|One of the company's new chicken sheds. Port Wakefield, South Australia|
At work, I have more than enough in front of me, my plate is so full! 24/7. Shed alarms on my mobile phone (ringing even if I'm in the supermarket), feed stocktake, feed ordering, dozens of work-related phone calls in a day, bird weighing, night-time harvest (5 nights a week), daily mortality collection, water supply problems, hot temperature... No excuses, no day off, and no right to take a legitimate sickie unless it's really bad.
The farm capacity has doubled since December 2010- from 250,000 to 500,000 chickens... and until now the company is still struggling to find a qualified person to complete our staff so we can easily run the 'show'. There are qualified people out there but the next question is their interest or willingness to work and live in a secluded place like this- nothing but ten chicken sheds, fifteen grain silos, and four water tanks standing in the middle of the infinite, auburn South Australian plain... a modern chookery in a small town located 98 kilometres northwest of the city with the population of 600 people.
And just like in the previous years, I am facing the same challenge- I am in captivity! I am a captive of my ambitions- so powerful that I cannot just easily or instantly leave this job at this point of time until I am totally cleared of any immigration issue. Don't get me wrong, I like the work experience here (dealing with this state-of-the-art chicken farming facility, probably one of the best in the world), I wanted to stay longer... I am just in a desperate need of an assistant; and every time our job offer was turned down, I am considering to pack up- which is not and will never be a good option at all.
Seventy-nine days more to go... and as I get closer, and closer to my eligibility for Australian citizenship, the 'game' is getting tougher; really, really tougher! I am seriously tired, and honestly, I don't know how much further can I go.
(By the way, happy new year and happy Valentine's day to all!)