Our first week in work

Trip Start Jun 05, 2008
Trip End Jun 14, 2009

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

We were absolutely elated to leave the hostel world and move into our small but lovely apartment (the photo's are on yesterdays blog). We left Magnums Backbackers well past check out time and struggled with our luggage to walk up the hill to Whitsunday Terrace. It is a holiday complex for the more wealthy holidaymakers but offers decently priced, long term lease apartments for dudes like ourselves. The staff at Reception gave us a warm welcome, we committed to 3 Months lease, completed the necessary paperwork and we were issued our key's. The Manager fell in love with us straight away, you cant blame her really, we have this affect on people (including every single one of you, that are using your precious time time to read this crap!!) She said that if we get bored of commuting, to pay her a visit. Both of us! Yet again another job offer! Cool!
We entered the room with so much excitement! It was quite comical! We were like the Tasmanian Devil running back and fore, screaming and jumping around, waving our arms in the air, whilst spinning around and around! Yippeeeeeeee! Anyhoo, there is so more much room here compared with what we're used to in the hostels! Although it's a studio apartment with the kitchen screened off from the bedroom, it has everything we need to live a normal responsible semi-adult life. The relief to have a place we can finally call home was something else! The simple things brought us so much joy! "Oh, an iron and an ironing board!...wow!....babe we've got a TV!....Woo hoo!....A kitchen....mugs!....A toaster!..Whoop Whoop!" get the picture? It gave us a sense of stability, knowing we were settling in one place with secure jobs at Daydream Island! (the self employment option went out the window as soon as I had the call from the dumb annoying ozzie that I slagged off in my previous blog, she's a very nice girl, a very very nice girl!)
It was so peaceful we decided to crash for the day and enjoy the comfort of our new home. We sat on the balcony watching the boats sailing to and from the Island, we did some bird watching (the feathered type!). About 20 bolshy cockatoo's sat on the balcony railing begging for food. I'm not one for encouraging this, I believe it removes their natural instinct to hunt, but the were so cute, some fruit wont hurt them, neither will the sunflower seeds I bought on a healthy whim! One for me, one for Phill and a handful to the Cockatoo. (the feathered type!)
When the sun had set and we took full opportunity to have a snuggle, in our comfortable, clean, hygienic, king size bed satisfied that there'll be no new bedbug bites needing attention or treatment tomorrow. Bliss!! Australian TV? Absolute Pants!!!!
Night Night! Luvs ya! xxxx
We woke up smiling and remembered that we have fulfilled a life long ambition of ours - to open the curtains every morning and look out at the beautiful blue ocean! (we look left not right. If you look right, you see a construction site, we pretend its not there!)
We didn't want to leave our home today, we were enjoying it too much. We chilled out all morning making the best use of our very "PRIVATE" balcony by sunbathing and ... um....sunbathing!
We filled our afternoon by shopping for trainer socks for school at Daydream Island tomorrow.
We came home and chilled out again!! Really, we can't get enough of this place!!
I've nothing more to say?
Boring I know! Sorry!
Our first day at school.....only we discovered later, it wasn't really, read on. We caught the 8am ferry from the Marina at Abel Point to Daydream Island. Staff discount $3 each way not bad considering it's normally $30 each way!! The ferry took 30 minutes to get to the Island. The crossing wasn't very pleasant due to high winds and clouds. At the other end, we were greeted by Jessie, the very nice annoying ozzie that I'd previously slagged off. She was really very welcoming and friendly. She took us on a guided tour around the Island on a golf buggy. Her driving wasn't the best, the combination of our nerves, the ferry crossing and her jerking the buggy made even Phill feel quite queasy! I don't need to explain how I felt! Rough!
The romantic idea we had of working on a paradillic Whitsunday Island was ......well....not quite as we expected! Don't get me wrong, the location is stunning, the surroundings and views are out of this world but the resort itself was a bit of a disappointment and not half as plush as it was described in the glossy brochures. Convinced that the bad weather was influencing our first impressions, we remained positive that if the sun was glowing we'd have a completely different outlook. As we drove, Jessie stopped at various places. She focused on the excellent staff discounts. Activities such as jet skiing, wake boarding, sailing, kayaking, paragliding etc are all available to us after work or on our days off. The Island shot up in our estimations, we're back on track!! We were introduced to one of the housekeeping supervisors. (She fell in love with us too!). It was approximately 11.30am so we were told that we officially start work tomorrow. We were secretly chuffed! For the rest of the day, we could remain on the Island, use the facilities and go exploring but before we left they issued our uniforms. Well I've never, ever, ever, ever, felt such a tit in my life! The second hand, heavily stained, navy shorts are bad, they're nice on the bum, but they do come up to my boobs, the cheap crappy zip doesn't stay up and they've been stitched together at the crotch with white cotton on navy shorts! Very sexy! The multi-coloured, tropical palm tree printed shirt is the most hideous item of clothing I have ever seen in my life (apart from the waiting staff who wear multi-coloured tropical fish!). When Phill was passed his identical uniform, I watched his jaw dropping and his facial expression. Hysteria set in! It took everything I had in me not to fall to the floor laughing in front of the supervisor. I ran to the ladies to check the size and looked at myself in the mirror. I opened one eye at a time. Oh Noooo!! No way!! You've got to be effing joking!! Laugh!!! Cry!!! ....Cry!! With my limited vocabulary I cannot describe to you how much I desperately wanted to wake up from a very bad dream! My instinct told me that Phill will NOT wear that uniform under any circumstances! My immediate thoughts were - I've lost him to the building trade! I wasn't entirely wrong! His mood dropped and I told him that I'd respect and support him on his decision whether to stay or go back to being a sparky. After some time of discovering the Island, weighing up the pro's and con's of the job, he's decided to give it a whirl. I think his decision was made by the perks and discounts of working on Daydream Island, the friendly welcoming staff and the fact we'll share our days off.
Now the decision was made, he lightened up. Especially after 6 weeks of complaining that he hasn't seen a kangaroo, Skippy jumped out of the bush into our path about 2 meters ahead of us. Phill has seen his first Kangaroo on Daydream Island! It was fate!
We came home and dressed up in our new stylish uniforms. It took us back to our school days! Check out the photo taken in the mirror! I don't need to elaborate on that one!!
Night folks. xxxxx

