Career plan D?

employment, Floristry, PhD, Stress, Work

There is one good thing about unemployment.

It’s the fact that when you spent the night alternating between crying and getting drunk because another interview/job trial flipped you over the edge, you can simply crawl into bed and stay there.

When I dreamt that my kitchen exploded recently I was fairly sure a meltdown was on the way.  Well, here it is.  Obviously, meltdowns involve long term baggage and the precitating event is just that.  Nevertheless it was horrible.  I don’t think they meant it to be horrible, but it was.  Four hours of it.  The only saving grace of it is that I got paid.

They were very particular, even down to how the buckets had to be filled.  I thought their method was more inefficient, but I didn’t say so.  One of the women has no filter.  She might not have said ‘God that’s awful’ but her face did.  She undid everything I did and remade it.  Not that they gave me a demonstration first, just showed me a picture and said do that.  One was a posy in a pot which had paper around it in the picture, so I wrapped it like a bouquet and put it in the pot only have it all ripped off and redone.  Pot, with paper pushed in and then filled with water.  WTF?  I got into trouble with her for making the boss angry but I have absolutely no idea why.

I walked away from that job trial feeling utterly incompetent and like I never want to set foot inside a florists ever again.  Or that I am capable of handling a retail environment.  Which would be fine except for the fact that I am no longer getting interviews for work in my other areas.  I am totally baffled by this.  And I’ve asked for feedback and what you get is total buraucratic dribble that is not remotely helpful.

All dogged by the green eyed monster which is directed toward my friend.  She’s not even graduated with her PhD and she’s been offered not one but two lectureships and won a huge research grant.  She’s had the luck I hoped for myself post PhD.  It either works for you, or it’s a career killer.

so here I am faintly dead and career plan c (floristry) in tatters around me.  Career plan D?  At this rate I’ll be scrubbing the loos at the mall.

 

Advertisements

On being a student florist

employment, Floristry, PhD, Stress

I was heard to mutter, as I left class this evening, that doing a PhD is easier than becoming a florist.   Correction.   A floristry assistant.  Those who were remained in the class thought I was being melodramatic and anxious about my paid trial for a job tomorrow.  This is partly true, but I meant my comment seriously.

IMG_1183

Bouquet with delphiniums, green carnations, white rose and some very mixed foliage. Photo by the author.

Starting over in any new field is faintly terrifying.  Most of the time I handle this with aplomb, but not currently.  I’ve got the full trifecta happening.  Job hunting, final assessment, and PMT.  These things should never happen in a sentence, let alone an actual real human being’s life.  The worst thing is that knowing it’s your hormones fucking you round doesn’t make them stop fucking you round.

The bouquet above is one of this evenings efforts practicing for our grad show.  In addition to this, we also have to display a hair piece, corsage, buttonholes and table centrepiece.  It’s OK.  I can do it.  But I would seriously find it easier to sit down and write several thousand words on, say the history of Australian policies on native vegetation protection than it is to pull this off.  If you’ve been accepted into a PhD it means you’ve already attained a high level of skill with words and concepts.  This is completely useless in floristry, because you can’t write a breathtakingly beautiful bouquet into existence.

Floristry is more than learning a new language or discipline.  It’s all very well to learn colour theory, but an entirely different process to pull it off in practice.  Flowers are real.  They have likes and dislikes, and they’re not shy about them.  I thought that silvery olive foliage would be a brilliant choice for this bouquet, but actually when it came to it, it was stiff, ungainly and ugly.  I threw most of it in the bin.  Earlier today I tried a vertical parallel arrangement, which I’d missed somehow through the year.  You’d think that grouped flowers in lines would be easy.  It’s not.  And I have the photo which shouldn’t be shared to prove it.

