Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Meeter & Greeter at Telecom Retail Store (9th December 2009)

I had the pleasure of working at the Telecom Retail Store located in Dukes Arcade today as part of supporting our frontline sales people in the lead up to Christmas, their busiest time of the year. As a greeter, my job is to help manage the flow of customers in-store during my 8.30am-5.30pm shift - pretty much say 'Welcome to Telecom, how can we help you today?' and make small talk with the customers as they wait in line for the next Telecom Communications Consultant to come available to put through their query or purchase, and try to answer questions as best I can. I'm glad that my manager gave me approval to take a day of my busy week to work in the Retail Store, an interesting experience for me to see what actually happens in-store and a chance to get connected with our customers :)

On arrival at the Retail Store, I was greeted by Assistant Manager, Stuart Larking, got given a greeter's T-shirt to wear for the day, introduced to Pare and Chelsea, the 2 Communications Consultant whom I'll be working with and briefed on what I would be doing. The store itself was by far one of the smallest I've visited in town to date and when we had 5 customers in-store, the place just felt congested.

I can tell you frankly, I know little of the things I hear the trio rattle on about and there are so many products, services, plans etc. that we offer - how on earth do they cram so much information in their heads when customers shoot them all sorts of questions awes me. Stuart told me that it takes a newbie 6 months to get their head around the products and services we offer. Wow...I'm not sure if I can do it in 6 months myself!

I was very impressed with this team at Dukes Arcade - they worked together dealing with customers in-store and on the phone with a smile and excellent service despite the pressure and the occasional difficult customer to handle. A cool, small team of young people who do their job well and manage to have fun doing so too! Great job, team, and keep up the good work!! I had a great time working with them and mingling with our customers though standing 8 hours on my feet does hurt at the end of the day:/ Still, it was a worthwhile experience and thanks guys for having me over for the day!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Pre-Xmas drinks catch-up with Rachel & friends (8th December 2009)

Caught up Rachel and friends at Leuven Belgian Beer Cafe for a few pre-Xmas drinks after work today around 6pm. This was the last time the group will see each other before us globe-trotters fly off to various countries for our year-end holidays. So very exciting! There will be lots of travel stories to swap when we get back in the new year!!

James came by as well and we shared a Hoegaarden Mosselen, a 1kg pot of mussels steamed in Hoegaarden (Belgian beer), curried cream, apple and coriander, served with a side of frites and mayonaise for $18.90. YUM! I wouldn't be able to finish the whole pot myself so it was really good I had someone to share it with :) The others too had other mussel dishes which look equally yummy but I couldn't fit anymore - too full! Photos taken at Leuven by Scott: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157623076667028/detail/

Left the gang around 8.30pm to meet up with Jono and friends who were having dinner at Lone Star. Have a fabulous holiday, everyone - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance! Jono's so sweet - he organised a group of workmates together to celebrate Pooria's birthday, watching a show at BATS theatre followed by dinner together. Pooria would have just gone home after work and not do anything special for himself so it was really nice of Jono to make Pooria's birthday feel extra special this year :) Happy Birthday, Pooria!

Tis' the season to be jolly - my calendar is filling up with Christmas get-togethers!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Jazz & High Tea with Vaughn Roberts & the Mississippi Pipis (6th December 2009)

James and I rounded a bunch of friends to attend Jazz & High Tea with Vaughn Roberts & the Mississippi Pipis at Ruby Lounge this afternoon - James got the swing crowd together while I got Scott, Alicia and Jono to come along. It was the 2nd time Vaughn was playing his New Orleans jazz gig at Ruby Lounge and after having such a fun time at the first one last month, I didn't want to miss the gig today!

Rushed home after my Batucada practice and waited for Jono to pick me up. It's half-way till the end of my series of workshops and today I got to play the repinique, a two-headed Brazilian drum used in samba baterias - hmm, don't think I like playing the repinique very much as my hands tire after awhile. One hand would play on the repinique like playing on a snare drum with the back end of the stick while the other slaps on the drum like a bongo drum. Good coordination definitely required and it is when the beats get faster that really tires out my hands and arms.

