Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…an award-winning writer

That is, of course, to say that I am a writer who has just won an award for my exceptional cleaning abilities. Which is certainly something to add to my CV.

The Melbourne hostel I’m staying in offers a work for accommodation scheme, which means that for a few hours of labour I get to sleep for free. The staff here is mostly made up of a few paid managers and then the cleaners, housekeepers, bar workers and receptionists are all people who do their work in exchange for a bed. I’ve been a cleaner now for three weeks and for three hours’ work a day I’ve saved about $840 (about £500… which seems a lot).

After I told them I was leaving my boss asked me a few times what my plans were, which I thought at the time was a bit odd. As a reward they’re giving me a voucher for two free sleeps at somewhere in Adelaide.

I don’t think I’ve done anything exceptional in my time here, but it’s nice to be appreciated in a sincere manner. The fact that I’ve excelled in a role where I put my earphones in and complete a number of menial tasks comes as a complete surprise as I’ve in no way just completed more than two years of doing exactly that.

My boss also mentioned that there would normally be a poster to announce my achievement and if that materialises, I’ll try to take a photo of it to include in my impending Melbourne round up. I fly to Brisbane on Tuesday so that shouldn’t be very far away.

I’ll be in Brisbane for about 10 days, Adelaide for a week, then I’m heading to Perth for a month or so. I’ll probably do some more work for accommodation there, now that I have such a great claim to make.

While that may be the only time I can put this on a CV to actually get me some work, it’s probably something that I can add to my dating profile quite successfully.

“Ladies, do you want a man who knows how to handle a mop, a hoover and various other cleaning implements? Then look no further than this award-winning cleaner.

References available on request.”

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Filed under: australia, ,

3 Responses

  1. James says:

    Copy and paste isn’t menial!

  2. Dave w says:

    Award winning cleaner sounds loads more impressive than award winning writer to me. It requires actual practical skill.

    Great that the work-for-bed scheme works out so well. I’d consider doing something similar if I was still around Europe, but doesn’t seem so useful in Egyptian places that charge £3 for an en-suite room (mental!!! At least the en-suite leaks a bit to assauge my guilt a little).

  3. Oliver says:

    James, I think the reason I couldn’t get a new job in Edinburgh is that the first page of my CV was just the words ‘copy and paste’ repeated over and over again. What they probably didn’t realise is that I didn’t type the phrase every time — just once — then I let my magic take over.

    My new plan, Dave, is to try to win as many awards as I can. I need some ideas for what else (clearly not an award winning thinker — although I have a friend who genuinely is) I can ‘excel’ at.

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