Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fried Food

Dinner last night made me feel the most unhealthy I have ever felt after a meal. We had fried a meal entirely consisting of fried food.

I had: A fries, battered and fried hamburger patty, battered and fried hotdog, battered and fried creamed corn, battered and fried chicken nugget and battered and fried pineapple. (it's a shame that they didn't have fried ice cream)

Now I know that's not nearly as bad as fried butter or many of the other things you can get at the Del Mar Fair; but this was at a cafe/fish & chips shop. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious and the only thing I would complain about is a lack of bacon. Fish and Chip shops are everywhere here (and always run by Chinese people, so they often have Chinese food too), this is probably the biggest thing that I will miss about this place.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It's kinda funny how girls always seem to find drama.

On Monday, I returned to work (training) after the weekend. As soon as we sat down, our instructor let us all know how angry she was with the way we treat each other. After she finished telling us how angry she was and we made new "team contracts", we got back to work like nothing happened. At break time, I mentioned, to the people I sit with, that I was totally caught off guard by it because I thought everything was going great. The guys agreed while the girls just stared at us like we were crazy.

Apparently there are two groups of girls with a couple who float back and forth and for some reason (even though they have only known each other for a week) they all hate each other. After I started trying to see this drama, I realized that they really are all bitches to each other.

People say that guys are way too competitive, but I'm pretty sure girls are worse (and about more stupid things). Although it is kinda fun to see a bunch of 20 something year olds act like little high school divas.

Monday, October 4, 2010

First Day of Work

**I'll be one of the last people to go crying about hurting the environment, so don't think that's what I'm talking about here; this is about money.

I had my first day of work today at my new job. Pretty much the only thing I learned today was that the New Zealand government wastes money.

The first thing I noticed was the heating/cooling. Today's weather was about 65F (18C). The heater was on putting us well above the outside temperature (which is normally ok) but some offices/training rooms (with doors wide open) had the a/c making it well below the outside temperature. It's bad enough have your a/c system fighting the outside, but to have it fighting another machine is just dumb.

We had to make paper name plates to put on the desk, even though we were all wearing ones on our shirts, then make posters to hang on the wall about what we expect from our coworkers. (mine said "I don't want y'all to steal my stuff" which was a nice change of pace from "respect" "punctuality" "respect my culture"...)

Next, we were all given a large packet of papers. It was about 50 pages each of their code of conduct and general health/safety things. We then sat there all day while a trainer read it to us off of a power point presentation. I understand the importance of making sure your employees know what not to do but there are much better ways of doing it; like "sit down at this computer and click through this powerpoint presentation. The worst part was that it wasn't even specific information. It was all generic things like "respect peoples privacy" and "don't break the law". I was surprised to find that, disregarding the fact that my entire job is based at a computer, there was no mention of proper computer usage.

We had a trainer that didn't know what she was doing. I'm sure she is great at doing our job and she is a nice person...but it is kinda a waste when it takes four times as long to do things when I have to just figure it out and go around the room helping everyone else change their passwords. On top of that, the IT guy wasted his time with things; I kinda felt bad for him. The instructor would tell someone how to do something then the person would try and not figure it out and tell the instructor that it wont work. So rather than trying to fix it herself, the instructor calls the IT guy over.

The thing that makes no sense to me is the fact that our computers have a lock on them where you have to insert your id card to give yourself the option to enter a password. The problem is that, rather than take the card home with us, we have to take it out of the computer and leave it on the desk. Her reason for us not taking it home is that they cost too much to replace.

I could keep going on their wastefulness but I'm pretty sure most people have an idea of how bad governments are. The point is that despite how much the NZ government tries to tell you that it is saving the environment to make up for the rest of the worlds mistakes, it isn't true.

On a side note, I really enjoyed my first day and think that I will really like it there.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Common Laundry Facilities

Here is my first post of my first blog. I'm not new at sharing my opinion, just new at blogger.

I live in a building with 7 stories of apartments with about 20 units on each floor. The building was built with 4 laundry rooms but only 1 is now functional. This leaves us all sharing 2 washing machines and 2 dryers. Definitely not ideal.

A few days ago, it came time to start wearing clean clothes again; so I convinced myself to do some laundry (aka, I was told to by Cherie. I would consider it whipped but I don't work yet and she does all day). I went down there on Tuesday morning around 10:00 am and as I suspected, all the machines were free. I paused for a moment to decide which machine to use, as I am not usually so lucky to have a choice. I chose the machine closest to the dryers to make transfer easier; this would be my first mistake and the point where my luck would go downhill.

As I loaded my laundry into the machine, someone else came in and began to fill the other machine and we exchanged smiles. When I put the 3 dollars in the coin slider, I quickly found that the mechanism was broken and I could not pay for the machine (let alone get it to work). I figured I would just wait for the other machine to free up. I came down about when I thought it would be finished and it wasn't. I checked in every 15-30 minutes and sure enough, he was one of those people that leaves their clothes in the machine for ages. (There is a special Maytag in hell waiting for people who do this) Of course I considered just moving his laundry into the dryer, but I don't like touching random peoples things nor would I like it if someone did that to me, so I didn't.

Eventually, on one of my trips down to the laundry room, I found that he no longer occupied the washer; the problem was that somebody else had much better timing and was now using it. This went on until about 8:30 pm when i finally got my clothes into the machine. If nothing else, at least I knew that that machine worked. So I started it and came back about 40 minutes later to see that it had finished. Unfortunately, the machine broke during my cycle.

Laundry machine still full of water

As far as I know, it finished washing the clothes since I didn't smell any soap in it; but the real issue is that the water didn't drain. So I spent the next 15 minutes wringing out all my clothes and towels. Then I sat with the lady who used the machine just before me (and occupied both dryers) waiting for her to finish. By 9:00pm, I was cleaning out the lint trap (something that nobody else seems to do) and using my last 3 dollars to dry my clothes. When I came down at 10 pm to collect my toasty warm clothes, I found a still soggy pile laundry. With a sigh, I put it all in the laundry basket and left it in the apartment until the next morning when I could go to the bank for more coins to finally dry them.

Basically, this experience has left me hating laundry just a little bit more.

Of course, this isn't the first time that the laundry gods have taken a dump on me. My first year at Cal Poly, somebody took my clothes out of my dryer, dumped them on the floor and used the rest of my cycle to dry their clothes. I have been fortunate enough to have only had a couple places where I was forced to use common laundry facilities. If I recall correctly, Stephen had a similar incident happen to him.

If you should take anything at all from this, it's as follows:

  1. Don't leave your clothes in a common machine for any extensive period of time.
  2. Clean out the lint trap. It shouldn't matter if other people don't do it if you do every time anyway, but it's annoying the one time you forget and it is so full that the dryer does nothing for your clothes. Plus it's annoying having to wait for you to use two cycles just because you didn't clean the lint trap the first time.
  3. If the machine is broken, LEAVE A SIGN ON IT.
  4. If you must dump my laundry somewhere, do it somewhere clean.
  5. Don't smoke in the laundry room
  6. And most importantly, don't do anything else that pisses me off.