Here we are in Pinnaroo, a little wheat belt town almost at the border of South Australia (SA) and Victoria, on the SA side. We’re here for a couple of months for that dreaded thing called ‘WORK’.
We arrived last Wednesday and are staying in the local caravan park. To say it wouldn’t win awards would be an understatement, but that’s awards for being the best, or the worst of caravan parks. It’s adequate for it’s clientele which is predominantly seasonal workers. We are luckier than many here for the wheat season in that our caravan is self contained and we don’t have to use the amenities. There’s also a considerable amount of backpackers here working on the potato crops.
We did our compulsory induction last Friday, which is the usual type of box ticking induction to say the company has followed due process in relation to safety training. Paul went in yesterday to the Bunker trainer induction, and is in again today helping to get the bunkers ready for the crops when they start coming into the silos. The expectation is this will commence next week. So, between our on line training, both inductions and Paul’s shift today we’ve more than covered this weeks expenses and our bank account should have altered direction from it’s downward spiral.
It’s up around 40 degrees today and Paul will be outside working on hot concrete in the open. I wonder if it’ll mean a short end to our careers on the wheat silos! I suspect not – he’s built of sturdy stuff is ‘my Paul’. I do feel for him though, it must be a rude finish to that which has been an idealic eight months. I’m sitting inside the caravan with the air conditioning blasting away and writing this.
We are yet to find out what our main jobs will be. Indications are Paul will be operating the Hopper, which we think is where the wheat is unloaded and which then transports the wheat along to be unloaded into the bunker. I think I’m going to be entering the data in relation to the grade of wheat and completing the paperwork for the farmers, and on occasion operating the weigh bridge. I’ll be predominantly in an air conditioned office. As yet though, it’s all about as clear as mud, but time will bring clarification to the process of work on the wheat silos I’m sure.
We’ll be working shifts alternating between 6.30am to 3pm shift for the first week, and 2.30pm till the last truck is processed on the second week. The trucks have to be in the queue by 8.30pm but often it can be as late as midnight when the processing and clean up is finished. We’ll be working 6 days a week. But, it’s only for a couple of months and with shift allowances and penalty rates hopefully it’ll go a long way to paying for our UK and Italian holiday next year.
We each have uniforms, boots, hard hats etc supplied. Mine were the wrong size so I’m waiting for replacements. When mine arrives I’ll post some real ‘glamour photos’ of us both in our top of head to tip of toe, high viz cover up clothing. No reason why you can’t all have a laugh with us, and at us in our cat walk gear!!