Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dear Every Employer Ever

*kicks down your door* I'm awesome!

Don't bother scrambling to escape through the window this interview is ON so hard right now whether you want it to be or not. So what are your first basic questions? Why do I want to work here? I sure as hell don't care about this place! I don't even know the name of this store! Heck, all I care about is that A4 sheet of paper someone has haphazardly stuck to the window outside that says in bold print "workers wanted". It is the beacon to my kind: the overlooked unemployed arts students.

Sit down. I said no escaping.

Why then am I forcing this interview on you if I don't care about whatever your establishment is? (I literally did not know it existed until I passed it just then and started breaking your office) Because MONEY. I want your money - no you can put your hands down I'm not robbing you, I'm an employee. That's all I care about. Fun experiences, great team ethic, new whatevers and all that jazz is BS. You and I both know that no one is really pumped to apply to places that say "great team environment!" Seriously, how many excited blog posts do you read that go "oh man, Coles! I'M SO EXCITED TO APPLY TO COLES! I HOPE I GET A JOB THERE BECAUSE I'LL BE PART OF A TEAM!"? Well, this one now if you take that out of context. Nah man, no one cares... I'm not saying that I'm against people (I haven't worked long enough in retail to despise the human race but please don't hold my naivety against me) or working with them, I can do that. I am so up on this team stuff. I'm a film major - literally nearly everything I do involves teams.

Money money money. Put your money in my bank account where it belongs. But don't take this attitude to mean I'm cynical and won't really care about the work you give me. No no! I'll do it! I'll do it gladly. You're, after all, paying me. I like that. I like you, even if you are a bit sweaty with fear right now. Shhh... shhhh... the more you struggle the longer it takes. If you are under the impression that anyone else working for you has any other aspirations other than to take your money then you're quite deluded. People don't go to work to have fun, they go to work so they can afford fun when they're not working.

Do I have to strap you in? I brought duct tape. Don't yell out for help or I'll use it. Don't think I'll run out either, I have half a dozen rolls of this stuff. Why you ask? Shut up I'm being interviewed. Damn managers don't know how to conduct an interview these days.

What skills can I bring to the table? What skills do you need? Tell me, what fascinating special training do I really need for this job? What makes your food servicing place or trinket selling store so unique? I nearly have 2 degrees! You run the kind of business that hires teenagers! The skills I bring to you are my own two hands. Now don't knock them before you've hired them... these hands... let me tell you the things these hands can do...

OK that makes you look uncomfortably aroused. That didn't go as planned.... awkward.

You don't need me to have years of experience (which I don't seem to be getting despite my hard efforts of forcefully strapping managers down to their furniture and berating their businesses) you need spare hands and a friendly face. I can do that. Look, I'm smiling! What's wrong? Is there something off putting about my smile? Not enough teeth? I can gain extra teeth, don't you worry... After you I'm applying for a dentist job.

I can do that! I can deal with customers. Swipe the thing, take their money, give them the thing. Repeat. Be nice. Don't eat anyone. Make food. Give food to people. Shelf empty. Put more of thing on shelf. See? Jobs are simple... So why won't you give me one? I'm sick of not getting an interview, not getting a call back, not even a chance to explain that the 2 pages of past experience doing things, higher education, general list of skills and interests (all filtered down to fit instead of flooding you with details) does not define me. It doesn't even begin to reflect my determined outlook on the world, on my job, on any task given to me. You see the word "determined" on a piece of paper, that means nothing... A resume is pointless. It lacks personality no matter how it tries. I know I sound cynical about this all, like jobs are just the equivalent of training monkeys to push or lift things... but it comes from never being given a chance to demonstrate that I can do that job... if only someone out there would put that little bit of faith in me over that cheaper option of a 15 year old with no experience and the maturity of... a 15 year old. Just one interview would be nice... one that doesn't involve crying. Come on, it's not like you're never going to see your family again... stop sniffling.

Oh, sorry... how rude of me. I've been standing up all this time without taking a chair... and look at the time, I must be off. I've stapled my resume to your pants, just so you won't forget about it or throw it in the bin without reading it first (I think it happens a lot, hence why no one ever calls me back).

*smashes the window*

Oh shut up, you'll get this chair back later. I'm only taking it until I get a job... It's not like I can currently afford furniture anyway...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Congratulations to Dan Howell

Youtube has this section where it recommends youtube channels and shows you in small writing that they have about 457K subscribers as if this is incentive. My youtube recommendations have been pretty much stuck consistently on AmazingPhil, Tom Milson, Danisnotonfire, Albinwonderland and for some reason the IBA Bodyboarding World Tour. I refresh and it is the same. Youtube insists that I should subscribe to these people. Just do it. Do it. Hurry up. You don't like entertainment, huh, punk? Think your videos are more entertaining?


Well persistence pays off because I decided to finally check out Danisnotonfire... once I noticed that the little numbers under his name had read 999K. Whoa. Nearly at 1 million? That's a massive achievement and not many people have reached this mark. It's so fancy that Youtube literally gives you a gold trophy for getting there. So obviously thanks to peer pressure and the prestige of watching someone reach such an impressive milestone I decided to watch his videos for the rest of the day deciding whether or not he was worth subscribing to.

The thing is I pretty much knew I wanted to subscribe only a few videos in... but he was slowly and steadily climbing to 1 million... So naturally the thought occurred to me "What if I could be the 1 millionth subscriber?" The pace was gradual enough to be predictable. I would constantly refresh to check on the progress in between watching videos. I'd be lying... waiting... with ninja precision that I would attempt to channel from the nearest avid ebay buyer who likes to snipe with 30 seconds left on the bid.

