Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wellington and the things

Wellington is now a state of mind. It is a little bit of a vortex which my world plummets toward every week. With strange new efficiencies, I have my lessons planned ahead and on Wednesday night go to sleep knowing that I'll be just opening my folder, pulling out a lesson plan and teaching for the Thursday in Auckland and the Friday in Wellington.

Trips to Wellington almost always mean seeing famous people: Raybon Kan (twice), Geoff Roche, Jermaine Clement, Edwin Liu, Keith Quinn, Laura Preston, James Belich, Jo Goudie and some TV faces. Trips to Wellington means seeing that kiwis can be fashionable (in an arty student kind of way). The young do not necessarily go for the urban boredom of jeans and t-shirts like up here in Auckland. Trips to Wellington forecasts great weather for Wellington as it has never been poor weather for my days down there.

The students are great; I'm enjoying it thoroughly and feel I'm progressing them well; Even 8 hours of teaching seems a breeze; and they have a TV to watch cricket on in my breaks. The theoretical 9 hour day is still floating around and may be encountered prior to ANZAC day. I look forward to it and hope I'm healthy and prepared.

There was something hidden though, a weird misunderstanding between an HR person and me that cast a shadow over the venture. But I've 'forgotten' that now and I've negotiated a deal whereby I organise and book everything (flights, parking, accommodation and food) for a fixed fee. This was how it should have always been, if I had been smart, that is. By doing so, I accept a little bit of the cream on top but also avoid the awkwardness of making my client accept the responsibility for my cancellations (which was how it had developed). It will mean that if I stay healthy and don't cancel at all, I'll be able to earn a reasonable sum of extra money to justify the loss of a day.

One bad thing about being in business for yourself though is an increasing preoccupation with money, receipts and expenses. I feel myself thinking about how much I'm earning each day; I try to work out how much prices are less GST and with the eventual tax rebate; I know my credit card number back to front (I've always despised credit cards till now).

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