Medicals for work – perhaps as a Rocket Scientist

We had our medicals for work this week. The first was at the Grafton Medical Centre and took close to two hours each. We were weighed and measured. We were tested for asthma. We had our hearing and sight tested. We had our balance tested. This involved standing barefooted in one spot for 30 seconds with our eyes closed – not as easy as it sounds.

We were given a breathalyser to ensure we were alcohol free. All our reflexes were tested and our limbs and joints tested to make sure they all worked well and could rotate in all the directions they’re supposed to rotate in. We had to squat walk across a room, and we had to touch our toes. We provided urine samples which was checked for protein and other possible abnormalities. Our blood pressure was taken, and all our medication checked and noted.

Then the appointment was made for two days later for drug screening. We were separately taken into cubicles where we were required to wash our hands without using soap, then presented with a tray of specimen containers and requested to pick one. They weren’t allowed to hand us one! The cubicles had a toilet one side and wash basin the other which were separated by a curtain. On route to the cubical I had to lock my handbag in a cupboard, I wasn’t allowed it with me in the cubical. We were both required to empty our pockets.

Then with the curtain half drawn we were required to pee into the container whilst the Dr stood about two feet away on the other side of the curtain making sure we didn’t substitute a drug free sample for our own. Again we had to list all medications both prescription and non prescription that had been taken over the last month. We were again breathalysed for alcohol.

It was a surreal type of experience. We think we’ve applied for seasonal work on the wheat silos. It’s usually around an eight week season, the work is laborious, and we’ll be working in hot, dusty conditions. It’s repetitive, unskilled work and is amongst the lowest paid type of work in the country. It’s akin to fruit picking basically. Anyway that’s what we think we’ve applied for. But after the tests we’re not so sure. Perhaps they have us earmarked for something really amazing – perhaps we’ll be working as Rocket Scientists!

How absolutely bazaar. The mind boggles….

4 thoughts on “Medicals for work – perhaps as a Rocket Scientist

  1. I have only recently found your travel log, so I have much reading and catching up to do.
    I can see that things have moved amazingly quickly over the past year.
    The drive from Darwin to Newcastle sounds like a major change to your plans. I am very relieved
    that you managed to get the repairs done and other mechanical problems sorted.
    Sounds like a good idea to find work if it turns up as you go rather than making major travel to
    go to it.
    I have only read as far as early August, so I look forward to many more interesting episodes .
    The results and photo’s of the fishing expeditions look great.

    Hope you continue safe and well & wishing you both good luck,

    Cousin Stephen


    1. Hi Cousin Stephen
      Pleased to hear you’re able to catch up on our blog. As you will read later, we have an almost 8 week trip planned in April/May next year to the UK, with a side trip into Italy. It’ll be great to have more time there than the usual rush visit when Paul was working full time. Must say, it is wonderful not to be locked into 48 weeks of the year at work. We will have time this time to catch up properly with everyone.
      C & P


  2. Yes it certainly sounds like you are applying to be Rocket Scientists…. What a performance. It would put a lot of people off applying having to go through that performance.
    Garry is leading a short walk here tomorrow (Port Hills) starting at 10am & will finish approx. 2pm.
    We are doing a 3 day walk in the Kaikoura region in Feb & our big pack is carried from farm to farm. We just carry a day pack. Our youngest Grandaughter Maddison, was 7 2wks ago & she is getting quite tall now. Her feet are staring to grow quicker too. I start getting Super mid Nov so I am looking forward to that. I only work 2-3days a week now. Casual on call. Michael has his apt for the prostate operation early Dec so that’s good. It’s a small op & he has had it done before. Garry had it done too. It’s good reading all about your adventure. Keep it up.

    Love Marie xx


    1. Pleased to hear you are both enjoying the tramping still. Sounds like Garry’s picked up his frequency now, which is no doubt a good thing.

      Does Michael have an enlarged prostate, or is it cancer?

      Is it likely to be hot in February for your Kaikoura walk?

      Yes, the intensity of the medicals and general rigmarole for the grain silo jobs must put people off. And you know what, they’re always short staffed and say they can’t get people to go there to work. I wonder how many people are like us – perfectly willing, but they just make it too hard to be bothered. We don’t mind going through it once as we’re hoping we’ll get repeat work from it in future seasons. We’d like to work around 4 – 5 months a year, so a season in SA and another in Qld on the silos would suit us perfectly. But we have to see if it’s acceptable work first though before we decide to give it a repeat.


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