Picking up from where we left off in part 1, we were in Anna’s room with the electrician. He went straight to the heater and I looked straight at the bag of weed sitting on the mantle place. A clear bag, with bud just sitting there. In the middle of the mantle place. Now the electrition was down looking at the heater but my mind was absolutely spinning. Not only was I dealing with an electrician right now but that thing called a flat inspection had happened just two hours earlier. My brain was racing through the conversation I had with the property inspector and I was trying to remember if anything seemed off. SHE SURE AS HELL SEEN THE WEED. Literally, would have to be blind to miss it.
Side note; I have no problems with people smoking weed. I don’t have a problem that you keep your weed in your room, where else might you keep it? I do have a problem when you leave an illegal substance out on display for the property inspector to see.
Back to the main story. Now once everyone had left Carrie came home and asked me where her poster was of Will and Kate. I told her I ripped it down and she asked why I said I was angry and then asked her if she had completely forgotten about the fact we had a flat inspection today? She blinked and then said this:
“Yes, I did forget, but it’s not like the house was in that bad of a state.”
So then I had a very stern discussion on that fact that the house was a mess, that I had to cancel my meetings to pick up after her, take the rubbish out and then dropped the bomb that I went into Anna’s room with the electrician after the property inspector had come through only to see a bag of weed sitting on the mantle place.
“I’m sorry that you had to cancel your meetings because the house wasn’t clean enough for you and having weed out is kinda bad but you are not going to lose the lease because of it. It gives you no right to rip down my poster which was a gift from my friend.”
These were the words coming out a 27-year-old people. I apologized for ripping down her poster but then also said how angry would you be if it wasn’t your mess and you have to clean it up despite reminding your flatmates 2 days before the flat inspection and they still don’t clean up after themselves?
She then told me that because she pays rent she should be able to smoke in her room.
Where I seriously questioned if she was being serious or if she was taking the piss. She was being serious. In fact very serious. We then had a conversation where I explained that under no circumstances is anyone allowed to smoke inside. The only person who can is the homeowner. I am explaining to a 27-year old that she cannot smoke inside. I mean how did I end up in this situation?!
So just to make everything very clear because she still wouldn’t accept the fact that she was not allowed to smoke inside I left a message on our group chat.
The image at the top is the screenshot of the conversation.
I thought that would make everything clear.
But no. This would come full circle. But that tale is further down the line.
You might ask yourself what about the other two flatmates Anna and Paul? Well, Anna and her weed kept things relatively quiet for a week or so but Paul couldn’t help himself.
Find out the story with Paul in the next part.
Once again I find myself in a crap situation involving flatmates. I guess in school they never teach you how to pick the good ones. The good news is that I have not moved house in over a year, I have taken on a lease by myself and my landlord hasn’t followed the Auckland trend by hiking up the rent every three months. However, the downfall is that I have magically contracted some horrible flatmates. So let me tell you the stories (PLURAL, because they are assholes) of these humans who never stop surprising me how dumb and inconsiderate they are.
When I took on the lease it was because the leaseholder was moving out and I DID NOT WANT TO MOVE AGAIN. We had two rooms to fill and me and the pre-existing flatty (Scott*) did so. He picked a dude he worked with called Paul* and I picked a girl called Rosie*. They moved in and things were just ticking along fine. The house was never full of people because some of us were either working or at our partner’s house. A couple of months rolled by and Scott was now off on an adventure to Asia and we had to fill his room. Being the nice guy he was he said he had already found someone and I was okay with that. SPOILER ALERT IT WAS MY BIG MISTAKE. Her name was Carrie* and she was 27. The first time I met her was the night before she moved in and we sat down and had dinner together, she seemed nice and was working at the same place as Paul. She moved in and things were okay for the first month. Then the cracks started.
Girl likes to smoke pot, which I had no problems with. She would be having a joint every evening when she finished work, it was her ritual. We would chat on the balcony and talk about the day that had just passed. Autumn rolled in and Rosie* decided she would move out which was cool, I held flat viewings and picked another girl called Anna*. She moved in and quickly befriended Carrie because they worked similar hours and both just loved weed. Then things picked up the pace and started to get a little out of control.
