Narrative Interview

Darren understands that his story is being told and gives full permission for his information to be made public.

As a 22 year old girl, the decision to interview my dad for this assignment was one that I jumped at the chance to do. Dad and I have never talked about past, present or future careers. All I can remember is the many different jobs he held whilst I was young and knowing he owned his own business which was pretty cool. In the past few years seeing my dad rejected from numerous job applications to being stuck doing work he did not enjoy was tough for me to see and put life into perspective about just how intense the career field is.

In 2019 when Dad took a big leap to purchase a café, he would only do it if I was right beside him to help. Although I only lasted a couple months working with him, as I was offered another job it was so interesting to see that professional, passionate side to him.
I have reached an age where thinking about life after University is something I need to seriously consider and by the end of this interview I had some clarity about how unpredictable life is, but it has a way of working itself out for the better.

BCM313 taught us many different interviewing techniques in preparation for this assignment. For this narrative interview I was an ‘outsider witness’ Carey and Russell (2003), to Darren’s story. An outsider witness is someone who is a third party that listens and gives their reflection on the story that is being told. Another technique that helped me guide this interview was ‘active listening’ The University of Adelaide (2014). This technique includes using open ended questions and rephrasing what the interviewee has said to further guide the interview.

Throughout this interview it made me understand how important trial and error is and how this can take years of perseverance.

My dad, Darren is a business owner of a café in the Wollongong area called Two Doors Up. He made the decision to purchase this business back in 2019 after being rejected from numerous jobs due to what he assumes was his age.
           “Businesses now days are looking for young people that will agree with their ideas and have grown up in an era surrounded by technology, not an older person with more experience with day to day business knowledge and will stand up for what they believe in” – Darren, quote from the interview.

The story dad told me was one about him taking over Two Doors Up and the difficult turbulence he encountered with this new journey. It explored how purchasing this café was hard at first as staff were using to doing things a certain way, and customers weren’t tolerable of change. Hard work and perseverance has now paid off since Two Doors Up is doing better than ever.  
Although I was there to experience dad’s café purchase, he never expressed to me how challenging it was to both mentally and physically get Two Doors Up off the ground and to where it is today.

Until purchasing Two Doors Up, dad was stuck doing jobs that had no importance to his interests and since doing so, I have never seen him so happy.

The one thing I learnt from this interview was about Darren’s drive for customer satisfaction. Dad expressed to me how important it is to take into account both the negative and positive reviews that you receive to better improve your business.

The last part of the interview was spent discussing dads fear for the future of work. Based off the staff that he has/had have working for him at the café it has become clear to him that people in their 20s don’t have the same priorities and passion that was instilled in him growing up.

“The educated group of this decade in particular will be forced into reassessing their directions.  The business environment will be tougher than it has been for 50 years. Employers will have a large pool of candidates to choose from, so those looking for work will have to creative in their thinking and be proactive in their approach with potential employees.  Attitude, presentation and commitment will be what an employer is looking for.  Those with jobs will need to be very conscious of their work ethics and standards.  They will need to work harder and loose the attitude of their own self-importance.  Being replaced will be easy.” – Darren, quote from the interview


A reflection on this interview has made me realise that this assignment has brought dad and I closer together. This is a topic of life that we have never discussed and it felt fulfilling to talk about a topic that soon will be that much more important to me once I graduate University and the end of the semester. In the future I will aim to work hard, earn my place and of course make my dad proud.

Carey, M and Russell, S 2003 ‘Outsider-witness practices: some answers to commonly asked questions’, The International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, no. 1, [Accessed 2 November 2020] 2014. Active Listening. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 November 2020].

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