Interview challenge: day 29, 30 and 31

This is the end of my challenge, but I am only half way through my interviews. Yes, only half way and no transcripts done so far. My family holidays were planned, but I didn’t expect I would not have time to reflect on research. Good thing we are back home tonight, meaning time to get back to uni work from tomorrow. First thing first, clean study area and wash holiday clothes, download recordings and a nice home cooked family dinner.

We arrived in Toowoomba last night after three days driving from Canberra. We stopped at Dubbo Zoo, spent the night at the local pub and had a great time meeting the Zoo locals. Then off to Moree, spent the night at the caravan park and had two sessions at the artesian waters. In Qld we stopped in Stanthorpe, had dinner an the Italian diner and drove to Nana last night.

As usual ‘no faltaba el pelo en la sopa’, mr grumpy ended up grumpy after all the driving, feeling all unloved and unappreciated. What a bore, but I guess I must be grateful for all his help with mum, setting up her internet, fixing her phone and making the money transfers. Ok two weeks of togetherness may be just too much, but it was lovely having the family together again.  Road trips rock!

Ps. I just realised that mid-way through this challenge I changed the title from interview to survey challenge.  The right title should be INTERVIEW!  Must come up with another challenge for next month.  Transcript challenge?



Survey challenge: day 28

Almost to the end of this challenge and I am yet to get 5-7 more interviews. Granted I already have 3 more up my sleeve and could easily get up to 2 non-chain more, but I am still missing grower, retailer and importer. Debating yet whether to travel to Ayr.

Right now we are in Country NSW Dubbo. Real rural town with all the rednecks of any Aussie town, just like old Toowoomba. Lovely little place. Going to the Zoo then heading back home. Still 8-10 hours before we get to our city.


Survey challenge: day 25

Got agreement for another 2 interviews. That will make it to 10 the interviews done or booked to be done. I really need to interview growers, retailer and exporter. If only I had 4-5 more that would be fantastic! How do I get to chat to real growers? Or retailers? Exporters I know that would be harder, but growers?

Yesterday we didn’t go to Bondi, boys preferred to go to Chinatown for lunch. Then went out around Darling Harbour, and at night went out for dinner at the Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant in the city. Great time and lovely weather. Even a Brazilian festival in town. Today we are off to cold Canberra. Looking forward to seeing friendly faces and getting out of this crazed traffic.

We are leaving Mosman soon, lovely area if you can afford it. Our airbnb was a great find. The Colombia it was meant to be.


Interview challenge: day 24

Just had a wonderful breakfast in the North Shore of Sydney, then went to Kirribilly House, the official residence of the PM of Australia.  The views are amazing. No wonder why the 0.01% want to defend their way of living and see the rest of us, partícularly us brownies, as a threat.

Trying to take boys out for another walk around Sydney. Thinking we should go around Bondi Beach. Boys are insoportable, responding back, not wanting to do anything or go anywhere, just bhaving like entitled kids. The silver lining is knowing that their kids will do the same to them. I do love those brats though, put up with all the whining when travelling because exploring the world is the best for them. That’s how memories are formed, stories are told and traditions are created. Life is good.  Our little place in Mosman resulted to be the best spot for exploring Sydney, close to the ferry and plenty of buses. Boys happy watching TV and wifi, even a Macca’s around the corner. Perfection.

Another break from PhD work, great times. Although I am thinking that I should go tomorrow to the Flemington markets to explore horticulture product into Sydney.

Survey challenge: day 23

Weekend!! We are in bed still in our small apartment is Mosman, a little enclave North of Sydney. Beautiful grand houses, shops, coffee houses, trendy bars, parks, bush walks and the Sydney Bay.  Great living if you had $10m+ for a house.  Still good to know how the other 0.01% live.

In Australia the politicians have given the people the ‘right’ to participate in a non-binding, non-compulsory survey for us to give an opinion on whether gay people have the same rights as non-gay. I am upset about this imposition of the Parliament on us, worse it is all because the PM doesn’t want to loose the support of the party and give it to the ex-MP. Political survival at the expense of national harmony. I’m starting to feel it personally, because I am so upset to be receiving emails and msgs asking me to support the NO campaign. Very upset with my friends and family for being so fucking stupid, upset with me for being upset with them. All thanks to our elected representatives. I don’t want to start a debate with them because I don’t want to be disrespectful calling then bloody uneducated biggots, particularly the younger ones. People that are divorced, using contraception, having affairs, sex before marriage, abortions … now talking about the sanctity of marriage in a civil court, WTF?? That double moral makes my blood boil. I agree as a Catholic you may not want gay marriage in the church, but as a legal marriage in the civil court, what’s the fucking issue? Above all I believe in the separation church – state.

