Saturday, 31 March 2012

Vindication, increment by increment

I have been given a secondment at my workplace, Govt Dept X. From this Monday I will officially be an "Advisor", rather than "Administration Assistant". This is good.

When I first arrived in New Zealand (late Oct 2008), I didn't want to phone my parents until I got a job. This was highly symbolic. At the age of 25, I was finally moving out of home properly and being independent, in theory anyway. Unfortunately the Global SubPrime Financial Screwup of 2008 meant that my first "job" was 1 week of filing at the hospital in mid-December.
(Don't worry, I did keep in touch with email and texting.)

Between then and when I started my current job (January 2011) were my 2 years in Global Recession Temping Hell. Almost sounds like a TV series doesn't it?

Through a series of short-term spirit-crushing data entry and filing jobs, the many frustrations included terrible pay, lack of job security, zero-to-negative job satisfaction etc. etc.

But the most frustrating thing of all was that no-one - not the employers I sent applications, or the temping agencies, or the places I worked (barring a few exceptions) - saw potential in me, or saw that I was suitable for anything more than destroying my fingers and eyes at a keyboard & screen for 8 hours a day. One place was so bad - the work and the team "leader"'s attitude - that I left even though I really needed the money.

After spending 2 years looking for jobs and sending endless applications (often getting no reply at all) and being grateful for even the crappiest work that the agencies send your way, your self-worth takes a serious battering.

So, you can imagine my relief at this new opportunity.

It's only incremental relief. Getting a long-ish temp job; getting extended; getting extended again; getting a fixed term contract; and now, a temporary secondment to a better role. But it is still welcome nonetheless.

This is by no means the end. The secondment is only for a few months (at the moment), and does nothing for my immigration/visa situation (not in itself, anyway). My visa is up in November, and although I still want to stay in NZ and at my current workplace, the options for me staying are still very limited. The future is still very much unwritten.

However, it feels like a little miracle to get a decent job because people realised I Can Do Stuff, and I Can Do It Well. That's the most satisfying thing of all.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Project Airfix - why it half failed

Project Airfix is half dead, as the original idea. This doesn't mean it doesn't have value as a concept, it's just not been my priority and still isn't my priority.
A recap!
  • I am working on an album which will be called "Airfix Democracies"*
  • I wanted to show and share the album as it was recorded
  • This included uploading original raw files for people to download and mix their own way
As you can probably tell, I didn't get far with this. Recording is a time-consuming business you have to commit to, and I haven't, largely due to Other Important Things happening in my life. Not only that, the admin involved in labelling, sharing and uploading raw files to the internet is also considerable, and that didn't happen either.

But there's another main reason it didn't work - sharing songs as soon as they're written (as I really did intend to do) directly contradicts the idea of an album having new songs for people to get excited about. If there are no new songs, people are far less interested, if at all. (This why even the greatest and most moral bands release Greatest Hits albums with shitty, shitty, additional new recordings that may or may not be a greatest hit, and usually no-one gives a shit about.)

Whatever will I had to produce Airfix Democracies in that original way has fallen foul of this desire - to have something new to present to people who already know the singles and b-sides (Dinosaurs, Robots, Lighthouses, Boy With X-Ray Eyes, Sunshine, Wine/Vodka/Bourbon). I still want to do this with another recording in the future, but not this one, and not now.

There is always a(nother) but.
Airfix is only half dead.

Airfix Democracies will be recorded and released, hopefully in 2012, hopefully as part of something bigger. I hope you're looking forward to it at least half as much as I am.

*I've been working towards, or on, this album for quite a while. Give me a break. The title comes from a line from the song "Sunshine" - it was a working title at first (@mpswy wasn't hugely impressed, I remember that) but nothing better has come to mind in the last 4 years and it's stuck. I like it.