Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Younger Selves

For the first time in my adult life I have complete freedom to do/be whatever I want. Up until this point I have always been employed/finishing school and there have always been goals associated with my employment (just until I finish school, just until the world sorts itself out, just until I get to buy an apartment etc).

Now? Complete and total freedom. I am extremely lucky to have a tres supportive boyfriend that agrees with me (and allows me to use d-baggy words like tres in my every day speech) that this time I need to hold out, to make sure that I find something that has the potential to turn into a career.

So I can actually do anything (well obviously not anything- I mean I can't go and become a doctor now can I?). Which is completely and totally overwhelming. Anything? Kind of a big area yes? Last night I was trying to narrow it down a little. How? By going back through the years and remembering what I used to want to be when I grew up.

When I was very young, like 8, I had a fascination with buttons. I loved buttons, like keyboards, elevators, anything that made a delightful sound when pressed. Clearly with such a love of buttons to push, my ideal career choice would be a bank teller. I used to spend hours in my room pretending I was a teller (no close friends, no)- I had an old computer that didn't do anything in my room, whose sole purpose was to aide me in my "I'm a bank teller" playtime. I wrote out bank slips (before I could handwrite so it was mainly just scribbling) too. I was awesome at it.

When I was about 11 or 12 I was completely in love with school. I couldn't wait to go to school in the morning, begged for homework starting when I was 9, went back to school shopping in July because I couldn't wait. I was also extremely fortunate to have awesome teachers (aside from the one in grade 5 ) and therefore decided that I wanted to become a teacher when I grew up. This was before I discovered my extreme frustration attached to trying to teach anyone anything that they didn't understand right away. And my dislike of other people's children (not all, not even most, but there are some). I have been told a lot (by people that clearly don't know me very well) that I would be an excellent teacher but I have long since decided that its not for me.

I remember doing a school project on becoming a journalist. I must have been 14. I can't remember if I actually wanted to be a journalist, or if I was just looking for something to do my project on though. To this day a good chunk of my family believes that this is my goal/what I should do.

There was a long stretch in time when I believed that Prince William would find me, fall in love with me and make me his princess, thereby negating my need for employment. I still sometimes hold onto that dream.

The plan at some point was to study English and History in University (I didn't- I did minor in English though) but I have no idea what it was that I planned to do with that, having already vetoed the whole teacher thing. Maybe the plan was that I would just be super knowledgeable about stuff and that would carry me through life somehow?

Looking back, my younger selves have been exactly no help. Why didn't I ever have any concrete career goals? Now I still have to figure this all out by myself. Stupid past selves.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hoarding My Money

What do you do when its summer and you have no money coming in because you are a drain on society and have no job? Well I'm really glad you asked because I have spent the last 3 weeks or so figuring that out.

When you have no money coming in, you kind of want to hoard the little bit that you do have. So while it may not be pleasant, there is going to have to be some belt tightening (how fortunate are we then, that belts are totally awesome?). You can't just be a hermit and tell everyone that you can't afford to leave your apartment. Being jobless is the perfect time to re-connect with friends you may have been neglecting. But it can get expensive if you let it.

So here are some of my tips for saving some of your hard earned money (or the money they gave you to go away):

Eat in. When you're rolling in it, it doesn't seem like a big deal to go out and break some bread with friends. Lobster? Steak? Yes please. But when you have a mortgage to cover and you are steps away from EI (I really need to apply for that this week!), you start hankering after free bread sticks instead of steak and that's no way to live. So break bread with friends at home. Who doesn't appreciate a home cooked meal? No one is the answer. And when you live with someone who is at expert level in the kitchen, its basically a crime not to share that with others.

Hang Out. Who says that you need to spend money to hang out with your nearest and dearest? The corporations that's who. What better way to get back at them for ruining the last 2 and a half years of your professional life than by hanging out with people and not spending a dime. You can invite them over to watch a movie. You could go old school and invite them over to have coffee (assuming you have coffee in the house and know how to work the coffee machine, being a tea drinker). Go for a walk on a trail or seawall-esque route. When you actually try, its easy to get out and hang out with friends while spending no money.

