But feeling sort of like it. Despite just coming off a weekend.

Okay, so this door-to-door sales thing? I’m still, temporarily, with it. And guess what? It’s a WHOLE LOT OF WORK.

I don’t really mind the walking so much. When it’s sunny, at least, it can be pretty nice. If a bit hot.

No, what doesn’t work is the timing. I get there at 11am, we’re at the office for a morning meeting / prep thing, and then we head off to wherever we’re walking about that day. We walk for HOURS. Many hours. At about 8pm, we pack up and head home, but even once we get there, we have to give back the stock and sort out money, and do a couple other things.

When I started, we got back super-late a couple times, and I ended up getting home even later, because the buses had stopped coming quickly. I tend to end up walking home, which takes me 20 to 30 minutes.

Again, it’s not a bad walk, or anything. I don’t have blisters, so it’s not painful. It’s just time consuming.

Today was particularly bad. I didn’t get a chance to do some important errands over the weekend – I worked on Saturday, and I went to the Auckland War Memorial Museum on Sunday – so I was sort of running out of food tonight. I had to go to the grocery store after work, because basically all I had to eat was onions, and I didn’t get to dinner until 11:30.

Which, really, is just entirely too late. And I’m sort of sick of it, because I find myself not wanting to cook, and being very tempted to just grab some awful fat-filled disaster from a takeout place.

In completely other news, I have a cell phone. I’m on a ridiculous pay as you go plan, but most of what I do is texting anyway – it’s significantly cheaper over here. Though, not for last week, because I was stupid. Which is to say, that on my plan, I can text anybody on Vodafone for $10 a month, up to 2000 texts. I anticipated many, so I bought that option. Only it turns out, that does not apply for people who are on Telecom (the only rival in all of New Zealand) and *surprise!* virtually everybody I was texting was on Telecom. So I burned through another $10 because I thought my texts were free when they were actually 20 cents each.

I think tomorrow should be my last day with the sales though. (Sorry, we’re backtracking now.) Which is to say, on Thursday I’m heading down to Wellington, to participate in the next hurdle for Interac. This meeting is actually on Saturday, but this way I’ll spend Thursday bussing down – it’s 12 hours, but I’ll get to see a great deal of the north island, which will be fun. I’ll spend Friday doing .. something. Saturday will be the thing, and on Sunday, I’ll bus back. I decided to take the Friday when it occurred to me that, having BEEN to Wellington, I would prefer to take my next trips some place else, and this way I can see it at least a little.

So I’m not working from Thursday on. I would go back on Monday, but I got called by the temp agency: they finally have something for me. I took some tests this morning – speed typing tests, that sort of thing – and the woman I spoke to thinks that the job will pay $15-16 an hour, and will last through much of January. It also seems sort of miserable – counting money for ATMs – but there’s much less walking, the hours are mostly more normal, it’s a lot closer to where I live, and the paycheck is guaranteed rather than commission based. (The walking and the lack of commission are really the deal breakers. Also, I probably will make about $100 more per week, working on the assumption of 40 hours a week and also assuming that I can’t sell 60 of these stupid cards in a week.)

With the extra money, I’m going to pay back some of my savings that I’ve been ripping through, and also save up for some trips. It’s surprisingly expensive to get around the Island – it’s going to cost me about $100 NZ to get to Wellington and back, and that’s not counting the hostel stay while I’m there.

Again, this job may be soul-crushingly awful, but there’s nothing that says I can’t just quit. Of course, my person at the temp agency will probably stop putting jobs my way if I don’t give her some notice, but I’m sure in the event of disaster I could go to her and say “Hey, this job makes me want to KILL SOMETHING. I need a different job” and she’d work with me. (After all, if one of their temp workers goes on a rampage, it just looks bad.)

So that’s the work situation. As for friends, I’ve got a couple. One, sadly, is an American about to leave. She’s been here doing conservation-y nature stuff, we met at the hostel, and she’s mostly been away. We’ve texted, and we’ve hung out in the hostel – the other night she was back in town, and I went over after work to see her, which was fun. But she’s going back to California after a week in the South Island, so … so much for that. There’s also a guy who I nearly lived with, but in many ways I find him sort of grating. Which is to say, he seems to have one of those memories where he can pull up facts he learned in high school about history, etc really easily, and he also seems to be actively interested in politics, and (the real flaw) his attitude when discussing them makes me feel a bit like I am being condescended to. I find myself wanting to say “Hey, politics isn’t even my hobby, and also, stop being such a jackass. ps, I went to Oberlin, so shut up because I am not stupid

It’s not like I think that he considers me a moron, or anything. There’s just a limited amount of “teaching” I really need from a totally unambitious guy who I really barely even know. Like, I was commenting on some swords the museum had, and I started wondering aloud about the durability of Western swords – mom and dad, you may remember the sort of ridiculous, Orientalist documentary we saw about the Way of the Samurai, but they made some interesting points about the structure of Japanese swords. (For those who didn’t see the probably-PBS show: low carbon steel inside for durability, high carbon steel outside for razor edge.) Joseph (the guy) started telling me random stuff about the swords hanging on the wall – ooh, they’re rapiers, and those fun decorative things were sometimes used to catch the blades and try to break them! – and I finally had to actually say: Hey. I was a huge, huge fantasy novel fan. I read a solid bazillion books dealing with swords, it is unlikely you can tell me anything about these swords I do not no, or cannot glean from their single paragraph blurbs.

Whatever. I very rarely feel condescended towards. It was a new sensation, and one I didn’t much care for – particularly from a semi-stranger-potential-friend, who I don’t know well enough to say “Hey, fuck you, not a moron” but also don’t really want to offend.

On a completely different note, people here are weirdly … racist. I hesitate to use that word, because of course it is so charged in America. But … people are like “Oh, well, Maori, of course” and “Oh, the Asians are terrible drivers!” and other stupid shit that just, well, just doesn’t fly in the States anymore, at least not with people I talk to. It’s unsettling, and I haven’t been here long enough to figure out whether there’s no societal stigma against that kind of blatant stereotyping, or whether the people I work with (and also Joseph) are simply assholes.

I find myself leaning towards “asshole” – mostly because I like New Zealand, and I would like it a lot less if that attitude was condoned.

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