Headed over to Ruby Lounge with Jono around 4.30pm. Cost us $10 each at the door and friends Scott, Alicia, James and Grace were already there so we headed over to join them. Jono and I decided to try out their high tea which was served while the jazz band played. High tea is a term in United States that refers to afternoon tea or tea party, with the term 'high' associated with social 'formality'. I've never had high tea before - another first for me! For $20, we shared a large pot of tea and a 3-tier platter of thinly sliced sandwiches, little cakes and scones. I laughed when Jono said I had to put my little pinky finger out as I sipped my tea. All seemed very proper, Victorian English etiquette - I'm having lots of fun and the food was very yummy too!

Had a few fun swing dances in between chit-chats with friends. Just a chilled out Sunday afternoon in good company and awesome jazz music. Ah, bliss! :) Photos taken at Ruby Lounge this afternoon: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622827905953/detail/

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Wellington Zoo (5th December 2009)

Had a sleep in this morning after my late Friday night but the weather was too nice outside to be stuck in bed! Jono suggested that we visit Wellington Zoo located at the end of Daniell St in Newtown so around 11am, we walked from his place over to the zoo café, Velluto Café for brunch. I was scoffing down my Kiwi big breakfast while the poor fella chewed his food with care – his face was still swollen post-wisdom teeth extraction (he had all his wisdom teeth taken out earlier this week). Jono said he looked like a puffer fish with the swelling. Aww, you poor thing…*hugs* It’ll subside soon!

Cost us $20 per person for entry to the zoo – gee, that’s expensive! I’ve only been to the zoo once when I was still studying at university; I came on a rather gloomy day and hardly saw any animals or visitors in the zoo. Hmm, wonder if the zoo has changed much over the years…The zoo is NZ’s first zoo that houses over 500 animals (and over 100 species) spread around 13 hectares of land. We were given a map of the area and started our trip in the zoo checking out some peccaries, mammals which looked rather similar to wild boars. Jono was totally stalking the peccaries that were having a snooze in the shade, using his super long camera lens. Oh look, you woke them up!

We continued on our stroll in the sun watching the capuchins chase one another on Monkey Island, took more photos of animals such as tamarins (I like the Emperor tamarin – so small and cute!), a variety of birds and reptiles, a lone Malayan sun bear, several red pandas hiding on tree tops catching up with sleep and 2 squeaky Asian small-clawed otters. This must be a bad time to come to the zoo as most of the animals were either hiding, sleeping or just restless. Hmm…

We stopped by the zoo kiosk for an ice-cream and walked over to the tiger enclosure for the 2pm Talk Time, where visitors got to meet the keeper to learn all about the tigers and watched them get fed. The tigers in the zoo were Sumatran Tigers, highly endangered and are the smallest in the tiger species. As the keeper continued telling us more about the animal, he was also feeding raw mince meat to the male tiger, pushing the mince past the wired enclosure to the lips of the tiger. Normally, tigers would be tearing at large chunks of meat but this particular tiger had surgery so could no longer eat chunky meat. Wow, what huge teeth it has…I wouldn’t want my fingers anywhere near its mouth...The keeper proceeded to show us a battered and clawed plastic barrel that was the tiger’s toy. Just shows how powerful a tiger can be to cause such damaged to the thick barrel. You DO NOT want to mess with the beast!

After the tiger talk, we headed on to check out African Savannah where we found plenty of giraffes, gibbons, African wild dogs (eww, they stink!), ostriches, baboons (these fellas had no problem flashing their bright protruding pink buttocks) and chimpanzees. I was trying to figure out what the yellowish stain was on one of the chimp’s fingers. Peanut butter? Oh yuck, that’s disgusting!! The chimp had just put its finger in the arse and then smelt it. Eww, eww, EWW!!!!!!

Our trip in the zoo ended around 3pm. Though Wellington Zoo is still small compared to other zoos I’ve been to, I had a fun time in the sun with Jono, learning more about animals and snapping away on our cameras. Photos taken at the zoo today: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157622833801635/detail/