Wednesday, March 2, 2011

02/03/11 – Solidarity is King

Towards the end of last year I was approached by a friend at work who was leaving the company, he was also a Union Delegate in our area. He asked me if I would be interested in replacing him. At that stage I wasn't even a member of the union. In the past I have been a Union Health & Safety Rep in another job so have experience in this area. You could in fact say my Political Ideology is in the left wing category, perhaps even bordering on Socialism. But my mate seemed to think I would make a great Delegate. So he arranged for me to have coffee with the Union organiser who gave me a rundown on where they were at, what they were trying to achieve, and what sort of stuff I'd be doing. So I agreed to become the new delegate. It was with some embarrassment I told the organiser that at that stage I wasn't even a member. "No worries" he said and handed me an application form to fill out. So it was official. I was now a 'Union Thug'.

So I had 3 days worth of training at the Union office. It was a fantastic experience as I got to meet delegates from other organisations from all over Victoria. All politically likeminded people in the one space is something special. It’s like having a room full of supporters of the same football team or a group of classic car enthusiasts together. You feel like you belong. After my Christmas break I returned to work to find that management had arranged a series of meetings to discuss unplanned absences with some employees. Some of these included the union members I was representing. As a result these members asked me to be their representative in these meetings. As a representative I'm there mainly as a witness to ensure the process is fair and that the Union member isn't bullied or intimidated. I can also call a break if I feel the employee needs some time to restore composure.

Before each meeting I get 10 mins or so with the Employee to "prepare". So one of the girls who I was representing, in our prep meeting explained to me the reasons she had so many days off last year. She was carrying triplets, who were premature, and they died at birth. I was shocked. Not just by what had happened to this poor girl but by the fact she was being asked by management to explain why she had so many days off. I asked her if they knew about what had happened. Yes she said. I was dumbfounded. I was also angry at the total insensitivity to the situation. I couldn't even begin to imagine the kinds of hell this poor girl had gone through and would continue to through her entire life. But I was smart enough to realize she would probably require some time off here and there to cope with the magnitude of that tragedy.

So we had the meeting and I was appalled at the patronising attitude of the manager involved. If this was what I was going to be up against as a delegate I knew I had a massive job coming up. Next week we have meeting with my Centre Manager, the Company HR manager, the senior delegate, the union organiser and myself. I'm a little nervous as some of the things we are raising are sure to put a target on my back. I can forget any promotions anytime soon. At the same time I'm a little excited about being in a position to help make the lives of the average employees a little less unpleasant. And I guess that's why I'm doing it.


Monday, February 28, 2011

28/02/11 – If you Drink & Drive you’re a Bloody Idiot

Drinking and driving home (and stopping off at Macca's on the way) was something I had been doing for years. I had been pulled over several times over the years and always been either right on the line of just below it. I'd never been charged. In hindsight this was a bad thing because it gave me the delusion of being able to get away with it. So I kept doing it and getting away with it for over ten years.

Fast Forward to my Birthday. Well the day before my Birthday actually. It was a Tuesday night. It was quiz night down the pub. As per usual I took advantage of the half price jugs of house beer and was pretty jolly. Well I left at my usual time (just before midnight to get the last train home). Seeing as though it was my birthday (and my 30th at that) I felt like celebrating. So on the train I texted the girl that I had been seeing on an ad hoc casual basis to see if she was up and if she felt like a booty call. She was and she did.

So instead of the very short 5 min drive home from the station I decided to drive to the other side of the city because it was my birthday and I was horny. So after an hour or so of intense sexual action I left as I had to be up at about 6ish for work. As it was now after 2am I thought I needed to get home as quickly as possible. As there was no traffic around I decided to push the envelope speed wise. Well about 500 meters from home I passed a police car. I was probably doing 90 in a 60 zone. Well the Police did a U-Turn and pulled me over. I was literally across the road from my house. They couldn't get me for the speeding but obviously they could give me the breathaliser.

I blew 0.065 and my normal excuse of "yeah I only had a couple of beers" wasn't going to cut it. I was taken down to the station; I was charged, fined and made to feel very small. I lost 10 demerit points that day. As I had only lost 2 previously, I was given a choice. Loss of License for 3 months or a 12 month probation where if I lost a point in the next 12 months I would lose my license for 6 months. I took the probation option.

