Monday, August 20, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Last night I had a couple drinks at PJ O'Briens with Michael and the others to celebrate his moving on to Darwin then I did night watch and made eggs and blueberry pancakes at the hostel.
Today I did security for the bar again and some police showed up and searched room one for about an hour. After a bit a detective showed and they hauled away an Asian guy who apparently stole an ipod and ipad from another hostel. After my shift some guy smashed a mirror in the hallway and yanked a bunch of stuff off the wall. Iano chased him out and said, "I'll remember your face."
After church I went with Pillar and his family for lunch and later we had tea at Clarence's. Back at the hostel I arrived as a group of just over 100 gays finished checking in for a convention here in Adelaide... kill me now.
Today Jessica came and got me from my room. I had been in hiding for the last few days from the awkward conversations, annoying hallway gatherings, and overall invasion of my habitat... but she seemed convinced that it would be worth my while to come down. Too right, the English girls were throwing a fourth of July party! Little did they know the fourth of July "Independence Day" is America's day celebrating independence from the British. They thought we were celebrating civil rights or something but rather they were celebrating their own defeat by us rebel Americans! Jessie and Beck had bought snags, candy, party poppers & sparklers (the only legal "fireworks" in Oz) and an American movie as well as red, white and blue streamers - they weren't about to let this little historical mix up ruin their freedom party. After the barbie I went to the church for the dinner meeting and on the way back I learned that the graffiti on the buildings in Adelaide is actually legal - every couple of months they repaint so that other artists can have a clean canvas.
Last night I went for the second part of the sleep study with a different group. When I arrived I met Kade and Tomo.
Today we had brekky and took our usual tests during which I got a reaction speed of 146 milliseconds. After showering we did urine samples, weighed in and started the cycling. After the study ended this time they fed us BBQ chicken and Greek salad. After eating I headed back to the hostel for my security shift at the bar where I ended up having to kick a freakish tall guy out of the bar for harassing some girls.
Today I made snags for Ralph and myself. While we were eating I met a German bloke named Oliver. Oliver is a chef hitchhiking his way to Perth from Sydney. He just finished a year in New Zealand and shared some great insights for my upcoming visit. Apparently, while the minimum wage is slightly lower ($13/hour), New Zealand is also a bit cheaper, so it works out. After further discussion on where to go and what to do in NZ I got Oliver's Facebook and went for groceries with Ralph. Back at the hostel I had some goon that Ralph and I bought and watched the movie "Australia". While Ralph was working I came down and spoke with Oliver some more. He told me about the corrupt police in Eastern Europe and how they take everything from your wallet while checking your ID. He suggested a simple solution - don't carry too much or too little, 5-10 euro is sufficient to keep everyone happy. Another interesting cultural observation - while Germany does have high standards for their goods, it seems they've become a bit lax and joined America in outsourcing - things "made in Germany" are now made in other countries by German standards. After Ralph finished cleaning we joined Dave and others for drinks out on the balcony.
Today life at the Blue Galah returned to normal - no more blocked hallways, no more loud drinking until 4a, no more gross conversations in the lounge and definitely no more creepy bathroom advances.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Today I woke up late and went to apply for the cleaning job at the mines that one of my clients had referred me to. The job agent I spoke to was very keen but not particularly impressed with my visa restrictions. Back at the hostel I was running out of time to drink the 2.4 liters of liquid required for the sleep study so I chugged a liter of water and rushed over to the Appleton Institute. There I met up with my fellow lab rats Jordan, Sonya and Elliot - two locals and a Canadian. Stas explained the procedures, gave us a ten minute reflex test (the first of many), a questionnaire about our alertness & mood (also the first of many) and took us on a tour of the facility. After a while they wired us up for bed with electrodes and a head band device that monitors sleep in place of the electrodes (for comparison purposes).
The head band ended up being too tight and, while my attendant attempted to loosen it, it ended up being the first of many issues throughout the night. Right off the start they literally counted down as if to say "ready, set, sleep!" which didn't help. Then, after about 15 minutes sleeping, I woke back up to a severe pressure in my head only to realize that the headband was slowly working its way into my forehead. I figured I could still get to sleep in a reasonable amount of time but, sure enough, after about half an hour or so my bladder decided to keep me up for another hour. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, my stomach began to growl. According to the sleep monitor at my bedside I didn't fall asleep till 2a - a full four hours after lights out... not the best performance considering my only job was to sleep.
This morning they woke us up at 7:30a to eat brekky which consisted of two weat bix, toast and half an apple - all precisely measured out and recorded as such. After a bit more reflex testing and another questionnaire on our alertness & mood we showered and suited up for the bicycles. Our uniforms consisted of standard mining apparel - long sleeve high vis shirts, sweat pants and a helmet. This so that the study would be as authentic as possible for the purpose it was designed (to test the effect of electrolytes on miner re-hydration). Along with the attire we also had to do our "labour" in a 35*C (100*F) room. After a urine sample (the first of many) we began our 2.5 hour indoor bicycle ride. When we finished we did some reading (1001 Natural Wonders to See Before You Die) in between the testing (reflex, mood, urine) and finally at 6:30p we were finished with day one of two. We then proceeded to enjoy a barbie that Greg, one of the project leaders, had set up for our group - snags, Greek salad and lamb chops!
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Yesterday I looked for work all day and today I watched movies with Stephen. We had some doughnuts from shopping earlier and at about 2a we made steaks, eggs and bacon.
From yesterday on I continued my job search and today I applied for a sleep study. Later the Balcony Bar provided snags (hot dogs) so I ate and had a couple half price drinks ($5). At one point Stephen offered me another drink for doing the dishes and, as the night went on, the Irish lads began to sing and dance. During this time Dave clarified some of the finer points of getting a labouring job. Apparently it doesn't matter what you know as much as what you say. In the right light any experience can be used to make it look like you know what you're doing - you learn everything you need to while on the job anyways. The only thing that really matters is work ethic, everything else is re-explained whether you know it already or not.
Today I went to Murray Bridge with the church to do some door-knocking... I wasn't particularly thrilled to continue doing the very thing that had been crushing my soul for the last three months but at least I wouldn't be alone this time. I had hoped that my experience at least would come in handy but unfortunately my group just couldn't find anyone willing to hear us out.
Back at the hostel I began my new job as a bouncer for the bar once a week. Throughout my first night we had people trying to piss in the showers and an Irish guy who got progressively more aggressive. First he got in an argument with an odd blond guy who I later realized was secretly talking trash. Later on I found another Irish lad hunched over in the toilet and had to climb over the stall to get him out. Over time a POME bloke started to annoy me but was just "taking the piss" and getting a laugh out of hearing my yank accent. He clearly wasn't trying to cause problems but that didn't make it any less irritating. Eventually my shift came to an end and I started getting ready for bed when I heard some yelling down the hall. I rushed down to find the Irish guy standing over Dave on the floor. He had taken Dave's phone and made a call to the police. Dave got reacted and the guy slammed Dave's head on the floor yelling, "nobody threatens me."
Today I discussed the sleep study with a post grad named Stas. Stas explained that I would be testing the effect of electrolytes on dehydration common with miners working in the warmer regions of Australia. Back at the hostel a crazy, self important Indian dude freaked out. Having lost his job as a mechanical engineer he wanted to work for accommodation but, upon being told that I would "teach" him what to do, he threw a fit. The ungrateful punk insulted Brian who responded in kind only to get a "do you know who I am?"
Brian wasn't about to put up with any of this and eventually had to kick the crazed lunatic out of the hostel. It wasn't long before the creep came back and had an argument with a POME guy named Chris. Chris is a big guy and is not afraid to say what is on his mind. He quickly put the little weirdo in his place telling him he was "cooked" and stared him down until the spas finally stormed off. It would have appeared that the guy had finally given up but unfortunately this would not be the last time that he would pay us a visit.
Later on a bunch of the Irish lads and I started a movie called the Fourth Kind during which I got a call from William. William had me go up to the room so he could tell me about an Asian guy who had followed him in from the dumpster. He said that this guy proceeded to dig in our food cubbies and then went into room two - a girls dorm. I told the guys in the lounge about this and everyone became deeply concerned, the girls - a bit creep-ed out. It would seem the movie had reached a dramatic point wherein everyone found themselves wearily analyzing the situation for serious ramifications. Jessica had me check her room for her and Stephen checked the security footage to see if they had video of the guy sneaking in. After a while no evidence could be found to support William's claim and everyone just attributed the misunderstanding to the foreign youth's excessive sensitivity to his situation.
Today Chris made dinner and Dave gave everyone Popsicles. During this time Amit came out with some more information on the mental state of the strange Indian dude. Apparently he came back today with $350 sunnies (sunglasses) that he had purchased earlier and, since he hadn't paid for accommodation the last couple days, Amit asked for his card. The card was declined even when Amit attempted $40... the fruit loop had spent his last $350 on sunnies. This guy walked into the office (off limits) to grab a beer and, when asked what he was doing there, just said to put it on his tab... The guy has no money but he did find a homeless shelter so Amit, out of sheer pity, offered him a ride. Amit asked Chris to come along as backup in case the nutcase went mental again.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Yesterday I arranged to go visit Robbie again and today I caught a bus to meet his mate, Gino. Gino is from Croatia and has been driving for as long as Robbie, about 26 years. After two hours we stopped at a truck stop where we met up with another truckie named Leslie, a huge 66 year old bloke who looks like he could take down a bear with his bare hands. Six hours later we arrived in Geelong and Robbie picked me up from near the truck depot.
Today I bought some drinks for Robbies place and we went to the Westfield mall for Cheeky Chicken and later on we went for some tea and a few drinks with Paul, a bloke named John, and eventually we even ran into James again.
Today I had some meat pies and grilled cheese with Robbie before launchin it for Becks.
Beck made some curly fries and gave me a couple bottles of fancy wine that she got from the dregs of one of the delivery trucks. Next we walked around the mall a bit and stopped at the beach to watch some kite surfers.
Today Robbie and I went to Queenscliff(e) again. The "e" has actually been dropped from the name but many local traditionalists still write it on their establishments with the "e" on the end. We revisited a few places from last time and checked out some new ones. We saw an old steam engine, fishing boats with huge bulbs for attracting squid at night and we stopped in at a couple piers. At Point Lonsdale we watched as a boat entered the channel - piloted by locals experienced enough to avoid the treacherous reefs. We also visited a cave where a famous fugitive lived for thirty years while avoiding the authorities way back in the way back days.
The cave was barred off but the bars were far enough apart that I was able to squeeze in and look around a bit. I also climbed over and through some cool rock formations. On the way back Robbie showed me a community where surfing fanatics live and some nearby farmland where he grew up. At Becks we had fish, chips, Chico Roll, Dim Sims, etc for tea and watched a couple movie. At Robbie's we also caught up with the elusive Cameron for the last evening of my visit.
This morning Robbie picked me up and took me to the pickup point. After a few minutes Gino showed up and we left towards Melbourne. On the way Gino dropped me off at a BP where I slept until he was done with his pickup in Melbourne. I woke up and bought a pepper steak pie and four doughnuts as Gino arrived. We headed off and about six hours later we stopped for tea at the roadhouse from last time where I had, according to Gino, the least healthy combination available - fried fish, chips and a steak kebab. An hour or so later we finally arrived in Adelaide at 10p, Gino dropped me off and I took a bus into the city.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Today Stephen and I went to get our phones repaired. The store that sold us our phones, Crazy Johns, took our phones and gave me a loaner since I didn't have a spare. They charged me $50 deposit for a scratched up piece of junk from the late '90s... On the way back we went for brekky and I got some headphones at JB Hi Fi. Then we stopped over at a cafe for jam tarts and Belgian hot chocolate.
Later on I went to Coopers Alehouse to meet up with David for a drink. David told me of some hard times including the death of Zsusha's dad, Joseph. After a couple drinks we got some food and played a game of pool.
Today I slept in for the first time in a while and had the same brekky as I have the last few months.
After a while the hostel staff including myself had a meeting upstairs and Brian gave us free drinks. I then helped Ivy with an English lesson, did a detail shift and talked travel with an Aussie bloke for a bit before starting night shift. During this time I noticed a particularly strange group of girls that had recently checked in. They play on Roller Derby - a game where you dress like it's Halloween and roller skate into each other.
Yesterday I helped Tim move a couple sofas he bought for his new house then, back at the hostel, Stephen made pasta for everyone and we watched a movie in the lounge. Today Wayne put on a barbie and we all had a few snags.
Friday, June 08, 2012
I went to turn in my resignation this morning and found it was a lot harder than expected. Before I could speak with Matt, Brendan pulled me aside and had me sign a form to recognize my commitment to the company after three months by making me Senior Sales Rep. Brendan explained that I would be receiving intermittent manager responsibilities as well as increased responsibility overall. After signing I went over to Matt to turn in my resignation. He asked what he could help me with and as I brought my letter into the light he pointed and said, "that worries me."
I hesitated and continued to explain that I was taking things in a new direction. Matt gave me a sad look and told me that he was devastated. He had me go get Brendan and as I explained my plans they got very distressed. I told them it was nothing personal and they seemed to relax a bit. We discussed me sticking around for quarterly cup to drive since this would make things less difficult for the company. Matt went on to explain how he had plans for me moving forward in the company but that he understood and would be a great reference for me in the future... It wasn't easy but I just couldn't continue working myself 57 hours a week during what's supposed to be a holiday!
On turf I had a guy who complained about my pitch saying that he hadn't complained and asked how we receive these complaints. I told him we don't receive the complaints, there is just general complaining about rising rates... so he asked to see proof. I showed him the recent article on rising rates causing "electric shock" and he argued that I could have typed it up myself. He then continued to complain that I hadn't stated his right to tell me to leave and that I was in violation of door knocking code. I told him of course I have to leave if you ask, that's a given. He continued to ask if I had a code of conduct on me and if I had read it. He went on looking for anything he could get me on so I finally just told him that I'm not a lawyer but I'm definitely not in breach of any laws. I gave him an EAL brochure, pointed out the ombudsman's number for legal advice and left. I told Matt about this and he told corporate to keep an eye out for the wanker in case he actually called to complain.
I ended on two sales today. The first one was to an Indian lady who worked for Woolies in the financial department as an accountant. She advised me to get someone on the inside to refer me if I want a job there. She also told me about other interesting options including taxi driving for $1400/week. She had just moved in so she didn't have a bill. She also lived in an apartment complex and didn't have access to the meter either so I used a trick from yesterday and had the vero rep do a property search with MSTATS.
My second sale was later on but very interesting. I spoke to a guy who worked for ETSA and he didn't seem to mind the conversation so I covered everything. His daughter happened to be listening and got really excited about everything I was telling him so, while he didn't want to get his bill for me, she eventually went and found it while we were talking. After I outlined his savings she was outraged that he still wouldn't go for it so she drove home, got her bill, and came back with it so I could sign her up. It was raining during all of this so I didn't mind waiting in their warm house doing prefills while I waited for her to return.
After work we all went out for drinks and bid Arika farewell then I headed back to the hostel for work... more bleaching.
Today I continued training the guy from yesterday and a bit later, after I sent him off on his own, I went to an apartment complex with over 50 apartments. There I made a sale to a retired professional boxer. He showed me a newspaper clipping from his glory days and told me about his trainer who never touched a drop of alcohol in his life.
Back at the office we all got into the drinks and, as usual, the German girl Mona was first to break out dancing. In the meeting room I tried learning to shuffle with one of the new girls and a bit later I grabbed the Nerf gun but put it back after accidentally shooting Mona in the eye. Heading out of the office we piled into a van with Matt driving... only slightly intoxicated. Many were distressed as we barrelled into near death situations but knowing there's was nothing to be done I just buckled up, sat back and enjoyed the ride. Later we must have gained a reputation because one of the bars had received instructions not to let us in so Matt got into an argument with the bouncer - allowing me to slip passed undetected. After a while nobody else made it in so I decided to regroup with the others - only I was denied access to the bar they were at. Explaining that my friends were inside I tried walking passed one of the bouncers but they quickly grabbed me by the collar and threw me away from the bar. I gave them a look then texted Jon who came out, gave me some food and tried talking to the bouncers. He informed me that unfortunately they don't let you in after you try to sneak passed and then asked where his food was. I gave him $2 and apologized for eating the Maccas dollar menu burger - wasn't sure why he would hand me food if not to eat! I headed back for the hostel... or in the direction which I figured would bring me to the hostel. I ended up stopping at a quick stop and talking with an Aussie bloke who was buying a subway sandwich. It looked good so I bought the same sandwich then walked with him for a bit before he decided to hail me a cab for the city - turns out I had walked a fair distance in the wrong direction.
Today Rugby was in Port Adelaide so I did some stuff and went to Luke's house. After the meeting we had some treats - wafers, chocolate and mango/apple juice. Finally we went back to the meeting hall and ate $2 whoppers that we bought using photocopied coupons.
Today we had Chinese noodle soup for brekky. After church some of us went for lunch in China town where we got big platters and shared then I worked for James and stopped at Hungry Jacks for a $2 whopper on the way back to the city. At Alma Tavern I met up with work mates, ate some chips (french fries) and talked with Lucy and Amber. At one point Matt got into an argument with some guys who took a couple chairs from our table and we began to leave. After pulling Matt away from the conflict we loaded my pushbike into the van and drove back to the city. Back at the hostel I made some homemade chips which turned out surprisingly well.
Today started out nice - I made two sales by 1:30p and things were looking up. The first sale was to a guy who worked for Woolies and didn't really ask any questions, a bit unusual but nice. The next sale was to a Chinese international student who also pretty much just went along with everything. At first I figured it was probably because he didn't really understand and I was just waiting for him to hand back the phone shaking his head in confusion but he agreed to and acknowledged everything we were doing. After that Matt and Brendan got excited and I think jinxed my day because after that everything just went downhill. At around 3p I saw Joanne and she wasn't having any luck either.
At about 3p today I made a sale to a couple girls who, at first, were indifferent and wanted nothing to do with it but I saw a bit of curiosity and played on that with the addition of some rapport building and got them to sign. Vero was down so I didn't have to subject them to that which is probably why they didn't back out. The next sale wasn't for a while but I found a nice lady who works at the mines as a cleaner for $35/hour two weeks on, one week off. She told me how she took eight years to find a way into her job and recommended a contact for me to get my foot in the door. At this point I was pretty happy - two sales and an awesome job prospect. During appointments I found a buyer but we got put on hold for a bit so by the time we got through and found that she had bad credit there was no time for me to go to another.
Today Ben, Joanne and I made no sales. I actually found a couple people who wanted to sign but one had footy and the other, who owned lots of properties, just didn't have time...
Today we did a road trip to Murray Bridge and I still made no sales. Murray Bridge is supposed to be gold turf and, while I did get 14 bills, I didn't close any of them successfully. One guy had an interesting situation - the street light meter was in his meter box and the previous owner had accidentally signed that meter up with us. This guy started getting credit bills from Lumo for the public street lights which just doesn't make any sense. Another guy was ready to sign but vero overemphasized the contract so much that he backed out. Another bloke wanted to do research, right then his friend showed up and vouched for Lumo saying he was happy with us and that another one of their friends was as well. I looked at him and gestured as to say "there's your research buddy!" He still wouldn't go for it.
As if my day wasn't rough enough I also found myself close to being eaten by rabid guard dogs on more than one occasion. One dog had a particularly terrifying growl/bark but was behind a fence. When I went back later the owners were there and as I spoke to them the dog came running. I figured the fence would do its thing again but this time as the dog jumped on the gate it began to open. The dog dropped down and I quickly drop kicked the gate shut before the dog could come after me.
Back at the van the managers weren't happy with me - one even gave me a jab by noting that she didn't think anyone had ever gotten a zero on this turf before. I still managed to relax and enjoy the ride back with a couple drinks and chatting with the others but Brendan was clearly not happy about this - he prefers people on low scores to be silent all the way back.. At the office we all headed over to the pub for a couple drinks and I played some pool with Brendan who was a bit more relaxed now that the day is over.
Today we went to Gawler and the people were tense. One guy told me how he has gotten into the habit of hiding in his office and waiting for doorknockers to leave. Another lady told me she was under the impression that her bill wasn't high enough for the reduction. My first contact of the day was my only real prospect and she ran off to work before we could finish. The only other near sale was a 63 year old gamer who had changed 12 times and couldn't afford the cancellation fee that he would have to pay to switch to us. His current contract wasn't missing anything that I could see so there wasn't any way to get out of it. After work Brendan tried to get me to be silent for the whole hour and half drive back but people asked me things and it wasn't long before I totally gave up trying. On the way to the hostel I went through the park and saw two eyes staring at me from a tree. I used the flash on my phone camera but I just couldn't seem to get a good photo of it.
Today while I was working for the hostel something unusual happened... a guy pissed in the kitchen bin. Some girls saw it and told me and, having just passed by an odd bloke in his boxers, I asked where the guy was and, of course, they pointed to the odd dude. I got his attention saying, "mate, you know there are toilets for that."
As I motioned towards the toilets he gently patted me on the arm and headed upstairs. I brought this up with the front desk and Amit told me to bring the guy back. I went up to him but he was as unresponsive as before so Amit came up and we escorted him back to his room. After I took the piss bag out to the bin, Amit gave me a free soft drink ask thanks. I then got ready for Rugby and ended up bringing Ralph with me. We had to stop at the free bike place (city bikes) to get him one so he could keep up but we still arrived in time to get in on a game. It was second grade (junior varsity) so I had to sit out after a bit because I still wasn't really clear on everything just yet. Ralph on the other hand, having played Rugby back in France, had himself a good run for about half the game. When the game ended we grabbed a drink at the club pub and watched first grade (varsity) for a bit.
Today we had eggs, bacon, toast and some cereal for brekky and met at the hall. After church I headed up to the CBD to meet with James for my sunglasses, payment for my work, and to help support the preservation of an ancient heritage site in WA called the Burrup.
Today I got some new pants to replace the ones that were literally falling apart at the seems
After my team all arrived I drove us to Murray Bridge where it rained all day long. I managed one sale at about 2p to a Kiwi and another right after to a lady from Indonesia. I left my number with the Indonesian lady because she said she wanted to have me explain it to her husband. When her husband got home she started texting me about how angry he was and that I needed to cancel it for her. I explained that I don't have the authority to cancel her contract but that she can easily call and cancel. At my last appointment a couple who I had spoken to at the beginning of the day were keen and even gave me a glass of wine while I explained some things. It turns out they had already done some research including talking to an executive friend who was already happily with Lumo. They had then gone out driving around looking for me on the street so that I could sign them up. As I began the paperwork they asked if they could sign up another property as well! I called Brendan to make sure it was alright to sign up the other property without a meter number in hand and he gave me the go ahead. I then signed up both properties while talking to them about their upcoming trip to Europe. Near the end Brendan tried texting me but before I could read his messages my phone died. I went to meet up with him at the van but the van was gone. At first I tried asking a random lady if I could charge my phone at her place real quick but she was paranoid and thought I might have a gun. I pointed out the absurdity of this judgment and she told me to "keep walking". I explained that I had nowhere to walk to but then decided to just walk down the road a bit so she would leave me alone. I thought about it though and figured it best to just wait for Brendan to return. After a bit I saw some brights shining in my direction and I guessed that it was the van, but I was wrong - it was a police car. The officer stopped and told me to hop in so I caught a ride with him to the van. Apparently Brendan had called the police in a panic and this officer had been assigned the task of locating me. Back at the van Brendan was still visibly shaken but clearly a bit relieved as well.
Today I sold to a Chinese girl named Tingting. Her whole family had moved to Australia and she was the only one who spoke enough English to apply with Lumo. Down the road I was desperate for a toilet so I slipped behind some bushes in someones front yard and, as I was finishing, they pulled up in their car. I quickly hopped the fence and ran down the road thinking, "great, this will be the second day in a row that I get picked up by the police."
Later on Vero was down again so I went to a lady who seemed a likely bad credit and signed her up. She had five children, an overdue bill and lots of cats. As I left the cats followed me until one ran under my foot to trip me and got stepped on.
Today I noticed a sign "Stop Creeping."
It's an odd sign but I recently saw a commercial on unsafe driving depicting bad drivers as creepy. On turf today I trained another rep and with one lady I showed her how to have fun with people. The lady was complaining about America's apathetic attitude towards health care and, being that we had been talking about apathy towards electricity rates, I made the comparison thus revealing her hypocrisy. This got a good laugh after which the lady, finding herself at the butt of the joke, decided she'd had enough. I eventually made a sale later on to an Aboriginal painter who directed me to country schools for authentic aboriginal art.
Today I made a sale at the first door in front of my trainee to a guy who operates cranes for ETSA.. that was the last sale I made for Lumo. Later on I found a little old lady named Agnes. Agnes was with Lumo but getting the SA Electricity 29 cent rates and overall high charges with no discount. I was about to explain our current promo when she got a call from a TRU Energy sales guy who was just confirming her concession details for the sale he had just made to her. Upon realizing I was there the rep asked to speak with me then asserted that he was sorting her out with a good deal and that I should just leave her be. I acknowledged that he was bettering her situation but decided to see what I could do for her. I had to call our retention department for her since she wasn't really all there. It took a while but we finally got through and, not knowing that he was on speaker phone, the rep began to quote our loyal Lumo customer on, not our standard 24 cent rates, but ridiculous rates just slightly lower than what she was currently paying. I began to point out our standard rates to the greedy blood sucker but then got a call from Brendan. I told Brendan about the situation and he just told me it wasn't my problem and to get the heck out of there. It was at that point that the retention rep wanted to speak with me and Brendan hung up. The rep congratulated me on a job well done and continued to bribe me with a reward that he said would be sent to my manager... of course he didn't know I was quiting the next day and regardless I wasn't about to let him get away with ripping off a little old lady. After hanging up I continued to explain our rates to Agnes, wrote a note for her son then called him and explained it to him. He pointed out that Agnes had been told not to change her retailer but I explained that she was a victim of crafty sales technique and that she was being taken advantage of by, not just the TRU guy, but her own retailer as well.
Apparently Murray Bridge has a bit of a reputation. As I continued walking down the street a guy in a black car yelled at me and I asked some random passersby about it, they simply replied, "it's Murray Bridge."
I walked up to a house after going through some really high gates and said, "quite a fortress you have here."
The lady that lived there responded angrily that she would call the cops if I didn't leave immediately. I left in a hurry and went down the road where I met a nice old guy who let me in to warm up a bit and told me about the area's history of drug related violence. It all makes sense now.
Today Matt decided to do another training, this one mostly on body language. Many times he focused the examples on me but at no time did he mention it being my last day. After training we raced to get out first and I barely pushed ahead of the other van securing the win for my team. For lunch Ben and I had Avocado Chicken Schnitzel Burgers which were amazing then we headed off to Victor Harbour where my friend Deani lives and works. I called Deani and she offered to come pick me up for a quick coffee and to catch up. Then I got a call from Ben, saw him, and walked over. He was demotivated so we decided he would join me to go see Deani. We walked over to her work asked where she was to an attendant as Deani walked in. Deani made Ben and I a couple coffees then we decided to grab a couple drinks. We went outside since Deani was busy working and we watched the waves and dolphins jumping while talking about travel. Four hours later we went back in and talked to Deani for half an hour before heading back to work for the final half hour. At six I finished a second walk sheet then sat up on top of a hill with Ben looking out over the harbour. Next we went to van, complained about nobody being home and drove to Hungry Jacks where I bought everyone $2 whoppers using my photocopied vouchers from church.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
At the channel meeting this morning I redeemed my other balloon and won a case of beer. Out on turf I immediately ran into an old guy who I was increasingly weary of selling to. After finding out that he didn't have a phone number for vero I asked if anyone he knew had a number we could use - any relatives or friends to which he said, "they're all dead."
Things went from bad to worse. As I went along I got a bad credit then rounded the corner to see a girl coming up the hill screaming and swearing angrily. I just figured she was being dramatic but I quickly discovered that there was reason for this - someone had been stabbed. I later found that this is actually a common occurrence in this area. After another bad credit I continued along and got rejected for the rest of the day. People were either jaded by the FOUR other reps that had been there recently, "happy" with the one they had signed up with, or wanted to take the information that I was offering and look things up for themselves. After work I rode back to the hostel, ate some cake for a coworkers birthday, had a drink and then some pasta with steak that Danny prepared.
Today I found out that we were back on the same turf as the last couple days. Right off I thought maybe it would be okay as I got a woman signing up and on vero. She passed the credit check but then decided she didn't want her name on the bill. I continued on in the pouring rain and dealt with the same rejections as yesterday. At one house I almost got eaten by a dog - he and his buddy were sitting on a porch, I waved to them to see if they were nice and they slowly lumbered over like any nice dog would. The big one came to the fence first and looked nice but, to be certain of this, I put my hand through to give him a pat on the head... that's when he turned evil. The dog immediately bared his teeth and lunged for my hand, fortunately I was quick to pull out as the now ravenous, blood thirsty creature went mental on the gate between us. Not the best experience I've ever had with a dog. A while after that I walked past a bus stop and a girl asked me what I was up to. I told her, "just here signing people up with cheaper retailers."
She asked if I would stop by and sign her up and, of course, I agreed. Later on, after finally making a sale to a nice couple down in a court, I met some refuges from Iran. They had been prosecuted back home and had left to try life in Australia. They were keen to save money but, as I discovered, they didn't actually pay their electricity - Red Cross did. Next I went to meet the girl from the bus stop but she wasn't home. The rest of the day was a bust and she never did return.
Back at the hostel I did a detail shift, made dinner then had a drink out on the balcony with Ralph and his coworkers. Having seen a job posting earlier I had a good discussion about the pros and cons of our jobs in sales. On one hand, I meet interesting people, gain experience and the days generally go by pretty quickly. On the other hand, a normal job would mean better pay, more free time after work, and much less stress. The thing is that the new job would be boring and have absolutely no possibility of progression while my current job provides opportunity for advancement and is generally pretty interesting if not overly so. Maybe I'll look into the other job and see how things go in the next week or two doing sales.
Today I had another slow day. I had no sales as most people were already jaded from eight other door knockers that month but at about 4:30p I had a lady wanting to sign. On the vero call they asked to do the credit check and that's when she freaked out. She told me nothing more than that she had to think about it and closed the door on me. Odd as that was I wasn't in the mood to care either way because the only thought on my mind all day has been about the other job that I could do instead. At about 5:45p I finally got a sale with a lady who works at Big W. She didn't put up much of a fuss - just verified that I was saving her money and went on with it. On the phone I got one of the nicer reps and decided to ask about any openings there and, as it turns out, he was keen to inform me of an opening posted on seek. After that sale I went over to an appointment where I found that they were getting 20% off their Origin bill so I called my brother David and told him to check that since he's with Origin.
Today a few of us were called in about our slow week - hopefully I get off this turf before it gets me fired. Fortunately, I was able to make two sales today - both were English transplants.
Today I had another donut (no sales). I had a guy at one point signing up, he asked me about the contract and I told him that there was one but that we guarantee the best deal - if he finds a better deal he can leave with no fees. During the vero call the rep told him about the contract and the guy freaked out saying that I hadn't told him about a contract... After that I went on talking to other people until I stumbled upon a friend from church! I spoke with her and her husband and found that they were already getting a pretty good discount from Origin so I let it go. We did manage to find another possible job for me though - selling pharmaceuticals. While I don't relish the idea of going from my current job to another sales job, I may not have a choice the way things are going. Back in the city everyone went out for work drinks at The Elephant pub and I had a schnitzel.
Today I worked two shifts in a row at the hostel then got ready for Rugby but didn't end up going. After going to church I headed to Hungry Jacks with Pillar and a couple others where we used three of my coupons to get six burgers.
Today we went to Clarence's house for a brekky meeting then to church where I ate my third burger from the night before.. I was sure I had food poisoning but as the day went on I realized that the food here really is healthier than the US. This day old burger was fine while a couple burgers only recently bought from a Maccas in the US made me deathly ill...
Today we went to new turf up in the hills and I made three sales.
05/08/2012Today the weather was nice and sunny but the turf was hilly and spread apart. At 3p I had only spoken to 15 people and only a couple had been willing to even show me their bills. One lady showed me her bill, explained that she was definitely looking for a better deal but turned me down when I offered to sort it out for her. After a few more unusual rejections I finally found a lady who was, not only looking to save some money on her electricity, but was actually in a position to save thousands of dollars on it. After sorting her out I went back down to a mansion where I had made an appointment to return but the guy didn't even give me a moment to speak. Fortunately, just up the road a bit I found a lady who was absolutely on the ball. She had done her research, found a good deal but still didn't sign a contract in case a better deal like mine came along. She had already heard of us and with our lower rates and offer to match any deal she was happy as ever to sign up. She also had her daughter sign up and called a friend who was then interested to sign up as well. In the end I didn't have time to help her friend out but this did finish me on three sales - all within 1.5 hours!
Today I made a sale at three then with another I was extremely compliant in explaining that she was signing a contract but on the vero call, after I filled out all the paperwork, she decided that she didn't understand about the contract and wasn't willing to take responsibility. I left frustrated - some people seem to think that they're doing us a favor by signing up. A guy on Monday disapproved of my using the word "retailer" as opposed to the word "provider." I feel that a "supplier" also provides and therefore, to avoid confusion, I prefer the word "retailer" when describing what the company does. We don't supply/provide electricity, we simply bill for it so instead of playing his little game I decided it best to just leave.
At about 5p I was on just the one sale and starting to feel the pressure. Fortunately I found a lady who had spent some time in the UK. Even though she was technically Australian, she still showed the same interest that most English seem to. After selling to her I headed over to an appointment where I caught a couple who loved to bargain. After selling to them I listening to the lady tell me how she spent two weeks bargaining to get a good deal on her car I thanked them for not taking two weeks with me and headed back to the van. After picking everyone up we found that we had hit our target and went for pizza.
Today I started out early with a sale to a nice couple who asked me some good questions and agreed to the savings. Another guy allowed me to crunch the numbers and show him exactly how much he would be saving but wasn't too keen to sign anything. A lady later on allowed me to start the paperwork but then decided to wait for her husband to come home... tomorrow. Finally, at the end of the day I had many appointments and ran to all of them. Most didn't answer the door, one was existing and another thought I was a con artist.
I spoke with a lot of nice people today but none of them bought from me. One lady seemed very keen but then after getting all the info from me she sent me on my way. Another lady was on her way out but, after we talked about the bug on her door a bit, she agreed to sign if I was still around when she got back.
Finally one guy actually used to be a representative for Simply Energy and I was sure he would go for the deal I was offering bu he was signed up with AGL and not interested in changing... odd considering that he worked in the industry - he should know better. For an hour at the end of the day Brendan walked with me to show me how to make the sales in this area but unfortunately he couldn't make any progress on my turf either.
After work today I went to check out the room that Arika told me about. The room was really spacious - especially considering that it's only $95/week! After chatting with Hugh for a bit he told me about a dish washing job paying $24/hour and offered to give my number to his friend who runs the place. Next I headed back to the hostel and made a tasty meal of three eggs, 2 snags (hot dogs), hash browns (two potatoes) - all smothered with cheese.
Today at church we woke up at 7:30a and went to breakfast at Clarence's house. We ate porridge again like last week but this time with all the bamboo and roots mixed in and some bread chunks on top. After church I cycled over to David's, James' then caught a bus to Mt Barker to meet up with the girl from my sale on Wednesday. It turned out to be an hour and a half ride followed by a 5km walk only to arrive in the wrong place...
Today I finally got some of my prizes from balloon pops including a $20 gift card, $50 gift card, a carton of beers, and a box of no-doz. My first sale today was to a guy who used to be a chef. He gave me a recipe for tasty apple whip and we talked electricity over a cup of South African Tea. We talked it over with his wife there as well and they decided it was worth trying. I signed them up and he sent me off with a variety box of different teas. The next guy was just chilling on his porch with a cup of coffee and after discussing some things about his solar and the way electricity works he was good to sign up as well. Finally I met a guy who was eager to talk politics and stuff but not so keen on the topic of electricity.
Today I made two sales. The first one was to a couple people who had recently signed up with Alinta. As I explained the benefits to my company we got to talking about travel and various political/cultural things. As we talked they gave me a cup of tea, a beer and offered to take me hunting. After a bit it was time to move on so we made plans to hang out again and I moved on. At about 5p I managed another sale to a guy who used to work for Alinta. After I explained what he pretty much already knew, he signed up. A few houses down I started to knock on a door while listening to the conversation going on inside but then realized that it was a Simply Energy rep making a sale. This guy had been pillaging my turf all day but he was just doing his job so I let it be. Back at the hostel I did some bleaching, which makes me sick, and some sanding for Wayne.
Today Matt figured it would be good to get rid of "cherry picking" - only knocking doors with cars and signs of life for the first part of the day. The whole channel did worse than it has ever done before. I still managed three sales so tomorrow the whole channel has to be in at 9:30a but I don't have to be in until 10:30 since I hit KPI (Key Performance Index). My first sale today was to a lady who signed by impulse then realized she should have spoke to her husband so I had to reassure her with the cool down period to keep her from backing out. My next sale was to a guy at the end of the day who went along with the process without any fuss. My final sale was unexpected - I had gone to several appointments and really wasn't expecting anything from the last door. They answered the door and, before I could say much of anything, they welcomed me in to see their bill and sign them up just as Vero was closing. We talked about Seattle a bit and it turns out the Pike Place Market is more famous than I really knew - the guy was even familiar with the FISH! philosophy. On the way back I was looking ahead as we drove down the freeway at 80kph and just noticed the approaching light turning red before coming to a screeching halt. Brendan, having been in two accidents in the last few months, clutched his chest in fear while staring ahead and breathing shallow, panicked breaths.
Today we went just out of the city and started knocking at 11:30a yet I was only able to manage one sale to a lady who, after checking reviews on the web, was weary of our company. Of course, I asked her the obvious question, "do you ever go online to brag about your energy retailer?" - no retailer has good reviews...
Later on I had a guy who seemed keen but as I was filling in the paperwork he went to help his dad with something and came back with dumbphone in hand having read the reviews on Lumo... I told him the same thing I told the other lady and he allowed me to continue the paperwork only to come back a minute later and tell me it just wasn't a good time.
At another door a girl told me she didn't speak English but just to be sure I said, "that's fine, I'm just here about the pink elephant, go grab me a bill and I'll check that out for you."
As my day was coming to an end I was invited into a party. After discussing the host's bill we found that it wasn't really worth it to him at this time so he poured me a drink and we talked a bit. Back at the van Brendan told everyone to just enjoy the weekend and not worry about scores. At the office Danny had a borrowed bicycle from city bikes so we raced to the pub where everyone met up and had a couple drinks. I had a mountain of Nachos and we all headed over to the Little Bar on Hindley Street for Ben's birthday.
Today I worked at the hostel then headed over to the Bailey Reserve to try my hand at Rugby with Fred from the bar the other week. When I got there a guy named Owen set me up with some cleats, shorts and a jersey and I bought some team socks. Out on the oval they explained the rules a bit while watching the teams play and at the end they put me in. It wasn't long until I found myself with the ball running towards the opposition. After a short sprint I pushed into a couple of the guys and found myself flipped over, ball still in hand. After a couple more plays a couple of the guys got into a brawl yet the game went on.. for one more play as the biggest guy from our team (a seven foot tall monster) bee-lined it for one of the offenders and laid him out. At this point the ref called the game, we shook hands and headed back.
Today Daniel and Sam got me up for eggs, ham/bacon, avocado and toast at the brekky meeting. At church Arika from work and her friend Circle showed up for the meeting. Afterward Arika and Circle went back to their share house to say goodbye to some of the others and I went with Pillar for lunch. After lunch I rode over to James' house to do some weeding for him and found a blue tongued lizard!
Next I headed into the city to check on my job application at the Kings Head Bar. They had lost my resume and started to say how they didn't need anybody anyways but when I mentioned that I was just there for the dishwasher position they perked up and invited me to reapply.
Today I went for pants but, even though mine were ripped in the crotch and down on the shin, I couldn't find anything better. At work I received another slab of beer for one of the balloons I popped a couple weeks ago. Out on turf I only made one sale to a lady who was relatively apathetic but nice. Back at the hostel after work Stephen gave me some steak and eggs in exchange for one of my beers.
Today I made first sale but that was it. The guy I sold to was a programmer and was very logical in considering what I had to offer. After leaving there I saw many bills and talked to many people, I even had another sale started by about 2p but they backed out when I clarified that there was a contract. They gave me cookies and coffee as I worked on the paperwork but in the end they decided to talk to their landlord first...
Today I got a balloon for making the first sale in the channel yesterday. Having made just the one sale I didn't feel like I earned it. On turf I saw some pretty interesting homes but didn't make any sales till around 4p.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Today after church I went with Tim and his family for lunch and then over to see the Crows vs Port Power AFL (Australian Football AKA "footy" or aerial ping pong) game at AAMI Stadium. Footy can be loosely compared to football with the field goals, running and tackling and to basketball with the quick passing and movement. It's an extremely intense sport and very fast paced with high entertainment value.
At the end of the game the sun left a colorful display in the sky.
At the end of the game the sun left a colorful display in the sky.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Today I was chosen to drive for my team. Having never driven in Australia and being a few months out of practice I was nonetheless happy to do it. I figure I've had plenty of practice driving on the left side of the road on my push-bike (bicycle). Upon stepping into the van I immediately found things to be quite a bit different. First, the parking brake was kind of hidden but probably this isn't too unusual. Next I went to shift into gear but the gear shifter was at a weird angle and on the wrong side so it took me a second to locate it. As I went to turn out I reached for the turn signal which just turned on the windscreen wipers - the turn signal lever is on the right side of the wheel. After getting under way everyone was on edge thinking that maybe the American was not the best choice to drive a van full of people on the left side of the road. Sure enough, we did have one incident - an Aussie truck driver swerved out into the intersection, blocking several lanes at once, and stopped. I first tried going around but found that he had something else in mind. I had to slam on my brakes as the driver came two lanes over into mine and stopped. No matter, I had been paying attention and given myself plenty of room to stop, now just to convince my passengers of that...
On turf I found many people had already been knocked - this generally makes things more difficult. I eventually found a guy who invited me to go over his bill and, upon his satisfaction with the product, he signed up. After another couple hours of nothing but appointments I talked a girl into signing up over the course of many rather harsh objections. Every time she came at me with "maybe another time" or "lets not do this" I just informed her of more aspects of the electrical industry and my role in getting her a reduction on her expenditures. Finally she signed but it's hard to say if she'll stay once her husband finds out...
On the drive back Ben had to do my paperwork because, as the driver, I'm no longer required to do paperwork!
Today I won another 6-pack during the channel meeting and I drove us to turf. One of the newbies today was my trainee, Aggy. Aggy was a really good speaker and perfect for the job except for the fact that she was medically incapable of doing it. We got out on turf and I knocked a few doors in front of her but eventually she just couldn't take it anymore so I let her sit in the park while I continued on. Apparently she gets back and heart problems so walking around for even a short amount of time causes her serious pain and even illness. I went ahead and knocked a few more doors throughout the day and she eventually just went home. At the end of the day I was surprised that I still had no sales - I felt like I was really on my game but then that may have been the problem. I was using a lot of smiling, eye contact and excitement with the customers and, off course, too much of this tends to creep people out... I decided this was probably the case when I started talking to a lady and she just stared and backed away slowly. I went ahead and had a snack to calm me down a bit and at this point I managed to get a sale but unfortunately there just wasn't enough time left to finish strong. On the way back nobody did my paperwork so I had to stick around at the office a bit and do it myself. Back at the hostel Breadtop was closed early again so I missed out on yet another after-work treat... not the best day.
