Thursday, June 08, 2006

Pizza No More.

Looks like I am out of a job. The pizza delivery job, that is.

Previously I mentioned that the owner was in the process of selling the business. The business ownership transfer was finalised around the same period when D. was in town (and when I was not working). Seem that every business I work for ends up going under, getting sold, relocating or restructured. Pizza shops not exempted.

So yesterday evening I stopped by the pizza place to check in and catch up with the new owner, only to find that I had already been replaced. However the previous owner must have liked me some, as he had left a very strong recommendation for me. In fact the new owner recognised my Ford Festiva as soon as I pulled up at the shop. So I am still in line for some work - downgraded to backup driver for when their primary driver is unable/unwilling to work. At the moment, the business volume still does not justify two full-shift drivers.

From what I could observe, my competition for the job is a young lady in her late 20s or early 30s who has worked for the new owner previously. And the competition drives a fuel-efficient Suzuki Swift. And watching her handle a knife in the kitchen shows that she knows what she is doing. And she was also wearing heavy boots - another giveway of someone familiar with pizza kitchen conditions. And she works for less money then I did.

To clarify. Not that I am so desperate for the job anyway. It is just my competitive streak showing, and my ego being bruised by being replaced so quickly. Given how notoriously unreliable employees in this industry are, I really did not expect to be permanently replaced this quickly.

And after two weeks of D. being around and my working only one job with regular hours, I am feeling kind of lazy and not really keen to go back to a second job. Figure I will just procrastinate and idle around in the evenings for another week or two - or until I get on my housemates' nerves by being constantly underfoot.

The new owner of the pizza place is a newly minted business degree who has great plans for expanding the business. My cynical side is snidely recalling that this is the same story that I have heard so many times before by many new business owners - same story, different names. In any case, if all the ongoing advertising increases the business volume it just means possibly more hours of work for me.

I daresay I will not miss working at the pizza place as much as I miss the free pizzas. Especially since firsthand knowledge of how fresh each ingredient is (and a free hand in assembling the pizza) translates into superior tasting pizza customised for personal taste. That is something that money cannot buy from a commerical pizza place - and to achieve the same results in a home kitchen would be too much hassle to be worth.

And what am I supposed to be doing in my evenings without a second job anyway? There is only that much bumming around, driving around pointlessly and DVD-watching I can do without getting restless. (Curse of the work ethic hammered into my psyche from living in Singapore!)

And the loss of the extra stream of income, though far from disasterous, means that I have to cut back on luxuries. The day job pays for the basics, the second job pays for the luxuries. So my options are to find a better-paying primary job, or to get a second job, or to cut back on luxury spending. Thank goodness I live a simple basic life - or the situation would be much more worrying now.


One plus point about having worked at the pizza places is that I have gained the confidence to know that I can survive financially here - even if I lose (or have to walk away) from the day job. As long as I can find 30 hours a week in a pizza joint and keep the car running, I should be able to make ends meet. And that is not even yet tapping on my technical skills, my sales skills or the forklift licence I have in my wallet. It is going to have to take more than losing both jobs simultaneously to force an unwilling relocation to Singapore.

Which reminds me of a short exchange I had with the housemate. C. was commenting that even after all these years in Australia, there was still this nagging fear - or even panic - that something might happen (e.g. PR visa revoked) that would force a permanent relocation to Singapore. I was surprised to hear that admission - thinking that such fears would have long left long-established migrants.

If C. was prepared to do backbreaking labour detailing cars 8 hours a day, 5 days a week even in the cold of winter - it is going to take more than a little financial hiccup to force abandonment of the life here. And it is going to take more than losing the day job (heavens forbid, touch wood and all that) to make me walk away from the life that I am trying to build here.


Blogger Calamity Man said...

you make me crave for pizzas, man.

June 08, 2006 7:14 PM  
Blogger chnrxn said...

You have been tomorrowed ...

June 10, 2006 3:45 AM  
Blogger Theoretically Practical said...

Cheer up, mate. At least you have the confidence to make it through. Live life, and always look forward to tomorrow. A bit of optimism doesn't kill, and you'll be more cheerful in your next job interview.

June 10, 2006 4:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

with reference to your previous posts...

when you're ready to get married and have kids, that's another ballgame altogether. Finances are fluff when you're young and free, but think long term about your future family. they're not going to appreciate a father who can't provide them anything more than the basics. you might be happy, but will they?

June 10, 2006 9:48 PM  
Blogger Fleck said...

Try harder mate. You will make it. Its a big world out there.

June 11, 2006 12:40 AM  
Blogger Calamity Man said...

i just want you to know that people are quick to criticize... or even praise from their armchairs but eventually you know best how to lead your life.

just perservere on bro. i hope to catch up with you again someday. you are my inspiration.

June 11, 2006 3:54 PM  
Anonymous A.Lay said...

Don't give up. Ever. I know you have the skills and courage to handle this situation.