Let me deconstruct this bouquet in the way that I might pull apart an chapter or an essay.  What I have done well is the colour.  Soft green, muted blues, touches of silver and plenty of foliage is a combination that works well.  It gets a tick on our brief for muted and gentle colours.  It is quite soft, romantic and unstructured. But, the fern is too prominent, as is the rice flower.  There should be a balancing third piece.  I’ve left the roses too deep.  More eryngium more evenly placed.  Should I include some wired ageratum?  Green bells?  And so on…

I’m worried that my anonymous assessor will not perceive the story behind the contrast of this bouquet and my chosen wedding dress.  I’ve chosen a very unadorned thirties style sleek silk satin number.

IMG_0803

Sleek dress, and an bouquet that is the exact opposite.  Together, I hope they will make an understandable unity.

Meanwhile, the only sensible option is sleep.

 

Treading water

Embroidery, Emotional management, Family, Stress, Uncategorized

It has been a while since my last post, frankly because I have been swamped with pain and drama.

On the pain front, I lost sensation in my right hand and have been forking out for physio and massage in order to get things working again. I was almost back to full function when there was a relapse, and I was back to being unable to turn my head to the right.  More massage, which sounds delightful but actually leaves you sore to the very touch.

On the drama front, none of it has been of my own creation but it is within my inner circle and therefore I’ve had to make some response to it. I mentioned previously that my mother had been diagnosed with cancer.  Turns out this was wrong, but on the other hand now she’s had a heart attack.  And the other involved a suicide attempt.  Fortunately unsuccessful.  The person who tried has only told me and while I appreciate the level of trust, it is at the same time a terrible burden.

So with all that, plus work and teaching, I am having a hard time keeping my head above water. I couldn’t care less about work and am wondering how I can structure my life so that I only need do as little as possible, and free up the rest of my time for what gives me energy and delight.

My hand issues have slowed down the embroidery but I am doing bits and pieces in the evenings. This photo is a simple experiment in colour and geometry, variations on circles on a background of chartreuse green wool.

I’ve attempted patchwork.  Not sure if this is really for me but I’m not shutting the door yet.  And on the weekends I have been doing textile related things but not ones that involved fine work.  I made an attempt at wax resist dyeing, but I forgot to add salt to the dye so the result is not going to be stable.  Plus I have discovered it’s a bastard getting the wax out after.

I also tried dyeing some yard with a natural dye.  Epic fail on my part.  I used the ivy trimmings from the garden, as I am constantly needing to stop the neighbours ivy jungle from taking over my place.  It turned green but despite using an alum mordant, both yarns refused to change.  If I was generous I could say that the cream wool turned from cream to a faint yellow.  Certainly there was no colour left in the pot but I am not sure where it went.

It’s probably a bit like my equanimity.

Tortoises and hares

Diabetes, employment, Stress

I was at the bus stop earlier than the rubbish trucks on their weekly rounds, which should give you an idea as to my level of out-of-whackedness.  No one has ever accused me of being a morning person, until now.

It’s clear and cloudless, and in between passing cars, I can hear all the birds. Lovely.  I’d rather be staying here by the side of the road and listening to the birds.  Instead I am on my way to work early to face up to the repercussions of my unexpected resignation yesterday.

i had been quietly weeping at breakfast for the last week, but yesterday, after a broken night (how do new mothers do it????), it became more like a 1 in 100 year flood.  Like a real flood, this left me in need of major reconstruction.

People break at the worst times, and I am no exception.  It’s  14 days to the deadline.  I am not going to be flavour of the month when I show my face today. But am I supposed to sacrifice my health for a poorly planned project? My blood sugars have been consistently above safe and its entirely due to the unrelenting expectations of performance.  They don’t need a human, they need a machine to meet this deadline at the level of quality they want.  Or at the very least a hare.

I’ve always been a tortoise.  I can do sustained intense levels of analytical work at a slower pace.  But this is not a world for tortoises anymore.  Especially not a diabetic tortoise.

So if you happen know of of a nice, slowish pond somewhere in Canberra that’s looking for a new tortoise, drop me line.  I’d love to know.