Tag Archives: Wellington

Jillian 14 – Wine Incident

Jillian 14 - Wine Incident

(For the beginning of these snippets please follow this link.


On one of her return visits to New Zealand when she was a bit older, Jillian spent a bit of time in WINDY WELLINGTON. (Remember the visit we spoke of when she was a sales person?) Well it was about a year after that. You might also remember we talked about an earthquake when she was quite young? That was in NZ too as you might imagine.

This incident is based on her life 'In Country'  some time after that.

Jillian had a fairly large number of close friends. In-spite of her frequent musings to the contrary - she is a very like-able woman and has very many really excellent qualities that she is the last person in the world to recognize. As a coach, I am remiss for not chatting to her about this stuff, as it can make a nice life quite unnecessarily negative.

Another story for another time.

Getting back to this one. Jillian had an uncle who was a priest. He lived in the Hawke's Bay region of the North Island in a monastery which was attached to one of the great and famous wine making establishments of the area at the time. The New Zealand wine industry is still even now quite young, but growing rapidly. Grapes were originally brought to the Hawke’s Bay region in the 1850’s by Catholic priests for sacramental wine. And the tradition was continued. Catholics are always attuned to ways of making money for The Church, as Sunday collections can be very fickle and there is a huge infrastructure and many religious (clergy, and teachers) to be supported. So why not?

“Why not make wine for sale to the general public?” they said.

Her uncle was, as it happens, the chief winemaker. A great job. And he was very passionate about it.

On this visit he was VERY excited about a new wine they had released in the last month or so. It was a Red, but when she told me this account, Jillian couldn't remember the name of it which, luckily is not all that important to this tale. She remembered tasting it, she was not a big red wine drinker - at this stage of her life being more partial to unwooded Chardonnays, but she said it was one of the best wines she had EVER tasted.

Some tasting links for your perusal.



“It had a large Rosehip kind of taste,” she said, “mixed with Chocolate and a hint of Cinnamon. It was also creamy, nutty and buttery.”

Not sure where the rosehip bit came from, rosehips are the seed pods for roses and these have a tartness that, I think, she didn't really mean. Probably some blackberry taste or something like that. (Editor Note).

As a chardonnay lover, she was probably picking up on the toasty. buttery flavours and creamy textures; as malolactic conversion which is normal for red wines. is used in this particular style of white wine more then any other variety.

Anyway. Bloody hell I get distracted easily.

To cut a long story short she was enamoured with the taste of the wine, and all the palaver her ecstatic uncle couldn't help regaling her with. She remembered it all; at least for a time.

Later that evening, back in Wellington a night or so before her return home to her adopted country, she had a group of friends join her for dinner. 12 in all. This from a woman whose suitcases have a better life than her? Go figure.

They were about to order a wine. Had had a few loosening up drinks and ordered food. Main courses only - they were watching their weight.

Jillian could not believe that the wine that had almost given her an O@#$%, (my word not hers - better not say that here), was on the wine list. She ordered two bottles for the table, as a start, explaining the story I have just told you. Her Uncle? Remember?

As was customary, she was invited to taste it. She asked one of her friends to do the honours as she was so excited by this turn of events. As the delight on her friend's face quickly became a grimace, Jillian grabbed the glass.

The taste was unbelievable. Unbelievably HORRIBLE. Only about 4 hours ago our Jillian had been tasting this wine and discussing its merits with the actual winemaker.

Very politely, she imparted this information to the waiter.

"Oh, I don't think there could possibly be anything wrong with this wine, Miss. It is only new and has just been put on the menu." he expostulated.

"Well, it is most definitely NOT what I was drinking this afternoon," she almost yelled.

A quick reality check of the bottle revealed we were talking about the same wine, same winery, and blow me down if Uncle's name was not on the bottle as winemaker.

"There." She said. "I was with HIM this afternoon (pointing repeatedly at the label), and this does not taste anything like the wine we were drinking. So please, if you are not prepared to replace it; can we talk to the manager?

The waiter brought the owner to the table. His misogynistically horrendous first statement - that the wine was fine and how would a woman know anything about wine anyway - was the final straw.

"OK, girls." she said. "This pig of a man has served us 'off' wine and now he has the temerity to insult me in front of my friends. I know another restaurant just a few doors down. Let's go there."

