The first day of the rest of my life

Getting up at 4am for work was a b**tch the first day. At the end of it I was exhausted. I came home, made dinner, played online for a bit, then went to sleep about 6pm. I awoke at midnight quite refreshed but, with two hours remaining before having to official rise for work, I went back to bed.

They are training me of veggies – cutting up the caulis (cauliflower) and brock (broccoli) and displaying them in the most fantastic and aesthetically pleasing way possible. Any brown or dull spotted veggies go to cheap, the name they give to discounted products. Really terrible ones vanish in the rubbish (don’t say ‘garbage’ in Oz, it puzzles them).

Yvonne’s school is getting a little tougher. She had her first visit to the hospitals last week. She also got her first experience with a cadaver. Ewww, yuck!

Now what’s on my mind most is enrolling in Master of Information Technology (Management) program at University of Queensland. Obviously my prospects are open. But the situation here is positive for a number of reasons, some include:

  1. I do not have a 4-years Honours Bachelor Degree. Many Universities in Canada (and other places) do not accept Undergrads into Post-Graduate studies without Honours Bachelor Degree
  2. I have no (official) background in Computer Science or I.T. Most I.T. or Computer Science post-graduate programs require this.
  3. UQ is the 3rd best University in Australia, and the 43th best University in the world (based on the findings from the Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

There is, I believe, a very large and growing demand for IT in Australia, and the rest of the world. Too few people have been entering into CS or IT in the last decade or so because of the industry’s decline, but too many are retiring, and too few are replacing them. In any case, I’ve got to get started on something, right? I am 26 years old, after two years of study I will be 29 (add my birthday somewhere in there) and I will hopefully find a job within one month. That is what one professor that I chatted with told me, that 99% of Masters of IT graduates found jobs within 1-2 months after graduating, and many got jobs before graduation. How about that? More on him in my  next blog.

Ta-ta for now,


Now a part of the Brizie way of life

Finished my first week at my new job. I plan to upload some pics of my workplace and my snazzy new uniform! I think it should pay around $20/hr. THat’s what the other employees are making, so I think I should get the same pay. I only got about 23 hours last week. They were training me on a bunch of new things. Unloading the truck with fruits and veggies, putting them away in the fridge, stacking them correctly. There are 5 huge fridges (coldrooms) where fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries are kept.

They also trained me putting veggies on display. “Presentation is everything,” they keep reminding me. If I see any whilted leaves, or dirt, or marks, or soft spots, they fruit or vegetable either gets tossed or gets chopped up for us by the next-door deli (which is part of the same business anyways).

I plan to work about 30-35 hr/week. Boss said “It’s up to you,” so I feel good about the freedom/flexibility.

I got another job offer, for 37.5 hr/week, for over $650/week. Calculated hourly, that amounted to just a little over $16/hr. Is it worth it? I have to meet quota every  month ($17,000). Everything I sell above that, I make 10% of profit. I have to pay nearly $200 for a security check (similar to police check), and I need an International Drivers Licence. He wants me to spend more than 50% of my time on the road, meeting prosepective clients, and creating new ones. Good experience, but I don’t think it is worth my time. I would have to train + bus to work everyday. I would need to work more hours per week. And I would be earning about the same amount of money weekly (not including commissions, which I generally don’t mind, but I don’t put much faith in).

Next step is finding a Master of I.T. program that interests me, and one which I am likely to get into. If I apply through OzTrekk (Canada) my application fee of $100 is waived, and I win a $500 scholarship if I get accepted into any Uni.

A program of 1.5 years  (Masters of I.T.) to 2 years (Masters of I.T. Management) would mean I graduate at 28 years old, in 2011. Not to shabby. I.T. is growing (again) in Brisbane, Queensland, and the whole of Australia. Salaries range from (approx) $66,000 to $110,000 depending on the job. Property is costly, but grocery prices are going down, inflation is dropping. I think it is a good time to jump in and get wet.


(i promise…)


Just in case you ever get these two environments mixed up, this should make things a little bit clearer.


You spend most of your time

in a 10X10 cell

You spend most of your time
in an 6X6 cubicle

You get three meals a day, fully paid for

You get a break for one meal and
you have to pay for it

For good behavior, you get time off

For good   behavior,
you get more work

The guard unlocks and locks all the doors for you

You must carry a security card
and open all the doors yourself

You can watch TV and play games

You could get fired for watching
TV and playing games

You get your own toilet

You have to share the toilet with
people who pee on the seat

They allow your family and friends to visit

You aren’t even supposed to
speak to your family

All expenses are paid by the taxpayers with no work required

You must pay all your expenses to go
to work, and they deduct taxes from
your salary to pay for prisoners

You spend most of your life inside bars wanting
to get out

You spend most of your time
wanting to get out and
go inside bars

You must deal with sadistic wardens

They are called ‘managers’

Now get back to work. You’re not getting paid to check emails

I got a job!

I’m working at Fruity Capers, a fruit stand inside the mall. Only a 25 min walk from my house. They will (likely) pay about $20/hr, and give me 5 days a week. But I am not sure how many hours per week I will be getting.

Internet comes on Monday, and I have my overseas visitor health coverage now. Next I will apply for my international drivers licence. Everything is working out.

I had an interview on Tuesday for a job with OzSpy selling security cameras and equipment. I have a feeling it would not pay much more than Fruity Capers, and I would need to travel more, and work more, and actually persuade people to buy things — “salesmanship”.

Yvonne starts school Monday, and I start work Monday as well! Thinks are falling into place.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Searching for work is a PITA (pain in the ass). 38 resumes, and 8 left. I gave about 30 resumes at the Indooroopilly mall, and a Toowong. Most places weren’t hiring — they were overstaffed from Chistmas time. Right now, where I work is not as important as finding a job ASAP. I need to pay rent!

Yvonne bought a printer. Printed 20 more resumes, today I’m handing them out. I’m also posting ads for my computer services anywhere I find an empty pole!

Getting internet this week, so I can post more often!

Happy New Years to you and your family. Sorry i didn’t send mass-produced e-mails to you! We miss you!

Looking forward in St. Lucia

Yvonne and I are setting well in our new place. We are close to almost everything. Toowong is only 25 min walk away, and UQ (University of Queensland) is just 10 min away. Grocery shopping can be done in Toowong, which we mostly prefer, because there is more selection, and we can also shop for other things not available closer to home. If we only want, say, eggs, butter, milk, bread, we can buy it from the grocery store just 10 min from home, but it has less selection, so we only visit a few times for quick and small things.

Now that we have an address and a phone, the next step for any geek is to get — the Internet! We decided to setup with aaNet with their $39/mth 40GiB Download package. Australian internet is more expensive that what we are used to in Canada or USA. They have major download restrictions (40GiB in my case) and you are penalised for going over your limit. aaNet charges just $3/GiB over the limit (charged per MiB, $0.003/MiB over limit, 3 tenths of one cent). This is not a bad rate, considering some ISPs charge $0.15/MiB, which is $150.00/GiB over limit!

We’ve also signup with with phone services with them. We get $10 off the internet, plus 50% discount on connection charge (flag fall fee) on all outgoing calls. We were paying $0.35/call, aaNet charges just $0.15/call.

I met a young Indian student while waiting for the bus. He was very kind, and a little shy about his English abilities. He asked me what I thought of his English, and I told him that I understood everything he was telling me.

He also mentioned a cheaper place near where I am currently staying, about $100/week, which saves me $80/week or $346/mth. Is it better? Is it clean, with ample space? How many people will I be sharing it with? Answers yet aquired, but we are getting there.