Saturday, June 24, 2006

saturday. i've been practically bed-ridden for two days now. all of a sudden my back decided to go into spasms yesterday and has been a disaster since. yuck.

my job doesn't begin until july 3rd, so i have another week to recover, hopefully that will not be a prob. wish i was starting sooner, i'm excited to get going. not to mention that i'm completely broke so it would be good to have income.

just went through a crazy week or so of trying to buy a cute car. i bought a blender off of www.trademe.co.nz (nz auction site). turns out the people selling the blender are selling everything they own and moving back to the US. they had a very cute Daihatsu Sirion car from 2003 with only 15.5k km on it. they were selling it for only nz$10k which is 2-3k less than i could find a comparable one for. but, as i mentioned in previous paragraph i'm broke. and i have no credit in nz. so, i applied for a loan and they were only willing to cover 80% of cost and i don't have the other 2k. so, someone came along who was willing to pay the full amount and i missed out on the cute car i wanted. probably better anyway. i'd rather be paying for things in cash as much as possible and not building up debt. just fell for the car in a big way :-P

otherwise i'm trying not to spend the money i don't have and figuring out how to pay rent until i get my first paycheck. it's interesting.

that's about it for now...

jon

Sunday, June 18, 2006

AIM IM with saulxavier.
8:20 AM
J:hey! how's it going?
S:good how are you?
J:good!
J:so, you're gonna come visit in a year?
i have an apt. with a spare room and everything
S:we're staying in toronto for another year and going to save up to travel for up to a year
J:oh wow, plans have changed, sounds good though!
S:starting next may
J:sweetness
that's supercool
funny, there was just an article in the NYTimes about people doing just that!
well, not "just that"
but taking breaks between jobs for travel anyway
S:yeah we didnt get any interesting jobs, so rather than leaving, we're going to save for a year
J:shmart
S:so we might come to New Zealand!
J:that would be nifty
S:did you get a job?
J:i did indeed!
S:I read the blog
J:start the 26th
good
it's a brilliant blog, dontcha think?
you never leave comments you bastard
i beg and plead and only celeste ever does
S:no...it's too brilliant for me to leave comments
Jha!
just say "gee, you smell pretty"
that's as brilliant as my blog
S:are you liking it there?
J:yes
i enjoy sitting in my room on my computer 24/7 here, just as much as i did in nyc the air is better here and you hear more birds
and when i do venture out, people have cute accents
plus, the little money i've held in my hands is prettier than US money
and since i've been here there have been earthquakes, a tornado, a snowstorm that has trapped a gajillion people on the south island and a blackout in Auckland
S:everybody's money is prettier
the blackout in Auckland is the biggest deal though, cuz it will make other countries think we're third world but really, other countries don't notice us enough to care
i should really write this stuff in my blog, it's BRILLIANT
in fact, i might just cut and paste this chat into my blog
S:you should!
8:30 AM
J:OK
sweet, you will make a guest appearance in the brilliant ny2nz blog
S:People excellent!
I mean excellent
J:oh, if you wanna see my new apt. you will find it here http://web.mac.com/jonno/iWeb/JonLet/Welcome.html
how did excellent become "people excellent"???
S:and people are crazy for that World Cup here. Nobody cares about soccer in the US, everybody does in Toronto
J:so, yeah, i just need to get a paycheck before my meagre checking account dries up
S:I was starting to write about soccer
J:yes, world cup gets news here, but not as much as rugby and netball
S:people have flags from their home countries and drive around honking when their team wins
J:awesome
i'm sure that's happening a little in nyc too
people like their flags and horns in nyc
S:US and Italy are playing right now
J:well, lucky US gets past this round whether they win or lose i think
S:There are about 500k Italians in Toronto
J:becuz some team beat the czechs? something like that
S:Italy will probably beat the US
J:yes, they're euro
all euros should beat the US

