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So it’s been a pretty fun last couple of days, work is grand, fairly busy – and very interesting to get a look at behind the scenes in a recruitment company.. Think I’ve made myself a little bit useful by fixing up their computers… some of it is enough to make one cringe ;) I mean copying things by floppy disk when you have a network between the computers.

Sorry! enough, onto Mad Fun and Interesting things.

Got well pissed last night :D There – is that more like it?! Well it’s also true. Headed out with Julie, one of the 3 ladies in work (I think I’m one of the only blokes in the company!) after work for a sociable drink with Julie and her boyfriend – Matt. Who is cool. And is going to play squash next week, so I’m looking forward to that one. But ’tis funny, her parents lived in Uganda for a number of years, and her brother runs and Irish pub in Kampala… So I’m going to get the name and address of her brothers pub so that the next time mum and dad are in Kampala then can head in for one!

Very small world.

So yeah – was heading out with Matt and Julie, and Matt was determined to take me to a cheap dingy hole of a bar (after we’d enjoyed 2 for 1 offers on the strip)

Which I really enjoyed. Glasses of beer for $2, shots for $1… great place to get started.

And Karaoke. Something I’ve never done before.. Matt was well up for it, and was going to sing Daydream Believer…

So he went up to choose his song and we settled down to wait for it to come up.

Then a while later

“Could Patrick please come up to the stage”

Which was interesting to say the least. So up I went, and managed to follow the words on the screen fairly well (to be honest I only realised it was Galway Bay when I was singing the chorus!)

Then met up with Glynn and Maeve who’d finished dinner (something I’d still not had at 9) and headed out for one more.. took them to the Karaoke bar, just so that they could experience the place.

I think it’s going to be one of my favourites.

Other news.. well – our car failed it’s Warranty Of Fitness (WOF). Reasonably badly. Windscreen and brakes need fixing. I wasn’t expecting too much trouble as I’d got the name of Mr. Dodgy Mechanic. Obviously not dodgy enough. Still, best to know I guess. I imagine it will cost about 1/2 what we paid for the car to get it fixed! Still cheap though.

Other other news, my friend Jennifer got gold in her finals, though personally I think any arts student who gets gold ought to be shot just incase them Artsy Types get ideas above their station.

And finally… I think the Italians have got the right idea to Turn Off their televisions and get out and do things.

That said I’m just about to watch David Attenborough, but I make an exception for him.

Oh – and really finally… Julie hung out with Eddie Izzard for a week when one of her friends was entertaining him in Queenstown. I’m really quite jealous, and asked that if the same sort of things happens when Billy’s in town……. (won’t happen though)

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Well, quite the day today really… very very interesting, so as I was saying yesterday I was hoping to get the admin job, and I did.

The sorta twist to the whole thing, is that the Admin job is in a recruitment firm. Co incidentally the same recruitment firm that placed me in the door to door sales job.. You can see where slight embarrassment might arise right?

So, I headed to drop my time-sheet into the lady (note all names are left out ;) (who really is lovely) as I said I would, could have faxed it to her, but decided to call in.

15 mins after leaving her I was in the recruitment company settling in, learning the ropes and generally making myself useful (already fixing e-mail addresses and printers on the network… techies have their uses I guess). Anyway, so at one point the lady rang up, lets call her Alice as a nicely anonymous name. So I was in there formatting CV’s to be sent to a client for acceptance, and Alice rings up.

Me: Hello, this is Patrick from blah how can I help?

Alice: Is this Patrick Davey? This is Alice (remember I left her about 3 hours earlier!)

Me: Yes

Alice: So you managed to find work then?, I’m really happy for you (she really was too, like I said, a very lovely lady)

Me: Yes, I’m just temping for a few days as things are really busy here. (Strictly this is true, I have no idea how long this will go on for, hopefully a while though)

Alice: Well that’s great, can I speak to Bob or Eve?

Me: I’m afraid they’re out at the moment can they ring you back? (not true, but Alice was ringing up a lot)

It’s all a little sad really, as Alice’s venture isn’t working out so well… so it’s a little upsetting for her. To be honest I’m actually really impressed by her, she built her current business from working out of the back of a car – into a large mechanics business, and now she’s moving again. She has bucketloads of enthusiasm, and really is lovely to everyone, but this particular voucher booklet thing she’s got going on, well, it’s going to take some work.

