Friday, 27 February 2009

Lower than the Low

Note: before I continue this mega-rant, may I just say that a lot of my friends are recruitment agents, and they are all lovely, lovely people. This is not directed at anyone personally. Just those bastards who have been dealing with my man.

So. Things are going well for me. However not so for my lovely other half. Rich has been touting his wares around all the recruitment agencies in Auckland, informing of his availablity for work. Rich is one of those guys who, whenever anyone meets him, they ALWAYS come back saying wow, that is a really Good Guy. He's smiley, happy, friendly, polite and absolutely hilarious.
The amount of times he's presented at a recruitment office to be told "sorry we're busy, sorry we've got nothing right now" etc is terrible. It kills him to keep that smile pasted on, keep his positivity up.
After no contact for weeks, suddenly the Agent From Hell will call.

AFH: "OMG! I have the most perfect job in the world for you! I'm actually calling on my lunchbreak to show you how much I think you are perfect for this role!"

Rich: "Wow! Cool! What is it?"
AFH: "It's (a perfect job)"

Rich: "That's incredible - I'd be great at that !"

AFH: "I KNOW! I'm going to put you forward. In fact, I'm going to tell them you're top of the list. Richard this job comes with a car! And a phone! And all these other things I'm going to blind you with so that you believe me when I say it's the perfect job!"

Rich: "I like cars! And phones are great! This company is the best in the world!"

AFH: "You're meeting with them first thing Monday morning. I kinda have to put other people forward as well, but you're definitely first on the list."

Rich: "Thank you so much. You don't know what this means to me."

AFH: "Well, I do like to think of myself as Jesus Christ, so I'm very humble"

The interview happens, and goes okay. Rich is hesitant.

AFH: "What did you think!!!!"

Rich: "I don't think it was that good. They interrupted me a few times. It was a really tough interview."

AFH: "Are you kidding!!! They LOVED you! They wanted to see how well you'd go under pressure and they said you were brilliant!"

Rich: "REALLY? God I thought I was awful!"

AFH: "Not at all. In fact, you're top of the list. They just need to sort some things out at their end and see the other candidates. But like I of the list...."

Rich: "Awesome! Again, thank you so much! I owe you my firstborn!"

Days go by. Texts are received confirming how awesome Rich is from the AFH. They are received by the hiring company, confirming they will be back to him soon. Rich starts planning the commute to the office.

AFH: "Rich, hello."

Rich: "Oh hey! How are you? Do you have some news?"

AFH: "Uh....yeah. I'm sorry to say you didn't get the job."

Rich: "....oh. Wow. Okay. Why not?"

AFH: "*lists a hundred and one stupid reasons as to why he didn't get the job, none of them true*

Rich: "Okay. Well, thank you for your help anyway. Do you have anything else that's goin-"

AFH: "Rightsowe'llbeintouch, thanks"

Rich: deflates like a balloon.

It seriously kills me to see him like this. He's an upstanding, go-getter kind of guy who has been working Hard since he was 17 years old. The disappointment in his voice makes me want to find these recruitment agents, who built him up so much that his fall is just that much harder, and ram their stupid little cliche sayings and fake natures down their stupid little throats. Whatever happened to honesty? Here are some things they should say instead.
"We're putting you forward for the interview"
"They were happy with your presentation but please wait for a decision before getting too excited and continue with your job hunting"
"I"m sorry. I'm just a twat with a business card and really huge ego. I have no people skills and in no way I should be building you up and telling you you've got the job when it's not my decision to make. I'm going to quit and become a job-seeker Just Like You, so I can really see what it's like."

I've got to go home tonight, and instead of being all excited about moving into our great new flat in Auckland, I'll be pouring beer down Rich's throat and listening to his worries. It's what I do and I'm happy to do it. But seriously. If you work in recruiting, think about what I've said. You are messing with people's lives here.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Happy New Year!

As Chandler would say, could I BE more late? I think not.
What a crazy summer, mes amies, losing and gaining jobs, moving cities, parlez-ing le francaise, I tell you it's been mad. But am here to tell all about it.

