Tag Archives: Writing

Glass Collecting: 8 Tools to Help You Survive Happy Hour.

The Exchange Hotel, Brisbane, Australia.

The Exchange Hotel, Brisbane, Australia.

Traveling the East Coast of Australia? Looking for work to fund onward travel? Enjoy cleaning up after drunk, drugged and dumb hipsters?

If you answered yes to all three of these questions, I have just the job for you!

Whilst living in Brisbane I worked at a night club, mostly as a waiter during sociable hours. To bump up my wage, I asked to do extra hours at the weekends, picking up glasses after my shift until the very small hours. As you can imagine, this kind of work is monotonous, soul-destroying and incredibly aggravating at times. But hey, it pays and if you need the cash, this can be a good little earner. Based purely on my experience, here are some tips to get you through happy hour. From sick to semen, I have it covered (figuratively of course.)

The Mop

Your induction will consist of a brief introduction of the tools you will need before going into battle. The first of which is the mop –  a 153classic time waster. Some girl has spewed all over the walls in the toilet? Take a break and go for a cigarette, as you’re going to need the fresh air before entering the stench pit. You know what awaits you and the only thing that will change between now and then, is the colour of her shoes and her level of dignity – yours diminished as soon as you signed up for the job. When you finally do arrive, usher drunks out of the cubicle like it’s a crime scene. Do not by any means interact with the culprit. She will have no remorse for her actions and tell you to leave  – which will anger you to no end – and she may be full of disease. Best form of action? Remind yourself at that moment why you need the money and get the cleaning over with as quickly as humanly possible.

Beside practical use, the mop can be used as a deterrent when cornered by jocks and hipsters. You will need to master two skills: The jab and the swing. When asked “Which part of Ireland are you from?” for the 10th time that evening, swing for his thick rimmed shades – he’s inside, it’s dark outside and they look fucking stupid anyway. Then follow-up with a straight jab to the voice box. That will protect your ears from his horribly bad accent.

The Sweeper

The sweeper consists of two items: a long-handled brush and a long-handled pan, both of which are designed to collect everything from cigarette butts to used condoms. At peak times, the sweeper may also be accompanied by a radio. This is to inform you of any breakages on the dance floor, (glass that is not noses) however at times you may feel somewhat patronized by the radio. The sign of a good ‘glassy’, (yes, this is what you will be called) is the ability to hear the sound of glass smashing from anywhere in the club, even over the load obnoxious reggaeton and electro. With practice, you will make it there in time to see some 18-year-old with skinny jeans and a vest, get tackled to the ground by the door staff for not doing much of anything. The entertainment value here is high, so it pays to be alert. Once you have followed the ruckus out the door, go for another cigarette before sweeping up the glass. By this point, nobody cares what you are doing, and neither do you.

Later, try heading out side to sweep. This will give you the opportunity to chat to the attractive door girl, tell the security about how much you hate your job and waste a good twenty minutes.

Top tip when actually sweeping: try using the side of the brush to knock in some butts. It creates more of a challenge and at times the odd butt will jump into the pan satisfyingly.

The Damp Cloth

138Similar to the mop, however the risk of coming in contact with bodily fluids is greater. If for any reason your cloth becomes dry during the evening, you may go behind the bar to damp it. This will give you the chance to engage in two second conversations to whomever is working, but be warned – there is a high chance no one will know your name. You could also use this time to grab a glass of water, marvel at the talent standing at the bar and act like you should  be serving. Be as nonchalant as possible. You’re not serving, but they don’t have to know that. Soon enough money will be shoved in your face and you’ll get screamed at. Walk out and carry on with your shift.

Damp cloth top tip: try wiping tables clockwise. Then anti clockwise. Mix it up and get creative!

The Tray

A classic tool used to stack glasses and the only part of your job that requires any sort of skill level. There is only one practical way to carry the tray and that is above your head, using one hand. There are two reasons for this.

  • In a packed club, absolutely no one will get out-of-the-way for you. Trying to maneuver around with a heavy tray by your side is near impossible. Plus you will end up slamming into people (which can be justified at times.)
  • People will try to add glasses to your tray. Keeping it balanced over your head will prevent this. Your tray is like a game of Jenga: perfectly poised, balanced and only fun if  drink is involved.

Add to your collection and go wild. Stack them; Place them side to side. The fun to be had is endless!