Anyway, rant over, to sum up, Alice at least knows I’m working in the temping agency, so that’s grand, and I’m sure things will work out for her.. eventually.

The other really really *really* annoying thing, was that I got a call about an IT contract for 2 weeks…. well at least I’m marketable. I had to turn it down :( I’d just started my job, it’s got potential for more than two weeks (though it’ll pay probably about 1/2 to 1/3 what I’d get contracting IF I GOT the interview) so I dunno, was really hard turning that down… but I think it’s the right choice.

So employed in a job that I can stick at last!! which is great.. now just need to settle in properly here and meet loadsa new people! Christchurch is just way to reserved!!

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Well well well, am I a quitter?.. decide for yourself ;)

I shall be diplomatic, at least for the moment, never know who might read it … Monday we headed out selling the discount cards. The idea is simple, you’ve probably seen the things yourself, you buy the card ($30) and then you can get savings of over $300. Of course to get the savings you have to spend more.. but hey, thems the breaks.

So, we were given an area of town to target. 6 of us went out – paired up – 4 blokes from School I reckon – 6th years ish. And they were Steve, Greg, Patrick and Mike. I think. Not that it matters of course ;) And then there was Roelf and I. Roelf was quite sound, 30 ish, and Dutch. But we won’t hold that against him. I’ve met some quite nice Dutch, in fact, I think all the Dutch people I’ve ever met have been pretty sound. Even met two in Vietnam. They’re everywhere.

Anyway, off we headed downtown, armed with packs of vouchers, and a wee card saying who we were with… And I did try, I honestly did! – in my defence…

No one sold anything

The 4 lads quit after 2 hours

So I at least tried for the day… we then came back to the HQ to regroup and formulate our plans. And came up with some quite good ones, i.e. target the people in the right areas (so we were selling cards which basically discounted kids to the cinema etc. so lets go sell where the kids are..) Also we had a new card to sell, well two of them actually, one a voucher for Hair Stuff (no I don’t know what a Root Wave / Full Wave / is.. though I do now. I think. And a way cool card for beauty and health stuff, manicures, exfoliating scrubs etc. And my personal favourite a..

vibrasuan

Any ideas? No? – well basically it’s a sunbed and massage thingy rolled into one. So you lie in this thing for 10 mins and then when you come out you’re nicely massaged and tanned.

So… the next day – today – (Tuesday) we arrived at 10am and off we went after seeing a Motivational Video. Which was all about perceptions… and how basically nothing is a failure. Nothing. Unless you quit.

A failure is just a way to show you what you’re doing wrong

A failure is just a way to let you laugh at the situation

etc. etc. There were better ones, but it was quite funny.. they have all these stats – like Thomas Edison had 10,000 experiments (apparently) before he hit on the lightbulb that worked.. and what if he’d stopped at 9,999. And someone asked him when he finally got it – “But Mr. Edison, how did you keep going after failing 9,999 times” And Tommy said ” I didn’t fail 9,999 times, I just found 9,999 ways that it wouldn’t work” (resounding cheers ring out at this point).

So off we went, Roelf and I, as everyone else had quit. We were given a residential area to try, so off I went as a real door-to-door salesman. And, I have to be honest, when we still didn’t sell anything…while I did get a little disheartened, to be honest the reason to quit – well – it was partly morals. The lady that we are working for, is a really lovely person, incredibly enthusiastic, convinced that it will work (and it may), and I just hated letting her down. And the thing is, it costs her around about $300 per day to have the two of us out there.. and not bringing anything in.. well I just thought ‘is this fair?’. And the answer was no.

This is all getting very deep! :) hehehhee, so yeah, Roelf and I had a wee chat, and we called them up and they collected us, and we basically told them where we were at. And they were super nice about it, they’re sure this is going to work.. and so they’ll just work out how to make it happen. And they were right, we did come a long way in a few days, the way we were selling changed, and many other things, we gave them feedback from the customers.. it all helps.

Just didn’t sell anything!

So I went bouldering for an hour and came home.

So yeah, door to door sales, is, honestly, quite hard. Worth giving a try just so as you know you can / can’t do it.. I’m not entirely convinced that I can’t do it with a little mentoring – e.g. role playing before you went out, that sort of thing.. but to try and do it from scratch with no experience with products you’re not overly familiar with… that’s hard.

