Saturday, 29 January 2011

Something new to read ...

We are in the process of planning to start thinking about building a new house so I decided to make a new blog for all the stories that go with it. Being the ever-so-slightly mad person I am, I have called it "Building A New Hawk's Nest".

I'm hoping it will be updated more regularly than this blog because there will be heaps of things happening with which to update you all. So far there hasn't been much progress but it has only been 7 months since we bought the block .. can't rush these things!

Anyway, feel free to check it out and let me know what you think!

Friday, 28 January 2011

The sympathy is overwhelming ...

After asking the boys to keep the noise down because I had a thumping headache, Brad and I had the following exchange ...

Brad: Would you like a Panadol?

Me: No thanks. Just some peace and quiet.

Brad: Do you want a Panadeine instead?

Me: No thanks.

Brad: So do you want a saucepan?

Me: A saucepan? (insert quizzical look here) What on earth for?

Brad: So I can hit you with it and you'll forget about the headache pain for a while and give us some peace and quiet.

Nice to know I can count on them when the chips are down ...

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The job search continues

I've been looking for a job, admittedly rather half-heartedly throughout December, and had managed to apply for quite a few when I hit a snag.

My computer decided that it wasn't going to play anymore and it would lock my files up tighter than a fish's backside. After a minor breakdown (for both me and the other computer I used to try to fix the problem), I was finally able to extract my photos favourite websites resume and previous cover letters to follow up on some of the applications.

Now, I have a couple of gripes regarding this whole process; mostly about how things have changed since I first started applying for jobs all those years ago (in the Jurassic era, according to Bradley):
  1. Is it really so hard to just acknowledge an application? Considering that they are all sent electronically these days, it shouldn't be that difficult to set up an auto reply acknowledging receipt of the application even if they can't be bothered replying individually. Something along the lines of "Thank you for your application for a position with our company. We will be assessing candidates shortly and will only contact those that have been short listed." Not hard people!
  2. When placing a job advertisement, it is wise to put in the hours and days of work required. It is not ridiculous to assume that because one is applying for a full-time administration position, one expects to work 'normal' working hours. A full time admin position that starts at anything other than 9am should state this in the advert. An admin position that needs you to work six days a week should state this in the advert. An admin position that involves split shifts on every day of the week should state this in the advert! One does not normally expect admin positions to start at 6am, break for a rather long unpaid break between 10am and 12 noon, then go through to 4:30 and be Monday through to Saturday (inclusive) unless it says so in the advert!
  3. If you require applicants to have extensive knowledge of a specialised computer program, it is wise to state this in the advert to avoid wasting your time and the applicant's as well. Just because they don't currently have a job doesn't mean that their time is any less important.
  4. Last (for now) but certainly not least, if the position has been filled, remove the ad from the job search websites. Ringing on Tuesday for more information about a job that was advertised on Monday is not 'weird' or 'pathetic'. How are we to know that you filled it in-house and only advertised it because you had to? Oh and make sure your receptionist knows that you actually have advertised a job and also that she knows how to press the mute button before screaming across the office about 'another weirdo asking about some job'. If I were you, I would be advertising her job ...

I did get an interview for a position at Smith's but unfortunately it starts at 7am and with two sloth impersonators coupled with a squirrel on crack for children, I felt it may not be the best fit for our family at this time. (In other words, I would be pouring money down the drain paying school fees to a school that they would probably miss the bus to every morning, thereby negating any benefit of paying for a 'quality' education.)

I have received an email from another advertiser thanking me for my application and advising that I had passed the first level of their screening process. They will be in touch via phone sometime in the next week to arrange an interview. (Yay ... someone who is actually with the program ... the manners program!!)

There are still 9 other outstanding applications for which I have received no acknowledgement or interview request. I shall just keep applying with my fingers crossed. (I'd cross other body parts too but that just makes me look as crazy as I am seem.)

I feel like I'm stuck in a version of Donkey Kong where you have to jump over a certain number of barrels (or through metaphorical hoops) before advancing to a face-to-face meeting with the big man himself, only to slip on a banana peel at the last possible moment. I was never any good at Donkey Kong as a kid. Maybe I should have paid more attention to that and less to my books and education ...

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Spare a thought for those in Queensland

As a lot of you know, I'm originally from Queensland and still have a lot of extended family there. For those who haven't been watching the news in the past few days, there has been massive flooding in many areas of Queensland, including a freak 'inland tsunami' which took out most of Toowoomba. Here's some pictures of the damage done so far:

The flash flooding in Toowoomba

A house in Rockhampton

Rockhampton airport

People have had to be rescued from their roofs

Not sure which town this is, but can you imagine the devastation?

If you are so inclined and can spare a little, could you please donate to the Queensland government's flood appeal to help out our fellow Aussies in their time of need. Thankfully all of my family is OK but please send up a few prayers/good thoughts for those who weren't so lucky.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Out of the mouths of babes ...

