And as soon as people find out about it, he gets hit up for a job.
"Oh, yes," They say. "I've been thinking about getting a job in The Mines." And then They look at him expectantly.
This happens to my sister, as well. And just about everyone else we know in mining.
And it drives us nuts.
Because IF YOU WERE SERIOUS, you would have made enquiries.
You would have made some kind of effort to find out what jobs were available, what you felt you had qualifications for, or what you might be interested in pursuing.
You would have looked into the different kinds of mining (open-cut and underground) and you might have looked into the pros and cons of working FIFO.
IF YOU'RE NOT THAT SERIOUS, why would we want to hire you?
'Mining' is not 'a job'. It's a fairly generic term, and could describe any kind of work, from minesite cleaner to truck-driver to air-legger to mining engineer to rehabilitation personnel to secretary to kitchen staff and the list goes on and on.
And 'The Mines' could be anywhere.
You might have to live in a camp up in the north-west of WA, or you might be able to travel home every day in Queensland.
You might be out in the sun all day or you might be underground for up to 12 hours at a time.
You might be working permanent night-shift or you might work a regular 9-5, Monday to Friday week.
Part of the irritation comes from unreal expectations created by the media. Reports of huge money across the sector often come with the words 'unskilled labour' attached.
Well, that's a mis-nomer. It certainly doesn't mean you can go from hairdressing in a little salon in Perth to earning $200k a year in a week.
Our guys are VASTLY skilled. We value their expertise and experience, and we know how hard they've worked to get where they are today. That's why we pay them so well. They're worth every penny of it.
I'm going to get off my soapbox now, before I start frothing at the mouth. I could actually rant about this (and other mining related issues) all day -- but I won't. I promise.
I'll save some for another day!