Training week/Probation
You're not going to want to read daily updates of how our working day went anymore than I can pretend we want to know how yours went. For the next few weeks we'll be updating once weekly, condensing the weeks events into one blog entry. Don't worry though, there's never a dull moment in the lives of Katie and Phill - Room Attendants!

We were rudely awaken on Tuesday by the alarm clock at 5.30am. This is the way it's going to be for the next few months. It allows me enough time to drag Katie out of bed so that we can both get showered, have a cuppa, don our lovely clown outfits and begin the 30 minute walk to the marina for the 7.00am ferry. Only one problem this morning....the heavens have opened and it's raining monsoon style. Great. Yellow Pages out, order a cab. At least it gave us a bit more time for an extra caffeine boost before we set off on our training day.

The ferry crossing was somewhat lumpy to say the least and I was a bit worried about poor Supergirl, but she got through it unscathed and managed to keep her cereal down. Just. There was nobody to greet us this morning so we just tried to follow the majority of the other clown costume wearers and find the Housekeeping department. They all went in separate bloody directions! Typical! We were singled out by the manager and introduced to the rest of the team like a couple of new kids made to stand in front of their new classmates on their first day at school. As if we didn't feel stupid enough?! I was like a beetroot, this guy had one arm on each of our shoulders as he asked everyone to look after us and make us feel welcome. Cheers for that.

We were sent out with one supervisor and another girl to start our training (one of them to do the work and the other to talk us through what the other was doing! I've no idea why it took two.) There was so much to take in. The beds had to be just so, everything had to be in a certain order, facing a certain way, the correct pamphlets in the correct places etc. I struggled to keep a straight face due to my attention span (or lack of one) and especially watching Katie in her clown outfit looking so attentive and writing note after note on a piece of paper. I couldn't be arsed. Make the bed, mop the floor, scrub the whaat??!! TOILET?? WITHOUT GLOVES?? I want to go home. (Gloves are available, by the way. This girl just doesn't bother) This went on for an agonising hour and a half before we were each given a dirty room to clean by ourselves. That took a further hour and a half, then the rooms were checked behind closed doors while we stood around like a couple of muppets. Another 3/4 of an hour. Then we were given our individual 'snag' lists of things we'd missed or thought they wouldn't find out about. This ranged from the wrong types of herbal tea to a small hair on the floor behind the toilet. Go back and put it right. Katie was in a disgusting mood by now as we hadn't even had a break for a cuppa or a fag and it was pushing 1 o'clock. She took a rather sinister disliking to our supervisor and I would have felt the same way if it wasn't for the muttered obscenities cracking me up into stitches of stifled laughter. I can't repeat what she called her because it would make a dock worker blush. Seriously though, we'd been on the go from 5.30am and the hunger pains were setting in. This is slave labour.

