When I was 17, I tried to get a job in a CD shop. My Mum had seen an advert for a job at Rokeby Records in the paper and encouraged me to apply. Since I hated my job at Croissant Express, and loved indie music, band t-shirts and those little noticeboards with little handwritten adverts like "Bass Player Wanted for Funk Covers Band: Must Have Own Bass” it seemed like a dream worth fighting for. Over the next week I laboured over my job application, listing my achievements in the fast food industry and re-drafting my covering letter in an attempt to express that while I was both highly skilled and self-starting, I would also be delighted to work for bottom of the rung youth wages.
On Saturday morning, I caught the train into Perth and then another train towards Subiaco. I got off the train and walked down Rokeby Road, staring at my abject reflection in every shop window along the way. By the time I got there I had sweat patches under my arms, which I tried to vent for a couple of minutes in a side street by pretending to stretch.
When I finally went inside, I walked straight towards the back CD rack where I stood spying on the guy working at the counter. He was in his mid-twenties, with a goatee and an emerging beer belly. I took a deep breath and went up to him. “Hi. Uh, I saw the job ad and wanted to apply?” He looked me up and down, and said nothing. I wasn't sure what to do next, soI slid my application across the counter. He picked it up and scanned my covering letter, honing in on the part where I'd outlined by five favourite bands in descending order, starting with Nirvana and ending in Mercury Rev. "Yeah, I used to like this kind of stuff a few years ago. I'm more into electro stuff now” he said, placing my application back on my side of the counter. "Oh yeah, well I’m definitely into that stuff too." I replied. "What kind of stuff?" he asked. I glanced over at the Album of the Week display. "Um, The Avalanches?" I said, having vaguely heard of them. “Yeah, but everyone likes The Avalanches right now” he said. It was at that moment when I realized I wasn't going to get the job. “Anyway, I’ll pass your resume on to the manager” he said. He opened a drawer and put my application inside. I thanked him and walked out. As I walked back towards the station, I couldn’t decide if I hated him or myself more.
I never did get a job in a CD shop. I did end up getting that Avalanches album though, and I thought it was really good, even if everyone else thought so too.