Category Archives: My work history

Goodbye face to face interviewer job

My face to face interviewer job ended last year. Rounding off the saga, I’d like to summarise what it was about, and speculate about why, overall, it worked well.

I was quite good at the job, and feel I’ve learned a lot, even though the work was quite repetitive. My boss was happy about my work and communication, and I had plenty of positive feedback from respondents both directly and through the quality control procedures. My response rates were also pretty good – not remarkable compared to the average, but good factoring in that my home range was supposedly hard to get decent results in. I was praised for the quality of my submitted work – data forms and weekly reports – for high accuracy, good order, and entertaining weekly reports.

 
Australian road from front window of car

 
The job ended because my employer had lost their tender for the project, so they had to close the whole project department down and sack everyone involved in the project… That’s all the interviewers, the office staff, and even my lovely boss.

If was a much bigger collapse for some of the other people, than it was for me. The staff turnover was notoriously low among both the office staff and the interviewer crew, and some had been working on the project for  well over a decade – almost since the beginning.

The organisation is the best employer I’ve had, and they handled the close-down well too. There was a proper explanation of what had happened (as much as they knew), scenario-thinking and instructions for what was and wasn’t allowed if moving to the competitor, and there was the usual supportive attitude underpinning the process. My boss also gave everybody her personal email and phone number, so future employers could still contact her for recommendations when she would no longer be working there.
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My work history briefly, Part III: The Office

I landed my first (and so far last) white-collar job in Sydney. I processed documentation for shipments of meat, veggies and dairy products from Australian producers to organisations in the hospitality industries of SE Asia and the Middle East, organised production and logistics and liaised with clients, suppliers, freight forwarders, quarantine authorities e.t.c.

 

Raw meat cuts, arranged to look delicious

Delicious Australian beef

 
Walking to work, as I blended into the flows of people in corporate outfits below monumental office high rise buildings, I felt like a camouflaged spy from an alien planet. I wore a corporate outfit too (at least in my own opinion), so maybe I looked indistinguishable in the crowd. Maybe everybody feel like spies in such a crowd, while they try to pretend that they are genuinely corporate.
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My work history briefly, Part I: Farm Worlds

My work history is a somewhat random journey through a variety of work environments, worlds apart from each other. On my official resume I obviously try to cover up the confusing zig-zag course which is my career. I try to form a shared theme of my prior positions, relevant to the job I apply for, to make it look like I was always walking in a straight line towards a meaningful goal.

However, here on this blog I’ll treat my work experiences as raw material for stories and discussions about industries and workplaces and not try to make it look like they were all part of a master plan.

My work experiences fall into four main categories: farm work, short/casual menial jobs, office jobs and self-employment. Here comes, first, the world of farming:

 
The farms

I worked on farms for about 7 years, where I mainly minded grower pigs coming off free range piggeries. In other roles I looked after free range sows and reorganised processes and fencing to solve health- and productivity problems, field-tested equipment for free range pigs, minded conventional farrowing sows, milked dairy cows and hand-fed calves, packed eggs from indoor free range hens, drove for machinery stations and helped out with field work in seasons. Obviously on different properties.

 

This is a workplace.

This is a workplace.

 

This is a workplace.

This is a workplace.

 

This is a workplace.

This is a workplace.

 
Farm school

The farm jobs were in Denmark, where farm lands are not far from the cities. Farm work can count as part of the Skilled Farmer’s Certificate; a vocational education on modules which gives credit points to a range of other degrees related to e.g. animals or food sciences. The Skilled Farmer’s Certificate is a great education with its alternation of theory and apprenticeships, great flexibility and compatibility with other degrees.That may explain its popularity and the varied demographics of Danish farm students Continue reading