Antsy pantsy or whatever...

on July 28, 2011

Today really isn't my day. Could it be because I have been working 8 days in a row doing who knows how many hours of hospitality work? It started in the morning when I had to ask our kitchen staff approx 5 times in half an hour to open up the office for me so I could turn on some music (which also attracts customers - but mainly helps me to wake up and keeps me from being cranky all day...). When she finally did open the office I had to discover that the music computer was broken and there was only silence :-( Should have known that was a bad sign...

After work I had an appointment with my bank because I need money to buy a car. Now that Dan has a job again - which is in the opposite direction of town and involves shift work, too - we can't share his car anymore which means I will have trouble from now on getting to work and back (which especially sucks at night because the only way of getting home would be calling a taxi which will cost me a fortune).

I was hoping to either get an overdraft for a while or a personal loan just over 2000 NZ dollars - a bit more than 1000 Euros. Should have known that it's not going to work out - not being a resident makes things SO FUCKING COMPLICATED!!! Excuse my language but why do things have to be so hard for people who are settling in in a different country? I currently neither qualify for an overdraft, nor for a loan - not even for a credit card! Now I have a credit card for my German account - which has no money in it. And the accounts that do have money in them I don't get a credit card for. No more booking of concert tickets, plane tickets nor any of the other thousands of things that nowadays require a credit card. That is SO STUPID!!!

So how am I going to be able to afford a car? I could save up for it - which will only take me a few months. But no - wait - I won't be able to save because I'm broke getting a taxi all the time :-(

And to finish things I just got home to find this...


Looks like the ants have found a new home now that we aren't using the dishwasher anymore. I was just going to pop some toast in when I noticed something black moving around the toaster... there was only 40 or 50 of them around *wäh* even turning the toaster on didn't help they are happy exploring it anyway... so no food right now either :-( guess I should just go to bed and hope tomorrow will look better..

Rugby players like it sweet

on July 27, 2011

The last few days since I've been granted my new work permit have been rather uneventful. Dan started his new job and seems to be enjoying it so far (just was a bit bored as it was mostly office work to get him started...). For me a 24-hour-week at the restaurant was followed by a 40-hour one where I've been acting as temporary duty manager for the first time *yay*

All my paperwork is filled out now and I've just been to the council today to apply for my General Manager's licence. For all the none-Kiwis - you need that licence over here in order to manage any premises that sells or supplies alcohol... I've already sat a test in May where I was taught about the legal situation involving everything around selling/supplying alcohol to the public and how to be responsible in certain situations.

Been to the council today to hand my application in and they said it normally takes around 2 to 3 three weeks to process the whole thing. I'll also need to sit an interview with a police officer to make sure I am capable of managing our restaurant while on duty. I wonder whether that's going to take them as long as getting back to me on the assault 2.5 weeks ago... Still haven't heard back from the police though I am sure they know who the guy is who smacked me in the head...

Well... like I initially mentioned - with working all the time the last few days/weeks have been almost uneventful - until today... we weren't very busy during the day at the restaurant but all the sudden this massive group of about 20 guys walked in wanting hot drinks. Turns out it was the Taranaki rugby team!!! They are playing Northland tonight, the local team... They must have loved the hot and iced chocolates we made them - even though the coach (?) took away most of their marshmellows. Why? THEY LEFT US FREE TICKETS TO THE GAME TONIGHT - Northland vs Taranaki!!!!! They normally cost around 35 dollars! Not sure yet if Dan wants to come along as he starts work really early in the morning. But I'm definitely going *woohoo*

A moment of joy

on July 12, 2011

There aren't many things in life that make you so happy you just want to cry. Well, I just had one of those moments today. I went to the post office to pick up a parcel the courier wasn't able to deliver yesterday. And guess what that parcel had inside... MY PASSPORT INCLUDING MY NEW VISA!!! It's really done *woohoo* And guess how happy I was when I noticed that it even includes "multiple entries" meaning that I can leave and re-enter the country as often as I like :-) Not I'm planning on going anywhere soon. But should there be an emergency back in Germany or should we have money to go on a little holiday - it would be possible =D Sometimes there are days in life that feel like Christmas and your birthday all at the same time...

Immigration New Zealand: I THINK I'M IN!!!

on July 10, 2011

It's not official yet but it seems like Immigration has already finished processing my work visa application!!! How I know that?