8:35 AM
J:so, are you already planning your route around the world?
the Tui (a nz native bird) has the coolest bird call ever!
S:We haven't started yet. Learing about round the world tickets
J:yes
S:The apartment looks nice, The view is great!
J:not bad. unfortunately only get morning sun
would rather just get afternoon sun
S:Is Let there yet?
J:hell no, probably not until september
though sometimes she sounds like she'll just fly over tomorrow
S:are her papers all worked out?
J:everything is in now, she's just waiting to hear
S:I'll keep my fingers crossed for you
J:danke
they sound cooler in person but... http://www.kiwi-wildlife.co.nz/Sounds/tui.mp3

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Here it is almost a week later. Much has transpired since last I wrote, for instance, I now use the word transpire. But I've not gotten any funnier, oh well.

I was offered the position at Massey. The same day I was offered the position I was called and offered an interview at Otago. Then today, I was offered an interview for a position at Auckland. I'm going to stick with Massey as it is here in Wellington, is a sure thing (though still not official) and I think it pays more than any of the others would. I had originally asked for NZ$50k and when I was offered the position was told I would receive NZ$55k. I don't mind that so much.

Before I was offered the job, but after interviewing and all, the people I'm renting room from told me that they were going to start renovating the house in early July and they would need me to move out by then. I felt a little bit unloved. Like they were shoving me out the door, especially since I didn't actually have a job yet.

When I'm being logical I just understand that they really will need the space and they were giving me more than a month of notice. Not bad. So, at that point I started looking seriously at the ads online (I've been looking at them obsessively for months but without much intent). One day I ran all over Thorndon and Kelburn to see a few places as well as looking at a place here in Karori.

The places in Thorndon were too small and dingy for my tastes. The place in Kelburn was cute, but still a bit small and expensive while being inconvenient for work. The place in Karori I only saw from the outside, but it looked nice, it was clean and looked like it had some nice furnishings, but didn't look lived in so I assumed the furnishings might come with.

I had walked a lot that day, so much so that I was sore the next day. Now, when I lived in NYC I walked quite a bit as well, the difference is, no hills in NYC. Here when you walk around you are doing a lot of up and down, it really can be tiring.

That running about was on Sunday, then on Monday I was unofficially offered the job and told about the salary, that improved motivation. Unfortunately a storm hit Sunday night through Monday. It was incredibly windy and rainy so I just stayed in and did more apt. research online, I also had an appointment to see the inside of the Karori place that morning. Then Tuesday I did another day of running around. I was in the central Wellington area for around five hours just walking and walking and walking (once again, remember the hills). Most of that time was spent visiting realtors to see what they had. I also had a couple of visits planned. I visited one place on Kent Tce and it was obvious that I wouldn't like it from the outside and it was too far from Massey so I didn't bother trying to see the inside. Then I saw a very funky cool cottage in Te Aro but it was also too far from Massey and a little small and maybe too funky for the $350/wk they were asking.

I then went and saw the outside of another place that was quite close to Massey but it just seemed a little small and also more money than I really wanted to pay, though not too bad. After that I wandered around a bit on Massey campus, trying to kill time until the next place I could see which was an hour and a half later. After walking for maybe 20 more minutes I decided I was not going to make it. I was tired and hungry and burnt out. It was time to go home.

I walked awhile more to catch the bus. At the bus stop I ran into Jun, a friend of C&D (who i am renting from) and we talked for the bus ride home. During that time on the bus I started to come to the conclusion that I wanted to take the place in Karori. As I mentioned before, it is furnished, has 2 bedrooms, a deck with bbq, a dishwasher and good-sized fridge. No dining room, but a decent living room. One of the bedrooms is relatively large with big closet and then a smaller room that would be good as guest room/study. I is nice. The two things that were making me hesitant were the distance from Massey and CBD plus I found out that Telstra, the best provider of Cable and Internet services in Wellington, doesn't provide service to the apt. Finally I decided that commuting isn't so bad for the price ($250/wk) and I can live without Telstra for now. When letlet gets here we can decide whether we want to stay or move somewhere new.