Anyways I got up at 6. Went to work after no sleep. Didn't feel like interacting with people. Yet because it was my 30th Birthday there were balloons, cakes, well-wishers etc. I had to put on my smiley face and say thanks to everyone.

So despite the fact almost everybody I knew at the time made a massive effort to make my 30th the best birthday ever, the day itself was one of the most miserable days of my life. These days I don't own a car. Mainly because of what transpired on this night. I'm not sure if I could live with myself if I killed somebody when driving drunk. So to make sure I don't, I don't have a car.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, June 14, 2010

14/06/10 – Discovering the Forums

Well it was December 2008. I had a day off work and was at home and thinking of going to visit my local Parlour Studio 54. I wanted to give them a ring and find out if any specials were on. Anyways I did a Google search on Studio 54 and this site called Fun In Australia came up. What’s this I thought to myself? So I created a profile and had a bit of a look around. I had no idea that sites like this existed and I was amazed to find that people actually reviewed Working Ladies. What a cack! So off I went exploring some of my old haunts to see if there were reviews of any ladies I had seen. This is when I stumbled up on a review of a lady I had seen as a regular at 20 Hocking Street by a man called Princely. Wow what a great piece of writing I thought. So I clicked on the link in his signature and found a total of more than 200 reviews by the same man. I was amazed.

Well reading all these reviews kept me very busy and I didn’t post much at all. However noticed there was a chat room so decided to jump in and see what was going on. Well on my first ever night in the chat room there were 2 ladies in the room and they were very welcoming. Their names were MaryJane and Abagail of Sydney. It didn’t take long and I became a bit of a chat room regular and was amazed to find out that MaryJane worked at my local parlour Studio 54. The one I was looking for info on when I found the forum. So after getting to know her a little via the chat room I decided that I would make a booking wither and make her my first ever review.

After this I went to a couple of drinks nights and met some pretty cool people. It was at this point I started to notice the forum politics that was happening at the time and decided I would steer clear of it as best I could. (Wishful thinking considering the forum wars which ensued just a few months later) It was at that point I was befriended by a gentleman known in the forums as ‘the rock’. He seemed like a nice enough fella. He gave me a lift to and from a couple of drinks nights. Well ‘Rocko’ was banned from the FIA chat room. It was a little strange in my opinion. Anyways he told me to join up at this other site called SDU which was a little bit like FIA so I joined up.

This was in May 09. When I joined SDU it was like a ghost town. There would be lucky to have been one or two posts a day. The only regular contributors at that stage were bbt, OMS, mw, Robyn, alias, Lani, Ambrosia and EggShen. At that time the site just had its first drinks night. I made a casual suggestion in a thread that maybe they should consider Melbourne for a drinks night and next thing you know bbt is on the phone asking me if I’d like to organize it. So began my semi-official involvement in SDU.

At this stage the truth came out about ‘the rock’ and he was banned from all the forums. When I read about his banning I never contacted him again. What also happened was I discovered that SDU wasn’t just a mini FIA, it was a community with a totally different focus. Don’t get me wrong FIA is a fantastic site and I love reading the reviews and interacting with people there. I just think SDU is much more all encompassing of all parts of the industry where as FIA is more ‘buyer protection’ focused. So over the ensuing months our membership increased and people started to contribute more. The night after the SDU Christmas Party in December I had Dinner with Tony and he asked me if I’d like to come on board as a moderator. I got the feeling there was not a lot of choice in it so I accepted and the next day SDUModBot was born.

It was a baptism of fire. I had planned on not only being anonymous to the community but to the other Mods as well. At the time there was a lot of turmoil on SDU so I had to reveal myself to the other members of the team as PM communication was not fast enough when I had the guys on my personal MSN lol. During this time I have been able to separate my modding duties and my punting. I have made some great friends from the forum and think I have become a better person from all of it. Yes I am broken yes I am sad sometimes, yes SDU takes up a lot of my time with no financial reward. But the reward for me is seeing how this community has evolved from the ‘Tumbleweed’ days when I first joined and having some friendships which I hope will continue after I hang up the punting boots.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

30/05/10 – Hitting Rock Bottom.

