running.jpgBefore crawling into bed Sunday night I shove the last tea towels into a ginormous laundry sack.

Lifting it up I can’t believe how heavy it is.

“There’s no way I’m going to be able to lug this thing on a tram then the five blocks to work without feeling like a scab,” I complain to Matthew. As if the fellow passengers can see that I’m doing the office washing for an extra 25 bucks a week.

He argues with me until I agree to let him drive me to work in the morning.

My office administration job started out as an alternative hospitality position: coffee-making rather than waiting tables. Daytime hours. More time to spend with the person I moved to Australia for.

Due to some- ah-hem- ‘staff turnover’, I’ve been receptioning, training, learning and invoicing- on top of coffee-making. None of these new duties came with a raise. So I asked about one.

There were three of us staff doing the work of a previously five-person crew.

“Ohhhhh, welllll”…I was told, “ that’s going to be difficult because what you didn’t realize is that you were supposed to be doing this stuff the whole time.”

And “You can do the laundry for an extra 25 dollars a week.” So I said yes.

At least I asked for a raise. First time ever.


At the time it seemed like something. But I realized that 25 dollars a week (which MIGHT buy you lunch in Melbourne) isn’t worth the two loads of laundry, water, soap and all that weekend time. Better to just cook my own lunch to save a few bucks.

Thanks, but no thanks. It’s not going to work for me. This is the first and last time I will do your enormous load of laundry.

I’ll be holding my head up high from now on, walking to work unburdened.

Author: dawnrieniets

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2 thoughts on “Moving Forward With Baggage

  1. Warm and friendly is always more satisfying than cold and demanding. It is also usful in avoiding lonliness in your relationships.

    Posted on August 19, 2010 at 10:20 pm
  2. I felt the same about my mother growing up. Sometimes it's still hard to remember that she is the way she is because she had to be.

    Posted on September 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm