Town Mouse

Dear Internet,

Please forgive me, for I am about to rant.

Last night I went to the World of Wearable Arts dress rehearsal.

Nosebleed-y at WoW

It was horrible. I do not know why I thought I would like it – I do not like interpretive dance, I don’t find the wearable art particularly moving*, and I never watch the televised version because it bores me. But I went. It was horrible.

I suppose, the one good thing that came out of last night is that now, when I am told – in a smarmy tone, ALWAYS the smarmy tone – that I really MUST go because it’s just TOO TOO fabulous and how it’s SUCH A SHAME that I live in Wellington and DON’T GO to WoW I can tell them that I did go. And it was horrible.

Besides the general boredom, the insufferable child & animal performers, the men-dressed-as-women-equals-hilarious shtick, and the women in the audience hooting everytime a man wore tights, there was one straw which broke the proverbial camel’s back.

Fred fucking Dagg.

I am sick and tired of being made to feel like I am not a “real” New Zealander because I do not like the countryside.

Because I do not own or like mud-caked gumboots and a wife beater. Because, more often than not, I find pavlova cloying and overly sweet. Because I do not like paua shell. Because I do not know Ten Guitars.

Because my idea of a future life for my family does not involve a paddock. The quarter acre dream is not mine. I do not secretly want to retire to the country and do hard yakka. I enjoy that I am not entirely sure to what the “number eight” in “number eight wire” refers, though I presume it is the gauge. I do not want a bach with a corrugated iron shed and worn sheets on the splinter-y bedframes.

I like the city. I prefer the city.

I like the background hum of traffic, I like the smell of rain on a hot pavement, I like that there are cafés and bars and restaurants and stores all within walking distance, I like people-watching. I like wearing inappropriate shoes and never wearing trackpants. I loathe enclosed shopping malls and homogenised suburbs. Give me urban, give me grime, give me culture.

I admit, I can admire verdure, and clean air, and stars. I like that the countryside is there, over the hills, a drive and a bit away. That’s fine. It’s nice that it’s there if I feel like a change.

But I am a town mouse. I always will be. I am sick of being told I am not a real New Zealander because of it.

sincerely, Sarah-Rose

* and I LIKE modern art. I just like pieces which make me feel something other than “huh” or “meh”.


One Flesh by Fiona Samuel

One Flesh by Fiona Samuel

A conversation between Craig and I during my first read through of One Flesh.
And that’s about all I have to say about that for now.

Except to note that the play has been vetted by the Pastor of the church in which we are due to perform. The script has had the worst of the swearing removed but apparently tits are a-ok by the Lord.



Edited: Suck it 7STARS@ASIA.COM! Google and I are stronger than you. I have my email and blog back.

Tales from the graaaaaave …

In uh, Celebration of the end of my tenure (3 years, 10 months and 11 days …) at an UNDISCLOSED call centre I have decided to share some of my favourite calls!

Chronologically, from the earliest to the most recent.

me : call centre uber-girl
CG : crotchety gentleman

me : welcome to (undisclosed paint company) you’re speaking with Sarah
CG : uhh yes the first sunday of the month- you can take paint in to the store?
me : hm sir you’d be best to check with the store as you’ve reached the after hours for the technical advice li–
CG : what? why can’t you tell me! you SHOULD KNOW. The ALBANY store – you take paint in on the first sunday of the month … ???
me : well we are here to pass on the contact details of stores, and their hours.
CG : ALBANY. the ALBANY store. we want to take the paint in.
me : okay the number is ***-**** … but i don’t think you can take the paint in there on the first sunday of the month-
CG : what are you saying !?! i thought you didn’t know !?!
me : i know the store hours SIR and the albany store is always closed on sundays
CG : …. oh. lets see here … ohhh WAIRAU PARK. it IS useful talking to you then !!
me : yes sir, have a nice day *headdesk*

The joys of having a common name:
Me : (growling) helloo?
MANAGER : Hi Sarah! wondering if you’d be interested in some extra hours today??
Me : uh john ? i’m in Auckland
MANAGER : Oh! guess you wouldn’t be interested then.
Me : yea, not until after the 3rd (when i get back)
MANAGER : … bu- i thought you’d been put on roster??
Me : (light dawning) oh, i think you’ve got the wrong Sarah, John, this is Sarah-Rose
MANAGER : Oh no blah blah blah dreadfully sorry.

people amuse me. they amuse me in a very aggravating way.
me : could i have the name of the recipient?
caller : ay?
me : the name of the recipient?
caller : is that where i wanna send it?
me : no, it’s the name of the person who is recieving the bouquet
caller : that’s what I said *click*

uh no, you said WHERE, i asked for WHO.

caller : i’d like to book in for the 12 … 12 pm session … 12 pm HA! that means midnight!!
me : well, no sir, 12am is midnight, 12 pm is noon
caller : hrmpf. we’ll have to disagree on that one
me : sure

I just spoke to a most delightful lady who railed at me because I dared imply (And how is that spelled?) that there was more than one spelling to the surname pronounced SM-EYE-TH. Like Smithe and Smyth and Smythe.
I take over a hundred calls each day, I’ve had it spelled to me each and every way. Names which are homonymous are not neccessarily spelled the same, such as Mckay/Mckie.
Then of course, she pointed out to me in her most disdainful tone that there is a difference between spelling and ProNOUNCE-iation. ha.

A gentleman just called up the WEATHER SERVICE and wanted to know if there was DEFINITELY going to be no rain in christchurch tomorrow.
I told him that definitely is an interesting term to be used with meterology.

me : I’m sorry sir, we don’t offer that service through this line but I can give you your local number if you’d like …
caller : okay, great!
me : ……….. I’ll need your location sir
caller : (here is usually inserted a snort of derision) oh, WELL it’s ********

me : and can i have your surname please?
caller : uh …. uh …. is that your last name?
TWICE. This has happened TWICE in ONE day.

me : can i have your address?
caller : is that your phone number ?
but that kid sounded 4 and adorable.

my boss just rang my phone (an internal call, at work)
boss : did i call you or did you call me?
me : … uh you called me …
boss : oh. i must have pushed a button … there’s some kind of call waiting on your phone

I just had a lady go OFF at me because she couldn’t understand me. Apparently my “stupid british accent” was too strong for her to understand. This is after she has commented at least THREE times on how bad the line was.
Perhaps it could be the incredible buzzing and distortion on the line that is making it hard for you to understand me ???

me : welcome to ****** ****** ***********, you’re speaking with Sarah
caller : hi, Michelle was it?

A caller (from the company who is our tech support for like, EVERYTHING WE USE HERE) just thought that I wouldn’t know how to spell his company name, or his name, but that I would magically know that he was calling from Auckland.
The worst thing?
His name was BEN.

me : Welcome to the ********** of *********** recruitment line, you’re speaking with Sarah.
caller : Yes, Hi, I’m calling about the Magna Pacific Leather Bag …
me : I’m sorry? you’ve reached the ********** of *********** recruitment line, I think you have the wron-
caller : no, this is the number I’ve called for the Magna Pacific Leather Bag.
me : well, I’m sorry, all we can do on this line is have the ********** of *********** recruitment pack sent out.
caller : no dear, this IS the number to call to get this Magna Pacific Leather Bag so you’r going to-
me : No Ma’am I’m sorry but you really have reached the ********** of *********** recruitment line
caller : this is 0800 **1 **2
me : no ma’am this is 0800 **1 **1 (smirk)
caller : oh – (click)

caller : hey, uhm, I’m filling out this application and it says that I need a Class B drivers Licence … but uh what if I don’t have a licence?
me : well, if it says you need a Class B Licence, (pause) then you need a Class B Licence
caller : oh aye?
me : yea, sorry.

Me : Thanks for calling ****** ****** ***********, you’re speaking with Sarah
Caller : Hi, Where are you? Where is your shop?
Me : uh, I’m in Wellington, Sir, our technicians are all over the country but they work oout of their vans.
Caller : So you don’t have a shop there?
Me : No, just the office here, our techs work out of their vans.
Caller : oh but I’m looking to get some roller wheels …
Me : Okay, well I can pass a message on to our technician in your area-
Caller : and I can go to his shop?
Me : No, sir. He works out of his van, he doesn’t have a shop.
Caller : oh okay. Can I call him? What is his number?
Me : it is 0274 *** ***
Caller : oh, he doesn’t have a landline?
Me : No sir, he works out of his Van.
Caller : oh okay, don’t worry about it then. [click]
and then my head exploded.

Me : welcome to ****** ****** ***********, you’re speaking with Sarah
Caller : oh yes, hi, I have a commercial aluminium window that has broken struts
Me : okay, well I can have the local tech give you a call and arrange to do that repair for you sir,
Caller : right well we’re just down on the waterfront there.
Me: oh we’re a nationwide company sir so which waterfront?
Caller : aye?
Me : the waterfront of which city sir? Auckland, Wellington, …
Caller : Auckland, where are you?
Me : Wellington, sir, so-
Caller : oh Telling-Bone aye? you speak english down there?
Me : …… excuse m-
Caller : you sound like you speak english ok heh heh heh
Me : oh-kay, well-
Caller : no no don’t mind me, I’m just being rude, it’s my right
Me : [deepening my voice dramatically] yes sir, you’re allowed to be rude and I’m allowed to be annoyed. now can I-
Caller : ho ho! one all! good on ya,
Me : Can I get your name sir?
Caller : don’t call me sir, that sets me off. Trevor ***
Me : thank you Trevor, can I get your address …
And the rest of the call was actually really nice. He stopped being annoying and confrontational and became almost jovial, wishing me a very good day at the end.

caller : the company name is ****** Pro-nounce-iation *****
me : I’m sorry?
caller : ****** ProNOUNCEiation ****
me : ****** … pro NOUNCE iation?
caller : yes.
me : … and how are you spelling that?
caller : P-R-O-N-U-N-C-I-A-T-I-O-N
And then my head exploded.

Me : Good morning *******, Sarah-Rose speaking
Caller : Ah yes, can I just go through to the extension please?
Me : sorry, which extension were you after?
Caller : no no I want to go through the extension!
Me : yes, but WHICH extension
Caller : oh, just a second
rustle rustle rustle … rustle rustle rustle … rustle rustle
Caller : it’s ****

in the middle of a call.
Me : And what title do you go by?
Caller : huh? oh! hah, I don’t know, Bitch? ha
Me : uh
Caller : hah, no, uh Mrs.
Me : Hah, okay, thank you.
I was actually speechless!

After deciding that I will organise for an information pack to be sent to him :
Caller : Do you want the first name first or the second name first?
Me : First name first please sir!
Caller : Okay, Smith. S-M-I-T-H
Me : … Okay and your surname?
Caller : That was the surname. And the first name is John. J-O-H-N
It’s times like these that my head and hand feel magnetised.

Easiest call ever!
caller : so this part where it says Programme code? is that were I put the programme code?
me : yes
caller : and where it says Course name? is that were I put the course name?
me : … yes.
caller : cool thanks
me : … you’re welcome …

Co-worker : Desiree, that’s such a stripper name
Me : … That’s my mother’s name!
Co-Worker : Oh … no! Really?
Me : yes! really! that’s never happened to me in real life before.

Caller : so my name is Cassidy Ray
Me : okay … Cassidy Ray …
Caller : No no that’s Cassidy Rain
Me : Cassidy Rain? right.
Caller : And that’s all one name. My surname is ****
Me : Cassidy-Rain? ****?
Caller : And Cassidy’s with a K.
Me (incredulous) : Kassidy-Rain? okay …

Small Victories
talking to a lovely lady regarding a booking for her husband. She gives his surname as Baumgarten and I spell it to her and she replies yes and we move on to the next part of the conversation when I hear in the background a man with an american accent start yelling at her.
Mr Baumgarten : NO! You have to SPELL IT TO HER. B as in BOY, A as in APPLE …
the phone goes silent and then he’s on the line with me. And he’s still yelling.
Mr Baumgarten : My Surname is B as in BOY-
Me : Yes sir, I’m aware of that. I spelt it out to the lady I was just speaking to and she confirmed that it was correct.
Mr Baumgarten : Oh. Well.
And he proceeded to be completely horrible for the rest of the call but I still felt a little vindicated.

Me: Welcome to ********, you’re speaking with Sarah
Caller: Marmite Marmite Marmite
Me: What the ….

Interesting Names
(I always forget to note these down)

Sally Garden

Mr. A. Pauling
Nathanial Fairweather

Names I have been called


As of 2:30pm 3:30pm* I am now officially unemployed.
For the first time since I was … 16? fun.
It also makes the trip seem very very close.

*heee! I covered for someone on my last day.

Days to go
Finishing work 0 days
Leaving Wellington 10 days
Leaving New Zealand 17 days
Arriving Bangkok 31 days
Arriving London 50 days

Caller : Thanks Sandra! oops! I mean Sharon, sorry.
Me (Sarah) : … That’s fine. Thank you.

My Mother is SO Proud (and after this entry? she’ll be even more so)

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… kinky.

Craig and I are now officially Bartenders.
Our course took only two weeks but by the end of it we had memorised oh about 45 (MILLION) drinks.
The worst part of the exam was the practical test where we had to make 3 drinks in 5 minutes and not-enough seconds.
I was assigned a Long Black (yes, coffee), a Cosmopolitan and a Sex on the Beach.

Tutor : And what’s this one?
Me : A Sex on the Beach
Tutor : And what’s in it?
Me : uh Vodka-Peach-Melon, half a shot of Raspberry and 50/50 Orange Juice and Cranberry …
Tutor : … you sure? I thought there was … triple sec …
Me : No, Very Pretty Mrs Robinson
Tutor : … I can’t stump you can I?

Earlier that week, discussing shots.

Tutor: Ok. An Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, otherwise known as?
Entire Class : Quick Fuck!

Now, both Craig and I come from families were swearing is rare if not uncommon and even I seem to be stuck in 1950s Britain and am just as likely to be caught saying Shoot! or Blast! or oh Bother as Cunting Motherfucker.
In fact, the few times I’ve dropped the f-bomb in these pages Craig has actually said to be “But … our families might read it!” … yes dear, but they know we’re practically grown ups.
But somehow, it still feels just Wrong to be talked about a drink called Sex On The Beach or Cupid’s Cum with my parents. In order to cope I tend to adopt the same face I use in the supermarket queue when buying condoms (or as in one unfortunate shopping list, lettuce, cucumber, vaseline, hairdye, wine and condoms) which is wide-eyed, eyebrows relaxed and raised just a fraction, and a vague but genuine smile. The key is to will yourself to NOT look at your shoes or Anywhere-but-at-the-cashier because that just gives you away as totally Not Cool with Buying Condoms (or, Swearing).
The worst thing? Sex on The Beach is a really really nice, really really girly drink. And I love it. So I don’t think I’ll get away with not saying it. Ever.

Hm. This entry was not meant to be about swearing or buying condoms. I blame the Wine. It causes the destination of all my trains of thought to be south of the border.

[I should clarify, I am not drunk as I type this. I’m at work! but I wrote it on Friday night and I May or May Not have been drunk then.]

Oh. That’s right. Craig and I are now possibly the Worst People Ever to take to a bar, or to a restaurant that serves drinks.
Craig’s Mother took us out to a nice lunch in a pub-style restaurant in Devonport …

Craig: Tsch! You’re not meant to give straws to me
Me: No, Orange Juice and Coke etcetera always come with a straw, in a highball glass.

Me: Hey baby, look they have Bulleit Bournon
Craig: And CC
Me: And Galliano, and Johnny Walker Red

Me: Oh! did she-
Craig: She just used a glass as an Ice Scoop!
Me: Tsch. You NEVER use a glass as an Ice Scoop!

And so on and so forth.
We’re not Wine-eys, but we’ve become cocktail&bar-service-eys which is almost as bad.
How irritating.
I feel for all of you.
Excepting, of course, my dear Kat who did the exact same bar course and is probably just as cbs-ey as us.

Jumping back a carriage (and continuing the painful train metaphor) to the subject of my In-Laws, Craig and I have just returned from our Secret, Hidden Weekend which was a trip to Auckland to Surprise Craig’s Mother for her Birthday. AND! I’m pretty certain that it worked which is probably the most shocking thing of all.
So we spent 4 days in Auckland, marvelling at that big round yellow thing in the sky, and surprised by the lack of rain and the strange absence of the nagging fear of frostnip, finally returning to a Wellington where it rained 3 days straight and we feared flooding.
It was good to be home.

And now?
After two straight days of curling up with my sick husband, my amazing immune system seems to have succumbed to whatever it is that he has and now we’re both sick.

I feel like Basil Fawlty

During a call yesterday

Caller : My name’s Geoffrey Eichleba-something-something
Me : [distracted] ok, so that’s E-I-C-H-M-A-N?
Caller : Nooo, it’s E-I-C-H-L-E-B-something-something
Me : oh! right, sorry.

And all night it’s been bugging me. Who’s freaking name was I spelling!?!
It hit me at 4:37 this morning …

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SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Karl Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962)
He was head of the Department for Jewish Affairs in the Gestapo from 1941 to 1945 and was chief of operations in the deportation of three million Jews to extermination camps. It was Eichmann who organized the Wannsee Conference of January 1942, which focused on issues related to the “final solution of the Jewish question.” From this point Eichmann assumed the leading role in the deportation of European Jews to the death camps. At the end of the war, Eichmann was arrested and confined to an American internment camp, but he was able to escape unrecognized. He fled to Argentina and lived under the assumed name of Ricardo Klement for ten years until Israeli Mossad agents abducted him in 1960 to stand trial in Jerusalem. The controversial and highly publicized trial lasted from April 2 to August 14, 1961. Eichmann was sentenced to death and executed in Ramleh Prison on May 31, 1962.


Edited: 11th November. (Armistice Day. Wrong war, but same sentiment)
Someone left an anonymous comment on this entry linking me to a site that lionises Adolf Eichmann.
I feel that I should make it clear that I feel nothing but absolute hatred for what Eichmann was involved in. I remember his name not because I support his actions but because I feel he should always be accountable for them (even after death) and because I have studied WWII and the atrocities committed by the Nazis several times through my primary and secondary levels of education.

I’m going to delete his cowardly comment now because the last thing I want is others seeing his site.