And I thought with the start of a new year it prudent to review my transferable skills beyond my vocational history in media production and hospitality to see if I could strengthen my résumé and broaden my search criteria.
I found an old folder my mum kept throughout my scholastic career of credits, awards and references. Here is a list of credentials I omitted all these years because I otherwise forgot, overlooked, or took them for granted.
If you currently have a job vacancy need filling I hope you might find this list of background qualifications suitable. Otherwise any assistance deriving unconventional connections from my eclectic and cumulative skills, or recommendations of compatible jobs that I am presently unaware of would be greatly appreciated.
Swimming was the arena where I received an overwhelming list of accreditations during school.
I realise the pure number of swimming qualifications may promote an erroneous impression that I am a great swimmer. I was, I think – at least for a time.
Every morning from the age of six to nine I was jostled awake before even the birds had a chance to hark and herald the dawn, and driven to Beatty Park, the old Commonwealth aquatics centre. There I was made to train with an Olympic coach. He had a Polish surname that sounded like a curse when struck bad luck, or stubbed a toe – and his demeanour was twice as abrasive.
And at the cost of a sleep deprived childhood the swimming awards kept coming.
In the summer holidays, two weeks before I started a new high school my parents even forced me to join the swimming squad’s training camp. All of this I thought was tantamount to child abuse, but I grew up in an era before child abuse hotlines and safe houses and so I just had to wear it.
I didn’t place at my first high school swimming carnival. Faces I’d never seen at training took top honours. But during pre-semester training the high swimming coach preached incessantly about how attendance and participation at training were paramount to determining the interschool squad.
I was bumped to reserves for the relay. And for the first time I respected Homer Simpson’s philosophy,
‘… no matter how good you are at something, there’s always about a million people better than you.’
Yet my most gratifying aquatic achievement was in fact for diving.
It happened during year seven school camp at an inland retreat by a lake up near Mundaring. Everyone in our class grew up by the ocean and a fresh water lake was new and unbearably cold. A few of us fooling about at the end of small boat pier noticed a silver glint at the bottom of the dark tinted limpid water.
It was the top of a Coca Cola can.
We quickly discerned empty coke cans float so it must be a full can. We didn’t entertain how it got there, or the possibility it was empty and full of fresh water. We were all too excited, racing to get our clothes off and dive in after it.
Essentially what ensued was the childhood scene in the Big Blue when Jacques and Enzo first meet. I wasn’t the first in the water. And the relief was immense when the first two boys surfaced gasping with blue faces, eyebrows bent with disappointment – I dived in with abandon, without a thought of failure.
The gelid water immured me. It crushed my lung and beat the top of my head the deeper I went. I pushed downwards, further and further without thinking of my return until through blurred nightly vision I had grasp of the can. Instantly I knew the can was immaculately preserved which magnified the accomplishment.
I had no idea how deep I had gone until I looked up at the stranded sun-gem portal of escape and started swimming to the dull glimmering surface. My lungs exploded halfway up, and for an instant I thought I might not make it.
It wasn’t because of the complex sweet nectar of Coca Cola I found myself desperately pawing up through the deadly embalmment. I liked soda pop as much as the next kid – but I wasn’t possessed by a fanatical sweet tooth. It was a simple and pure compulsion – to meet a random and bold challenge with an uncompromising desperation to succeed. That it involved a treasure of sort was not so much an added incentive as a pleasant consequence.
The last foot was like wrestling against the unassailable arm of my older brother dunking me under a backyard pool but I surfaced, coke can in an outstretched hand of singular triumph. A couple of kids I think groaned at the sight but I was deaf with asphyxiation. After I struggled back onto the pier, cracked the can and slammed it down the back of my throat I was in rhapsody that the lake bottom temperature had kept the coke sublimely chilled.
Despite not being a strong swimmer I believe this emphasises my aquatic prowess and temerity which would make me suitable for deep sea salvage of lost relics and hunting treasure.
I believe this makes me highly desirable for a variety of personal contracts such as grocery shopping, a croupier in an illegal gambling den or long term international house sitting where duties include managing the household bills while the occupants are away.
Working Within a Team
I know everyone mentions this as if it’s an important skill, but it seems a bit redundant given its rudimentary function of society (even if you’re a gypo). Some people might think they’re better working within a team than others, but it seems to depend whether or not you like the team you’re in.
I shall reference my musical ability later.
However, in retrospect it seems participation is the meritless common denominator for rewarding and encouraging all rather average youthful performances.
Under the guise of award catagories such as Punctuality, Perfect Attendance, Most Improved, and Sportsperson of the Year scholastic underachievers are given false hope they’re good at something that truly matters.
And the more I’ve started cataloguing my achievements I’ve begun to develop the distinct impression they were all ill conceived and random.
Honour Certificates were the bees knees in primary school. They were handed out in front of the entire school at weekly assemblies. However in my final year I began to realise this system was all a big con.
A coloured piece of cardboard and stupid badge was presumed to imbue me with the ideals of maintaining exemplary behaviour and being a pristine example to my peers. If I was told holding public office in the real world led to extortionate salaries, annual pay rises and a highly corruptible expenses system I may have been more enthusiastic.
But I wasn’t getting paid. I just paid a high price whenever I fell off the proverbial pedestal of perfect conduct which shadowed the roll of Head Boy. It was worse still because I didn’t get shouted at anymore. Instead I got the creepy admonishing family-friend-you-called-auntie’s voice of softly spoken disappointment. I started to realise life was going to be fucking complicated.
Stay tuned for Part II… where I elucidate and extrapolate on other transferable skills including Public Speaking, Biology, Self Defence and Music – References will be included – Follow or subscribe and please leave any suggestions by email if you think you know someone in need of my unique talents.