After being told the office opens anytime between 8 and 8:30 am, I arrived at 8:30 am to find it devoid of life. I came back at 8:50 am and a solitary coworker has arrived and is able to let me in.
The first day at work consisted predominantly of “storistori” with the colleagues. Storistori is long-winded, companionable chitchat that often loses direction along the way or doesn’t have a point. This is one way for me to get up to speed with what’s going on here and what I can expect.
After some confusion about where I was to be sitting and whether I had a work computer or not, we figured something out and I was in a familiar environment of cubicles and laptops. Sweet, soothing, comforting cubicles.
The office building itself, I have been told, is on the verge of collapse. It’s been through many earthquakes, leaks, and is that asbestos in the ceiling?
I can’t rule that out.
Only one of the two lifts work and I was told that my predecessor always took the stairs after experiencing a near-death lift failure. As my laziness outweighs my fear of death, I take the lifts.
The toilet situation here is bleak. Each floor shares a communal toilet with the other offices and everyone is to bring their own toilet paper. You can smell the caked urine as you approach the toilets, maybe one metre in advance. I have accepted that one of my favourite office pastimes will no longer be a thing.
The rest of the day consisted of more storistori with the remaining colleagues as I met them. All good people.
Got a free lunch which everyone attacked with gusto: rice, kumara (which they also happen to call kumara here (anthropologists will have a field day studying this country), taro, with chilli chicken, chilli beef, or chilli pork.
So, no actual work done today but I have been told to take it easy and settle in before they bombard me with work.
I won’t complain.