So anyways after working 7 years for the one company and working my way up from a casual, to Permanent Part time and increasing my hours to almost full time, we had new owners come in. We were called to meetings. All staff on a Part Time contracts were to have their hours cut by 25%. At the time a full time contract was 74 hours a fortnight. My part time contract was 68.5 hours for the fortnight. When you take 25% out of that it is a significant chunk. I was struggling to make ends meet as it was. There was no way I could afford a pay cut of that magnitude. Great reward for 7 years of loyalty huh? This was on a Wednesday. When I got home that night I applied for about 50 jobs on Seek. Having not made a job application for over 7 years I felt out of touch and had no idea what I was doing. I took the next day off (Thursday). It was my long 9-7 shift. Wouldn’t you know it I got like 4 callbacks. One was for a full time role in a Call Centre. I thought to myself, Call Centre? I hate those pricks that ring you when you’re having dinner and stuff. But it was full time (At that stage at 29 years old I’d never had a full time job before, quite sad really) so I thought what the hell.

The next day was Friday and I was working my half day 12-5. Had the interview at 10 in the morning and it seemed to go okay. Anyway I was at work and they called me. Answering your mobile on the store floor was a big no no, but I didn’t give a shit at that stage. So the HR lady told me I had been successful in my application. WHOOO HOOOO! So immediately I walked off the shop floor and caught the lift up to level nine the Payroll/Admin Dept. I saw the person looking after my department and said and I quote. “What do I have to do to give 2 weeks’ notice?” So I wrote a resignation letter on the back of a returns slip and was so glad to have the shackles taken away. I had been working in a job I hated for 7 years. This was going to be the start of a new Era for me. I couldn’t wait to get stuck into it.

So 2 weeks later I started my career as an inbound customer service consultant. In training I seemed to excel at learning the computer systems. I picked up the product knowledge really quickly (It was an Internet Provider I was working for after all) and I was excited yet shitting myself for when we went live on the phones. Well it turned out I was really good at it. The days went so much quicker than my old job and when I got home at the end of the day I didn’t have a sore back, or sore legs from standing all day on a concrete floor. Also it was better pay than I had ever experienced in my life. The other part I loved about it was I had gone from working in a team where I was the youngest to working in a team where I was the oldest. I made some incredible friends, people I am still friends with today. My social life changed dramatically. I was out and about doing stuff most nights. Life was great. For the first time in my adult life I was almost happy. So much so, that during this time I didn’t feel the need for punting at all. I didn’t have the need to fill a void like I did previously.

Career wise in a short space of time things went well. It took less than 6 months and I was off the phones doing floor support, then I was taking Escalated calls (you know when you’re on the phone and you crack it and ask to speak to the supervisor, that was me LMAO). I even became a part of the Training and Development team and was taking advanced systems training. I was loving life. Things were fantastic I was so happy. That’s why what happened next was such a blow and such a kick in the teeth. In our call centre we had loads of email banter not dissimilar to interaction on Adult Forums. We were all friends and we didn’t mind taking the piss out of each other. Anyways a close mate of mine hurt his leg and his wound got infected and he took some time off. When he returned the banter continued it was good times. Anyways I made up an email mentioning there was a smell of rotting flesh coming from the IT dept where this guy worked. I only CC’d a handful of people. Everybody thought it was hilarious.

So anyway the contract manager tapped me on the shoulder and said she needed to have a quick chat. This wasn’t in irregular occurrence so I didn’t think twice about it. When I walked in there was a panel of people. I sat down and they pushed a printout of my email in front of me and asked “can you explain this please?” Errr.. It’s a joke I said. Everybody thought it was funny. The guy who I was poking fun at thought it was funny. What’s the issue? Well they gave me a sheet with a list of rules and regulations I had broken. Things from code of conduct to misuse of company email to Workplace Bullying. You name it; it was a pretty damning list. This was a Tuesday afternoon. I was told I was to go home as I was under a paid suspension and was to return on Thursday for a disciplinary hearing. I was shocked. I hadn’t seen this coming. This behavior was very very common in our workplace. The person I was kidding around with us was one of my best mates there. A guy who’s Birthday I had attended, he had attended mine. I even invited his Dad to my Birthday drinks. It just didn’t make sense.