Window Shop. Obviously with fall coming, the lack of funds for shopping is a hurtful situation (Vogue's September issue is showing me all the beautiful things that I can't buy). I would love to buy new shoes, cozy sweaters, pretty well all the things that my friend Niki discusses on her blog, A Haute Mess , or engage in an accidental shopping spree at Sephora.  But as previously mentioned, I'm poor now so I can't. Eventually, of course, the money will start to come in again, and then I will be in a position to buy all the things that I am denying myself now. Research will be key to fulfilling my retail dreams when the time comes. So a-window-shopping I will go.

Befriend a Librarian. Aside from shoes, I love to buy books. Turns out, books can get expensive, something I never considered when I had a job. While I haven't actually stepped foot in a library since this all started (The Boyfriend has taken pity on me a couple of times and let me buy books), the plan is that I will. The only distasteful thing I find about libraries is that you have to give the books back. I would rather just keep them.

Parental Concern. My parents, my mother especially, were incensed to hear of my unemployment (mostly about the way that it all happened) and since then have shown a considerable amount of concern about my continued unemployment. They aren't understanding that at this point, the unemployment is a choice. One that I'm really OK with (talk to me when I'm drinking and/or in another month if I still don't have a job). But parents can be helpful. They bring dessert if you invite them for dinner and agree to share in a bottle of wine. They can make you lunch when you go shopping (strictly window) with them. Or keep you out of trouble for a morning by requesting your help in painting your little brother's room. Maybe your parents have a house somewhere vacation-y and you can go there and spend time lake-side, playing with a puppy and drinking, none of which you are allowed to pay for because you are a "guest". Show them the love and they will help you out as much as they can.

Speaking of which, I have some painting go do. Do the best you can with your Monday!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

People Patience

Yesterday I spent a fun-filled day at the PNE . The whole point of going yesterday was that Huey Lewis and the News were performing and when are you going to give up the chance to see The Power of Love performed live? You're not.

But while there are thousands of awesome things to see and do at the PNE (Superdogs, PNE Prize Home, mini-doughnuts, sand sculpture competition, hot dogs, cotton candy etc) there are also a lot of people. Crowds of them in fact. And when you get crowds of people together, there are bound to be some real idiots among them. So here is a rundown of the biggest idiots I encountered. A day at the PNE didn't really do too much to curb my hatred of people.

Puppy Handler. I'm not actually talking about real puppies, I'm talking about human puppies aka children. Very small children. At the Superdogs show. So it used to be that the Superdogs were outside and it was all very much about what the dogs could do. These days there are strobe lights and black outs, really loud music and an announcer. Kind of terrifying if you are a small child and you a) have a fear of dogs and b) don't like the dark or loud noises. So I'm not really sure what possesses some parents to bring their very small children to see the Superdogs. You know what ends up happening? You spend a half hour or so trying to keep little Johnny entertained before the show starts only to have him start screaming once the lights go out, the music starts and the dogs come barrelling into the arena barking because they, at least, are extremely excited. I'm all for exposing your kids to the experiences of the world, but maybe some more age appropriate experiences to start.

Receipt-less Wonder. Say you go to the Marketplace to take in all the cool gadgets, gizmos and crap that you can see demonstrated, purchase and take home with you. Say that they have this awesome steam mop that sanitizes and cleans your floor without chemicals leaving the floor dry and streakless in its wake. Say that today they will throw in extra cleaning pads. So you can't walk away from that right? Right. Well they will even babysit it for you so that you don't need to lug it around for the rest of the time at the fair. You write your name down next to a number and that number is written on your receipt. Don't lose your receipt, they tell you. How do you then come back at the end of the day and demand your steam mop when you have lost your receipt? How do you tell these hard working demonstrators who have opened your world to the amazing, reasonably-priced power of steam cleaning that its their fault you don't have your receipt? You are a jerk. You should have to give back your steam mop.

