We’ve now been in our new house for six weeks, and I’ve also been working in the city for the same time. Life is now moving into a more routine pattern, and rather than running around trying to sort out everything, we are now starting to look at things to do at weekends rather than running around sorting things out.
We missed out on the iPhone 4 launch in the UK by jumping on an Airbus A380 bound for Singapore instead of queueing up at an Apple Store. We both had the older iPhone 3G, had skipped the 3GS model, and were wanting an upgrade. So, when the iPhone 4 launch parties at midnight on the Thursday were announced we made sure we were going to be there. Initially, I suggested we grab a movie in town, and then wander over to join the queue. The film I wanted to see finished after 11PM, so we knocked that on the head and thought we’d go for a nice meal instead. When Alison came into town to meet me, there were already 30 people queueing, so we decided to just go and join the queue (at 5:40pm).
It was a great experience queueing in the main shopping mall in Brisbane for over 6 hours. The people queuing around us were great, and there was a good party experience. We learned loads about the area, and good places to go, shop, etc.. The grand opening at midnight was a massive anticlimax, as it took a further one and a half hours to get to the front of the queue. Optus only managed to serve 50 or so people in that time. They had loads of staff on, but when we got served ourselves we realised why. The processing was so archaic, with large chunks of the contract being explained and highlighted to each and every customer individually and it took half an hour to complete the process. At 2am after queueing 8 hours, I don’t think many people would give a stuff over the contract specifics!
In fact, it was easier buying my car, a much bigger commitment, which I picked up two weeks ago. It is a Holden Commodore International 3.0L V6 Sportwagon. It is a lovely machine with a nice throaty roar when you feed it some juice. Not exactly the most economical car on the road, put with fuel at around 60p/L fuel economy isn’t on many peoples mind here.
All our things eventually arrived from the UK a couple of weeks ago. I had declared a couple of electronic items that were less than 12 months old, so customs wouldn’t clear the container until the $58 duty was paid. A whole house’s content held up for $58! Even better, when I went to pay the phone payment service kept dropping my call and the internet payment service didn’t recognise my reference number. When I phoned the office and spoke to a human, I was told that electronic payment would take 3 days to clear and if I wanted to clear my container we should go and pay at the office in person. So, the next day Alison travelled to the office near the airport and paid up.
Of course things didn’t end there. The next stage was quarantine. I was slightly concerned as we have loads of wooden things, and the movers packed some things we didn’t want to bring, such as opened cleaning products, which we knew could cause problems. We received notice that quarantine had seized three muddy shoes, and we were given the choice of professional cleaning at $300 , or destruction at around $100. We went for the destruction. It turned out that the three shoes were one of a pair of wellington boots and Alison’s trail shoes which she had run through the washing machine, so shouldn’t have been a problem. We had other shoes that were definitely dirtier.
So, we sent the payment details through to the movers and heard nothing. Alison chased them up, and was told that there had been a change of manager, and the payment details had been mislaid, could she send them through again. She did, and again we heard nothing.
A couple of days later, we tried to find out when we would get our stuff, and was told we would be notified when they had a slot.
Another couple of days (we are in Queensland, by the way, so this is normal and I am teaching myself to accept it) and Alison phoned to see if they could give us some idea, so that I could book time off. This call was at 4PM, and guess what? “Oh, has no-one called you? Your delivery is first thing tomorrow morning!”. There was no way I could get the next day off.
Anyway, Alison wasn’t going to be on her own. Tiffany had been thoughtful and already had agreement from her employers (Specsavers in Indooroopilly) that when our delivery came she would be able to take the day off. So, she rang them up and explained that we had had short notice ourselves, but that she wanted the pre-arranged day off. The manager was not impressed, to say the least. She accepted the request, but not without making Tiffany upset with her attitude.
The next morning, while they were both unloading a 20 foot container (a fairly busy and slightly stressful time, with boxes everywhere), Tiffany took a call from Specsavers. Apparently, she was considered to be unreliable (because she followed up on a prior agreement for a day off) and was told that she was no longer required. They then withheld her wages on the next pay run pending the return of a work shirt. My feelings over the matter are fairly obvious, the management of the Indooroopilly store are petty and dishonourable and have shown me their true colours. I recommend that you don’t have anything to do with them.
Alison and Tiff worked at everything for the whole of the coming week, gradually straightening the house out from a position where it looked like our things would never fit to a comfortable warm home again.
There are a load of other things to tell you about. How my jobs going, places we’ve been out to, BBQs and rejoining the gym. But, this has gone on quite long enough for now.
We are so looking forward to receiving our first visitors from the UK in October, now we have our house in order. Dad and Wendy are visiting at the beginning of October and Martin and Pearl towards the end. We are also looking forward to Samantha’s wedding in Adelaide, and catching up with everyone there.