Beata watches Luisa fussing with cups and spoons, sugar, napkins, tablecloth water glasses. She marvels at her cousin’s concentration on the minutiae of coffeemaking; feels the brandy numbing her head and arms; is relieved to surrender this moment of her life to this cousin who seems to know so clearly what to do and how … Continue reading Extended family
*** When Beata arrives at her cousin’s grocery store on this particular morning, it is just before ten a.m. and there are already some customers in the shop. Her first cousin Luisa and husband Matteo arrived in Melbourne five years before Beata, directly after getting married in Italy. They have no children and are buying … Continue reading Battered woman
‘Ey! Bea! Beatrice!’ Beatrice turned to see her friend Carmela, who was running to catch up with her. She stopped and waited to exchange a quick peck on both cheeks before they stepped together into the ornate wooden doorway that was the entrance of Ricki Reed. ‘Ciao, Carmela’ said Beatrice, ‘Come va?’ Carmela turned up … Continue reading Factory friends
She had been lucky to find the job at Ricki Reed. When they had landed in Melbourne, they had been met by her cousin Gina, Gina’s husband Dante and their two boys, Bruno and Guido, with whom they would share a house until, as Dante liked to say, ‘they were on their feet’. Gina and … Continue reading Piecework
'Eccolo, finalmente!' At 7:06am the 96 tram rattled to a halt in front of Beatrice and the six other passengers who all made their way from the footpath onto the road. The tram’s heavy wood and glass door shuddered open and the seven began an orderly climb up the two steps onto the carriage. A … Continue reading The 96: 1962
It’s not like I didn’t know that jobs were going to go. In 2013 the VC put out a press release about the cutting of 350 jobs. But, like my colleagues, I had no idea of the details. I had assumed that only underperforming staff would be affected. I was recently promoted to Associate Professor, … Continue reading Redundant: when work doesn’t work anymore.