Concert Flakes. Obviously Huey Lewis and the News are crowd pleasers. Obviously. But let's try and remember that we are at the PNE--100 years of fabulous, reasonably priced family fun. You might be at a concert but so is your grandmother. And families looking to enjoy some music and a picnic. There's probably no need for you to get blind drunk and scream at Huey that you love him and then call him your dad. Also, take a look around you. There are a lot of people here, space is limited. Maybe you and your "amazing photography skills" (which this morning I'm sure you realized were just a lot of blurry pictures of you and your friends wearing sunglasses in the dark and yelling) could take a look around you before you blindly stumble around into other people's Huey space to take your pictures. Next time maybe you could also refrain from stepping on my feet.

Bus Garbage. Turns out that when hoards of people leave the PNE, the bus company doesn't think its a good idea to run extra buses. So the buses are crammed full. A lot more full than is probably allowed but its late and people need to get home so we're all crammed in. At least that's what I thought. Turns out that there was this whole middle section of the bus that no one wanted to stand in? Just leave this big gap on the bus, no big deal. I'm not standing with my face in some hairy guy's armpit on a hot August night or anything. If you are on a crowded bus, do us all a favour and move to the back. It will be over soon. Also. Obviously there are lots of delicious treats at the PNE and you can't possibly eat or drink them all so you take them home. Try and make sure that it actually arrives home with you. Maybe don't change your mind and leave it on the bus. If you have a green coffee-like beverage, try not to fall asleep with it in your hand and then drop it all over the floor. If you do, no biggie, feel free to pick it up so that it doesn't melt and run all over the bus in a sticky green mess. I wish you had been made to clean up your mess.

Please note that this list is not complete. I didn't even go into all the people that can't seem to watch where they are going, don't know where they are or forget that they have kids with them and that kids tend to get lost in crowds, being shorter than the rest of us and unable to see over everyone else.

So yeah, my people hatred is at kind of high levels today. Probably a good thing I have nowhere to go and encounter more of them today. Except for earlier today when the guy had to come in to test the smoke alarms. Thats a fun noise to wake up to. I think I'll take my alarm clock thanks.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Frame 1, Me 0

I went to Ikea yesterday. We meant to get shoe racks (to finally unpack the box of shoes that have been sitting in the hallway since the end of July- my feet have been looking like hobos) but walked out with a mirror and a picture frame that I just had to have.

(We did end up getting shoe racks but not at Ikea. Wal-Mart bitches!)

It was so pretty all hanging up in the Ikea marketplace with its flower picture. The frame happened to be the perfect size for this print that we had picked up that we have had trouble finding the right sized frame for. It was meant to be.

Lesson learned: sometimes the Universe just puts things out there to f*ck with you. She needs to have fun just like the rest of us.

So we get the frame home and it somehow becomes my job to put this picture in the new frame. Simple job yes? No. The Boyfriend got the simple job--putting together the shoe racks. And he needed power tools.

First of all, its not glass in the frame, its a static-y piece of wobbly plastic. I am not sure how I feel about this at this point. I now know that I hate that piece of plastic with a vengeance. The plastic is covered with a protective layer of plastic on both sides. I should have known I was in for it when the frame came with instructions.

I think regular people would have taken the protective plastic off the inside of the frame, put the picture in it, closed it up then removed the protective layer on the outside.

But I am not regular people- I am blonde. And as such I reserve the right to march to the beat of my own drum and make simple things 100 times more complicated than they need to be.

As soon as I peeled the second protective layer off I could hear all the dust particles in my apartment cling to it. This is probably not a good sign. Next I attempted to put the plastic back into the frame with very limited success. It either wouldn't make it past the little stick up-y things that keep the picture in the frame, or it maneuvered its way through the frame to the other side. Apparently during this time the frame, which is not made of strong stuff, was shifting. If you picked it up on one side, that side was pulled away from the rest of the frame.