I was taking the boys and Debbie's daughter to the movies today and we parked in the underground car park. As we were walking across the pedestrian crossing towards the entry doors, Bradley said "I wonder what people would do if I put road spikes all along the crossing? You know the kind with really pointy needles in it? Yeah that would be cool!"
Amy responded with "You could even put medicine in the needles for all the kids that walk on the crossing so they wouldn't have to go to the doctor's."
Then Brad came out with "Nah, not medicine. It would be better for everyone if it was sedatives for the little kids before their mums take them shopping. Would make it heaps quieter for the rest of us wouldn't it?"

Out of the mouths of babes ...

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Missing in action ...

... and oh so much action!! As is typical for most people at this time of year, we have been rather busy. Here's a brief update on some of the happenings around here:

Dec 1: Alex finished school and had his river cruise.

Dec 2: I decided to take on the rather fiddly task of making cake pops and went to Clare and Richard's for dinner for Clare's birthday.

Dec 3: Went to work and skipped out for an hour to watch Brad receive a certificate for participating in the Maths Olympiad this year.

Dec 4: Took on the even more fiddly task of making Christmas themed cake pops which turned out quite well, if I do say so myself (and I do!)

Dec 5: Had a lovely child-free High Tea at Nicola's house with Debbie, Tracey, Irene and Nicola (of course!)

Dec 6: Bradley had his Year Six Dinner Dance (to which I forgot to take my camera when dropping him off .. aaarrggh!) He came home feeling a bit under the weather due to the volume of soft drink consumed but soon perked up once home.

Dec 8: Attended Primary Praise and Thanksgiving at school and watched Brad up on stage as part of the graduating class of 2010, singing and dancing his way to the end of year 6. Upon returning home, I was unable to get into the garage due to an uninvited guest taking up residence right where my tyres would have gone ... a bobtail lizard. I didn't run him over and just left him to find his own way back from whence he came, which he did .. eventually!

Dec 9: A day when the children had great fun dressing the dog up in his blanket and turning him into "Superdog".

Dec 10: Peter arrived home and Andrew immediately pounced on him and begged to be taken to have his ear pierced. Due to school uniform rules, he's not allowed an earring at school so we had to wait until the beginning of the longest school holidays of the year before having it done, to enable it to heal sufficiently to remove the earring during the day. Apparently it didn't hurt as much as he expected it to but that didn't stop him from being very careful about removing shirts over his head for a week or two!

Dec 12: Due to Peter not being home for Christmas, we had an early Christmas with extended family. Mark, Bec and the kids, Clare and Richard, my Mum and Pete's Mum all came for a lovely lunch followed up by Christmas pudding, pavlova and more Christmas themed cake pops. All the kids (and the adults too!) had a great time opening presents and just enjoying each other's company.

Dec 13: Watched Brad playing with his new skateboard thingy ... one like a Ripstik called a Switchblade. Watched Brad fall off numerous time as he tried to get the hang of it. Rejoiced with him when he managed to a full circuit of the back pationwithout falling off!

Dec 16: Peter left to go back up to work.

Dec 17-23: Tried to organise kids and self for planned holiday at Moore River with Mum, Clare and Rich.

Dec 23: My Mum arrived to whisk the children off to Moore River for the extended long weekend. I got to stay home by myself for one night then joined them up there on Dec 24.

Dec 24-28: Enjoyed a lovely (very hot .. thank God for air conditioning!) weekend away complete with another Christmas lunch, more presents and lots of lounging around by the beach/river and at 'home' in the holiday house.

Dec 29: Washed (what seemed like) every item of linen and clothing in the house while trying to make sure I had presents organised for Peter's birthday.

Dec 30: Tried to ring and message Peter to wish him a happy birthday but he was 'feeling unwell' and 'unable to work' so his mobile phone was turned off. Eventually sat back and resolved to wish him happy birthday the next day (when he was due home) only to have him turn up at home in time for dinner. Gave him all his presents and thanked the heavens that I had the children make him his birthday cake that day instead of leaving it 'til he was actually home.

Dec 31: Had a very quiet New Year's Eve at home and was in bed by 10:30pm ... Boy are we getting old!

Jan 1: Realised it was time I started getting organised for the children to go back to school. Freaked out majorly over cost of school fees, uniforms and book lists then had to go lie down. Decided to face that after next pay day.

Jan 2-5: Did very good impersonations of a sloth and a meerkat on crack ... not at the same time obviously! The sloth was happy to just lie around, reading books and consuming whatever snack type food put in front of her. The meerkat on crack would walk into a room, spin her head around surveying the room and then bark out orders to "move this, clean that and what on earth are those and why are they there?" before scampering off to the next room. The meerkat impersonation usually only lasted a small amount of time before the sloth took over again and as a result the house still looks like the proverbial bombsite but is slowly getting better.

Now I'm off to fill out more applications for jobs and cross my fingers that I actually get an interview for at least one. Wish me luck!