Monday, 17 May 2010

What’s Going On?

To be honest I have no idea. I know I haven’t written in ages but here it is. In about March we found out that Spotless had lost the contract with the City of Melbourne. We’d have jobs until the end of June. It was a total surprise as we’ve been getting the best results since starting that contract and they’ve been really happy with us. But as most of these things work it was all about money.

The people who won the contract seriously undercut Spotless and the others. In the bits and pieces that have come to light since that fateful day in March it turns out that when this new mob put in a bid they hadn’t really thought about it. They’ve got a lot to sort out before July. They’ve recently started the offers for transfers, or rather keeping Spotless cleaners on if they’re interested. I can’t tell if we are. I know I’m not. I just can’t stand being there any more. So I am trying to get a transfer within Spotless.

Although we heard from our supervisors that we had lost the contract it took Spotless a while to send us official letters in the mail; a letter that also included a list of current vacancies. The location with the most jobs going is at The Alfred. There were two reasons I initially didn’t want to consider going there. One my sister works there in a much, much, MUCH better role than a mere fucking cleaner. And two it’s a hospital and I didn’t fancy the type of work that I’d have to do. The letter lacked accurate job descriptions. When I first read it on the way home from work I almost cried because I imagined that I was working there. I was so overwhelmed with a sense of how ironic, well maybe not ironic, but cruel, it would be to end up working where my sister does but doing such a shitty, low paid job while she’s doing what she wants to do and making really good money. (Fuck she’s moving out next weekend. She’s so lucky). I put aside the letter for a couple of weeks. But then I thought, well there’s an email address why not find out about the kind of cleaning they actually want. And with so many shifts available I did highlight one I wouldn’t mind working. She got back to me and things seemed good. I was told it wouldn’t be specialist cleaning, more of what I have done in the past. That was good news. Next week before I knew it I had an interview with her. That went well and then I got a text the next day saying come into The Alfred for an induction. Which as it turned out was just a second interview.

It was at the second interview that things got bent out of shape. She had to apologise to me from the start, saying the shift I had expressed an interest in was in fact specialist cleaning. Basically disinfecting rooms after infectious patients had used them and new ones had to move in. My first reaction was, “My dad is going to freak out!” I told them – there was a second person there, another David can you believe it!? – I would have to consider it. I was a bit iffy about exposing myself to those germs but it is such an important job and they’re telling me it’s a chance to lift my skills and how they train you etcetera, etcetera. So they sounded like they thought I could do it. I suppose that's good. And yet it always comes back to, cleaning. And the horrible feeling that this is going to be my career.

Of course it would be up to me in the end but I did feel like I needed to talk to my family and friends first. They’re divided. My sister made a good point that I’m in a hospital anyway, I’m at risk to germ exposure. And she made a point I didn’t even think of, how I sneeze a lot with the chemicals I work with now. How will I handle the really strong stuff? Well you HAVE to wear protective clothing from head to toe. (I get to hide that way, a plus. Another being that you work on your own or with one other cleaner and the areas you clean are closed off to everyone so I really would be hiding. I just hate people seeing me clean. I know people don’t really pay attention to you, maybe throw a pitying glance or patronising “Hello” but you know they don’t care. Agh! Rant, rant, rant. It was something I found really hard to adjust to when I started working at the Town Hall. People being around, yuck. Besides they get in the way).

Fuck I don’t know what to do. It would be nice to know where I stand though. I've checked my emails a few times today, just Facebook messages. I can't decide if it's too soon to email again about the job. I might get too desperate if I do, say something embarrassing. It's been weird. I get updates from my current boss and only the occasional email from this other woman. I'll wait and see if I hear anything when I get into work today. *Sigh*