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on the road again...

I'm 3 days in to working and, while the job is everything I knew it would be (easy, boring), it's still pretty good.  We're currently understaffed and probably under-budgeted, so the non-essential bakery staff are only working in there a couple days per week while the rest of us (4 trade-qualified bakers) are running the show every day - 1 baker is baking, 1 baker is doing pastries & cakes, 1 baker is slicing bread and doing doughnuts, and 1 baker (me) is packing everything the others make.  We don't really have a manager or assistant manager either, so the pastry and doughnut guys are taking it in turns to do the ordering.  Luckily, they're all incredibly fast and efficient workers so the entire day's production is finished by 9 or 10 am, and then the guys spend a couple hours cleaning while I finish up the packing.  Then they leave at 12 or 1, and I stay until 3 to finish cleaning and look after the shelves & daily markdowns.  It's quite a shift from what I'm used to, where there's 6 or 7 people in the bakery all day, production is happening all day, and packing is finished at maybe 1:30 or 2:00.  And then everyone does a quick clean-up of their stations and pisses off home at 2:30, leaving the deep cleaning and floors and markdowns for the night person, who has to stay until 7pm.  I can't decide if my old store just had higher sales (thus higher production needs) or was just really disorganised. :p

In other fun news, I've finally (FINALLY) joined up to Twitter!  Follow me at @jessthebaker.  If Twitter ever calms down, I'll put up a profile picture and post a couple photos of my latest baking forays.  Until then, you can see them at my Flickr page.  Hooray for technology!

And hooray for the Queen having another birthday - everybody likes a public holiday!  I was granted a 3-day weekend, surprisingly, given that I'm the new kid at work.  Consequently spent Saturday with Steve and Paul at Paul's place (catching up on my napping while the boys caught up on their gizmos) and Sunday at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne watching my first AFL game, courtesy of Steve's work.  That was pretty fun - 16 of us caught the 9:30 train to Southern Cross, had a great lunch at the Colonial Hotel (MASSIVE portions) as well as some drinks, then walked over to the Stadium for the 2:10 start.  After the game finished we found somewhere else to sit and have more food and drinks.  Half of us decided to catch the next train home while the other half stuck around and probably got massively blitzed.  I brought cookies to share around, much to the delight of my adoring cookie fans.  Steve and I were tired and broke, so we went back early with the first group.  Had a long sleep-in this morning, and now I have some laundry and chores to finish before I organise myself to go back to Shep this evening.  

That's about it!  You may return to your regularly scheduled programming now.


 For some reason the most recent photos I posted on Flickr were set to private, so I've fixed that.  Now everyone should be able to click the link and be able to see my photo page.

Not quite sure how the privacy setting got changed, but it's back to normal now.  So view away, people!


Finally got photos of the house posted!  Check 'em out here.

And...I got a job!!

Well, I'm not THAT excited about it, save that it gets me out of the house and earning money again.  But it IS a job with the same company I've been with for the last 2 years, so my pay stays at the same rate, my super/pension will stay the same, and my time accrued won't be diminished at all.

I'll be doing much the same routine that I've been doing - working in the bakery, swapping around between early-morning baking, day shifts of packing & pastry cooking, and probably a little bit of work on the registers as they need (I'm not thrilled about THAT, since I work in the bakery to AVOID customers, but...oh well).

The thing that makes me most ambivalent about this job is that it's located in the next major city over from us, which is a 90 minute drive.  Honestly, the ONLY place that would offer me a job in the 7 weeks I've been looking is 130 kilometres away.  Doesn't make a very good case for our current city, does it??

The boss would only hire me on the condition that I live in town, so I don't commute 3 hours a day and have an accident on the road (fair point).  So I've reverted back to the hostel days and rented a room in town.  On the whole it's a pretty good deal - the girl that owns the unit seems normal and not psycho, and she's cool with me living there 4 or 5 days a week and going back home on my weekends.  I'll live there just enough to make it worth the rent I'm paying, but not so much that we'll be in each others' hair all week.  She's my age, she keeps the unit tidy, she's providing bedding and furniture for my bedroom, and we share tastes in books and music, so hopefully we'll get along well.  The downside is that I have to say goodbye to Steve every week for 5 days straight, and only be home for 2 days on my weekends.  Money will be pretty tight for me, with this extra burden of rent that I've never had before, so I've shuffled my budget to allow for that as well as keep up with my savings goals.  

So, on the whole there's a fair amount of pros and cons to this new job I've taken.  I suppose that the biggest 'pro' is that I can finally start earning a paycheck again, instead of sponging off Steve!  Hopefully a position will open up in one of the Bendigo stores in the next 6 months so I can transfer back (shh, don't tell).