It was taking longer than expected. But then... then... 11pm came (+08:00 from GMT) and he was intensely close. I readied myself, 11:19pm came. I refreshed. 999,998! GO! GO! SUBSCRIBE! I pounced on the button knowing someone would subscribe in the time it took for my mouse to move those pixels across the screen.



NOOOOO! So close!

I refreshed again and it had jumped to 1,000,052! In fact in the past 11 hours it has gone up by over 3000. It took him 6 hours to go up nearly 700 before!

It was then I realised the unfortunate truth that the prestige of being the 1 millionth subscriber (an honour that went so someone many months ago due to closed accounts and people unsubscribing) was not a goal solely for me but for many, possibly hundreds... at one point the subscriber count went down momentarily when it was getting close as if people were unsubscribing just so they could re-subscribe at the opportune moment. That's why it was barely going up and then just on the brink- BAM! SHOT UP!

The lucky #1 million is lost in a flurry of emails and intensely close time signatures. It is impossible to tell who the victor is and they themselves don't know either. Oh well.

It is time to remember that being a subscriber is not about a sense of personal achievement. It is to show that you care about the content that someone has spent the time making and wish to engage with this content. Danisnotonfire is a brilliantly funny and talented vlogger and I am glad that I am now a watcher and that's all that matters...

But damn I was so close...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bad Bands and Fringeworld

I went into Northbridge on a Saturday night (this is often the start of a tragic story, and admittedly it does end with security manhandling two people by grabbing the hair on the back of their heads, but that's besides the point) to film a live band performance. This starts off with me standing outside of the place feeling awkward, having arrived what I thought as late only to discover that the place isn't even open yet... Well the rest of the crew arrives (I was just a cameraman so knew very little) and we get to walk in first instead of waiting in line because we need to set up. I felt vaguely important. Not very, just slightly above the base level of undistinguished customer.

The band plays. We record it. Things go fine. I started off doing a master wide, and we switched cameras and positions through the performance. Then we sat down, a job well done (I hope) to relax and a friend of a friend convinces us to stay for the next band. So we do.

The band starts. Instantly I don't like it. To best describe the playing style I would use words like "demisemiquaver", "banging", and "epilepsy". It is an assault on the ears. It is the most energetic thing I've heard since Dragonforce and I'm busy watching the keyboardist's hands blur with speed as he bangs out chords then does some intense arpeggios. It all blurs into noise with no distinct melody to me. At one point they yelled into a microphone. No lyrics... just outright screeching it seemed. Wow.

Thing is we're sitting right next to the stage so we're right next to the speakers. It's so loud my pants are noticeably vibrating and it is almost impossible to yell at people nearby to have conversation. I decide to type messages on my phone and hand my friend the screen so he can read it. Despite the obvious frantic energy exploding off the stage I am intensely inanimate. My hands placed firmly on my camera bag. With not even a twitch of facial expression my head rotates, Terminator style, to my friend sitting next to me... and slowly shakes back and forth.

I pick up my phone and type "no." He reads and laughs. The noise continues to assault my ears. I type something new. "NO."

Listening to the song seemed to drag on forever. During it I would occasionally make snide remarks about their performance. The notes were played so fast and everything was so loud that I typed a new message: "How do they know if they've played a note wrong?" for all I knew they weren't playing their songs right at all but were just playing them at the right speed. A speed I must admit is quite impressive and their technical skill alone is quite reasonable... but speed does not make a musician.

"I should get my Nana to listen to this..." I remarked at one point.

After a few of these jibes at the band and what I considered to be one of the worst things I'd listened to in a very long time the friend of a friend who convinced us to stay leaned over and told me she was dating one of the band members...

See this is the kind of awkward moment where in sitcoms the main character tries to backtrack and go "well, no I'm only kidding, they're not THAT bad... I like their uh... (insert something here)". I don't care that this may have been a really awkward moment.

"I don't retract my statements..." I said before going back to watching with mild entertainment. See the thing is they were so bad that I found it funny to watch. They were so into this performance that I thought it was comical...

"Though on the bright side, he has very strong fingers..." I remarked. She nodded.

"That is a very good thing."

See turns out she wasn't offended at all by this. She actually agreed with me to an extent that the song they were playing wasn't very good. (Though I doubt she hated it as much as me. I really did despise it and would've walked away after 5 seconds if it weren't for the fact that my friends weren't moving and after a while I thought it was so bad it became funny). It turns out that it was their early work. Then they started playing something new AND SUDDENLY IT WENT FROM AWFUL TO GOOD!

ACTUALLY REALLY ENJOYABLE SORT OF THING I WOULD DELIBERATELY LISTEN TO! They turned into this sort of Post-Rock instrumental sort of thing. It was awesome. I stopped digging into them quietly and started actually sincerely enjoying. I have avoided using names in case anyone involved finds this and gets offended by anything I've said though I don't actually remember the name of the band so couldn't tell you that if I wanted to... But yeah. They had one really bad song that was just really long, and then got better.

Well then we went walking around the city, ate at a Chinese restaurant, then went to Fringeworld. There was much sitting around and talking then watching as a bunch of security guards got into place to surround this drunk that was lying on the ground so he couldn't run. They told him to get up, they started grabbing him and his friend tried to intervene to tell them not to be rough and they held them both by the back of their hair saying something about trespassing... Spectators interfered and security got angry at them but released the two guys and told them to leave. I left after that. After all, it isn't a night out in Northbridge until some drunk gets man handled by security. When I walked out the guy was arguing with the security guard outside of the premises about something from a distance probably telling them off for their treatment of him as he wasn't even resisting... he was just slow to obey. Though he seemed hesitant to leave after they'd released their grip as he was angry and had some point to prove.

So that was a bit unfortunate but I was just a random observer and not sure of the entire context so couldn't comment further.

Add this to my list of nights I've gone out into the horror of Northbridge and come back intact.