Tag Archives: Orcon

Fort Minor

So, there’s a song by this group called Fort Minor and I enjoy it a bit.  The chorus begins with ‘where’d you go?’ and I figure that’s a question that I should be answering.  The long and the short of it is, I’ve been working.  And then sleeping.  And then working.  The original 4 week assignment has turned into almost 3 months, and we finish up on July 29.  Although that feels so very far away.


Also, I’ve been sick.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m back in a call center and still getting my body used to being bombarded with germs from every direction, so that when one person gets sick, everybody gets sick. Or if it’s because of the weather change down here and it being Winter but not really a winter that I would call a winter so I don’t get as bundled up as I should.  Or if it’s because of the humidity and moisture in the apartment having finally settled into my lungs and refusing to go away.  Or, if it’s a combination of them all.  Suffice to say, I’ve been sick.  Stuffed nose, chesty cough, I even lost my voice the other day.  I start to feel better during the day and then the night hits and my body feels like giving up all over again.  I’ve been eating right and drinking plenty of fluids, so maybe all I need is rest. I’m not in work today simple because I could not find the strength or the energy or even the desire to move or do anything but hide in the bed.  Headache, nausea, and some light other intestinal problems along the way as well.


So today is for resting, and medicating, so that I can go back to work tomorrow, finish this week off strong and use the weekend to complete my journey back to healthiness so that I can stop feeling so damned miserable.  Being miserable is not a fun thing.


What new adventures am I having?  Well, we went out about two weekends ago and I bought myself a big monitor.  my little netbook is still running everything, but I can now see more than I thought possible.  the screen is about twice the size of my netbooks screen.  Awesome.  I have bought myself some early birthday presents as well.  A new bento box and lunchbag, and some video games for the computer.    Last weekend we went out and bought a dehumidifier.  To try and get rid of the excess moisture problem.  It’s a 20L tank and thank god for that.  We turned it on after we brought it home, around 5pm and left it to run over night.  When we got up the next morning, around 7am, the thing had sucks about 17-18L out of the air.  And I wonder why I’ve been feeling sick and chesty?  We’ve run it on and off again since then, but haven’t gotten the amount out again, thank goodness.


I’ve been exploring the goodness of a wok.  I finally got around to seasoning the wok that we bought back in february (God bless Youtube!) and we’ve been making some tasty stir-frys ever since.  And I’ve been investigating Tofu.  and the many different ways to make tofu. We’ve marinated it and eaten it just like that.  We’ve marinated it and baked it in the oven.  And we’ve added it to the stir-frys.  I think that I am starting to not only get the hang of tofu, but also to liking it.  I am not, however, going to be giving up my meat.  Tofu is just another alternative at the moment.


But mostly, I’ve just been working.  And I love the work. I love the people and the company and I even enjoy the customers.  Hard to believe, but it’s true.  Unlike American customers, it seems like Kiwis will readily tell you that they’re not really mad at you personally, but they are going to yell anyways, but please don’t take any personal offense.  And some of them, most of them, are quite easy to turn around and calm down after they’ve been allowed their moments of yelling.  It’s amazing.  I’ve been cursed at once by a customer.  And when I informed that customer to not curse at me, she immediately apologized and was calm from there on out.  I do enjoy the work.  And were it work that I could continue to enjoy in the manner that I have been (M-F 9-530) then I would most happily continue there.  But, it is a call center, and that means working rotating hours with rotating shifts and rotating days off.  It would mean never getting a normal sleep schedule, or a normal day off with Ee.  And that’s really not anything….


I came down here to start a new life, and go in a new direction.  And right now, in my mind, that new direction includes weekends with my partner and nights curled up on the couch watching a dvd.  Not days off in the middle of the week and coming home from work just as he is going to bed.  I’ve done that life before, it ruined the relationship.  And I didn’t come halfway around the world for that.  No.  As much as I love the office, I think it really is in my best interests to keep searching, to keep looking.  To explore more options and grow more as an adult.


But as a first experience working for a New Zealand company? I couldn’t have asked for more.  I think, however, I may want to look into the public sector.  Maybe a government job, if possible.  Eventually.  But for now, I’m going to go back to resting as I am feeling rather worn down, and I want to get better, faster.


So that is where I went, and where I’ll be.  Next update will probably be before Rotorua and after Orcon.


