Career Champion: “A lean week”


Sally Champion

Sally Champion continues her weekly blog about the process of setting up a part-time business as a writer. She had polio as a child and after years of working nine to five, she is now having to think differently about how to earn her living. Sally invites your comment and advice.

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Episode 5: “A lean week”

The family wedding I went to last weekend was fab.

Everybody came, even the Keith Richards of the cousins. He turned up, to great applause, very late in the evening after riotous festivities elsewhere.

The finery of apparel varied. Men were in stylish morning suits and others sported – well sporty looks.

Quite a few of the woman wore black which is apparently on trend, and the bride looked elegantly beautiful in a beaded, ivory, floor-length sheath.

Families and friends surveyed each other and then decided, after a few glasses of champagne, that they were all made of the right stuff.

I flew home on Sunday, borrowed money spent, to start a new week.

On Monday I expected word from Kiwi Saver to tell me if my application for a partial return of my savings was going to be granted. Unable to see how it couldn’t be I eagerly anticipated money would be deposited into my account overnight.

Instead I received a letter from them telling me proof of address was needed. Apparently I also needed to explain why ATM withdrawals had been made, as seen, in my supplied bank account details, and why an insurance company had put some money into my account some months before.

I faxed back my response. I told them that:

  • the ATM withdrawals were made to give me cash to use in my daily life
  • two  letters that had been posted to me were attached (I attached two letters posted to my home address – the same address Kiwi Saver had used to write their letter to me)
  • the amount paid into my account by the insurance company, some months ago, was the settlement of a insurance claim.

They seemed happy with these explanations, but told me that because I hadn’t supplied this information in the first instance they will need another five days to make their decision.

I’m afraid I suspect they are so busy processing hardship claims that they are buying themselves five extra days because they weren’t able to get it through in the initially promised ten.

Anyway, today I bought the following grocery items:

  • a loaf of bread made, in store, at PAK’nSAVE
  • a litre of milk
  • a packet of six mutton stewing chops – a PAK’nSAVE special
  • a small quantity of butter
  • a small packet of cat food
  • half a dozen hamburger buns, another PAK’nSAVE special
  • one packet of 50g Horizon red tobacco, and
  • a packet of yellow cigarette papers.

These items were chosen because I have some accompaniments on hand. I have tea, coffee, peanut butter, jam, honey, a few potatoes, onions and a bit of silver beet in the garden.

The packet of Horizon red tobacco and the packet of yellow cigarette papers were purchased because unfortunately I have another accompaniment – an insistent nicotine addiction that has few sensibilities and no sense of economy.  .

After paying essential living costs that’s what I’ve got to sustain me until Kiwi Saver finally coughs up my money,

If you hear a ghastly scream, and you don’t know quite where it’s coming from, well it’s probably me in receipt of another letter from Kiwi Saver telling me my money can’t be released for the following reasons ……………….

Sally apologises to readers for boring them with details of the difficulties incurred by trying to start a business with no capital at all. She agrees it’s a ludicrous position to be in, but urges them to stick with her as she struggles to get her head above water and get on with it.

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5 thoughts on “Career Champion: “A lean week”

  1. Hi Peter

    Thanks for your sensible suggestions re smoking substitutes.

    In the blog my objective has always been to record what happens to me each week as I pursue my goal. I thought if I did that it could be an information source for other people and in turn they could feed in suggestions for me. If I write about the situations and other people I encounter each week – sometimes critically – then I think I need to talk honestly about myself as well. I am certainly not immune to human frailty.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to read the blog Peter and send in your comment.

  2. if the benefit problems were sorted out quickly, the gatekeepers would not have enough work to do and some of them would join you….and they know it….

  3. Addiction or not , get anti smoking tablets or stick on , free from Quit Line and save money.
    It’s hard to sympathise with hardship which is happening to almost everyone I know when you smoke. Life is shit at times but you now need to take responsibility in this area as you are in trying to shift your scicumstances to enhance your life . All the best. It will get harder with every packet of tabacco purchased. However, I admire your honesty or is it naivety.

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