Wednesday, November 15, 2006


It's been weeks since I've updated this; I'm a slacker, I know, I'm sorry. The problem as well is that whenever I do actually have the time and inclination to post something either my crappy [but free thanks to Josh] internet connection is non-existent or Blogger isn't working. I think the weekend after I last posted was my weekend of crappy mail. I had a request for payment by the IRD, my credit card which was supposed to have been cancelled months ago sent me a statement, I'd obviously forgotten to tell my vet that Galahad had passed away, the Faculty of Education wanted me to jump through hoops and the IRD was threatening me with court over tax fraud.

Rant 1 - I've had a number of problems with the tax department over the years. When I first started doing television work (just as an extra) IRD gave me the wrong tax code and somehow projected my earnings for the following year as over $40k (up from $400) which meant ACC was demanding huge payments in advance and f**cked up their database changes every single time that I called them over the holiday season. I lost it at them about when they started getting ready to set court dates until someone finally corrected my entry in their database. Anyway, the next agency I signed up did the withholding tax for me but forgot to make the ACC payments so...more fluffing round. This year I was determined to do everything right. I'm with about 5 office recruitment agencies that get me temping work so I contacted them well in advance and told them my tax code needed to be changed to S from a certain date (due to WINZ - student allowances). They all assured me that this had been done. No worries. Until I get a letter from IRD accusing me of tax fraud! Turned out only of the companies had made the change and I'd been on the wrong tax codes for months with multiple firms.... I was so pissed off at trusting these firms and then getting into trouble for their screw-up. Thankfully after I'd explained the situation (helped that I hadn't worked in a month) and they'd checked my records IRD decided that I simply didn't earn enough for them to bother chasing me for money and let me off with a warning.

Rant 2 - ACE is now the Faculty of Education for Auckland University and you would think, therefore, that they might make an effort to actually be part of the university and operate similarly. Oh no. I have the grades and the invites by teachers to do Honours automatically next year. The English Department does a meeting every year and provides all of the information on how the post-grad courses are structured and what papers are available. Not so, FE, in fact just trying to get the enrollment guide for them required me to be transferred three times, dumped on an a/p and rung back several days later. They won't provide full course information or details on papers until after you're already enrolled~! They have what I can only assume is a general application guide. A poorly put together guide since it asks if you have an adequate understanding of English while having grammatical errors and spelling mistakes! You have to supply two 2-page references and a big write-up on yourself just to apply for the course; attend an interview and do another written test on why teaching is so great and why you should be allowed the honour of paying them a large sum of money to sit their course.... Now, don't get me wrong, I understand that we want competent teachers for our kids and if it was a free course then it would be entirely understandable. Since, however, we have to pay them around $4,000 or so in fees to sit the course and will be failed if we don't pass the assessments it annoys me no end that it's such an arduous procedure to enrol.
Oh, and I'm annoyed with them since last year (when they joined AU) they bought property in town and told me that it would be possible to sit the entire course at the city campus. This year they told me they'd sold that building but that my subject papers (and therefore half the course) would be taught in town, then at the interview I was told that the website/enrolment guide etc... are wrong and that the plan for next year is to fully retract to Epsom and be part of AU in name only. Grrr."

On the bright side, I ran into a high school mate of mine, Richard F, coming in for the interview session after mine and it would be good to see him on campus next year.


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