So I had a couple of days off. I was pretty shaken up. But I spent a good deal of time preparing a defence. I was more than happy to cop whatever they dished out to me, as long as others who were engaging in the same behavior were treated the same. I also wanted to push the fact that I was friends with this guy and that he wasn’t offended and had actually found the joke funny himself. The level of support I got from my co-workers was overwhelming. They couldn’t believe what had happened. My friends were angry. So Thursday came around. I put my case forward. I believe I put forward a very convincing argument. So much so they told me they needed 3 hours to deliberate. All disciplinary hearings I had observed previously they usually knew the decision they were reaching beforehand so didn’t need much deliberation. So I went to the city and one of my old favourite pubs the Melbourne Central Lion which I think I have mentioned in previous Blog entries, for lunch. I returned to find out what my fate would be.

I was informed that after a lot of thought they had reached the difficult decision to terminate my employment. I was gutted. They asked me if I had anything to say and I said I was happy to cop this on the chin as long as they pulled everybody else in for a chat and put them through a similar process. I was escorted from the building like a common criminal. They didn’t even allow me to get my belongings from my locker or anything. So I walked out and didn’t look back and made my way home a broken man. I don’t think I am yet to recover fully from this setback almost 2 years later. For the record I am still friends today with the guy the email was about. And they never disciplined anybody else. Looks like I was to be made an example out of. I still don’t understand why they chose me but such is life.

So I got a handy payout and lucky it was late July as I also got my fat tax return so I could support myself for a little bit. All in all I spent 3 months at home. I hardly left the house, I would stay up till 6am and surface mid to late afternoon. The highlight of my life was watching the Trisha Goddard show on UKTV (think a British version of Jerry Springer) at 4:15am every day. I started to get used to the lifestyle and then the money ran out. What the fuck was I going to do? I even considered moving back home. I had hit rock bottom.


Monday, May 17, 2010

17/05/10 – The joys of Internet Dating

So a few years back I decided to take a bit of a break from punting and attempt to rejoin the real world and see if I couldn’t find myself a nice girlfriend. So I decided to take the plunge and give the old Internet dating thing a try. So I paid my subscription and spent ages trying to get my profile right. Well anyways I started to send out messages and such. I was so keen at the beginning. It didn’t take long for me to lose faith. You can only send out so many messages without response before getting disheartened. All in all I was a member there for around 12 months. During that time I had a total of 3 dates which all ended up with the same result “you’re such a lovely guy, not quite what I’m looking for. We can be friends if you like…” yeah it was the usual story.

I had a date with a girl called Hannah. She had Red hair, freckles and a nice curvy figure and was in her late 20’s. She liked to drink beer and loved football (round ball variety) so our msn chats were always lively. I had some good hopes for this one. We met in a trendy bar in the city for a couple of pints after work one lazy Tuesday evening. We seemed to get along well. I was pleased with how it went and was keen to see her again. I was hoping she would too. So when I hit her up on msn it didn’t take long for her to drop the news. It was disappointing to say the least. I tried not to let it get me down and remain positive. You can’t expect miracles from the internet now can you?

Next I had a date with a girl who was in the same suburb as me. So we met at a local cafĂ© to see how it went. She was a year or two older than me, brunette and really very attractive. Also very smart. A real good conversationalist. We had a few drinks and I had a really nice time. I even gave her a lift home. This one (sadly I can’t remember her name) didn’t wait for msn or email. She told me to my face that this wasn’t going to work and that I wasn’t what she was after. I took a deep breath. This was just another bump in the road. To be expected I kept telling myself.

I then met a younger girl called Gemma. She was a curvy blonde with the most gorgeous face. Now she was pretty upfront and said she just wanted a casual fuck buddy type of relationship which I was very open to. So I went over to her place with a bottle of wine and some chocolates. We had some wine and sat on the couch and watched a DVD. After the movie was over she told me I was a very nice guy and very respectful and pleasant but she wasn’t attracted to me like that. Okay, a little bizarre after we had exchanged photos, naughty videos and all sorts of things but I didn’t get angry. I thanked her for the nice night and drove over an hour to get home.