This morning I applied for my Australian drivers license and, after getting my temporary license, went to work and made three sales - two before 3p. The first was a nurse who was just happy to save a couple bucks. The next was a lady who worked from home selling party stuff and had just signed up with Alinta the week before. I impressed upon her just how much better my deal was so she cancelled Alinta to sign up with me. After a few hours of setting up appointments and getting mild responses I found a guy who was indifferent to the situation but willing to hear me out. He didn't handle the bills but, upon hearing that I could reduce his rates, he let me check his meter number and sign him up. As I finished the vero call his wife called and started yelling at him for his insubordination. He tried to call it off but I told him that it was already done to which he responded that he was actually fine with that since he was saving money. After getting back to the van Brendon gave me a giant lollypop full of little lollypops for making the first sale today.
He also gave me a six pack for being the first one to hit kpi (three sales in a day). After picking everyone up I drove us to the pub for Friday night drinks. After hearing that we might have some fun stuff in store for the nigh I called my Korean roommate William to switch shifts with him. At the pub Matt decided he had lost a bet by not making sales today so he streaked across the highway... I walked in with Danny to grab a drink while everyone else waited patiently for his return. After having a drink, some chips and some bread I finished off Jess's chips and manager Matt decided it was time for our free cocktail towers - several one meter (three feet) tall towers full of cocktail.
After consuming those most people started heading home so I caught a ride with Matt and his roommate/cousin, Nick. Since Nick couldn't drive I was nominated to drive us into the CBD. Nick's car kind of reminded me of my old Nissan - decent acceleration and low to the ground - great for drifting!
Today I woke up really late, went to the office to get my bike, and rode it to the Botanical Gardens to meet up with some mates from work.
We played some card games and drank some goon then headed over to manager Matt's for the barbie (barbecue). At the barbie I opened a bottle of wine with my shoe and learned how to open a beer with a lighter. Unfortunately the wine was carbonated so the shoe thing didn't end well. After a snag, burger and kebab I hopped on my push bike and headed back to the hostel for work.
After church today I rode back to the hostel, got groceries then worked and made pancakes with Peer. After making variations of pancakes, using cheese, ham and maple syrup, we went out on the balcony with Danny to relax while waiting for a response from Roozbeh. During this time I did my laundry and eventually we ended up heading over on the bus. At Roozbeh's place we caught up a bit and played cards (spoons, dirty 7s, etc) and Peer did a magic trick he learned at "Steiner University" where he could "smell your card."
This morning at work I got to pop a balloon and won three drinks. After the channel meeting we loaded up into Jess's van and went to turf. When we arrived I walked over to a couple people, gave them some helpful advice and, in return, they gave me a coke. The first sale I got today was to a lady who was hangin out front with her friend. While I was signing her up the friend wanted to sign up too so she called her carer but the carer was already talking to a LUMO rep from my van! My second sale was a Filipino guy who had to go to work so I finished signing him up later with his brother. While walking around I ran into a TRU Energy manager who explained that his group was on a road trip to my area. They were walking my turf but he politely offered to move to a different area since there was really no sense in trying to sell the houses I had already been knocking. After a while I managed a last minute sale to a lady with three kids. She was looking for work so I gave her the number to call about working with us and pitched her the job details. Back at the hostel I called Peer over and Melonie came by for a drink as well. Next Danny joined us so we all had a couple drinks then Danny and I made hamburgers.
According to Danny Brendan's girlfriend got into a fight with Matt last night which resulted in her getting kicked out of the barbie. She was spying on our company for TRU so that they could poach Lumo reps and when she confronted Matt about this he lost it.
After eating we all headed over to Roozbeh's - we were even able to get our Korean roommate Willy to come with this time. On the way I talked the bus driver into giving us all a discounted pass for a total of $12. When we got to Roozbeh's we all had snacks and played some cards while, after just a few minutes, Willy began to fall asleep and ended up being miserable for most of the visit. At about 2a got a cab back to the city which ended up being just $20 split between the five of us!
Today I went in for manager training at 10:15a then, after the channel meeting, we all hopped in Jess's van again. On the way to turf we played a ISPY (a game where you find what's on your card and punch the person next to you) for the second day in a row. On turf I started making appointments and had a promising start but by three I still didn't have any sales (though I did have a guy with bad credit who just needed to wait until his wife got home). At 5p I finally made a sale to a young Maccas employee with plans to attend TAFE for early childhood development and another sale to a guy I had met up with at the beginning of the day named Joe. Joe is an aspiring singer/dancer who wants to get on X-factor. He wanted to get my card and talk later but I explained that I couldn't come back so, after considering that he had heard good things about Lumo on the tele, he signed up. After that I ran to the guy with the bad credit and started signing up his wife but apparently it was too late to do a manual sale so I told her I'd try and get to them tomorrow.
Today after manager training I was back to driving for my team and had to train another rookie, Connor from Ireland. Right off I made a sale in front of my trainee to a lady running a daycare who said her bill was $800. Being I was able to save her $150+ per bill I grabbed her meter number and signed her up. For my next sale Matt promised me a third balloon for making two by 2p. Unfortunately the next customer was a bad credit even though she was clearly pretty well off. The second sale ended up being to a lady who had just got back from shopping using her meter number. Finally, my third sale was with a TRU energy customer who had a debt with them and clearly needed the savings in order to pay it off. My last customer was another bad credit and my main appointment after 6p bailed as I was getting back... but I ended on three sales so "happy days".
Today after manager training I won a balloon with a $20 voucher in it. After driving my team out to turf I trained a newbie named Joanne who made four sales the day before. It was a slow start but by the end of the day I had four sales! My first customer was a young girl who had bad credit and the first sale was a guy who was late heading out to work but still signed up. The next sale took me about an hour to finally secure since the woman wasn't sure if she had recently switched but, after confirming her retailer was still Origin, we went ahead and filled out the paperwork. My third sale was a guy who owned one of the local restaurants (Noodle Box) in the mini mall where we've been stopping for lunch everyday so I told him I'd give it a try. Next I spoke to four people who were already signed up with Lumo then tried a few appointments, including one that Joanne forwarded me. Out of time I began to head back but stopped at an appointment from the start of the day. He wasn't home but as I turned to leave he and his girlfriend showed up and I sold them almost instantly - turns out his girlfriend was actually a happy customer of ours before and just hadn't gotten around to switching over in their new place. The guy was in the Aussie army and explained that he was kind of jealous of US forces and the respect they get back home - apparently Aussies don't really get as much appreciation for serving their country. After finishing up I ran back to the van and we went picking everyone up. It was pretty late but we still had to drop off something that one of the newbies had forgotten, pick up a walksheet that our manager Brandon had forgotten at a customers house, and stop for petrol (gas). I ended up being late for work at the hostel.
