Friday, 10 March 2017


It's absolutely pissing it down outside, I just got drenched on the walk home from work, I had a slightly drunk one to one with my colleague in which I bitched about my boss and my previous colleague conquest, and this week had been insanely busy (in a good way) with a bitter sweetness attached to it.

I feel very temporary.  It's been really interesting experiencing Auckland life, a fine balance between planting some shallow roots so I feel at home, but not deep enough ones that I never want to leave.

I am coming up to the time when I need to make some decisions.  It seems some of it has been made for me.  My contract at the bank ends at the end of April.  I was bitching about my boss because I approached him in November last year about putting me onto a fixed term with the bank rather than through my temping agency - that way it's easier for them to offer me a permanent job (less paperwork) and gives me staff benefits like certain bank products.  Plus, probably psychologically I would feel more part of the team. And I wouldn't need to fill in time sheets each week. But really I just wanted them to offer me a permanent job off the back off it.  He said "great idea, I'll look into it".

The following week he said that there was a stipulation in my contract that I had to work for the temping agency for 6 months, which would take me to 20th December.  He would never remember to get the ball rolling on my contract at that time, so he would start looking at the process in January.

January comes and goes, and at the end of it he says that he has spoken with HR, they were giving me a $5ph pay rise and that I can go on a contract until the work period on my visa is up (I can only work for 12 months out of the 23 I am allowed here for).

It takes HR so long to confirm how long I have left allowed to work (even though I provided them with all the details in January) that it goes a bit quiet, and at the end of February my boss, by email, lets me know that I can only work until April 28th.  I ask him what this means, and he says "ah well there's no point putting you on a contract now as there's only a few months left".  I ask if I will get the payrise still and he says "ah forgot about that part. Nah". I express my disappointment and he says "yeah, not much we could do differently though".  I clench my teeth and refrain from saying "yeah you dick, you could have done all the background research back in November when I first asked so you'd be ready to get the ball rolling at the beginning of January, not like my future in this country is at stake now is it!" In typical British fashion, I smile, nod and turn to my PC and carry on working. Urgh.

In one way it's a good thing - mostly I am bored and don't have enough to do, but I also think some of this is because "I am just the temp" and that's how they see me, so they (until now!) haven't got me involved in anything big and gnarly.  In a strange twist, my boss has decided to get his money's worth (finally) and this week I have been stupidly busy.  I have somehow managed to find myself going on different training courses that all teach the same thing (Outlook and structured planning, if you're interested) and comparing them, feeding back to my team about the pros and cons of each and how they could be adapted to create something more specific for our business unit.

I am also involved in a really cool project where we are doing some customer research - I have the slightly boring task of arranging all of the customer interviews and the logistics of getting the consultants and our staff interviewees at the right place at the right time, but also I got to be part of the 'design-thinking' workshop where the consultants told us about the process and we came up with questions and practiced interviewing random people on the street.  I am really grateful to my other colleague for getting me involved in this - I had to do all of the logistic arranging last time but didn't really know what I was doing it for, but this time she's got me really involved and I am allowed to go the meetings and have a say which is really cool.  It's funny -I feel like I understand the bank much better in the last few months even though I have been there for nearly 8 months now.

So back to my decision making.  I am only at the bank for another month and a bit, then I either:

  • find another job that's temporary and spend the rest of my visa working in Auckland (or somewhere else) albeit slightly illegally
  • find another permanent job and get a work visa (hard but potentially do'able but still very hard)
  • find a remote job, one that I can do from anywhere - this is appealing as I could potentially just keep leaving NZ and coming back on a 6 month tourist visa and not have to worry about permanency.  But I don't know how viable a remote job is. Anyone got any experience of it? Or any contacts I can hit up?
  • leave Auckland and travel round NZ again, do some woofing.  Appealing but would be travelling during winter - not so appealing.
  • leave NZ.  Go to Taiwan, South Korea, Northern Vietnam, some Europe, home for Christmas and Lisa's wedding. Maybe stay home, or do a working holiday in Canada. Or go work in Europe. 

SO MANY OPTIONS and I don't know what to do.  One day I am all 'yeah I wanna travel, so much to see'.  Then the next I am like 'ahh goddamn NZ I love you and want your babies'. (or someone in NZ's babies so I can stay here. I joke. A little bit.)

Anyway this was a bit of a dull post but wanted to write a few things down as sometimes it helps to make sense of them when they're actual words on paper (Screen).  Anyone have any suggestions about what I should do?  It's such a first world problem and I feel guilty for even having it.

My next post which I might even write now if you're lucky will address the 'cliffhanger' (Jen's word) that I left my last post on - the cliffhanger being my weird and wonderful weekend last weekend.  Which is now actually 2 weekends ago - time goes so fast here!

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