The will to live

Not a physical tool but just as important. You are going to need this. The shifts are long and boring and everyone around you is unbearable, but try to look at the bigger picture. Remember, you too are an obnoxious idiot when you are out. Remember, you won’t be doing this for long. Remember, that you probably will have to wait in McDonald’s for an hour with the same people after your shift as the first bus home hasn’t started yet. Remember, even with the extra shifts, you still can’t afford a taxi to the suburbs.

Becoming a  struggle? Try these games during your next shift to kill some time.

  • The 60 second game: When doing a lap around the club keep an eye on the clock. Feel the momentary satisfaction when you start a lap on the minute and get back to the same spot exactly a minute later. Challenging and there are many factors that could hold you up. Example: Guy comes up and asks you where the nearest cash machine is. You have ten seconds to spare. What do you do? Personally, I would ignore him. I have better things to do such as  beating my personal best. Girl asks the same question? Take as long as you need.
  • Guess the next song game: A stab in the dark but since the club only plays the same four songs, your chances for success is reasonably high.
  • The cock block game: Occasionally, girls will talk to you to escape the clutches of the rapey guy on the dance floor. You’re sober and he’s an asshole. Make her laugh, and watch him stress. Leave before he beats you up. Challenging but dangerous.

If you are heading over to Australia on a working visa my advice to you is to not be too picky. Take what comes your way and have fun with it. An experience – good or bad – is an experience none the less, to which you’ll learn from regard less. If you are willing to work all night and looking for a short term cash fix, glass collecting is at least an option, that – given the right club – could pay a decent wage.

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For All The Cows – An update.

Hey folks. I hope all is well? It’s been a while since my last update so I thought I’d let you in on what’s been happening.

I’m not going to lie. I’m definitely suffering from the blues and in many ways I have been for a few weeks now. But instead of letting it continue to get me down and bore you all to death with it, I think the solution is to look forward to the future don’t you think? I don’t need to put you through reading about my personal misery again (I don’t have it bad over here but in context with my own existence and mindset and how I feel from day-to-day is relative to how I live my life and a big factor to how I act around myself more so than others.)

What I will say though is that I do miss my friends and family from back home and I am looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Now then.

Onwards in some easy digestible pieces…

What exactly am I up to?

Well as most of you probably know, if only by spying  instead of talking to me,( isn’t the internet awesome? Soon we won’t even  need ‘friends’. There will be an app full of them ready to download) I live and work in Germany with my girlfriend and have been here close to a year now. It’s been fine (for lack of a better word) in that we get on great, the town is charming and I have little worries here.

Am I ready to leave? Yes. A long time ago.

It’s nothing personal. I actually really like it here. The problem lies in my agenda.

Once again I am doing the same shit but in a different country and I feel – no I know – I could do so much more. I’m slightly disappointed with myself this time around. I get up, I piss around, I smoke too many cigarettes and drink coffee and then I go to work. Rinse and repeat everyday. Now I must state, this is entirely my fault. I haven’t made the effort even in getting close to new friends. From day one I knew I’d be leaving again. I didn’t have that knowledge on my last trip, so I guess I never really got off the ground here. I’m happy with my relationship with Petra but I’m not happy with my relationship with Germany. Once again – it’s nothing personal, it’s just not the right time for me to be here. If I have to work in a kitchen or a restaurant floor for one more year of my life, I’m going to crack up. And as grateful as I am to be in a job that treats me well, I’m going through groundhog day and a continuous loop of misery and boredom. I feel like im in a prison. And for anyone that knows me well – I need to be pacing a much bigger cell.

Would I come back to Germany to live? Yes. In a heart beat.

Can I be here any longer at the time being? No. Sadly not.

See how easy it is to rant? Moving on…

So –  what’s the plans?

Well over the past few months whilst Petra has been studying, I’ve been planning and booking a round the world trip for us both. That’s been keeping me fairly busy as there is more to in than you might imagine. Surprisingly – I sparked  into life doing this and I actually really enjoyed it. I got a travel agent to book all of my first trip as If I was left to my own devices, I would have ended up that famous creek with not only a missing paddle, but probably a whole new asshole handed to me in every major city. I was clueless and chose to adopt other people who knew what the hell they were doing. However this time round, I have a bit of knowledge and experience and without wanting to jinx the whole thing, I think I did a fairly good job of organising everything. Here’s the trip in a bit of detail if you want to stalk me or smuggle a package of narcotics in my backpack:

  • Sep 23rd – Edinburgh.
  • Sep 24th – Oct 3rd – Aberdeen.
  • 2 weeks – New York/Philadelphia/Boston.
  • 10 days – LA/San Francisco.
  • 1 month – Australia.
  • 2 weeks – Thailand.
  • 6 weeks – Borneo.
  • Singapore to London.
  • Arrive home February 3rd and shortly after move to Edinburgh.

