blessed to be working, blessed to be working in NZ!


they hadn't known it yet, but a dinner I had with family was in thanksgiving for many blessings in NZ!

they hadn’t known it yet, but a dinner I had with family was in thanksgiving for many blessings in NZ!

LUCKY as an attribute is nice and all that, but in my humble opinion it bespeaks a certain passivity, not unlike Juan Tamad under the guava tree waiting for the low-lying fruit (low lying na nga eh) to fall.  If it’s all the same to you, I’m partial to the word blessed because although one is still fortunate enough to run into good tidings and pleasant surprises, there is still a modicum of doing the hard yards, being at the right place at the right time, and doing all the little things to deserve the manna from heaven.

So if you will forgive my audacity Precious Reader, I’ve recently been blessed in not one, not two but three different ways that I simply have to (1) thank the Almighty Creator, Ang Maykapal for making the same possible, (2) celebrate such felicitous occasion/s in word and in deed with loved ones, and (3) relate all these to you through my peripatetic and evanescent blog corner, whether or not you want to know/read about it.  Please indulge me in my thanksgiving today. 🙂

Unfortunately (let’s avoid that word from hereon) I have promised to my maybahay (wife) Mahal that I will no longer blab about my/our personal life/lives because too much of our laundry is being hung out for everyone to see, if you don’t mind the idiom.  I will therefore try to be as circumspect or roundabout in words as possible, use the indirect route in making kwento (story) to you, but at the same time share as much to you about my good news without violating my privacy, if that’s at all possible. 🙂  Right now I’m not sure yet how I will fare, as it is all very impromptu.

*****

Around this time of the year Mahal and I get a bit antsy because our right to stay in NZ gets imperiled, depending on whether or not we are found fit to be issued another permit allowing us not only to work here but to stay here as well.  Most of the kabayan we traveled to NZ with have become permanent residents, quite a few have gone home broken hearted, but a hardy few like us have soldiered on, clinging to the hope that one day soon we will join the others who have already called New Zealand home.

But it’s no joke now to continue justifying being a guest worker in Middle Earth.  Here are some of the questions for the employer to answer with clinical accuracy :  Have serious efforts been undertaken to advertise the job so that New Zealanders are sufficiently informed?  Have serious efforts been done to train New Zealanders for the job in question?  And has it been established, finally that no New Zealanders are available for the job?

In order for everything to go smoothly, meaning me getting my precious document, the answers to those questions, must be yes, yes and yes.  With proof and supporting documentation attached.

Which is why, every time I get my new document, it’s a minor miracle.

*****

I can’t tell you exactly what blessing I received after that, but it has to do with a basic, basic life skill that has eluded me the entire time I’ve been overseas.  I never made learning that skill a priority back home because, to be blunt about it, public transpo was plentiful and available at all hours twenty-four seven (alam mo na no?)  Mahal however made it her Number One goal as soon as she followed me here, went through the various stages and now is  a full-fledged, certified and dependable possessor of the life skill.  While I still don’t know how to do it.

Late last week I finally took the written exam needed to be issued the initial permit for that essential skill, and I had to burn the midnight oil learning all the possible questions and committing to memory the correct answers.  Luckily (that word again) there is a website/s dedicated to helping you pass the exam, and by the skin of my teeth, I passed the learner’s (oops) theory exam.  It was quite a routine pass, but I realized I’d been in NZ seven years before finally making this step.  A belated kudos to me.

*****

And finally.  I had very little to do with it, but just by being a member of the union and ratifying the collective bargaining agreement between our worksite and the mighty Big Employer based in Imperial Auckland, I very recently received a fifty cent increase on my hourly wage.

Don’t laugh please.  I know it sounds like a paltry sum, but there ARE  eight hours in a day, and 40 minimum hours in a work week, so those cents add up.  Plus, my overtime rate is likewise enhanced, not just by 50 cents but  by $0.75 because of the overtime premium.  Proportional increases also for the shift and meal allowances when applicable.  So it’s not really a bad deal.

In fact, I now have to watch the quality of my work, because my adjusted hourly wage rate is nothing to sneeze at.  I have to be responsible, dependable and dedicated, in addition to being disciplined and hardworking.  All because of those additional 50 cents.  In short, I have to be worth it. 🙂

*****

See, I told you the past few days have been kind to me.  So many blessings in my life that I have to be thankful for.  All centered on the reality that I’m blessed to be working, and blessed to be working in New Zealand.  Mabuhay po ang uring manggagawa!  

Thanks for reading!

 

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