Friday, March 21, 2008

Trainee Days

Fixit's first week at the new job was a total bludge, it must be admitted. He was only physically on the premises for a period of 7 hours during his first 4 days. They said they were paying him, so we're not complaining. His nose is well and truly on the grindstone now, though. It's Back-To-School for Mister Fixit. Or back to TAFE (Technical And Further Education) if you want to be accurate.

From what Fixit tells me of his TAFEs (this is his second time now), specifically TAFEs that educate mechanics, they seem like a little pocket of 1970/80s bogan Australia. His descriptions immediately conjure up my High School days - even though I had some tremendously good and progressive teachers there I must add - in that there existed this student culture where scholastic achievement equalled social suicide, as did expressing your own personality or beliefs. I thought we'd moved on as a country, grown up, achieved some insight and sophistication. But Fixit tells me I'm just stuck in an ivory tower of middle class bohemian niceness, and that if I ventured out of my sanctum I would see what the great unwashed were really like.

These are -really and truly- some things Fixit was told in the introductory speech at TAFE. That is is Not Allright to call a poof a poof. That you are not allowed to whistle at, make comments to or put your hands on attractive young girlies whilst on the TAFE premises, even if they are wearing tiny little shorts. Save it for the shopping mall across the way. If you see some Muslim women wearing the full veil you are Not Allowed to pretend to wave your Star Wars light sabre at them in a mock duel. They don't like it.

I get that they need to tell the young kiddies the right way to behave, in a way that will not set up their backs, but Geez. Talk about believing in the message you preach.

Luckily Fixit is part of a group of adult apprentices so he won't be forced to endure the company of bogan teenagers for the next 4 weeks. There are other men in their 30s doing his course. Meanwhile, the workload is pretty full-on and there are penalties for breaches; such as paying $140 to re-sit any tests you fail, and being sent home for the day if you forget your safety glasses and having your mobile phone confiscated if it rings in class. And in the first weeks it's all Occupational Health & Safety which means he is subjected to images of the results of Unsafe Practises. Like footage of a man who got sucked up into a jet engine (he survived almost unscathed apparently) and pictures of an arm that's been electrocuted. How many times do I need to tell you I'm extremely squeamish Mister Fixit before you stop trying to describe these things to me????

Anyway, Fixit is probably at maximum stress this last few weeks, what with quitting the old and starting the new. Not to mention health news - he's been told he has bad cholesterol and high blood sugar (his mother and sister both have Adult Onset Diabetes so this is not good) which means his diet needs a long hard look at itself...

... So the news that the guy who hired him -the only person he's really had as a point of contact at the new job and the one who made the case for taking on all these adult apprentices- was Escorted From The Premises on Wednesday was less than welcome. Turns out the guy was retrenched, which we think is different from being sacked for stealing or whatever, but it still feels like a bit of a worry.

But life goes on, we suppose, and as far as we know the job is secure. In the meantime, we'll be managing our stress by heading beach-wards for a night, while Nell kindly kitten-sits Bertie Wooster for us. Packing up our troubles in our old kit-bag and all that.

Have a Happy Easter, won't you. xx


  1. Enjoy your break. Adult education is so different young ones, but there are some things that don't seem to change.

  2. I hereby promise not to wave my light sabre at a veiled woman EVER AGAIN.

    Happy Easter

  3. Good on Fixit!

    And shouldn't YOU be the only woman he thinks of waving his....never mind!

    Happy Easter!

  4. Aw, poor Fixit, having to deal with all that job stress. My DH has been through his share (once when I was 8+ months pregnant with the girl child) so I sympathize.

  5. Your recounting of the TAFE speech made me roar. So sorry about Fixit's cholesterol and blood sugar, though. Hopefully when his stress level goes down a bit, that will help, either in terms of the way his body behaves or if the stress gives him a drive to eat naughty things.

  6. The TAFE 'rules' cracked me up! I had to read it out aloud to Mr J because he wanted to know why I was sniggering into the laptop. Thank god I now know that touching the girlies is out of the question.

  7. I've been a TAFE student, on and off, for the past 10 years. That speech does not surprise me.

    Enjoy your break!

  8. re: light sabres...speechless

    happy easter

  9. Like those parenting courses where they say "Put the milk in the fridge people"

    DO you need to be escorted out if you are retrenched?

  10. rofl @ daysgoby :D

    Sorry to hear about the high blood sugar and cholesterol. Even if it turns out the blood sugar is ok, with the family history it sounds like it may be a good idea to start following some of the guidelines now. It may keep the full-blown diagnosis at bay a bit longer.

    The stress won't help the blood sugar levels either by the way. I've always found mine rise if I'm stressed.


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