I hate days where there's nothing I "have" to be doing, because that's invariably what I end up doing - nothing.

Somebody hire me already.

I am

looking for ideas and suggestions for a good Twitter username.  Possibly incorporating being American, being Aussie, and/or being a foodie. 


last week

Today is my last paycheck from my paid leave (all 7 weeks of it) and I still have no confirmed job.  I've interviewed at a grocery store in Shepparton (same company as I was working for in Mackay), and the manager wants to hire me, but HR is hesitant about hiring me because of the travel - it's a 90 minute drive one way.  Waiting this week for the HR lady to get back to me with a yes or no.

One of Steve's co-workers is keeping an eye on the internet job sites for me (bless him) and sending through the relevant ads - he's sent through 2 so far and I've called them both this morning.  Left a message with one, the other will have her partner call me back.  Not exactly what I was hoping for - I want to interview and trial and start NOW, dammit! - but it's a start.  All the other resumes I've dropped throughout Bendigo have come to nothing, so these 2 new ones are my new hope.  Sigh.

Happier news, I got the car back on Friday!  It had been in the repair shop for a month getting fixed after I had a wee accident back in April.  Weird 3 way corner + wet roads + poor visibility = crunch.  It's great to have wheels again!

Latest baking projects: wholemeal scones with orange and cranberries, carrot cake, and cornmeal & apple muffins (today).  All this stuff I've been foisting off on Steve so he takes the majority of it to work to feed the people there - they're starting to like me, I think! 

Time to get ready for the day...


TV commercial tonight, for a company that makes fresh pasta in the flat cannelloni sheets:  'regular cannellonis are so hard to fill!  Use these fresh sheets of flat pasta for easy filling!' 

Seriously?  The way they're doing it, using two spoons and mincing around the cheese filling to place it -just so- on the pasta...seriously, just get a piping bag and learn to use it.  No more stupid spoons.  No more broken cannelloni rolls.  No more whinging.


The gas guys came around today to hook up our new oven (well, our landlord's new oven)!  So I've been abusing my new toy all afternoon, making batches of cookies, roasting veggies for soup, and my new favorite, foccacia from my very own sourdough starter.  Happy days!


Was having a horrible morning yesterday - I'd been forced to be at home all week waiting for various things to happen (phone line to be fixed, gas oven to be installed, etc) and it was starting to make me crazy...plus I'm having trouble finding a job, and I'm down to one week left on my holiday pay from my job in Mackay, so that was increasing the crazy and adding worried, depressed, hopeless to the mix.

Had to get out of the house, plumber or no plumber, and just do SOMETHING, anything, to feel normal again, to stop waiting for something to happen TO me and get out and MAKE something happen.  So I went for a walk.  A looooong walk.  Left at noon (grabbed my folder of resumes just in case) and walked for about 4 hours, dropping a resume wherever I saw a restaurant or cafe.  I had my phone's gps turned on for kicks, and my final mileage ended up at 22.6 km (14 miles)!

My bad mood stopped when I dropped a resume at a turkish restaurant just before 5 and the owner eyed me and said, "why don't you come in at 6 tonight for a trial?"  I thought, "ack!" but said "yes!" so started home (it's a 30 minute walk from the CBD) for a super-quick shower and a lift back in from Steve. 

Had a great trial!  The work is easy, basically plating salads & kebab meals for the restaurant, but fast-paced and fun - everybody in the kitchen is cool and not bitchy/fake-polite.  It's all guys, which is what I'm used to in kitchens - I hate working with all women - too much estrogen = cattiness and bitchiness.  Working with men, you can joke around and yes, have cranky moments, but you get it all out in one hit and then everyone's cool again.  No lingering tension. 

So now my dilemma is deciding which job to take: the cafe I've trialled at twice for waiting tables (and the head waitress is super bitchy) that's guaranteed full-time with half-decent pay, or the restaurant that's a bit less than full-time and unknown money but with fun easy work and people I know I'll get along with?

The owners of both places have promised to decide and call me today (BOTH today) so it's another day of waiting for something to happen.  Minus the worried hopelessness though :)

Maybe I'll just do both...hmm...


Survivor: Heroes vs Villains.

Does anybody even watch Survivor anymore?


I've decided I need a blogroll!

So here's the stuff I read regularly, or check up on at least once or twice a month:

The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl

Two Fit Chicks

Live Cheap
Economy Bites
101 Cookbooks
The Atlantic  and The Atlantic Food

Hopefully one of these blogs will be of interest to one or two of you out there.



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