Ethan Switch - Friday, 28 July 2006
Vultures, the lot of them. Rabid packs of high school students on one of the cheapest and lamest excursions imaginable run the floor of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. Barging and bumping over each other, no sense of order and talking like the drunks ambling out of last night's gig.
At least five sets of blazer colours are on the run and they hamper the flow of traffic by camping out in the entrance. If not setting non-existent camp fires, they clump together like sweat down the back of a nice pure cotton T-shirt.
Never knowing exactly the point of a job and/or careers expo, the minimal saving grace of a day's jaunt through the gauntlet is the pittance of freebies, goodies and trinkets from the exhibitors. Many of which come branded with whatever relevant details of the organisation behind their appearance.
The mission is simple: Walk the floor of the expo. Stop by a stand or stall only for as long as it takes to pick up a trinket. Leaflets and reading material is poison. Move on to the next. Repeat. When done, walk out back through the doors. Avoid making eye contact as much as possible and skirt the groups as sanely approachable.
Partly due to the fact that the swarm moves in waves, there is only a short window to join in the grab fest before standing there alone and facing the spokesperson.
Eleven minutes later, the haul:
Australia Post yo-yo
Extremely light self-returning with an imperial design bearing a plastic axle. Great for looping tricks, not so hot for the string. Lagging defects on the construction of the axle will rip through the fibres of a string quick smart. Watch it fly and hit someone in the face as the lights blink up on inertia. Or as the halves spin out of their lock, the construction doesn't seem all that great.
Salvation Army Employment Plus pen
Sporting a light torpedo shell the pen is retractable and clean. Inner shaft sticking with a yellow residue. Extremely fragile considering the head breaking up on light twisting. Closer inspection sees the spring load shoot both ends out and over the floor. Slogan states, "Even if the pen gives up, we never will." But what about a complete break down?
JobSearch bag, pads and flick pen
Like a bell-bottom flare, the tote bag, so the craze with all the horrors and evils of plastic, curves inward at the top. Looks fatter than it appears. Or even worse.
Pads of A5 paper in their orderly stacking makes for an easy snatch of five. Grey watermarks all over make sure that the branding of Australia is right. Little overall in the way of being a nuisance, really. Worthwhile pick up.
Pens on the other hand, come dragging plastic and an awkward design with no mind for ease of writing. Flicking open the hook, the shaft of the pen pokes out, pulling out from the foreskin. Lack of form proves a challenge in writing down false addresses.
MyCareer bottle opener
Not only just a bottle opener, but a ring pull flipper as well. Laziness of the second half of it not entirely apparent until squinting for the fine print embossed on the plastic mould. Inference is solid, spot on. Drinking away the pains of a 9 to 5, there is always a possibility that the fridge will not stock only twist tops. Drink up and drink away, it's the cancer of living in society that breeds this.
The disease of WorkChoices is spreading. Nicely done packs ready for the taking linger on the table top. Unloved and unwanted by even the most undiscerning of the younger set. Beauty tips and massages don't make it out well from the floor.
Eleven minutes in and out, a quick and dirty haul great for not working another year.
One boy at a stand asks, "Do I have to fill in my address?" "Yes," replies the man. Especially considering it is for a bumper information pack that will arrive through the post.