The Odd jobs I did for extra AUD (super duper late post – 2010)
Difficult. The best word to describe my transition from a Class C citizen in a Third World country to a Class DE citizen in a First World country.
When I moved to Australia, I brought with me cash to help me survive while I went back to uni and invest in a new career. Thanks to my parents who didn’t kick me out of their lovely abode while I was in the Philippines and my stingy lifestyle which has earned me the much coveted title “Anghel ng Pera” (Angel of Money), I had enough cash to get me by until I graduated the year after.
Fast forward now… (SFX: chimes, please)…
A year after, I had a teaching degree and a sad piggy bank. After barely feeding my pig for a year, it started to show signs of deterioration. What was once pink and bouncy was now brown and flat. I knew that once I get my teacher registration, everything would be smooth-sailing. But I was wrong. So much for the promise that there are a lot of jobs for teachers in Brisbane. Duhhh… And so in my quest to resuscitate my ailing porky, I entered the world of the ODD Jobs.
First on the list is my weekly delivery of junk mail. Being a junk-ee isn’t all too bad. It means I have to sort the mountains of brochures while watching TV the night before the real gig. This normally goes for 1 to 2 hours, largely due to the distraction presented by The Simpsons, Masterchef and the like. I get up early the next day, with my fingers and toes crossed, hoping for a lovely sunny day — or else I’d have to battle against the diversity of reptiles and amphibians this lovely continent is oh so proud of. The hazards of this job includes back pains, encounters with killer dogs (big and small… woof!) and possible “detours” (for me, it’s pretty often) when I don’t pay attention to where I’m going. Income from this job depends on the bulk of junk mail. The more back-breaking days allow me to cash in A$35, while the skippy-skip days earn me a measly A$17.
Second on my list is the transcription job, the 8-5 or 8-8 job that pays me a remarkable amount of $10 a day. Mind you, that’s in USD. Whoohoo! I will never forget that rainy and cold spring morning when I got up at 5AM to get a headstart on the project. I toiled until 3PM. Only my filled up wee bladder and tummy singing “Papa, can you hear me” were the only valid reasons for me to take a breather. Working in the comforts of my double bed, my slide count (the number of times my back slid from the wall to my bed) totalled at least 25 times for that day.
Third on my list is responding to online surveys. This is an extremely easy but time-consuming task. I think my blood pressure dropped way below normal levels due to the boring nature of this job. All I have to do is answer surveys for 30-45 minutes and get about 300 points for that. However, I can only claim my precious $5 (again in USD) when I’ve accumulated 575 points.
Fourth on my list is my translation job. After many online applications that I’ve lost track of, I was surprised to get a job order from a New Zealand company. Thinking it might be just another dodgy project, I asked them how they got my email address. Their answer put my paranoid self at ease, so I took on that job and many jobs after. What’s required of me is to check the translated document in Filipino against the original in English and give suggestions if I think the translation isn’t conversational enough. For a one-page document, I get A$20. Aaaah. Finally, not bad!
Fifth and final on my list is my Filipino/Tagalog teaching job — the job of my dreams! Who would’ve thought that someone (in their right mind) in this First World land would want to learn a language spoken by just 90 million people. Actually, maybe even just 30 million, since many Filipinos don’t even speak the national language! For an hour of teaching, I sometimes get $50 or $40. But, I haven’t been always lucky: Sometimes, they don’t pay. Argh. Nonetheless, amazing, eh?
Now, I’m in between jobs. Bummer. I continue to do odd jobs from time to time. After all, I gotta do, what I gotta do, all in the daring quest to earn the elusive AUDs.
How I wish I’d finally land a good teaching job and have a career shaping the minds and hearts of these Oi! Oi! Aussie kids! This way, too, I can also go back to being a Class C citizen, but this time, in a First World country. Shalala…