Countless people in South Australia’s media and corporate sectors would have come across Ammi Trainor, the dedicated Marketing and Communications Manager at Variety the Children’s Charity. Ammi is part of the team promoting Variety’s cause, drumming up support for its many events and working with partners and sponsors to elevate Variety’s work. As we’ll see below, Ammi has always had a thirst for hard work …
What part-time jobs did you have, growing up?
My older brothers always had part-time jobs as I was growing up so I started as soon as I was legally allowed to work – Hungry Jacks at the age of 14…. “Please say your order slowly into the microphone as I am only learning…” Wow the customers had a lot of fun with that! Some weekend shifts I had to work all night until 6am and my poor mother used to have to drive and pick me up. It continued from there to retail (fastest check-out chick ever!) and then it got really interesting when I discovered the jobs board at Uni.
One of my best friends still teases me about how I roped her into a list of odd jobs such as counting cars at Elizabeth shopping centre (we got hit on by a bunch of teenage guys who sat down with us and a carton of beer) and dressing up in funny costumes for Carclew Arts. The best one was I saw an ad for facepainters…. “how hard can it be?” I thought. My friend exclaimed, ‘’Ammi, you need to actually learn how to facepaint! You can’t just slap paint on kids’ faces and hope for the best!” “Oh, yeah right…”
What scares you?
I had a fear of heights that I overcame with a very patient teacher when our year six class went to Centrepoint Tower in Sydney. He taught me that you need to face your fears in order to overcome them, so I continued down this path, finally ticking off sky diving in 2011. Now as a mother, the things that scare me most are that something might happen to me or those I love, however I do believe you cannot live in fear.
What makes you laugh?
I have a dry sense of humour and tend to laugh at things that others don’t find funny and don’t find the things funny that others do. I like quirky people and funny stories that people tell which happen to them in real life – Seinfeld type stuff. For example, my Ibitha-expert friend recently told me of a time she arrived to find her room wasn’t ready so had to take another room temporarily. Inpatient to go out, her and her friend hurriedly got ready – shoes and clothing strewn all over the room – and were having such a good time whilst out that the hotel staff had to move their belongings. “So they folded everything up neatly and placed all your things nicely in your new room?” I enquired. “No,” she laughed, “they recreated the scene!”. A shoe strategically positioned off to the right of the room, a bra hanging off the side of the bed, a dress crumpled in the corner… We giggled as we imagined the hotel staff concentrating to remember the exact mess they had left.
What’s your favourite type of media to consume?
Not sure if I should admit this given my profession but I’m not much of a TV person. Not really movies either although I’ll go if it’s had good reviews and seems interesting (Gold Class all the way!). I am always on my phone and like to get my news online rather than on paper. I enjoy reading interesting articles online. As well as a few minutes of ABC on working days mornings (after school drop off) I do listen to commercial radio by default as I’m not organised with downloading good music onto my phone, much less hooking my car up to be able to play it and let’s face it – CDs are passé these days!
What do you like most about your work?
Pardon the pun but it’s the Variety for me as well as the fulfilment I get from working knowing I am giving back to the community and not simply lining someone else’s pockets. One day I hope to line my own pockets!
Five-year plans: a good idea, or unrealistic?
I think it depends on your situation in life, as well as your personality. I recently spoke to an older woman who had planned out the next ten years as she realised she only had potentially 20% of her life left and wanted to achieve things. I think that’s great. If life throws you curve balls and you have to live from day-to-day for the time being, then be okay with that too. Know that in time, you can plan again. Perhaps the younger you are, the more short term the plans can be. I guess they say ‘plan for the worst and expect the best’ which is probably better I think all good plans need to be flexible, anything can happen. I have to say it is one of my most dreaded job interview questions!
What’s the best thing about summer?
I love summer. So many things…! Hot summer nights, holidays, having time to catch up with friends and family, swimming, losing an entire day at the beach, beach cricket, bbqs, non-bulky clothing, chucking on a pair of thongs… the list goes on.
How is your industry changing?
It is a fast-paced and ever-changing industry due to technology overtaking people’s lives and the way they consume media and engage with brands. I find it fascinating and exciting, I love the idea that things are more niche yet the message so much more powerful. Now we can geographically and psychologically target our market in ways you couldn’t when I first started in the industry. It’s much more consumer-driven and companies need to be much more responsible and accountable, I think that is a really good thing.
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