As one, they rose, fuming for Jillian, and turning towards the door - walked out. Jillian, like a General leading her army, led the troops forward; and they moved 'en masse' to the place down the road.

To add to the moment Jillian saw waiters bringing out the meals as they disappeared out the door.

Is there a moral here?


More than one I reckon.

  1.  Think about the consequences of your words and actions. (1 bottle of wine v's 12 full meals?)
  2. Listen to what people are telling you.
  3. Never judge, in particular using stupid stereotypical unsubstantiated beliefs
  4. Be polite and always remember ‘respect’.

Funny just the same? You go girl. Jillian the great.


Jillian 9a – Worst Travel Experience … continued

For the start of these episodes go to http://career-change-strategies.com.au/jillian-1-meet-my-friend/

Wellington Airport.

Waiting at the antiquated and squealing, jerking baggage carousel. Finally it stopped. Nothing for Jillian.


What now?

It was then that it hit our friend Jillian. SHE HAD NOTHING. Her business clothes, fresh undies, toiletries, make-up, hair-brush the paperwork and stuff for her meetings, proper handbag - all was in that luggage. That luggage which she no longer appeared to be in possession of. I know, Churchill would not like that hanging preposition but bugger it - Jillian has lost her bag for God's sake.

Panic. She ran around frantically looking for someone, anyone to help her. Signs that existed were in English and Maori, but nothing appeared to help her figure out what to do.

Finally as she was close to breaking down here alone in Wellington, NZ on this fateful evening without anything, she began to cry. But she quickly decided that this was NOT the way for a business woman to act. With tears still clinging resolutely to her eyes she finally slowed down, and found a counter that was the most likely hiding place of those whose job it was to trace lost luggage.

"Nah. wasn't on the plane, Luv." said the helpful chap after asking someone on the other end of the old fashioned phone/intercom system, the same question phrased at least 4 different ways. Talk about the bleedin' obvious.

"So what do I do?" Jillian asked. "When is it likely to get here? What happens in the meantime?

"Dunno, Luv," he explained. Pause!

Obviously the answer to all 3 questions.

Jillian filled out a form. He had finally offered, "We'd better do a form, Miss"

He gave her a voucher for some airline stuff, soap tooth brush and the like - shit, yeah, she remembered that's in the bag too. Of course – it would be.

Then he added the clincher, "Since its after 5.00pm the airline counter is closed and you won't be able to redeem this until tomorrow. Sorry!"

“Sorry 'bout that.” he repeated unhelpfully.

“Shit, Shit. Shit.” Just another example of her shitty life, she thought. “Why doesn't stuff go right – just once would be OK? OK?”

Bet this wouldn't be happening to her boss Jack, she thought. Not bloody likely. “Why is it always me?” she wailed to herself.

Nothing open at the airport. Ironic isn't it. If she had know there was going to be no baggage as soon as she landed; shops would have been open and emergency supplies could have been obtained. Easily.

Outside, feeling completely naked with only her small clutch purse, an emergency touch-up lipstick and a credit card.

A taxi. Yep. That's the next step. Thinking. Thinking!

N.Z. still closes down in the evenings. The motel she was booked into was up in Lower Hutt. Quite  distance away.

Let's go.

Big mistake. The motel was staffed by a large bored woman with no interest in anything but the latest episode of “Close to Home”.

No emergency supplies. No help. No luck. Bad Day? No shit!

By this time the taxi had roared off.

“Was that a petrol station we passed just before the motel?” Jillian thought.

A short walk – thankful for small mercies – and YES a service station.

And finally a bit of luck. A small washing line and pegs. A traveller pack of soap, toothpaste, toothbrush and even some deodorant. Not much else. But how good is it to have something?

Back in the room taking stock.

A quick, but horrendously expensive international phone call later, Jillian had managed to let her boss know what had happened and asked if he could fax some brochures, prices and anything else he might be able to lay his hands on, that might be a help. He said he could. Another small win.

Freezing. Naked and attempting to wash her smalls with the bar of soap Jillian wondered if it could possibly get worse.

It could. And did.

Nothing was dry in the morning and as the soap had not been rinsed out thoroughly, the undies were wet, cold, stiff and VERY uncomfortable. It was cold and windy, no surprise, and she looked and felt utterly ridiculous in her summery Melbourne costume. And COSTUME was really the word. She felt like a clown.