June 11, 2006 4:41 PM  
Anonymous freakkler said...

can't help leaving behind some words of encouragment this evening. Seems like every asian graduates in australia is staying back. Got reminded of this phenomenon twice tonight. First occurence took place as I hail a cab to take my dad (who's visiting) and me back home and your blog. This cab driver (from India) is another typical graduate who choose to stay back.

After 4 months in melb, i still 've no ideas what are the pull factors. I can only come up with the clumsy explanation that fresh graduates stay back for an extra year to get PR-ship. What's your story anyway??? A one-liner perhaps to enlighten my fuddled mind.

Good luck and best wishes to your dream.

June 11, 2006 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh gosh! you are in Perth..

and I still remember Broadway Pizza!

June 12, 2006 2:42 PM  
Blogger KnightofPentacles said...

Thanks to all for the words of encouragement. I am not discouraged. The tone of the post must have come across much more negatively than I had intended. The intended tone was more to convey the defiant "so what.. it is just a tiny bump in the journey" feeling. That and the "it would take a lot more - think crawling through broken glass - before I flinch from my plans to make a life here" stance.

I probably come across a lot more gloomy and pessismistic over the posts than I do in real life. Partly also due to my perchance for looking at worst-case scenarios and making sure I can survive them. In real life I certainly hope I am not such a negative energy-sapping person. :)

June 12, 2006 6:21 PM  
Blogger KnightofPentacles said...

when you're ready to get married and have kids, that's another ballgame altogether. Finances are fluff when you're young and free, but think long term about your future family. they're not going to appreciate a father who can't provide them anything more than the basics. you might be happy, but will they?

My response:
Handle With Care.
Handle With Care II.

June 12, 2006 6:23 PM  
Anonymous C said...

I felt obliged to share my 0.02 because, well you might well guess.

I like the supposition that all men eventually willingly become fathers, and all women eventually WANT to become mothers *shakes head* What about all the women out there who are causing developed populations to age because they decide not to have kids, or have them late and in the singular, and the men who are with these women?

How can such a media significant demographic be non-existent?! *mock outrage*

As for finances being fluff when you're young and free, HAH, i guess not everyone has lived on their own, a thousand miles away from home, family, friends and the familiar, completely and utterly independent, and even more so, alone.

You make cleaning cars in the winter sound so hard. Truth be told, it's one of the best jobs to do in the winter. You stay warm, get to drive around when you have to deliver cars, get to drive all sorts of cars, and best of all, get to detail your own baby on your own time, with the company's equipment. Beat that!

June 12, 2006 6:44 PM  
Anonymous Parkaboy said...

You really impress me, y'know?

June 15, 2006 2:47 AM  
Blogger -ben said...

Here's my 2 cents:

Ever observed a bucket of crabs in a kitchen? As soon as one crab fights to the top of the heap and begins to climb over the lip of the bucket, one or more of the others will reach up with their pincers and pull the would-be-escapee back down. Thus, the entire lot of them end up getting cooked.

My anecdote goes beyond the issue of emigration. It concerns lifestyle choices as well. I have faced and continue to face the same crap from elder cousins and older friends. "Well-meaning" friends and relatives who judge that I am rootless and too free; that I should grow up and need a woman and kids to tie me down. Engaging in all these, "bahhhh" the sheeple, is supposed to be the mark of having grown up and having found the meaning of life.

But a different side to this story of happily everafter is revealed they get drunk: they complain bitterly about wives who are cold and/or overspend, getting henpecked, crushing mortgages, the futility of paying a mortage for a HDB flat (99 lease and inability to put it up for collateral), kids underperforming in school, paying for the kid's university education, etc.

Like the age-old saying goes, misery loves company. As far as I am concerned, all they want is a drinking partner who shares the same sorrows.

June 16, 2006 11:40 PM  
Blogger -ben said...

Forgot to add:

A possible reason as to why your actions disturb some people so much is because it poses the possibility that there is more than one way to live life. Suffering is easier to bear when there is no choice.

(Yes, I am a big hit at weddings and dinner parties. That is why I practically never attend.)

June 17, 2006 4:08 AM  
Anonymous bohemianphilosophy said...

Well said, Ben. Well said.

Let the naysayers continue to sulk in their own misery.

June 17, 2006 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Martin said...


By any chance able to upload some photos? to share? Like your pizza place, Ford, sunsets etc ? Really interested,man!


June 18, 2006 11:25 PM  
Blogger KnightofPentacles said...

Yeah. c impresses me tremendously at times too. You should see the grand adventure that they have planned. I suppose when people set their minds and hearts, amazing things can happen.

I can relate. See my entries on Chinese New Year, as well as what happened during the last wedding dinner I attended. Methinks it is much easier to endure suffering that is the negative result of one's deliberate choice, than when the suffering is by default from neglecting to change tack in a oh-so-slowly deteriorating situation.

I guess when the mould does not fit (or when you grow out of it), you just have to define your own space and make your own life - regardless of peer/social/family pressure.

I started a photo essay project when I first got to Perth. An experiment that never really quite worked out since I am less visual than conceptual.

June 20, 2006 10:43 PM  

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