The process for getting a job should be easier than the process of applying for welfare. But not so. I recently applied for a job and first I had to send in my resume. I waited several weeks to hear something, anything, and then just as I had almost forgotten about the position, they made contact.
Next they wanted me to fill out an application form. I had to download it from the internet, print it off, fill it in, scan it, then email it back to them. The application asked for more information than any of the forms at Centrelink. But I did as I was told and wasted a day letting them know who was my next of kin, my employment history and if anyone had ever taken out an AVO against me.
I must have passed the 12-page quiz because then there was an interview in front of a panel where I was advised by the member of staff showing me into the boardroom to be ‘enthusiastic and just dazzle them’. It’s hard to be dazzling when you’re being asked inane questions like, ‘Have you ever done anything in a workplace you regret doing?’ The appropriate answer is, ‘Would you like the truth or shall I just make it up as I go along?’ But instead I just smiled and said, ‘Is having sex on the desk something I should regret?’ Actually, I didn’t say that either but it was so tempting. I think I looked at them earnestly with a stricken hate-myself expression on my face that was meant to cause them to be sympathetic to my confession, and advised there had been times when I regretted not cleaning up after myself in the communal kitchen. There was a pause from the panel that I think meant I had been granted absolution.
Clearly I achieved the required level of enthusiasm and razzle-dazzle because I was then taken into a room to sit ‘a psych test’. It was enough to send me psychotic. One of the questions was, ‘Do you have any thoughts about sex that disturb you?’ I wasn’t going for a job in the sex industry. This was a job in the food industry. I had to answer the question by ticking a box on a scale from one to five, five being constant disturbing thoughts and one being no disturbing thoughts. I was wondering if I answered all questions one, one, one, one, one, whether they would think me fraudulent, or charge me with falsifying documents. So I answered ‘two’, that being I now and then have disturbing thoughts and that of course, is a fraudulent answer.
Moving on from disturbing thoughts about sex, the questions only deteriorated. I’m not joking but the last question on the form was, ‘If you were a food, what one would you be and why?’ I wrote down, ‘Smorgasbord – because I’m full of variety’.
I didn’t get the job.
But I did waste a lot of time.
And I’m blaming the school system – it never taught me how to pass a psych test.
Today I’m making Scotch Eggs. I know they are a little ‘yesterday’s news’ but they are delicious and my whole family enjoyed them and asked for them to be put on the menu again next week.
This recipe is from the November issue of Gourmet Traveller.
Degree of Difficulty: 3/5
Cost: Inexpensive. I actually had most of these ingredients on hand.
600 gm minced pork
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp thyme
1 tsp Tabasco, or to taste
6 eggs, at room temperature, plus 2 extra eggs, lightly beaten, for eggwach.
Seasoned flour, for dusting
150 gm (3 cups) fine white dry breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
Vegetable oil for deep frying
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
350 ml extra virgin olive oil
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
Combine pork, onion, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire, thyme and Tabasco in a bowl. Season to taste and refrigerate until required.
For lemon mayonnaise, process yolks, vinegar and mustard in a food processor to combine. With motor running, add oil in a thin steady stream until thick and emulsified. Add rind and juice, season to taste and refrigerate until required.
Bring a saucepan of water to the simmer over medium heat, carefully add eggs and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cooked to your liking (8 minutes for soft-boiled, or 10 minutes for hard-boiled). Drain, refresh under cold water, drain and peel. Dust in flour, shaking off any excess.
Shape one-sixth of pork mixture into a cup in your hand, place a boiled egg in the indent and carefully mould mince around to enclose. Repeat with remaining pork mixture and eggs.
Dust each egg ball in seasoned flour, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs, and refrigerate until required.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or deep-sided frying pan to 180C. Deep-fry eggs, turning occasionally, until breadcrumbs are golden and pork is cooked through (6-7 minutes, be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper, season to taste and serve warm or cold with lemon mayonnaise.
I served the Scotch Eggs with a baby beet, baby spinach and fetta salad.