When we'd finally got our rooms up to standard we were allowed a 30 minute lunch break. The food in the canteen is superb and a meal ticket only costs $3 (if you bother using one - nobody seems to check. I've been putting my ticket on the steel spike like a good boy all week and Katie's been dining for free.) We were given another room each after lunch, and our supervisor had lightened up on us a bit. She apologised for seeming pedantic and explained that the best way to teach you is the tough way, making sure you get it right. That seemed fair enough to us both and even Katie thought she wasn't all that bad anymore. "She's still a bit of a knob though" apparently. The icing on the cake is that work finishes at 4.00pm but the ferry doesn't leave until 5.00pm. We can't afford to spend money on two taxi journeys a day so we toughed it out in the rain on the way home with a poxy little black umbrella between us. Oh well, at least we get to go back to our cosy little apartment at night and not back to some crappy hostel.

The same pattern continued for the next two days but without anyone breathing down our necks. It took some of the pressure off. In the morning you're handed a clipboard with all the rooms you have to clean, grab a trolley, and off you go. If you're still struggling at the end of the day, people come and help you out or vice versa. Some rooms you hardly have to touch, some rooms have had a family of farm animals in them for a fortnight gorging on take aways. The worst ones are when guests return from breakfast while you're still cleaning their room and decide to sit there watching you as you try to hoover under their feet and make small talk. We were given strict protocol on what to do if you find anything of value in someone's room ( cameras, phones, jewelry etc.) You have to take it to the office with your name attached and the room number. If it's not claimed in 3 months time, it's yours. Worth staying an extra month if you find the right thing! I did not expect this to cover sodding tennis balls, kids colouring books, (sod the fags I'm having them) and bottles of moisturiser! Where's the good stuff?? That's why we took the bloody job in the first place!! Katie's find of the week? A tube of CRAB CREAM in the bathroom!! I'm not talking condiments here guys. YUK!!
By Friday we'd got into the swing of things and were given almost full workloads. Swapping time saving techniques with each other (just wiping the bath with a used towel...that sort of thing) and helping each other out at every possible opportunity. It's so funny to think we both had proper jobs once. Even funnier to look up and see each other holding on to the other corner of the bed sheet dressed up like that guy from Magnum P.I (not Tom Selleck, the other one - can't remember his name). It all seems to make sense though when you're sweeping a balcony watching Kangaroos hopping about through the grounds and on the beach, looking out over the same beautiful ocean that we wake up to every morning. I wouldn't say we've got it perfect here, but perfect can't be that much better.

I've certainly had a change of tune, Tuesday I was heading back to the nearest building site. Pronto. This isn't hard work though, we have no intentions of staying in Airlie Beach for the rest of the year. It's an income. I could be busting my balls running away from BIRD EATING SPIDERS or I could be going to work with, coming home with, and having the same days off as Katie. I can swallow my pride for this one. Besides, they've issued the rostas for the next three weeks and we have every weekend off!! WOOHOO!! We won't be popular when the others find out but I couldn't give two hoots!

On Saturday we were meant to get a bus to the shopping centre and do a food shop etc. but it had been raining up until Friday and it was a glorious morning. Too nice for buses and shops. I'd managed to get a little over enthusiastic with a box of wine the night before anyway, and managed to crash out by 8.30pm (it's the early mornings. Honest). We sunbathed and basically chilled out all day reading, listening to music, playing hangman etc. Uneventful but blissfully nice.

As we didn't (I didn't. Saturday was Katie's turn) drink that much the night before we got up early and decided to head to Daydream Island to make use of all the perks that come with the job. We relaxed on the beach with a cocktail, had lunch in the staff canteen, read our books and then took a kayak out to look for some turtles etc. We had hoped to paddle over to one of the many nearby deserted beaches but they told us we could only stay within certain boundaries. So much for that idea, we had a bit of a laugh for ten minutes though before racing the 3.20pm ferry to shore so we could get on it!

That was our week. We're having fish finger butties now before getting an early night to start it all over again.

Lots of love

Phill and Katie
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