Gift Card Catharsis

I hate job hunting. Really, there is nothing worse. I know my value as an employee. Screw that, I know my value as a person. I work hard. I’m more than happy to take shifts, stay late, work when I’m under the weather, work for next to nothing and to catch up on lectures at home if it means that I can work instead. The only thing I’ll never do is skip a tute. (Well, I skipped Intro to Script-Writing a lot last semester but in my defence, it was a first year subject and the tutor was a bitch.) But the thing is, no one sees all that when you’re handing in a resume. Mine basically says “Oh, so, she hasn’t worked anywhere but Subway? Jesus, she’ll be next to useless.” And then, when writing a cover letter, everyone is saying the same things:

  • Hard-working
  • Punctual
  • Fast-learner
  • Honest
  • Blah blah blah

Only, I actually mean what I say. But the employer is just seeing the same damn cover letter again and again. It’s how those slackers who do nothing but talk, whinge, and play around on Facebook get hired. Honestly, I think that your referees are all that should matter. List the referees first and the places you’ve worked second. Because it’s what the referees say that should matter. Not where you’ve worked. Well, for casual retail/hospitality jobs. Obviously where you’ve worked is important if you want to be a lawyer or a doctor or something important.

I’ve applied for at least a dozen jobs in the past two days. I’m pretty sure I’ve been passed over for a Subway job, which is really depressing. And the more jobs I apply for, the more anxious I get about being passed over. Because, at present, I’m paying back two loans and a lay-by. Not to mention my monthly phone bill. I crunched the numbers last night and I’m pretty sure that everything I get from Centrelink has to go towards all of those things. I don’t think I even have $5 left after those expenses are taken out.

So is it any wonder, really, that last night I went shopping online? (For books. With a gift card.) I mean, I go window shopping online a lot. It always makes me feel better. Once, when I’d managed to talk myself into a pretty serious financial black cloud, I took out a pen and paper and wrote down everything I wanted on Urban Outfitters. The list went for two pages.

This? Only $36.50. Window shopper win!

I never window shop outside of my price range though. I shop as though, one day, I’ll be able to buy this stuff. It helps me keep the fantasy alive. So, last night, I found my last gift vouchers from my lovely coworkers in Brisbane and bought two new books. When you need retail therapy, there’s really nothing you can do about it.

What I should have done was buy the next two books in the Divergent series. I’m collecting the adult covers, which is what I should have done for the Hunger Games trilogy. I have the first one, so I should have bought the next two. What am I going to do when I finish Divergent and then can’t afford Insurgent or Allegiant? BUT no one does what they’re supposed to when they go in for retail therapy. Everyone’s wallets would agree with that, surely. So, instead, I went out and bought:









I’ve been meaning to read The Fault in Our Stars for a while now. I wasn’t actually planning on reading it at all until a friend of mine told me to stop being a book snob and just buy it. She actually called me on something I do a lot: judging books for being “popular”. Forgive me for being sceptical of “popular” books. (Twilight, 50 Shades). I don’t trust the general population to know good fiction. So sue me. And having John Green described as the “king of the hipster genre” turned me right off. Hipsters annoy me. Especially after reading one of the QBD “hipster confessions” that stated that this particular hipster crumpled his books, his Penguin classics I think, so that they look more read. This guy should have all of his books confiscated. I cover my books with contact so they stay perfect forever. And this guy purposely dog ears his? He should be shot.
But, you know, I finally read the blurb of The Fault in Our Stars and it sounds beautiful. And heart-breaking. And amazing. So I bought it. I also plan on reading Paper Towns. If anyone else has read that, let me know what you think!

As for Break, I fell in love with Hannah Moskowitz after reading TeethShe has a way of making YA feel like more than what the genre says it should be. People judge YA for having no substance, lacking emotion, and whatever other bullshit they spout. Hannah Moskowitz, like my homegirl Cassandra Clare, is making so much head way into changing that misconception.

So, one day in the next couple of weeks these books will land on my new door step. Hopefully, by that stage, I would have found a new job. But if I haven’t, and I’ve been housebound because I can’t afford the bus or the price of petrol, I’ve already bought my “cheer up, Bec” present.

Damn, I should have gift wrapped them.


About Bec Graham

Bec Graham, 24, was born on the wrong continent. Everything from her burns-like-paper skin tone to her inability to cope with the slightest hint of a hot day suggests she should have been born under the gloomy skies and mild sun of the UK. She hopes writing will get her to her rightful home one day. Failing that, she scans the skies for a spinning blue police box, hoping to catch a lift back to the motherland.
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