs, the next drinks at ours etc… It was good to be surrounded by people but during work hours they were a bit distracting and I really felt claustrophobic!  We should have worked on the Saturday morning but no one could be bothered and I’m glad we decided not to because we checked out Wagga’s “nightlife” on the Friday and it was a heavy one!

All in all, a crazy week.  I was so glad to get back to the city – and to my night of luxury in a hotel!  I was dreaming about a five-hour long bath with bubbles and wine, but it turns out my room didn’t have a bath – unless I wanted to upgrade to a Deluxe Spa room for an extra 150 bucks.  The woman looked at me as if to say I couldn’t afford it, and although she would have been right, I was so tempted to whack the money down on the desk!  I settled for the no bath option – but did treat myself to a bottle of wine.  I had one glass and crashed out on the bed!!!  It was so nice to sleep in a double bed, have a room to myself and not have to walk to the other side of the building to use the bathroom!

The next day, it was back to good old Hotel Discovery.  I wanted to check out a different hostel, but after such a long week, I was happy to go somewhere where everyone knew me and I could just chill out.  My next week at work was long and slow and I had no enthusiasm so I hardly made any money.  I wanted to give it my best shot though, so at the weekend I tried to recapture that energy I had to begin with, and aim to have a great attitude on the Monday.  A few hours in however, I knew I’d had enough and the next day I went into the office at 7.30am and handed my T-shirt and badge back in.  It was a relief to be free but also a bit scary to be unemployed again!

08.11.12 Scotland

This job was something I absolutely would never have considered in the UK. I hold my hands up and say that I would actively avoid these people in the street! But, I wanted to do exactly that, try something new. Push myself out of my comfort zone. Plus, we all have to make a living, right? In fact, although this was one of the most challenging jobs I’ve ever had, it taught me a lot. It encouraged me to talk to a variety of people, not to cherry-pick, and I never knew what kind of conversation I’d have when I stopped someone. And I think it’s impressive to say that I managed to make a good living for myself from a 100% commission based job. Not many people could do that.

I found out through facebook that my gran had passed away the morning I left for that road trip. Obviously not ideal. After a teary conversation with my dad, who told me not to come home, I threw myself into work. It was probably better than sitting around thinking too much, but it certainly wasn’t easy. I felt guilty for not being at home, to be with my dad, if nothing else. But I knew that after only five weeks away, if I’d made the long journey home, I wouldn’t return to Australia. It would be an extremely premature end to my journey. I made the right choice, because I would have missed out on so much. After all, life goes on and I have to live my life. My gran’s funeral was on my dad’s 62nd birthday. He didn’t seem too upset by this, saying that it seemed fitting, full circle.

The title of this entry is a quote by Anne Frank, from Anne Frank’s Diary.

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