It started with Carrie. First, it was the refusal to pay the power bill because it was expensive. Then it was the refusal to take out the rubbish because she had already done it that week.
Three months in and we had a flat inspection on a Monday. A reminder went out on a Friday. I left the house clean on Sunday morning and came home after work at 12.30pm to a full rubbish bin, dirty floors, the house stinking of weed and cigarettes and a completely messy kitchen. Now knowing that I am living with humans who are all older than me by at least two years and that they had been reminded about the flat inspection two days prior I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I walked into the bathroom and nothing had been done, no scrubbing of the mold, no wiping of the sink, the rubbish had not even been taken out. So at 1am, I started to clean, 40 minutes later, angry and covered in bleach. Coming out of the bathroom the hallway smelled like a drug dealers house. Knocked on Carrie’s door and she popped her head out where I proceeded to ask her if she had been smoking in her room, with a flat inspection in the morning. The 27-year-old looked me dead in the eye and said: “We have finished now”. Literally no apology. I took my shower and crawled into bed.
I woke around 9.30 and wandered out to the kitchen where I stood in the doorway. Nothing had been touched. In fact, things had been added to the rubbish, the pile of dishes. I sigh, start running a sink full of hot water and begin pulling out the rubbish. I open all the windows in the house and look at the time. This gal had a meeting with my supervisor at 10.30am. I began scrubbing the dishes and began to cry into the sink like some sad housewife. Pretty much running around the house as I took the rubbish out, my sadness turned to anger and I ripped a poster off the wall of William and Kate because no house needs that on their bathroom door.
I cleaned the house but missed my meeting. Got dressed then heard the front door close, watched Anna jump into a car and leave. She was literally in her room the entire time. I went and hid in a cafe absolutely livid and was only two sips when my phone starts ringing. It’s the property inspector explaining how she had left our house key at the office and if I was home. I said no but someone else is, Paul was still sleeping though he had got home before me the night before. I said just knock and he will come to the door. She then politely told me how she had been doing that along with the doorbell for 10 minutes and no one had opened the door. I said I would call her back.
I called Paul.
S:”are you home?”
S: “would you get up and let the property inspector in, thanks.”
The property inspector finally gets let in and for the first time since I moved in, I am not there. She lets me know everything seems fine but her tone seems a little weird. I just put it down to it being Monday. But once again, I should have trusted my gut. I then get a call from an electrician asking if I can be home to walk him through the problem we are having with the bathroom light.
I then get a call from an electrician asking if I can be home to walk him through the problem we are having with the bathroom light. One coffee deep I head home, wait for him to turn up and I thought whilst he is here, I will get him to check everyone’s heaters, the hot water cylinder and all the sockets in the house because the power bill was now even more out of control, $450 out of control.
But it was when we walked into Anna’s room with the electrician did I almost throw him back out of the room. It was some sort of sick joke and then I remembered I was living with absolute idiots.
It’s an election year and if you some how missed the past 7 months that have whizzed by, the election is fast approaching. I am currently inside a cafe, headphones in trying to get some study done. I am surrounded by Pon(SONB)y middle aged folk all who have picked up the paper and are reading the headlines. Squinting at their phones and discussing under their breath how we might just end up with a female prime minister.
Why you should vote comes down to more than just you and I. Voting is about the plans for the next 4 years and longer. What we want and who you vote for will make the difference not only for the country but god dammit for your career, the prospect of buying a house and eventually your retirement.
Look I am just going to say that you should vote. Most of my readers on here are between the ages 17-32. Y’all are the ones who should be voting and I am just going to throw it out there but people who are over the age of 85 shouldn’t vote. I love old people. Especially those horrible men who remember where they were when there was racial integration at school. But our world is developing and moving so quickly that not even the CEO’s of big companies know what the hell is going to happen in the next 10 years. I mean guys, Donald Trump is in the White House. And there is some grumpy bastard who is complaining about a woman who might just get elected. Ya. This is 2017. And for some bullshit reason, I am still fighting for equality as a woman.
