Tag Archives: money

The Amanda Race

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The Amanda Race

Challenge number 28 on the Top 30 Countdown dared me to ‘Spend a week’s wage on a night out‘.

That’s my kind of “challenge”!

I umm’d and ahh’d about this one for pretty much the entire year. Should I gamble it all away on a single spin of the roulette wheel? Should I rent a stretch Hummer and drive around Sydney sipping champagne and lording it all over everyone? I even briefly considered an international trip, but thought better of it when I checked out my rather grim looking annual leave balance.

In the end I decided that the best way to blow a week’s wage would be to spend it all celebrating with my closest friends and family – so, last night, that’s exactly what I did!

… but not before running around Sydney dressed in a police outfit inviting strangers to dance ‘Gangnam Style’ for the camera…

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Horses for Courses

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Horses for Courses

Today, the “race that stops a nation” put pause to the busiest work day of my year. Where breakfast, Doctor Phil and lunch failed, the Melbourne Cup succeeded, and Andy and I enjoyed a brief interlude at the local watering hole to watch the race.

As is his style, Andy made no bets. He doesn’t believe in gambling and I’m told it has something to do with some distant relative losing a Scottish castle in a bet. Which is as good a reason as any to avoid flushing quantities of money down the toilet just because pretty ladies are wearing hats (but no shoes), and all the men are drunk.

I, on the other hand, did my national duty and sacrificed a crisp pineapple to the Turf Gods and I was duly rewarded when, for the first time in my life, I actually had a win on the Melbourne Cup!

Some might put this down to luck, but I put it down to my new betting style. You see, it used to be all about the colour of the jerseys. This year I had a new strategy…

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Hey, big spender!

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Hey, big spender!

List item number 28 requires me to spend an entire week’s wage on a night out. Boo-yeah!

Unfortunately, it’s my own wage I have to spend…

My good friend Kayne came up with the idea, rationalising that we used to do it all the time in our early 20s, so why not now? Of course, in my early 20s I didn’t have a mortgage and multiple craft habits to support, so times were different then…

Kayne and I met while working for the retail chain ‘Best & Less’ (I will leave it to you to decide which of those two adjectives describes the chain more accurately).

I’ve always been a bit of a “firecracker”, so it will come as no surprise to many of you that I didn’t always see eye-to-eye with Best & Less management. I was also a “snappy” dresser back in the day (by “snappy” I do mean daggy and flourescent), so on one particular occasion I found myself in a confrontation with a somewhat “black & white” store manager…

His name was Mathew, and he brought with him all the rage of a gout-addled middle manager. I remember our first staff meeting with Mathew starting something like this:

“My name is Mathew. Not Matt. Not Matty” … Well, hello to you too!

Don’t get me wrong, I was employee of the month when there was no prize for being employee of the month. I was a supervisor at age 16 (probably because I was the least likely to announce something inapprorpriate on the store P.A. system). My till was never unbalanced and eventually they even let me count the cash in the cash office. I was the very model of a modern retail general. I just really didn’t like “Mathew”.

Under ‘Mathew’s’ reign there were more ‘Lip Smackers’ stolen than sold, and usually by staff. (Not me, I hasten to add, although I didn’t exactly dob in the offenders either). I guess it was just the staff’s way of saying “Thanks for being a royal jerk”.

On this particular day, ‘Mathew’ was sitting by the roller doors, checking the staff’s bags as we commando-rolled under the doors for our daily escape. I’d never had a manager check my bag before (at least not for anything more than for show), and it really got under my skin. To add insult to injury, ‘Mathew’ farewelled me with “I expect to see you wearing matching socks on your next shift”.

The very nerve!

In a sea of black and white my inner child cried out for an expressive outlet, and my mutli-coloured mismatched socks (under my long black pants) were the little luxury I afforded myself. How dare he strip away the last vestige of my personality?!

So, I did the only thing I could do in the situation. I trilled, as loudly and cheerfully as I could, “‘Bye Matty!” then made my Macgyver-style escape under the roller door.

We never did discuss it again, but I didn’t change my sock habit. Eventually, he left the store for more monochrome pastures.

You might think I learned some sort of valuable life lesson from this experience, but I really didn’t. It’s just one of those memories that has stayed with me because of the thrill I felt at the time for stickin’ it to the man.

These days I earn above-minimum wage, so I tend to enjoy above-minimum respect from my colleagues as well. As far as I know, my current boss doesn’t have a problem with mismatched socks, so I think I’m onto a winner. In fact, I distinctly recall buying him all sorts of cartoon socks over a series of Fathers Days, so I should be pretty safe.

Back then, spending an entire week’s wage was pretty simple: Dine out, shout a couple of rounds, splurge on a taxi, all gone! These days it’s slightly more complicated, so I’m looking for suggestions on how best to blow my hard-earned on a single night out?

If you had just one night to spend your entire week’s wage, what would you blow it on?