So yes as I previously mentioned, I was made redundant. Which is veeeery common these days in NZ. So I didn't feel too bad. What was horrible, was the amount of recruitment people I had to go and see in Tauranga, who all built me up into feeling like super woman, then at the end of the interview, saying, yeah well, there's actually no jobs but hey...we'llbeintouch. Recruitment consultants: not my favourite people. The jobs I did apply for I wouldn't hear anything from, for up to two weeks after deadline. Then it would be "you are not successful. We had 200 applications for this role" etc. And that was for a lame-ass admin role. Paying diddly-squat.
Rich and I put our heads together and had a conversation that went like this.

Me: I'm NOT moving back to Auckland. I refuse and don't ask me again.
Him: But we're not going to find jobs here. You don't have to sell your house, you can rent it out.
Me: But it's Basil's HOME.
Him: *rolls eyes*
Me: And my garden. My beautiful beautiful garden!!
Him: Take the chili plant with you.

So after many, many tears and arguments, here we are in Auckland! With one chili plant. We have found a place to rent in Remuera, which is the ponciest suburb in Auckland. Every house looks like it was built for a visiting Lord back in the colonial days. How we found the place (actually Rich found it) is a miracle. Maybe someone - FINALLY - took pity on us.

Rich is looking for work - poor lamb, it's the worst - and I got a job - literally had it confirmed - in my last half hour of my old job. This meant I had a spectacular leaving do.
I'm working for a sporting organisation that is based all over Oceania. I'm expected to speak French lots - luckily I studied it at school - and I'll be doing lots of travel. Will also be organising competitions and meetings and various other things. I am fully loving it so far and it's amazing how much you realise the finance industry is insulated. There's a whole other world out there people. Put it this way - I think we had 3 Maori staff at my old office. No Asians. In my office here, I sit next to a Solomon Islander, take orders from a Tahitian and assist Samoans. It's brilliant.

So we are trucking along nicely. We're staying at an apartment in town until our flat is ready - another couple of weeks. Basil is having a fat camp holiday at KarakaKats in... Karaka. Gorgeous place, if anyone's looking for a cattery. He has his own hammock and according to the owner, "eats like a horse". Mais bien sur!

Summer has been alternatively mild, perfect, death like, and now, cooler. The death like days were caused by temperatures of 32.4 deg (hottest ever in Auckland) and 100% humidity. It was like trying to swim through dryer lint. You have a perpetual sheen of sweat. Plastic chairs become mini swimming pools. Poor Rich had to change shirts 3 times a day. However it's back down to the low 20's at the moment and everyone is much more sprightly. Autumn clothes are in the shops, shudder.

We had a very small Christmas holiday and went down to Mahia which is on a very isolated peninsula on the east coast of the North Island. It's Kiwiana to a T. Small, weatherboard baches, on scrubby lawn with no fences. Dogs running free, huge sand dunes sloping down to the most perfect smooth sandy beach, with small tubular waves cruising towards shore. Sunburnt shoulders, sticky fingers, sandy hair and cool beer were the order of the day. Most amazing of all, Mahia has a resident dolphin, Moko. She swims in most days and lazily plays with fellow bathers. We rushed down to the water whenever we saw her come in, and someone would throw a ball or a flutterboard. She would use her nose to bat it away then go diving after it. I got to stroke her twice and squealed like a little kid each time. She felt like a warm wetsuit, so smooth. Some people were muttering that you shouldn’t get too close etc, etc, but if she didn’t like it, she could swim away. She loved it. I could tell.
Rich's favourite bit that he told his teacher about on his first day of school was when he got to go with the fishermen? And catch lots of fish? Like 13 hapuku (groper)? And 10 crayfish? And we ate them? And then got really drunk for New Years Eve?
So anyhoodle that was me for the last two months. My hair has grown even more. I read lots more books. Recently finished Parky. He is totally awesome. Now reading Yes Man by Danny Wallace. Keeping Richard awake with my sniggering. As an aside, I love Danny Wallace. He's in my top five.
So, tell me your news! I'll just make a coffee then sit down and listen.