On my return?

We (both Petra and I) are moving to Edinburgh. She want’s to gain work experience abroad and I want to officially get my shit together, so where better to do it than the Capital?  We did think about London but Edinburgh seems less daunting for a couple getting their own place, looking for new work and putting their feet on the ground for a year or two. For different reasons – Aberdeen is out of the question.

The plan? I want to study and only work part-time for a while. Although I’ve been fortunate enough to do some travel and working full-time has gotten me there, after 8 years of it I’m officially done. I want to look towards the future and it’s not easy to see whilst flipping burgers and washing dishes. What I want to do is a different question all together. I’m really not sure. But I enjoy writing and although I am naive and relatively in the dark with what I could possibly do as a career with it, I want to at least get an education first. So one step at a time. Reading more books would be a start…

And with the writing?

I’m happy to say that I’m getting there and more importantly – interested and enjoying it. As a board poster on gapyear.com, I decided that potentially I had more to give to the site than just being a poster. I sent in a couple of my entries from here as example pieces, in hope that my style could have a place for the site. The editor praised my writing  and asked me to produce an article on my time in Germany (Which is done and dusted by the way and I will put it up at a later date). It was unpaid however in return I got my work edited by a professional and critiqued. And of course – it’s all experience that I will need to get going in the right direction. I’m happy to say that since then I have produced a further article and have written a complete country guide to Germany, to which you can read here.

So onwards and upwards. Watch this space. There will be more pieces coming in the future. And as much as I seem to love writing about myself, I’m looking to step away from that and get serious about producing real work. Besides. What else is there really to know about me? And apart from being entertained by my ramblings once in a while, does anyone really care? Writing these has always been for my own benefit. However now it’s came round full circle and I’m looking to benefit in a whole different way.

A career.

Any advice?

So folks this is my 99th entry, which if you think about it – isn’t really that many. But in saying that I’m pleased I’m still writing and even more so that I plan on continuing. I love doing this and for as passionate as I am about certain things, nothing really ever sticks with me. I’m glad I do this and enjoy doing it. I will continue. And I sincerely hope that 5 years from now – I’m stuck good and well.

I’m thinking about what I might do for my 100th entry. Perhaps I’ll have a  go at impressing you with something a bit different. We shall see.

Also expect some sort of travel blog to come out of my next trip. I don’t see why not. That’s a no brainer.

That’ll do it for now.

I will see some of you in a few weeks.

Untill then – take it easy and all the best.

Darren.


For All The Cows – How Tom Green can ruin your night…

It’s absolutely infuriating.

I want to write. I really do. So what is the problem?

Am I really going to go through this lengthy process again? And again? And….well you get the point. I see a pattern emerging and again I am fully aware of it.

You  know –  I’m the first person to point out my faults and I know them all very well. Dealing with them is  like cooking a romantic meal.You know if you are patient,gentle and calm, it will turn out tasting and looking great.But if you can’t be bothered from the get go all you want to do is flame the hell out of it,poke it around, slap it on the plate and serve it to the dog,knowing he will be the only person that will like it.

Constantly catering for and understanding my messed up head is exhausting,but now that I know I can get the better of it,creating a nice dish isn’t all that difficult. Light a candle.Put on some music. Make the most of it and enjoy it.

Ok so I’ll stop it with the cryptic messages and confusing analogies that absolutely no one understands.

In other words – Let’s cut the nonsense.

I’ll just skip straight to the point shall I?

I feel like I’m constantly taking my own advice. If this sounds confusing to you it is but bear with me.

I feel like my blogging persona ( in reality; my rational,helpful forward thinking side of my conscience) is who I want to be off-screen aswell as on. If this sounds egotistical to you and self-absorbed it most certainly is and you are definitely right. But i like that guy a lot better than the guy who sits around the house,streaming wrestling and taking naps.