No time for PhD work, I am on holidays anyway. 

Interview challenge: day 22

We are here in Sydney, Australia. After more that 15 hours driving we arrived this afternoon in beautiful Watson Bay. I must say that 50% or more of the time I spent it worrying about the driving, so I didn’t get to enjoy the road. I am worried about tomorrow’s drive from here to the other hotel on the other side of town, besides I need to pick up Boy 1 from airport and take hubby to conference.  So anxious!! 

As for PhD work today I had a day off. Great! I got 7 interviews, but still at least 5-8 interviews.  Only have 2 extra interviews booked, so really need to book 3-6 interviews. Tonight I have to send the one message. 

Interview challenge: day 20

Feeling over the moon right now! I GOT THE JOB! Yes, just got a letter of offer: permanent A07, meaning a made it to the +$100k club. It took me almost 14 years to get this far, some people get here in a couple of years, but me working part-time, funny accent brown skin, I just had to put that bit more of extra effort. Also, as always you need to have someone who can give you a hint when there is an opening, for me it was one of my ex-bosses who suggested I applied for this role, just to gain high level experience. Thanks KC, your advice was so valuable, and thanks to my current boss, colleagues, family who have provided so much support. Thank you Lord, you have responded to my prayers. I will cherish this opportunity and share the fruits of my labour. The role is demanding, but ‘enjoyable’. Enjoy the pain. Feeling very grateful.

As for the interviews, it has gone so well so far. Today’s interview was an eye opener. Plenty of good information. With my interviews yesterday got what I wanted: an invite to North Queensland, plus ok to run surveys with the industry database. The need to visit a DC plus Qantas terminals very important after today’s interviews. I hope I van get an introduction to a QC in Brisbane. Tomorrow off to the Sunshine Coast. My little boy is going camping tomorrow morning, must pack up today.


Interview challenge: day 18

Beautiful Sunday! Cleaning, cooking and wining. Perfect spring day with good old friends. My oldest friend and her daughters lots of laughter and memories. My cooking was awesome: classic Italian osso buco and potato mash with gremolata, yum, yum.

Boy 1 is growing fast and become quite aggressive, almost had a domestic with dad. All is a pain and too much work. I am finding really hard dealing with his teenagers moods. All I needed a hormonal boy plus mum!! Brother called to say that mum was looking for a receipt because I was angry she’s lost it! She’s imagining it because I hadn’t even spoken to her. I think I am angry that dementia has finally caught up with her. I am so angry at life, at fate, at God. How cruel, after all the pain and suffering to end up like this: lonely, bitter and lost.

No PhD work today and it was good. Two interviews tomorrow.

Interview challenge: day 17

No interview today, my interviewee had to go to a funeral in NQ, and will likely reschedule for late September.  I am contemplating asking her for help with growers, as no much luck yet locating growers that may be interested in participating in the study.  Granted I have not approached one yet, but will do after a couple more interviews.   I tried to contact retailer plus IT provider, we’ll see if I get a response.

I had I good old chat with with supervisors, who commented in lack of enunciation when talking. He is deaf of one hear and finds it hard to understand my accent, also I speak to fast with high pitch.  I was taken aback by his comment, but was not offended as I do think he is right, and I need to work on my pronunciation and slow down when talking. Anyway, we were taking about the preliminary research and had a discussion on what people were saying and how that related to my thesis.  I was asked to go back to my basic model, so I don’t get lost with all the data. Good idea I think. I will read again on model and come up with a good definition for trust.  Maybe I am working on this as a project again, forgetting this is all about academic research and theories are paramount.  Still so much to learn.

On a positive note, I am on holidays from today. Got three weeks to concentrate on my studies and family. Got 10 days straight for PhD research, a luxury for a part-time student. Got 12 days of blissful holidays with the boys, visiting some of the most beautiful parts in the country, a big drive.  On the way, I am sure I’ll be reading, thinking, listening to the interview – I will have 7 recordings – and exploring how to integrate it all.  There will be 11 days holidays, with lost of PhD work in the middle.  I just wish I could stop and talk to someone in Canberra with expertise in horticulture and digital agriculture.

By the way, before leaving on leave I asked my boss about the outcome of my job interview, but could not tell me because an interview panel member was in hospital and she hadn’t finished her scoring. So more waiting at least another 3 weeks until I am back from leave. What a pain! He gave me a small hint in the positive, but nothing concrete.