Today we came in early since the channel didn't meet expectations yesterday. We also left early and were out on turf at 11a. With the extra hour we were expected to meet a target early and I expected to meet KPI today for my bonus. It looked like I would easily pull it off before long at all and my second door was a sure thing.. until I did the credit check. Many of the first people I talked to wanted to sign up but couldn't because they had bad credit. After a while it was just rediculous - I should have had eight sales easy but all were bad credits. I finally made one with a customer who initially stated she wasn't going to do anything with her power. After I explained the savings she went ahead with it and, unlike all her neighbors, she actually had good credit. After signing her up I continued on looking for just two more. I got a few more bad credits - note that they all had to be convinced to go ahead with the offer before I could even find this out... Finally I had one appointment that seemed like a sure thing and after getting another one who wanted me to come back in 15 minutes to finish up I went back to her. Unfortunately she wasn't answering the door when I got back so I had to run back and finish on two. My second sale was with a guy who needed a job so I gave him the number for an interview with us.
Back at the office we all got on costumes for the awards night (my team was cowboys and indians) and headed over to the usual pub. Before heading over Matt had some contacts that make your eyes look interesting and after failing to put them in even with my help he let me put one on my own eye.
At the pub we took some photos and did awards then I quickly pulled out the contact because it was starting to make me want to tear my eyes out of their sockets. We eventually headed out with me following and, to Matt's surprise, keeping up on my push bike. We got some Yiros (Giros) then everybody just started doing their own thing so I went to another place with Jason from work and ran into Peer. Eventually I decided it was time to redeem my hotel stay that I won a few weeks ago.
It was a pretty impressive place (almost five stars) so I got into it. I soaked in the tub a bit then grabbed a robe out of the closet and layed out on the giant queen sized bed. At about 3a Matt called to inform me that a bunch of them were coming to check out the room. At about 3:30a they showed up and started drinking the minibar. Meanwhile my disconnected toenail became the focus of the room as Harry, who studied medicine, explained that I should remove it. Matt pulled out a peticure kit (that he carries around with him for some reason) and trimmed the nail away for me in one full sized chunk. At this point everyone was fairly grossed out and pretty much decided they were ready to leave.
Today I woke up at 8a and went to work at the hostel. At 11a my first shift of the day ended and I took a nap. Around noon I made pancakes and got some rim tape for the new tyres I still need to put on my push bike. At 2p I started my final shift and at 4:30p I found out I was going to a wedding in 45 min so I got groceries, finished my laundry, took a shower, ironed my shirt and packed some stuff for the night. After Pillar picked me up I finished putting on my belt and combing my hair in the car. At the church I did a quick shave and we all ate.
After church today I went with Pillar and others to a home meeting where we made dumplings from scratch. Following the meal we also had some fondu with fruit (apples/strawberries/bananas) and a chocolate fountain. Pillar then took me to my hostel and, after I did some hostel work, Yannick and Peer showed up to go to Roozbeh's for Peer's last night in Australia. Willy came again and at Roozbeh's we had some drinks, chips/yogurt and started playing cards. I ordered a Dominoes pizza with garlic bread and we played a game of Kings Cup. After a while William left and soon we ran out of snacks and drinks so the rest of us headed out as well.
Today we went back to Daveron Park and I made three sales. The first sale was to some teenagers living on the dole and the final sale was with a guy named Travis. Travis was really into cars and wanted to check out Vegas so I told him about the Fremont Experience and, after I finished signing him up, checked out his caddy. Back in the city I rode my bike to the Rosemount bar for a few drinks with the team in honor of Dermot leaving SA for Sydney, NSW. I bought Amie a drink since she wanted one and I owed her for some food she bought me a while back. After some stories from Matt and Dermot's mischievous adventures in Thailand I ended up giving Dermot my bandana to cover his face because he couldn't stop sneezing.
Today I won a box of NoDoz from a balloon and we headed out. On turf I started making sales right off and by 2p I had three sales - it was so easy that I almost had to beat the customers off with a stick! Each sale was a simple conversation about rates and saving then straight to the paperwork. The first guy was a pensioner who had just got off the phone with AGL and was frustrated that they wouldn't help him. He had plans to go fishing on ANZAC day and just wanted to get this taken care of so, of course, I obliged. The next few were more pensioners who just wanted to save a bit on their electricity as well. Most didn't require much convincing at all, I just told them about the reduction and asked for a place to lean while I filled out a couple peices of paper, simple as that! At 5p I was on five sales and had plans to double that score during game time but after a couple bad credits and a few uneventful appointments I was still on five. Still an awesome day and a great score to end on before the day off - eight sales in two days! Back at the hostel I did a couple hours work then headed out to the cinema with an Irish lad named Stephen to see the midnight showing of The Avengers. It was $20/ticket (standard in Australia) and cost us $20 in buses and taxis but totally worth it! After the movie we walked back about four kilometers through a park and down Rundle Mall so we wouldn't have to pay for a taxi again - got back at 4a.
Today I popped two balloons for Tuesday's two by 3p and one of being in the first eight. I won a $3 scratchy and a $50 voucher! After driving to turf I worked with a trainee named Mike. Mike has been involved in fundraising for charity before so he had some experience in sales. After knocking a few doors with him I made my first sale to an independent artist. Somebody left thousands of dollars of painting stuff to her one day including some unfinished work for her to complete. Since she has done hundreds of paintings and sold most all of them for profit. My next sale was also before three - I had pitched a guy who was fully into the product but just not willing to sign for it but fortunately his neighbor, who had been eavesdropping a bit, had actually heard of Lumo before and wanted to sign up. My next two sales were neighbors and both were on payment plans yet had good credit and brought me up to four sales by 5p. The rest of the time I mainly ran into people who weren't concerned with saving money on electricity - one guy even told me that he made plenty of money and didn't mind paying higher rates but thanked me anyways. After my appointments I went back to the van and ran into the newbies, Mike and Richard. Both had a sale each which reflects well on Brendon and myself as trainers. I ended up running over to the take away shop and getting a $4 burger and heaps of delicious chips (french fries) for $3.50 - enough to share with the whole van. Back at the hostel I did a quick detail shift then ate while watching Blade with Danny and others from the hostel.
Today I popped a balloon with a free load of laundry but since I get free laundry at my hostel I gave it to someone else. Out on our new turf for the day I was training Mike again and the third house we went to had a gate that took some work to get through and then another gate after that. Mike insisted that we should just move on but I just told him how much easier this was compared to hopping the fence. Our efforts proved worthwhile as the guy inside was totally into the idea of signing his mom up for the reduced rates. After that, Mike headed out onto his turf and I continued on for another few hours. It wasn't till 4p that I got my next sale and only because a girl was in a cooldown with AGL and only after we called in to make sure she was able to cancel with them. It took about 45 minutes explaining everything in detail to get her to cancel with AGL then another 15 minutes to get her through the signup but, in the end, she was more than sold on the offer. After a bit I realized that the turf had a lot of tense people so I focused a bit on deference and got a couple better responses. Though, I found that this got me caught up talking to people who weren't actually in any position to sign up but rather just enjoyed the conversation. This wouldn't usually bother me but since I was running out of time to get my third sale (entitling me to a $200 bonus for the week) it was a bit stressful. At the end I was on two, one sale short of my bonus - for the second week in a row! What's really something is that this time I did it with four days instead of five! If only they didn't move us to completely different turf on both Fridays I surely would have made the bonus...
Today I got a smart phone (Alcatel OT-990) - it has internet, GPS, Skype and lots of other stuff. After returning to the hostel I played around with my new tech for a few hours then went to David's. When I arrived David pulled out a letter for me which contained my new drivers license!