I prefer the ‘blogger’ side of me. However confused he may be he has the right idea

(yes I am referring to myself in third person – big whoop – wanna fight about it?)

and I should really be reading between the lines and taking my own advice.Anyway i’ve come to realise what i really want to do/have a proper go at in my life.

I want to write.

Broad – yes. But it’s a start.

Ask me that same question two years ago I’d have still said a racecar driver or a cowboy

(of course i’ve never wanted to be any of those things but you get the meaning behind it)

It’s something I think about constantly,from when I wake up in the morning untill I go to sleep at night and all those wasted hours in between. I certainly  don’t want to be in the kitchen anymore. I know this. And the time is soon approaching where I can finally do something about it. Over the past couple of months I’ve spent around an hour a day looking at a blank screen wanting and pleading with myself to start writing. Anything at all. And I’m coming out blank. Last night I lay in bed for three hours thinking about it and all I could think about was the word Swedish.And then again. Some more Swedish. And some more.

Seriously Tom Green. Your career is over. Don’t sabotage mine before I’ve even started.

It’s the same thing over and over again. As soon as I lay down I want to write. And is soon as I start writing I can’t.And I didn’t plan to write any of this today.

I can’t blame Tom Green as much as I’d like too.

But you know what I’ve realised?

Throughout all of my entries there have been the same recurring themes.

Motivation and change.

I write about those two things constantly yet never take my own advice.

Weather it be writing about my bad habits,past experiences or just total nonsense, it all centres around change and want of it.

The other day (Let’s say Tuesday. You can make it sound funny if you say it with a thick tounge and in a funny voice).

Yes – I really do have that much time.

I read all my blogs back to myself as if it was a stranger i was reading about. I tried to really get behind my own words and draw some sort of conclusion of what I was truly trying to gain from writing. Yeh it’s fun,rewarding and enjoyable but as i’ve touched on before – it goes deeper than that.It’s nice to know that some people read them but that’s not what it’s about although it does keep me going. This is a true outlet for me and I treat it as some sort of therapy (fuck your ink blots Oberhalzer). Everytime I post I feel ten times better about the days ahead and feel like i’ve hit a reset switch in my head.

I’m not hard to get on with. It’s getting on with myself that’s the problem.

I am a man of needs.

We all need food,water and masturbation but let’s push past the necessities.

Well – i guess that answers that desert island question……

I need to be motivated. I need guidance.I need to be put in my place.I need to be told when I’m wrong. I need to be social. I need to be pushed.I need to be challenged. I need a purpose. I need to be out there(don’t ask where – just there) I need my imagination. I need confidence. I need to have faith in myself.

I don’t need new socks however i do need new underwear

I have most of those things already.

But I constantly need change.

And again that’s something that I have. I constantly have change. However it’s like changing a battery in a clock. You try fourteen different batteries,knowing too well that most of them are dead,yet throwing them out isn’t an option. Keeping them in a drawer and holding on to them makes no sense yet I still do it. Time won’t move on unless you do. You’re going to need new batteries. Focus on one. Throw the rest away. And much like the battery – Move with the time. Otherwise you will be left counting the minutes.

I just can’t stop that can I?

Change is only possible if you have the mental tools to do it. If you are constantly fighting a battle against it,nothing good will come of it. And that’s the spot i find myself in. And I’ve been down this road many times before.More recently in this post –motivation.

It’s a lot easier said than done. Or in my case written.

Reading back my thoughts to myself is quite an eye opener as I don’t do it often.

I realise that my  blogging persona makes sense to me,and that’s where I’m striving to be.It is the productive side that I must embrace and live with.And it’s the direction I need to go in. The other side of me is shit. And I’m done with it. He is a time waster with the best of intentions but a time waster never the less. I need to stop writing about the things I want to achieve and write about  doing them. Otherwise I honestly can’t see myself being a success.

Brutally honest but painfully true.

Next year is a big one for me. I’m moving back to the UK and it is a great opportunity to pursue what I want.And what I want is the ability to write organically,and naturally with the option of taking a step on the career ladder.But  right now I must take baby steps towards it Better than walking round in circles or taking steps backwards and also more realistic than big strides forwards. That how you pull a groin folks.

I want to write. And not about wanting to write.

You know what? Scrap that.

I need to write.

But first and foremost. I have to end the stalemate with my lazy other half,shake hands and call a truss.

I must change.

Then hopefully – the world will change with me.

Take it easy folks.