Completing our 88 days!

by Kate Moran
Completing our 88 days

Working at the factory was hell. 

Ok it wasn’t that bad, but it was mind numbingly boring, for me anyway. Charles seemed to enjoy his new ‘man’ual role and we did complete our 88 days!  

I wouldn’t even know where to start with explaining exactly what our roles consisted of, other than occasionally being shouted at for talking. 

Basically, the males would operate the machines and lift the boxes/bags of potatoes onto crates ready for dispatching. Females would grade the potatoes (good or bad) and clean.

I got used to standing still for hours on end, sometimes working 13 hour days (just standing still, literally).

The deepest thoughts and wildest day dreams. 

I would find myself thinking about past events wondering if I made the right choices, thinking about the friends and family I should call. I would day dream about leaving the factory and finally being able to travel (and I’d always day dream about food!).

The factory (or maybe just regional work in Australia) was sexist. Women to do one job, and males another- regardless of own personal strengths. I sometimes felt frustrated and it took me a while to ignore this. 

As well as a backpacker, being a female backpacker was hard when completing our 88 days. 

Managers would decide who was to work based on their gender. Charles, for example worked more than I, giving me days off at home.

If you would like to read the Australian law about discrimination click here…

Apart from this, we met so many like minded backpackers, all trying to further their visa’s and remain in this beautiful country for another year. 

We ending up working at the factory for nearly four straight months, with minimal (or sometimes a lot of hours) some weeks. Little trips away to Sydney and the UK meant it took us a lot longer than we had initially planned. 

We received text messages from the Supervisors after the days work had finished, telling us when to be in the work the following morning. Sometimes we would receive the text message as late as 5pm, asking us to start work the following day at 5am. 

Sometimes we would pray for a day off in the week, after working 12 hours the day before, we would long for a lay in. Other times we would be hoping for more hours, we never knew which way this sided. 

On Thursday 17th April 2018, we did it! We finally completed our 88 days, and we skipped out of the factory forever. 

Although, my experience wasn’t enlightening I am grateful for the opportunity, the factory has given me. Charles and I can now explore, travel and enjoy every minute in Australia. 

First stop The Nullarbor Plain- read here:

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