After having spent at least another half hour on the phone with an immigration officer on Friday about my interim visa and me not being able to work after Thursday I had received an automated email titled "Your communication with Immigration NZ". All it contained was an attachment - which of course I couldn't open again. So once again I sent it to my friend Jenny in London who transformed it into a proper doc-file and just sent it back to me overnight.

I thought all they had done was sending me the transcript of the phone call I had made on Friday. Which - to be honest - would be kinda studid cos what would I need that for. Anyway - it wasn't. All it was was yet another automatic email saying "Your online status has been updated." HUH?!?

So I went online, logged onto the Immigration Website - and guess what I found...

Work Visa lodged 1 July 2011 APPROVED
- Expiry date 8 July 2012

I tried to call Immigration to confirm what I think it is but of course there's nobody working on Sunday so I have to wait another day. But it sounds like I can STAY!!!

I need a break - or a holiday!

on July 09, 2011

What a night... We had a function that I was kind of resonsible for. Nice people, lots of fun. They had hired a karaoke guy as well and were dancing and singing the night away. Even made me go on stage and do my favorite song "REM - Loosing my religion". Everyone had heaps of fun!

An hour later I'm questioned by the police about an assault... one of the customers got pissed about me not serving him any more alcohol and the whole thing escalated and eventually he smacked me on the head ;-( I'm alright, just got a headache now and am a bit shaken.

When I look back at the past year here in New Zealand it certainly hasn't been one thing - boring. Though there is one or the other experience I would rather have not had... Like tonight...

Anyone keen on going to Bali with me for a few weeks? I think I'm ready for a holiday... Oh shit... I forgot I can't leave New Zealand for a while or I won't be allowed to come back. Guess Bali has to wait a bit...

Frustration and anger

on July 08, 2011

I'm not sure how much time I've spent these last few days on the phone with various immigration officers. And how FRUSTRATING and ANNOYING it can be at times... One barely spoke English and clearly had no idea what was going on. Another was giving me a bitchy attitude answering all my questions with "There's nothing I can do for you. That's the way it is." Only one - Vincent - was acutally pleasant to talk to and giving me advice and an update.

So here's what's happening... My current visa expires next Thursday. By now Immigration New Zealand has officially accepted my application for a work permit based on a partnership to a Kiwi. It will take them approx. 60 days to process and decide whether I will be granted such a visa or not. Meanwhile I have received my interim visa which will allow me to stay in the country up to the point where they make that decision.

The problem is: I won't be able to work!!! I told my boss today and of course he wasn't very happy about it. He's trying to figure something out and has made a few phone calls already. We'll see if he is any succesful. If not next Thursday will be my last day at work and then I'll be unemployed :-(

To give you an idea of how competent NZ immigration officers are here a few things I have been told in the past few months...

A: You don't need a police clearance certificate at this point. 

That I got told in March. In June my first visa application got sent back to me - because it was missing a police clearance certificate.

B: You will automatically be granted an interim visa. That will extend your current visa up the point when we make a decision about your application. Since you already have a working visa that means you will be able to continue working.

Well, at least the first part was right. As for the other - I just got told today I will only get a general interim visa which does NOT allow me to work.

C: Immigration sent me my interim visa via email attachment.

Which is good and fast- only I couldn't open it. Had to send it to a friend in LONDON via email who could transform it and sent it back to me in the right format.

So... gotta get ready for one of my last days as an employee. I'll keep you up to date...

How not to treat your customers

on July 04, 2011

How often, I wonder, do you actually have to cancel a contract before the cancellation becomes effective? I am now sending the THIRD notice of termination to Vodafone Germany hoping they will finally realize I don't want their service anymore... The first one that I sent almost half a year ago has simply been ignored - at least I never got the affirmation letter/mail saying they received my cancellation and will not automatically renew my cellphone contract sometime later this year.

I almost forgot about the whole business until I saw the recent automatic payment to Vodafone from my account. So last week I tried again - this time using the "24 hour phone hotline that helps you fast". What shall I say - I called and called and called, ended up on hold every single time but nobody EVER answered the phone! Thank you, Vodafone.

So I sent them a message via their online custover service center. And guess what - still no answer. So today I've sent yet another letter telling them to terminate my contract once it runs out and NOT to renew it. And would they please send me a message back (not via phone because I haven't been able to use that for months which is another story) confirming my cancellation... Surely my first attempt should have been enough? Before I know it my cancellation period will have run out and I'll be stuck with them for another two years... any idea what else I can do from the other side of the world?