As the cups of tea were drank and the job applications flew around the internet I eventually landed a not so dream job at McDonald’s in the heart of Bradford. I am not sure the time it took to achieve the breakthrough but as with any job search when you are desperate, there are days that the rejection gets discouraging. There were times I didn’t do any job hunts because I instead switched things up to exploring my new surroundings. This moment was exciting on one hand. It brought a sense of contentment to have been considered more seriously and I looked beyond what the job may entail, to the flexibility now on offer with the money working there would provide.
There was an interview, then a rather lengthy food and health safety quiz, a paper work follow up appointment and eventually my first day. I would work the “quieter” hours from about 17:00 to midnight while I got familiar with the expectations of the job and could get to know the people next to me. I was surprised to find people there for all kinds of reasons. Most were young people for first-ever jobs, some were 20 or 30 somethings who had worked there for years and climbed the ranks quickly into leader roles and even a senior man who I believe came looking for a job after being laid off. He needed the money and was not quite of retirement age.
And then along comes me. An Australian guy in his mid twenties.
“Wh…Why are you here when you could be there?” –
“Have you got family here or something?”
Some would ask.
“Why have you come to Bradford, of all places?”
“Australia has a lot of spiders, right? Is that why you moved?”
The questions were persistent. It was clear to everybody else, I had a lot to answer for. People could not understand the logic.
I remember feeling then and often to this day a bit saddened that people of assorted ages around Bradford do not think much of where they live. No sense of pride or optimism for their home city. Where I came from there were of course, people who were never happy with the patch of grass they occupied. Always looking across the fence. Blame was upon somebody else for the way things were and they could not lift their eyes off the ground to see the blessings they had in front of them. The majority, however, loved the little place of Mount Gambier. South Australia had a great number of terrific people. It had quirks yet character. It was full of people who loved to be able to say they were from the south east for this and that reason.