A terrific opportunity surfaced for Archie. Still trying to break into the industry he would love to make his career, I applied, on his behalf (and on the quiet), to an organization offering training in Archie’s field of choice.
It was a fabulous opportunity but Archie just wasn’t that interested. Not because he didn’t like the sound of the course but because he’d have to leave Sydney and live in Perth for the next three years. ‘Why would I want to go and live there, mum, what’s over there besides mines?’
‘Because it’s a wonderful opportunity for you, Archie’. (And a wonderful opportunity for me to have his bedroom back into a neat, tidy and less embarrassing state). And with that I poured all of my energy into completing the application form and I must have done very well because a few days later I (he) received a letter advising the director of the course was coming to Sydney to interview applicants and he would like to see Archie at 2pm on December 1.
When Thursday arrived I made sure Archie showered, shampooed and used soap, brushed his teeth and flossed, sprayed his underarms and his feet, dried his hair rather than do a ‘wet-set’, scrubbed under his nails and shaved. By the time we were ready to leave he was dazzling.
On the way to the appointment I extolled all the benefits of life in the Western State and that took some embellishing seeing as I have never been there.
When we reached our destination Archie made me wait in the car. He didn’t want to be seen arriving with his mother. Fair enough. But as he was walking away I couldn’t resist yelling out that he should stand up straight, pull his shoulders back, be enthusiastic, humble but confident, look the director in the eye etc and by then Archie was just a speck in the distance.
Not ten minutes later Archie was on the phone. ‘Mum, I’m on my way back to the car. I didn’t get in.’ And he sounded very dejected.
He approached the car carrying his folder that contained a headshot, a biography, a resume and some glowing references. I gently asked, ‘What happened?’
And I couldn’t believe it.
Archie, because he’s been brung up proper, walked confidently into the room, looked the man in the eye and outstretched his hand. The man then leapt back, threw his hands in the air like he was being arrested and said, ‘I have no wish to be rude but I will not shake your hand because I am seeing six people an hour’. And then he stared at Archie. Archie was baffled to be sure but returned his hand to his side and said, ‘Fair enough’.
The man then said, ‘Sit down here so we can talk to you’. And Archie sat down opposite the director and a few others who weren’t introduced. Archie was asked some questions about his experience in the field that obviously considerably under whelmed the panel. The director then told Archie he needed to work full-time for two years in the industry then come back and re-apply. Archie asked if they would like to see his biography and the man said, ‘Not at all. You can go’.
So that was it. An opportunity dashed by a very unusual director. I have blogged before about weird interview experiences but treating an applicant like a leper and practically yelling out, ‘unclean, unclean’ by refusing to engage in the common and polite greeting of a firm handshake is now at the top of my list of bizarre interview experiences.
So Archie’s bedroom remains in a dire state and he won’t be packing his bags for the Western State any time soon.
These swirls are simple to make and look very festive with their miniature pudding features and holly made from glace cherries. The recipe I’ve used is based on a very old Elise Pascoe recipe that I first used when I was a teenager. I used to make these for my mother’s Christmas Parties and as gifts for neighbours and friends.
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: Inexpensive because most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry and these are a great way to use up leftover glace cherries.
60gms chopped butter
3 tbspns water
1 tspn vanilla extract
2 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup powdered milk
2 cups desiccated coconut
200gms dark cooking chocolate
Green and Red glace cherries for decoration
In a small saucepan combine butter and water and melt gently. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
In a medium sized bowl sift icing sugar and powdered milk. Add butter mixture and stir to combine. Add coconut and mix well.
Place teaspoons of mixture (rough looks better than neat balls) on a baking tray lined with cooking paper and place in the fridge for 20 mins.
Melt cooking chocolate gently in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Spoon a little chocolate over the top of each swirl and decorate immediately before the chocolate has time to harden with cherries cut into the shapes of green leaves and red berries.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.