Sunday, 31 October 2010

Life is sorted (just about)

Well a lot has changed since my last blog. mostly the job situation. As I said in my last post I went out on Monday to observe the other sales people and they put me with Rubal, the best salesman in Wellington and one of the best in the country. That man is a machine! he would knock on doors and just start spewing out numbers to people and convincing them to switch power companies. We got 7 sales all with add-ons so in one day he made about $600, he just wouldn't take no for an answer and had a no-nonsense, approach. He would just ask for a bill and in his head he would do the maths to show how much they could save with Mercury, and would just keep repeating all the service stuff like no estimated bills and all that. I found it a bit daunting actually and after a week of training and being told how to build a rapport with customers it was a bit odd to see this very business like approach, but it obviously worked! He said I could so the selling on Tuesday and he would just be there to help me but I was still looking forward to my interview the next day.

I don't actually remember applying for the coffee job, and didn't realise the sort of business i was applying to was a cash and carry. I arrived a little early and saw there were different section to Moore Wilson's, Wine&Beer, Variety which is toys, kitchenware etc. and Fresh. which has most of the food. There is also a coffee bar within the Fresh building. I met the lady interviewing me and after reading my CV and application form asked a few questions and I told her a lot about John Lewis and the customer service we had to provide. I also mentioned I wanted to do the Waitrose (John Lewis's supermarket) Graduate scheme when I got home and work my way into the buying office one day and that the Fresh section looked like the ideal place for me to work. I wasn't sure how it was going because she asked if I had any formal coffee training and I said no, but I learnt on the job, and she didn't really smile much either. Finally she said 'I know John Lewis, its a very fine company and you seem like a lovely lady so i'm going to offer you employment, can you start tomorrow.' I was soooooooo happy I was just sitting there grinning!!!!! Then she did a rota for me and told me how much I would get paid and it got even better!!! I get Thursdays and Sundays off and all the days except Saturday are early starts, which means I have my evenings all to myself. I get a three month casual contract which means there is no holiday pay, so my hourly wage is 8% higher than someone on a permanent contract. The base rate is high anyway, higher than minimum wage over here so it would have still paid well on a permanent contract. And I worked out that my post-tax income and Moore Wilsons is higher then my pre-tax income was at John Lewis so thats not bad at all!!!

That afternoon I went down to the sales people and told them I was offered another job and was told that was fine, good-by so I didn't even have to work any notice (not that I would have, in your contract they can fire you on the spot for any reason without notice and as Moore Wilson never knew about them I didn't need a reference so it didn't really matter.)

Wednesday was my first day at work and I after a quick tour I started out packing groceries, then had my till training. Most of the fruit and veg isn't labeled and although there are laminated sheets with the codes for everything most people have memorized it. There must be about one hundred different codes on that sheet and everyone seemed to just tap them in without even thinking. I began to think I would never  learn them all but I've been there for 5 days and I've learnt a lot of the more common ones already. its not as hard as it seems. If something hasn't got a code, or you can't find I on a sheet you just type the name in the product code bar and a list comes up to choose from, so so so much easier and more sensible than the system at John Lewis which was just ridiculously complicated and I never understood why you couldn't just type in a word and it searched it. I went on the island in the middle today which is the bakery/deli/coffee section and its fairly easy. I just have to avoid cutting my fingers in the meat slicer and thats about it. It was very quiet today though so it was a bit boring.

The break system is another thing which surprised me. You get to 15 min breaks in the morning and afternoon which are paid for, I couldn't believe it!! And than a half hour for lunch where you have to clock in and out with the finger print scanner. And they are much better organised than at John Lewis, the times that you go entirely depend on the time you stared work, none of this first, second and third rubbish and no going later cos its busy or being sent away as soon as you arrive. much more civilised. All the people seem really nice, the supervisors seem reasonable so far and I even went out with one girl on Saturday. We went to a bar called mighty mighty where there was a table tennis tornament going in which involved loads of people running around the able hitting the ball when it was there turn. If you missed 3 times you were out! The music was random, first there was a country band, playing to the table tennis, then after a weird band called run with the unicorns played. They had dancers with unicorn masks on and the whole night began to feel very bizarre and surreal, like a Salvador Dali paining or something.

I have also moved back to YHA for my last few days of homelessness, its much nicer here but I still can't wait to get into my flat and have my own space, unpack my bag and cook real food!

The weather is warming up a little as its moving into spring but its still very windy which makes it seem a lot colder than it actually is. Hopefully it won't be to bad this summer though, as I will be here till at least February. Thats about it for now!


  1. Glad to read that things are finally looking up for you!!! Pat, Danny and I had a wonderful time in London!! Your mom is a wonderful tour guide!!!