Still, defiantly worth a shot, and I’m very happy I tried, but to have made a sale, well that would have been special ;)

So back to the drawing board somewhat, am going to look into bike couriering, as that’s something I reckon I’d love. A friend of mine is currently doing that around Dublin, and has been since about March, and is loving it. So we’ll see, I’ve seen them cycling around, so the companies do exist… twould keep you fit too. But at least I know I’d prefer labouring to door to door sales, that’s something to know!

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So, a pretty fun weekend, but I’ll start up with a pic of Christchurch that took last week.

Which is a pic of someone punting on the Avon, the river which flows through the city. Apparently the city is called after the college of Christchurch in Oxford? Seems a funny name for a college to me.., will have to check that one out.

Anyway, so yes, Friday was a lazy enough day, mainly spent praying that I’d get a call with another job so that I’d not have to go and do the door-to-door sales on Monday.. :) Hehe, well maybe it’ll be fun.

So I headed into town, after getting mostly packed for Wanaka this weekend. I was pretty annoyed at myself for forgetting my silk sheet-bag (like a sleeping bag only it’s just a silk sheet). Which my brother Matt had given me when he came back from Oz… and it’s a very nice piece of travelling equipment, as most hostels will provide blankets for free as long as you have a sheet bag. Which is excellent as it means you don’t have to bring a sleeping bag so you can travel light.

Only I left mine in Ireland.

Which was annoying. So anyway, headed to The Salvation Army shops (they’re all over ChCh) to get some clothes for my door to door sales… just so that I could look the part.

And I was pleasantly surprised.

For $20 ~ Euro10 I got :

  • A sheet bag – cotton – $2
  • A Shirt $4
  • A pair of linenish trousers $6
  • A pair of ‘proper’ shoes $8
  • A belt – free

So that cheered me up somewhat! Good old bargains, and to be honest, it’s really actually not such a bad looking set of clothes for a tenner! I’ll put a pic up sometime.. though twill be interesting to see how much I enjoy walking around in the shoes all day Monday, seeing as they’re only an OK fit.

Right.. so that was Friday afternoon – and then once Maeve had arrived home we headed off for Wanaka – which is a town, by a lake, about 70Km from Queenstown – about a 5 or 6 hour drive from ChCh.

So off we went.. and a fine old drive it was, though we have to get a tape adapter for the car so that I can plug my jukebox in, radio here is pretty patchy. The only really interesting thing along the way – well, worthy of note, besides the awesome scenery and ‘Fush and Chips’ (it’s how they say it), was – well flying along in our trusty car – gazillions of flies, moths etc. loved our headlights. And loved them so much they totalled themselves against our windshield.

So we washed them off.

Until we ran out of wash.

So… I was all up for stopping the car and hopping a fence and getting water by hook or by crook from one of these massive rotating water-spraying things they have for keeping their crops watered. But we didn’t.. as the road we were travelling on was due to cross a river, and we figured we’d head down and fill up.

Fortunately, I spotted a pub/hotel and we just called in there and filled up from their bathroom… I was heading back and forth with my water bottle to fill up, and then one of the inhabitants came out.. and offered me a jug. Which I thought was nice! – but I was finished by then, still, was nice. They really *are* nice over here. Which, to be honest, takes a little getting used to.

Onwards to Wanaka. Got there about midnight and pretty much crashed.

Saturday up bright and early, this…



Is pretty much the view from town.. the shops etc. are just behind where this pic was taken. It’s pretty sick just how beautiful this place is sometimes, just hope it doesn’t completely spoil me :) Still… sometimes it’s fun to be spoilt.

So yeah, onwards to the climbing, after buying the guide ($20).

The rock is Schist, which is something I was familiar ish from climbing in New Hampshire it’s the same rock. And I like it. Even if it is a little dirty… the friction is awesome. Which is good, as the handholds were all quite small, so often it was balancy moves.

Yes, this was a very very easy climb, but I’m just easing myself back into leading.

And here’s one of Glynn

We did a rake of routes over the course of the day, all 15’s and 16s, which is really only about French 5a/5b. However, Wanaka grades are harder than other places… certainly some of them didn’t quite feel like 5a…

So yeah, that was fun.

Oh, this next picture isn’t actually of kite surfing, as it’s not on water, but there was someone doing kite surfing in the evening, and it looks great . Really great. And I guess very dangerous too. But still… what a sport. Doubt it’s faster than windsurfing.. but I must check that out. And I really really *really* want to try it.

Basically you have a massive kite and you just fly along, do massive jumps, and generally get hurt a lot when you smack into stuff at high speed.