Or, Job Week One.

Let me just say this, it was a bit of a rocky start, but I am absolutely loving this job.  Monday was difficult with getting lost for a bit, getting locked out of the building, not having anything but paper to stare at and try to absorb.  Tuesday was almost as bad, but we got through it all and then wednesday morning was going to be the big test.

We headed to the actual office and spent the day sitting with a buddy, listening and watching as they took their calls and performed their duties.  Some of us got the chance to do some calls as well, just to try and get us used to it.  Then, we were going to be pulled off to do our own training on the side.  Which almost happened.  Until the computers that were set aside for us weren’t on the network.  Oops.

And then came Thursday.  We were going to be ‘on our own’.  Luckily, nobody is really ever on their own.  We were sequestered in a small area, had one of the team leaders with us to help us through the day (lord bless Michael).  Halfway through the day some of us got put on calls, while the rest of us stayed doing emails.

Talk about overwhelming.  It was a lot to take in and try to absorb.  We were being trained with about half of what we should have been given and then being tossed to the wolves. The lions were going to feast upon our flesh.  And then, slowly, sometime in the lat afternoon, it started to make sense.  And then, as part of the bribery deal made earlier, Michael came around with his bag of chocolate goodies and gave us all one.  I tried to bargain him up to two, but he stood firm that I only got one.  He did, however, tell me that I was his star for the day.  And that was the confidence booster that I needed.

of course, over night I started to wonder if he had been joking, so when i went in today I asked him and he informed me that he was very serious about it.  I had been the top performer out of the temps and I was the star.  Good way to start the morning.

We did emails for the first few bits. and then the call queue went up so they put us on the phones.  And it only got better.  The more I did, the more confident I felt, the less I had to call for help.  I think I may have even saved an account for the company today, which is killer awesome if that’s the case.  I feel good about what I’m doing and I’m actually starting to enjoy it.

Now, the fun part.  The office itself.  It’s set up like most any other call center you would expect, but there is nothing wrong with talking with your neighbors or surfing the internet, so long as you are also still getting your work done.  The customers really aren’t even as bad as you would imagine.  They’re friendly, polite, and very understanding.  Even when angry.

There’s a lunch room with a big flat screen tv, complete with skytv (cable basically), and xbox, an air hockey table (it’s broken) computer with internet.  That’s the fun side, the food side is awesome.  Two microwaves, two refrigerators (one is for food, the other one seems to be primarily for milk. Lots of milk), a sink with a regular tap and a tap for filtered cold drinking water, and a 3rd tap that spits out boiling water. Yes. Boiling water from a tap.  What do you need the boiling water for? Oh to make cup-a-soups, the the instant coffee granules, or the hot tea that is also provided.  Two dishwasher drawers.  And, an espresso/cappuccino machine.  Kiwis are apparently notorious for their coffee snobbery.

There are windows everywhere and you can look out of the lunchroom, straight across the marshland next to the bay and you can see the sky tower and the harbor bridge.  It’s really quite lovely.  The office is not dark and dingy at all, it is surrounded by windows (like almost everything else down here) and the desks are colorful and fairly up to date.

There is a sore lacking in chairs, the one that I was in today had like no padding on the seat at all.  I would have been better off sitting in the lunch chairs all day for comfort.  But, that was my own fault for not grabbing a more comfy chair.

So that’s the environment (oh and a cafe downstairs at reception. pastries, mini-pizzas, hot drinks, all kinds of things. and on Fridays whatever food is leftover downstairs becomes free food) that I’m working, and it only gets better when you focus on the people.

Everybody has been super kind, super understanding and very welcoming.  Nobody has declined to help us out when we needed it, some have even come over and volunteered their help when we were looking panicked.  And they’re just fun guys to be around. There is plenty of joking and conversation to be had, and it’s really just a high energy place to work.  I actually walked out today with my head held high, back straight, and a huge smile on my face.

I can’t remember the last time I could ever say that about a job.  As of right now, I am happy.  This is only for 4 weeks as of right now, but maybe it could turn into something more.  I hope that it does.  My next job is going to suffer in comparison, I’m afraid.

But now, it’s the weekend.  And as much as I would love to stay up late tonight and sleep in tomorrow, i think i’m going to sleep tonight and sleep in tomorrow.

Keep sending the good thoughts!  I need them still!