Now I have a job that begins on the 26th and an apt. I will move into this weekend. Tomorrow my phone and internet will get connected. My power will start on Saturday. I'm excited to have my new home and even more excited for when letlet arrives to make it our home!

Quite a week.

Friday, June 09, 2006

If you're managing to follow the plot of this blog, you'll recognise that this is the episode/installment where I have had the job interview. And yes indeed, it is true, I had my first actual New Zealand job interview. The job is in recruitment.

It was a little challenging. I received papers in the mail and they told me (well, I'd also been warned on the telephone) that I would need to prepare two things for the interview. One was a written paper about how I could get us into two schools that they'd been trying to get into but had been reticent to speak with us. The other was a five-minute oral presentation as though they were the professional development people at an employers and they wanted me to sell them on Massey professional development programs.

I actually found it all interesting. Also made me nervous as hell, but I actually enjoyed preparing for it. I've never had to do anything of the sort for an interview before. Celeste looked over them the day before my interview and seemed to think they were alright. I honestly couldn't tell what I thought. I assumed it was okay, but since I've not been trained really in recruitment formally, I just wasn't sure.

So, the interview was supposed to be at 11am on Wednesday. I, as usual, was quite early, walked in the office at about 10:40. They took me in immediately, I was a bit surprised by that! Kind of nice though, kept me from sitting around getting nervous (or ill). They were very nice, did some introductions and then had me do the oral presentation. They seemed to react pretty well, nodding appreciatively and taking notes (which I assumed was a good thing). I was so very conscious of trying to speak at a normal speaking rate. When doing that sort of thing, like many people, I have a tendency to speak at double speed. I really tried to keep it down and felt I did that pretty well. So, after that they went down a list of questions. I talked A LOT! Really, I started feeling self-conscious about it and actually made a comment like "I really do run on don't I?" but they were very nice and said it was interesting. We also talked a bit about my written presentation. The interview was supposed to last until about 12 and I don't believe I left before 12:15, so it went a long time.

Oh, one other thing they asked was why I had applied for fixed-term instead of permanent position (there were two identical positions advertised but one was listed as permanent the other as 13 month fixed-term to cover for maternity leave). I told them that it was for both of our sakes. That I assumed universities would be a little bit hesitant to hire an American with no NZ experience so applying for only the 13 month position gives them an out if it weren't to work well. I also said that the same held for me, since I don't have experience here I didn't know how I would feel about the position so it gave me an out as well. The part I didn't tell them was that I also kind of hoped that fewer people would be applying for fixed-term so that would help them consider an American a little more closely as well.

They said I would hear by the end of the day or sometime Thursday if I were invited to the next stage which would be psychometric testing at an agency in the CBD. I came home feeling pretty good about the whole thing.

Got online with letlet and told her about it all. Then just chilled out for the rest of the afternoon. Then just a little after five I received the phone call from Massey telling me that they were "very impressed" with my interview and could I go to Psychometric testing the following day (Thursday). I said yes, of course and thank you very much.

So, yesterday (Thursday) I went and did the tests, some logic stuff and personality stuff. It went pretty well I thought, nothing frightening or too difficult. The personality tests always seem silly to me, but apparently they work for something.

Now I am waiting to hear back about whether I am actually going to be offered the job or not. If it is offered, I think I'll accept. Should pay around NZ$50k, translated into US$ that's not so very much, around $32k I believe, but here it is pretty good. I think I could move to higher salary pretty quickly.

That's enough for now! Write me a comment wouldja?

jon

About Me

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Hi, I'm Jon, you may know me from my appearances in Brattleboro and Marlboro VT. Or you might know me from my time in New York City. We may have crossed paths in Northampton, MA or possibly during my brief stint in Berlin, Germany. More likely you don't know me at all, but if you're from Portland, OR or Wellington, New Zealand there's a chance we've bumped into each other. If any of these sound like places where you may know me from, drop me a line. :-)