Please, you can get voting papers sent to your house, you can look at policies online and you can interesting conversations with adults that challenge you. Voting benefits more than just you and I. It takes two minutes. Literally, you tick a couple of boxes and get on with your day.
I am going to go back to studying now. And ignore all old people comments by drowning them out with music. But seriously think about voting. It’s going to a good year for it.
So I had the unfortunate experience of having an interaction with a woman who really didn’t understand the mutual societal agreement of waiting for a Tank juice in silence. I was on a break from work, I headed around to Tank to pick up a jungle juice for my partner who was still working (hustling that chef life). It was somewhat busy but when is it not at Tank. I ordered and sat down waiting for my name to be called out.
Does anyone else give a different name because you know its way to hard for them to even try to pronounce it?
Any way, I perched myself on a stool and pulled out my phone and jumped onto the news. I may be 22 but I like to keep up with the news. Then this woman walked in.
To begin with I didn’t notice her. I was looking at the latest plan for Auckland’s traffic plans. But I noticed her because of her booming voice. Not to be a hater because I have a loud voice. However, she was blabbing on about being dairy free. Not that she had an allergy but she wanted the yogurt that was dairy free because “milk hinders the immune system”. Now to give you some context we are in Ponsonby. Known for its white majority and money. House wives who drive 4WD porches and put their kids in private schools. This is when I peaked at her. Lifted my gaze and to identify the noise maker. She was now smiling also perched on a stool and looking around.
Then we locked eyes.
And somehow her smile got wider.
“You’ll get a text neck”
Was this woman talking to me?
“You can thank me in years to come because your whole generation will have spine problems. Its welcomed advice I am sure”
And I thought for a second if she was being serious or if she was talking on the phone or if she was literally ignoring the fact that all of us in Tank were standing in silence ignoring each other. Because we came here for the juice not the conversation.
But then she nodded at me. And said “I am talking to you.”
And I replied with “I didn’t realise I was asking for your opinion”.
“Its called freedom of speech” she replied as if we are in America or something.
Followed with “you just don’t want a neck problem”.
All I wanted to say to this white pant wearing, smiling, dairy intolerant liar was a few words because if we are playing the game of freedom of speech this woman must think someone will bark back right?
“No actually that is exactly what I was going for whilst I sit here minding my own business.”
That statement is what my mother calls being facetious.
Please spot the girl in the background wishing she could just disappear.
And then my named was called. By my name I mean Sarah because Seren is just too much for some people.
The guy who was also on his phone now was just smiling and nodding his head. Us young people band together, and she didn’t like that.
She walked up to the counter and snatched her diary free, mango smoothie full of lies and as she walked past me said “having an opinion means you have a brain”.
And just like a great game of tennis I hit back with… “well thank god for that”.
Tank in hand she walked the opposite direction to where I was heading.
Moral of this story is that you cannot tell someone to f**k off. Not straight out in a public setting. In private, sure. That is your business. You can be outspoken and make it a difference of opinion. Its just sometimes you have to remind people that there are different opinions out there.
You can’t dislike someone for having a different opinion to you. Its a human thing to be different. You can’t hate someone for being human. I mean you can, but that is also a matter of opinion.
Okay so the title is a bit over dramatic but its called click bait and I know you all understand that I have to reel you in to read these blog posts.
I recently walked into my work only discover a film crew, two white people holding a glass of wine each, smiling as bright LED lights which hit their faces as they smiled and the director said ‘CUT’. A chef turned to me and told me to be quiet (like the Italian dude never listened to me once when I ramble about what I do outside of hospitality). All 4 of the chefs were all standing around. Unable to do work because of that ole nugget of being quiet on set. The restaurant was being used as a set for a commercial that was going to air in China. The showstopper of this little number was New Zealand beef. Cooked, steaming on a white plate being served by one of the staff members from the restaurant. You need to remember that this company has money, they are not cheap.
