New Zealand: Employed

After exactly one month of being in New Zealand, I have finally found employment.

I was panicking when I first got here, scrambling to secure a job right away and applying for some stuff I didn’t care to do, in addition to the roles I really wanted. Of course, the only ones who ever got back to me were the ones I didn’t want. I promised myself no more bar work. Marketing only. I wanted to work in a city and narrowed it down to either Auckland or Wellington.

welly
Auckland has cool little parks like in the title image. Wellington has cool walls like this.

City-wise, Wellington is way cooler than Auckland, it’s more alive, it’s younger, it’s lit. I wasn’t totally enamoured by Auckland when I first arrived, but I do think it gets an unfairly bad rep. A Wellington local once said to me, (quote being retold in my best kiwi accent) “awh yeh, it’s way better than Auckland…but then again, so is a kick to the teeth”.

I don’t know man, I think I’d rather live in Auckland than be kicked in the face. If I were happy to do bar work, Wellington would have no doubt been my first choice but as far as office jobs go, Auckland seemed more realistic. I also hadn’t been able to wear my hair down in 2 weeks because of the weather in “Windy Wellington”, and I was sick of it. I don’t have the face for ponytails – they make me look bald. This was unacceptable, so I caught a flight back to the big city.

I got a call one day in a bad cell reception area and all I could hear was “blah skkkgjeeuvdzzz blah looking for employment? blah skkkzfjfjdzzz blah” so I said yes and got a follow up text with a time and place for an interview, having no idea what the actual role was. The address turned out to be a hotel, so I was convinced I’d applied for a front desk job when desperate. I didn’t even want to go. Hotel reception isn’t what I’m after here in New Zealand, but a friend convinced me to go check it out all the same. Interview practice if nothing else, right? Fine.

I arrived at the front desk and announced that I was there for an interview with Claudia…and was told I could find her in the bar. Turns out Claudia is the bar manager. I had accidentally applied for a bar job. Great.

It was the strangest interview I’d ever had. She seemed sheepish and was way too honest with me. She basically told me the restaurant was falling apart. I wasn’t just being interviewed as a bartender, but as a supervisor, because “none of the existing staff are suitable for promotion”. Yet she believed that I, with no real supervisory experience, would be a better option? Concerning. I was invited back for a trial shift the next day, but ultimately decided against it. Seemed like a true nightmare.

Other than that, I was getting a lot of e-mails featuring the words “unfortunately” and “unsuccessful at this time” from the jobs I wanted. It was disheartening to say the least. I started to think maybe I could let myself do some part time bartending…just until I found something else. I only had about a month’s worth of funds left to survive on, and therefore not a lot of options that didn’t include hopping on a flight back to The Great White North – which wasn’t really an option at all. I decided to contact a couple recruitment agencies after hearing about them from some friends, and something wonderful happened. I got an interview; at an office, not a bar.

I woke up the morning of my interview feeling like absolute death. Body aching, hot and cold, headache, sore throat, the whole deal. I knew I couldn’t ask to move the interview, and couldn’t call in sick (not a great way to show how reliable I am) so I dragged myself out of bed to go anyway. I premised the interview by saying I was feeling under the weather and generally present myself much better…which is only half true. I haven’t put on make up since my last interview and recently wore the same shorts 4 days in a row.

The woman who interviewed me was lovely and made it sound like there were lots of Marketing opportunities. I was at a point where I’d do just about any kind of office work, but this was even better. Next thing I knew, I’d been hired on by the recruitment agency and told I’d be contacted within the next couple days for some opportunities.

Things are looking up!

Now I just have to rid myself of this cold, find a flat, and get out of this awful hostel which is more like a prison cell – lacking windows or any form of air circulation.

Mom, I know I told you I was travelling…but I’m actually doing time. Here’s my cell.

Oh, and probably do some shopping. Currently I have one pair of dress pants, a blazer, a dress, two appropriate office tops, and a pair of heels. That’ll do me for a few days at best. I wonder if I could get away with going kiwi-shoeless in the office?

3 thoughts on “New Zealand: Employed

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