So a couple of beers, a nice Thai dinner (Maeve had forgotten she was wearing her Thai t-shirt out and the waitress’ were most impressed, and she got to use her Thai to say thanks). Good food though, shame the Bangkok cafe looks like it’s closed down back home in Dublin :(

SO yeah, then a bottle ‘o wine in front of a fire in the hostel, and it was just a good way to end a great day.

—sunday–

Up, off bouldering, met a couple of Americans, lovely people, two of them on a two week climbing honeymoon, from Chicago. Tom and Lena just incase anyone is passing through Red River Gorge / climbing in Chicago and spots them! And a bloke ‘wots name I didn’t get, who is working illegally as he was training to be a commercial pilot, but after 9/11 it all fell through, so off he went travelling, was doing some flying for a sheep ranch, and then moved to Wanaka when that finished up, and is now working for a fush and chip shop. Still, he gets to drive the boss’ company car on his days off… and it has a cool fish on the roof. Again, wish I’d taken a pic, would make this story so much better ;)

All too soon was time to head home, so after stopping off in town – where Maeve got a pair of Oakleys (with Glynns help ), and I went for a walk on the pier, and came across these tiles, all the way along the seafront.





It was their marking of the millennium. Admittedly a year early like everyone else, but hey.

So yup, they had tiles from about 1200 up, there were gaps though ;)

Drive home was pretty spectacular though, as we went by Mt. Cook and others, quite spectacular



At least I think it was Mt. Cook, not too sure really.

And now back in ChCh, starting work tomorrow… have decided that I will work on whatever I have to in order to stay employed so that I can have tonnes of cash for a good round the world onward trip later…even if that does mean door-to-door or labouring.. Though I am angling for an opening that’ll be coming up in one of the recruitment agencies when one of their number leaves at Christmas time… fingers crossed… the woman in charge is from Graystones. So that can’t hurt my chances ;)

much.

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SO! what a day, what a week, yet another pretty lazy and fairly unsuccessful week as regards getting a proper job.. however, did see an absolutely awesome job programming Java for an Environmental Research group, twould be J2EE stuff… so have been busily brushing up my skills…

Doubt I’ll get it, but it’s fun to dream, and you never know… if you’re not in… would be a 6 month contract…

Also went along to another recruitment company… and was very pleasantly surprised when my touch typing skills (learned over the last 3 weeks) came out at 54 w.p.m. Which isn’t really all that shabby. Oh, and MS Access (database program) that I know *nothing* about, came out at 97%… I reckon the person setting the questions didn’t know anything about it either which is why it was so easy…

However, I have landed *the most awesome job EVER*. It’s outside, it’s interacting with the public, it’s has the chance for HUGE cash potential every week (well direct debited actually)…

Guessed it yet… correct, door to door and office sales. Also known as (as far as I can remember) cold calling. Yeah right.. Irish gift of the gab had better come into play bigtime methinks. Mind you, I did go around today with Johnothan, a.k.a Sales Guru #1, and we, over the course of an hour and a half and 2 blocks worth of calling in, managed to sell the grand total of {} voucher packs. (yes, that’s the null set, zero, zip, nada, rien, niente, nuffink’ luv). So yeah.. I’ve a lot to live up to.

Did meet a nice bloke from Sheffield though, 63 years old, mechanic, looked about 48. Mad.

Didn’t buy anything though, even when I talked about liking the Gritstone crags in Sheffield. I was so annoyed!. Mind you, he may not want to be going paint-balling, tis true.

So yeah, that was fantastico. Am starting on Monday at 11am (pretty sociable really). Very much doubt I will sell anything, so very much doubt they’ll keep me on for more than a day or two.

Mind you.. see it does pay (relatively well…) it’s hourly rate is as much as labouring.. and you get commission on top if you can actually sell the (damn) things.

So we’ll see.. could actually be a laugh, the way I look at it, I’ve absolutely nothing whatsoever to loose!, there aren’t any office jobs at the moment, I have the skills (I reckon) so that when they do come up I’ll get called, at which point I will drop this job. Unless I am raking in cash, in which case I’ll stick with it. And to be honest, it’s not as bad as it seems (mind you I was only in spectator mode not actually having to try and sell the darn things!) So we’ll see, more to follow I guess.. Start on Monday, managed to get tomorrow off as I’m off climbing in a place called Wanaka for the weekend, should be a laugh, if the car get there (and back ;)

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