I walked back outside on the hunt for a coffee because you can’t steam milk with a film crew in your way. FFS. Latte in hand I was wondering back to the restaurant when I saw Thomas, the ‘server’ from the film shoot outside having a cigarette, a great french guy who actually works with me. I sat myself down next to him and asked if he was being paid for this work. He said no. Just being paid by the company we work for (I can’t name where I work on here because thats asking for trouble, but if you are smart you can just go look at my Facebook. #LoopHoles). I asked him if he had been asked to sign a media realise form? No. If he had seen a contract? No.
And thats when I started to get a bit shitty. Not at him, but at the industry.
Then the head chef walks outside. He had also been featured in the commercial. I asked him the same questions. He gave the same answers. And then I began to get really shitty.
You may be asking yourself why Seren are you getting cranky?
Are you jealous? No.
So what is it then?
You know of that thing called the butterfly effect? Ripple effect? One thing leads to another? That chain reaction?
Let us start at the beginning of an imaginary (or not) situation.
- You get asked to be on commercial/video/film/show and your role isn’t integral to the ‘thing’. Your there just to fill in the gap or your face is never shown.
- Your asked to turn up at the location or maybe you are even there.
- You walk in and are quite intimidated because of the people, the crew and everything that is going on around you.
- Someone asks you to get changed or to wait or to listen to instructions as to what you are expected to do.
- You listen and are asked to jump onto the set.
- The director lets you know what is going to happen.
- You listen and follow instructions. (p.s you are doing great)
- Time just slips by and the director calls cut and you are allowed to go.
- You ask if your needed at all. And its a no so you go home.
- You tell your friends of what you did.
- Then you tell me. (I am assuming we are friends here guys)
- And then I ask you if you were paid.
- You say no.
- I ask you if you signed a media realise form.
- You say no.
- Then I curse and walk away.
- You are now confused as what just happened and why I am now angry at you.
Well my lovely you just ruined my sustainable career because you took an unpaid job. How you might ask. Seems like a huge jump? Not really because you were just scammed.
What you need to realise is that at step 1 you should of had step 1.a, 1.b, 1.c all asking questions. Those questions help me and all others in the creative industry have a sustainable career. I am sure you would be shocked to think that some artists work for over 20 hours a week for free. With the expectation to keep working for free with no pay.
Remember I did not rack up a student loan to work for free for the rest of my life. As I am sure you can agree.
- is this job paid?
- if so how much? hourly, contract, casual?
- where and when do you need me?
- do i have a confidentially agreement?
- do i have to have my hair and make up done? will I be paid for that time?
- is travel included in my contract rate?
- what are your expectations of me?
- will i need to sign a media form?
What you need to realise is that this should all be transparent. Because if this was your normal job (because this is my normal job) that you would ask all these questions, but sometimes due to the excitement and advantage taking of the fact that you might not know to ask these questions you end up doing it for free. Which means I might have to do it for free.
NOW HERE COMES THE RANT SO IF YOU WANT TO SKIP THIS THEN PLEASE HEAD TOWARDS THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST.
What you need to know is we can’t strike. We don’t have a union to turn to. We do not have the law always on our side. We deal in mess, all day. We work outside of the law, all the time. We do not take breaks, we do not stop and look at the time for a break when everything is finally ready. In reality that does not happen. And I know you are not dumb. You know this but time and time again I get told we bring all these challenges on ourselves. When in reality you taking that free gig meant when I asked if I would be getting paid for this I seemed greedy.
When its not. I am not greedy. I do work for free and I when I do it is because I WANT TO. Not because I have to. I turn down jobs not because I don’t want them. But because my time costs. My house costs. My food costs. But this ideology of working for experience is utter bull shit. Yes for some time as an artist you might have to do the odd job for free however artist are expected to work for free after they have qualifications, awards, reputations.
END OF RANT: THIS IS WHERE IT IS OVER.
My favourite part of this whole story is when I was on my way out of the restaurant in search of coffee and the director asked me if I knew how to turn the light on. I said “yes” and then he asked me if I would like to turn it on. I said “no sorry, I don’t work for you”.
I walked out and didn’t give a flying fuck.