There was something for her at reception, not the least of which was the staff and other  guests laughing at this amazingly stupid Australian woman in the green and gold.

Taxi to the office of the older, straight laced MD of the company considering doing business with an unknown Australian firm for the first time. One with a YOUNG female sales rep. What are they thinking?

Short ride. Reading through the info supplied, Jillian found it was extremely limited. No company info, hers or the prospects. “Guess we trust to memory”, she thought. Very basic, black and white brochure and a price list.

Great. “I wish I was dead!” she lamented to herself.

Well it turned out to be an OK meeting. They seemed to understand her predicament. Laughed, but she was beginning to expect that. She was so cold, thinking and speaking was a chore, but it was finally over.

The journey home in the big metal tube in the sky was as uneventful as it could be under the the circumstances, and the credit card took a BIG hit. The Big Sky Mall.

Booze, (Scotch, Gin and Red Wine), promotional rubbish including a jacket to cover the summer gear and a watch and camera she didn't need but the retail therapy helped. Yes it did. Pity there were no shoes.

Well probably a good thing there were no shoes.

The next day; back home. In her own apartment. Properly clothed, a little less mortified, and with a developing hangover, Jillian phoned her boss.

An order had been faxed through during the night and even though it was a small one, it made our Jillian smile. Maybe the chafed bits were worth it after-all.

That was about it, though, for orders from this company, and it kind of put an end to Jillian travelling for the rest of her time with this employer. Unfair. But that's the way it goes for a woman in a man's world.

As the ticket and accommodation had been purchased using her Amex card, Jillian was able to claim for all the lost stuff. Suitcase and all. A nice little win she thought. Bought some new clothes with the money. Sweet, Bro.

3 months later, her very badly battered bags arrived home. They had been to Hawaii and Los Angeles. Lucky them. “Even my bags have a better life than me.”


Jillian 9 – Worst Travel Experience

For the start of these episodes go to http://career-change-strategies.com.au/jillian-1-meet-my-friend/

Well Jillian could only think of one worst experience. I'd have bet on more - but I only really wanted one so this is good.

Here goes.

It was early in a year we won't mention.

Jillian had some business meetings in Wellington in NZ. And it was hot, Damn Hot in Melbourne. Well over 30 degrees most days. Wellington was going to be windy as usual and her appointments were going to keep her right on the edge of the harbour. Even more wind. It would be much cooler than Melbourne, and probably even cool by Wellington NZ standards. Well it was. I'm not making this stuff up.

It was the first time Jillian had been promoting this line and it was very important. A sale here would make for a fairly decent commission (did I tell you she was at one time earlier in her peripatetic life a sales person? - It was only for a relatively short time, so it may not have come up before.)

Anyway, at this time, early in her working life, she was a sales person A commercial traveller as she found out they called them in NZ.

And this was not only going to be a lucrative 'one-off', but on-going sales were likely to keep it ticking on for some time.

She boarded the plane with one smallish suitcase, which, unfortunately, would not fit into the overhead locker. "Shouldn't matter," she said to herself. "Nothing valuable in there." Famous last words.

Since it was only a short trip both in duration of the flight and the time over there, Jillian was a tad casual about things, she now understands, but after all her business attire WAS in the suitcase and she had everything she needed to imbibe a few cold wines on the flight.

Did I say it was hot in Melbourne? Imagine this.

Hair tied back in a semblance of a pony tail. Multicoloured halter neck top in greens and golds. It was not revealing - designed for day-wear not the beach. And she was going on an international flight. So. Fine. OK?

It was teamed with a cotton wrap-around skirt of similar hue. and a pair of not very high, but still high heeled ankle strap, open toed sandals with wedge heels, light green in colour. Quite cool and summery. Very nice.

Not Business attire. Definitely NOT business attire.

Jillian arrived in Wellington. The airport buildings still seemed to be fashioned from a couple of WWII Nissan huts and not a lot of sophisticated equipment was in view.

And it was, as already promised, windy outside, (no aero-bridge - Just a wheeled set of gangway stairs here in good old Windy Wellington), and a LOT cooler then the Melbourne summer.

To Be Continued ...