So all in all from my 12 month Internet dating adventure I reckon I spent hours on hours composing hundreds of emails, spent hundreds of dollars on subscription fees, spent a fair whack on phone calls and text messages. At the end I ended up only having the three dates. All were lovely girls but none of them were into me. So it led me to the conclusion that there was nothing wrong with the girls, nothing wrong with the internet dating site, nothing wrong with my expectation levels but plenty wrong with me. So I cancelled my membership and went back to punting. At least you are guaranteed some intimacy at the end and dollar for dollar it seems to be much better investment. Plus you don’t have to live through the disappointment of being told you’re a wonderful guy but I’m not into you like that. Is it any wonder I’m broken?


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

11/05/10 – Knowing when to hold em and when to fold em

So after I moved back to Melbourne and was working in my first ever real job I found myself punting much more frequently than ever before. As I was only working part time I would maybe punt once every 4-6 months, when I could afford it. Funnily enough I lived literally a 3 minute walk from a local brothel. Incidentally it was the first ever brothel I visited and it became my regular place. It was here I discovered my first regular. I reckon I saw her maybe half a dozen times over a couple of years. Her name was Lisa, she was Asian and petite and I reckon she had to be in her late 30’s or early 40’s. It was with Lisa I discovered my love of DATY. It was always fun catching up for a half hour booking (all I could afford in those days). I remember one booking that we had. Lisa was sitting on my face and we were in a 69 position and I gave her an earth shattering orgasm and she grabbed me and started kissing me all over my face saying “Thankyou Thankyou, I needed that”. It turns out she hadn’t orgasmed in three days of working. I was shocked and amazed at the same time and thought to myself what are these guys doing?

It was around this time I found myself entering a really bad part of my life. Working part time only I couldn’t afford to punt as much as I liked, so I would try my luck every Pay Day at the pub on the poker machines. It started off small time, just dropping in a $20 or a $50 trying to turn it into enough money for a booking. Before I knew it I was dropping half of my pay and living on cans of soup and 2 minute noodles. It wasn’t good. Maybe once every 6 months I would have a big win and walk home with over $1000 but more often than not I would be down $300-$400. It took me close to 2 years to realize that maybe if I stopped gambling I could actually afford the thing I was gambling to be able to afford. Crazy Crazy Crazy. So I managed to kick the gambling habit. It was hard. These days I save up for punts the old fashioned way. Through budgeting and sacrifice. Since joining the forums I have become much more satisfied with my ‘purchases’ and feel like I have a fun hobby. I have been fortunate enough to meet some fantastic WL’s who have helped me believe there are still some good people in the world. For that I will always be grateful.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

09/05/10 – Mothers Day

So I sit here at home having just returned from a strange but enjoyable evening. I went to a friend’s place for dinner and beers. She had a couple of mates over too. The chicken was good the beers were better, then I hear the revelation that we were going out. *Sigh* I didn’t really want to go out but hey decided to anyways. So we went to one of my old favorites’ the Melbourne Central Lion Bar. It hasn’t changed a bit. Still heaps of Asian students, still the group of Africans who dominate the pool tables and Cover Band whom all the 30 something’s dance and sing along to. All the cover band classics came out, Sweet Dreams, Jessie’s Girl the whole lot. Any way one of the guys in our group appeared to be going pretty hard trying to pick up a nice 20 something brunette. She was one of the most attractive girls on that entire dance floor. This guy is a little older than me and seemed to be doing alright with it.

Cut to an hour or two later and we are moving onto the next venue and this guy hadn’t picked up this girl and felt like discussing it with me and asked me if I thought he was crazy. What had happened was this girl was married and unhappy and this was her first night out in like 6 months. She was really happy to get the attention it made her feel a little wanted again as she doesn’t get that impression at home anymore. She also told this guy she would have been more than happy to sleep with him if he wanted. So the guy had done the right thing and told her to go home to her man with a smile on her face which she did. I turned to him and said “no I don’t think you’re crazy at all mate, you did the right thing and that’s what’s important.” “I think your right.” He said. Well that put a smile on my face. See ladies there are some guys who remember how to treat girls properly. Don’t be hating on us all the time.

Well I will be back with some more juicy stuff tomorrow or the next day but as it is Mothers Day I wanted to share something positive for once.