Samuel’s Year 12 Graduation Mike Jeffreys Goes On Holidays

So many words, but which one applies?

December 16th, 2005 at 11:57pm

Sometimes it is hard to decide which word is appropriate for a particular circumstance, and today I found myself debating one such occurrence. You see, today I was deemed to be overqualified for my job, which upset me quite considerably, and saw me break down in tears, which is probably quite understandable considering that it came as a complete surprise. After a while (and after clearing out my desk), I left and had a coffee, which certainly helped to settle me a bit, I won’t say it cheered me up, because there really wasn’t much to be all that cheery about, but it did make me feel better.

While I was having this coffee, the radio, which is vaguely audible from where I was sitting, started to play a familiar song, which has in some ways become the song by which this day will be remembered. The song was a Rod Stewart song, namely “Sailing”. The reason I recognised this is that The Cuckoo’s Nest performed an adaption of it called “We Are Whaling”, this was a satirical view of Japan’s continued whaling in and around Australian waters. Of course, I also know the Rod Stewart song, but the tune sticks out clearly thanks to The Cuckoo’s Nest. Incidentally, John Kerr (or was it Stuart Bocking?) played Sailing in the last week.

Also while I was having my drink, I started to think about how I would describe my overqualified end of employment, was I sacked or retrenched or fired, or something else all together? The official term was “terminated”, but that is a fairly neutral word, which didn’t really express the circumstances. Sacked could work, but that is generally used for an employer’s dissatisfaction with an employee or a downsizing of the workforce, whilst that could apply, it didn’t sound right. Fired is very much a negative punishment word, and seeing as I wasn’t reprimanded or told that I had done something wrong, that certainly doesn’t fit. Retrenched is also not relevant as the job hasn’t disappeared (to the best of my knowledge). I did ponder this for a while, but didn’t really reach a conclusion.

Afterwards I went to Woden and met my bus driver friend, who I had lunch with, and spent most of the afternoon with. This was a great help, as it helped me take my mind off things, and cheered me up considerably.

This evening I went about searching for the Rod Stewart song I had heard later in the day, as I wasn’t sure of its name. Upon finding it I played it, which made me burst out in tears again. It isn’t the song which is sad, but the memories which are now associated with it. I have now discovered just how hard it is to officially leave something which seemed to be going well, and people who were very nice.

I am now likely to take a break until the new year, when I will start looking for a job again, hopefully this time I won’t be “overqualified”.

I seem to be having difficulty ending this post, so I’m going to let Rod Stewart do it, here is Rod Stewart with Sailing, the honourary song of the day.

I am sailing, I am sailing,
Home again ’cross the sea.
I am sailing, stormy waters,
To be near you, to be free.

I am flying, I am flying,
Like a bird ’cross the sky.
I am flying, passing high clouds,
To be with you, to be free.

Can you hear me, can you hear me
Thro’ the dark night, far away,
I am dying, forever crying,
To be with you, who can say.

Can you hear me, can you hear me,
Thro’ the dark night far away.
I am dying, forever crying,
To be with you, who can say.

We are sailing, we are sailing,
Home again ’cross the sea.
We are sailing stormy waters,
To be near you, to be free.

Oh lord, to be near you, to be free.
Oh my lord, to be near you, to be free.
Oh lord, to be near you, to be free.
Oh lord.


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  • 1. mark  |  December 17th, 2005 at 6:09 am

    firstly, my condolences on your termination. At the risk of upsetting you further though, it seems to me that this ‘overqualification’ thing sounds like a bit of a red herring. Did they say what qualifications you had that put you ‘over’ what was required for the job? It seems strange that such qualifications did not emerge at the application stage. As I say, my suspicion is effectively that they terminated you for some other reason entirely. If so, I imagine it would be worth your while determining what that reason was so that you can aboid such unexpected terminations in future! Still, of course such formative employment experiences will always be a time for learning.

  • 2. Tom  |  December 17th, 2005 at 8:34 am

    I hate to say this Samuel, but employers usually use the term ‘overqualified’ as a kinder way of saying ‘you’re fired’. I mean you’re a student. How qualified can you be?

  • 3. roy  |  December 17th, 2005 at 9:28 am

    I am appalled. What a bum rap. Hard to know what’s going on. But ‘overqualified? Employers possibly think that they can save time in the long run by making sure they have a perfect match for the job. But it’s hard to take.

    Hey, when one door closes another door opens. So they say.

  • 4. Samuel  |  December 17th, 2005 at 9:34 am

    I did find “overqualified” to be slightly odd, but I’m going to take their word for it. I am aware of the usage of overqualified as a generic kindness word, I don’t know whether that applies here or not, and I’m not going to pursue the matter. I might not be so kind in the future though.

  • 5. John B1_B5  |  December 17th, 2005 at 2:36 pm

    Sounds like they weren’t worth working for anyway , if they treat people like that .

  • 6. Samuel  |  December 17th, 2005 at 2:43 pm

    Don’t get me wrong here, the staff were very friendly and fun to work with, that being said, you have a very valid point John, hopefully the next job will last more than two weeks!

    As I said it was a surprise to me, but I am willing to put it behind me and move on, there is little point in dwelling on it as it can’t be changed and was a good two weeks overall.

  • 7. thatsallfolks  |  December 17th, 2005 at 4:09 pm

    Sam, I’m really sorry to hear about you losing your job. It’s such a shame that with so many school-leavers out there struggling to find employment that you are now thrust back into that situation after succesfully getting a job so quickly after year 12. I wish you luck in your future endeavours and sincerely hope that the ‘overqualified’ reason they gave you wasn’t a mask for something else.
    Keep your chin up.

  • 8. seepi  |  December 18th, 2005 at 1:19 pm

    Bad luck Sam.
    I’d say they wanted someone to cheerfully do boring admin tasks, with a tiny bit of IT (excel spreadsheets and the like) thrown in.
    They could probably tell you preferred the IT work.
    Most people have a few blips with those first jobs – good luck with finding something better next year.

  • 9. sarah  |  December 18th, 2005 at 8:43 pm

    Aww Sam that sucks, you seem like a decent kid. I found when I left school all they wanted were brain dead teenagers who would be all “yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir” and do nothing but the grunt work, maybe if you work against that you’re overqualified.

    Now about that Rod Stewart song, I ALWAYS cry when I hear that. We used to have to sing it in kindergarten and that was the time that my parents were breaking up so I’d bawl my eyes out while we were singing and even now (14 years later!) I still do. Let it all out buddy, its good for you. And better luck next time.

  • 10. Samuel  |  December 18th, 2005 at 10:55 pm

    seepi, that sounds quite applicable.

    sarah, If that’s an employers definition of overqualified then I’m in serious trouble, although I know a few people who will go a very long way!

    That Rod Stewart song has a very memorable tune, which probably helps it to attach itself to memories, the fact that it is a slow song is also rather emotion inducing.

    Hopefully next time will go a bit better.

  • 11. heatseeker  |  December 19th, 2005 at 9:38 am

    Find out where all the management live and get Nattie to lay a cable on their front lawn …

  • 12. jam tart  |  December 20th, 2005 at 11:18 am

    Sam, I’m sorry to hear about this. You have such a good attitude though and I think this will see you through anything. Keep smiling!


December 2005

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