I finally managed to get the plastic, the picture and the back all sealed up and was ready to glory in my home improvement skills.

Due to the static there was a hair right in the middle of the picture. I would need to re-do the whole thing.

I needed to punch something so I went to the bedroom and beat the hell out of one of my pillows while The Boyfriend shook with laughter. Then I slammed the door and yelled at him for laughing.  but I calmly resisted the urge.

In the end I was successful.

Successful in getting The Boyfriend to finish it for me. And then he hung up my mirror.

I needed a drink.

So I had 2 and then I went to see Gaga. Who blew my mind. Again. She is incredible. If you ever have the chance to see her, take it. Record- did she change your life??

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Boy Is My Face Red...

...Drinking and posting is in fact a very bad idea. 

There are 2 different kinds of drinking when unemployed. The first is when you mean to get totally trashed, get a bottle of wine and drink the whole thing or go to a bar and just order drink after drink until its time for shots. The other kind of drinking happens accidentally, as it did on Saturday night.

We were up at the lake with the Boyfriend's parents and his sister. The neighbours were going to come over for a drink. I had a drink before they arrived, drank it while I read the paper, all lady-of-leisure like. The neighbours are retired, in their mid-to-late 60s, so you definitely don't think you're going to get smashed with them. But it happened! I'm not sure who was in charge of my drink but magically it was never empty and it led me to that ridiculous, embarassing, rambling post you saw. Or didn't see. I'm hoping that since its the tail end of summer vacation that lots of you are out of town and neglecting your bloggy friends.

Dare to dream right?

Let's just move on shall we?

So now we're back to reality and have grown up stuff to deal with. You would think that these things included updating my resume and applying for jobs but you would be wrong. I need to buy insurance for my apartment (finally), and deal with the dipsh*ts that are in charge of my mortgage. The first payment didn't come out. We called about it yesterday but didn't really get satisfactory results and The Boyfriend wants me to be the one to deal with it because I have a "background in finance". I guess we could call it that. But really, its been a while since I've had the chance to yell at someone so this could be fun.

Obviously aside from my subconscious, which has a drinking problem, I'm not too worried about the job situation. I have moments, sure--we all have moments when we are secretly terrified that nothing is going to work out the way that it should. But this week? Is far too filled with awesome stuff to have time to look for something mundane like a job. 

If you will recall, the deal was that I would enjoy August, clear my head. That small subconscious of mine is a worrywart, and I think I would be doing the rest of me a disservice by not taking the full time off to clear my head and restart my work ethic. I got treated like sh*t for over two years. Most people think that I'm exaggerating when I tell them the stuff that was said or done to me. But I wasn't. I just mentioned the highlights. By the end of it I honestly didn't even care if I showered for work or not. It was too much effort. That's not a good attitude to have about your place of employment.

So. August is over next week. Then I will give it my all. It will be my full time job to look for something. But for now? Gaga awaits. Tonight. I can't wait! Full, slightly hungover, review tomorrow.

Mortgage yelling update: I didn't have to yell at anyone. I was prepared to but the person that I dealt with was all on top of everything, admitted it was their fault and had a solution that I could find nothing wrong with. I guess the kid that The Boyfriend dealt with was just a moron and really? There's one in every office. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Drinking And Posting

You know what's a good idea? Drinking and posting while you are unemployed and drinking. Heavily.

The plan the whole time was to enjoy the summer, reflect and consider my options. It has quickly come to light that my only options include drinking myself into oblivion and refraining from posting completely inappropriate comments on Veronica's wall. Things like "you made my life hell" and "your nails will never look as good as mine!"

Which they won't.


I would be lying if I said I hadn't spilled rum and coke all over my prospective mother-in-law's kitchen. Kind of like I would be lying if I said I had been looking for a job.

I have found out the identity of Jack the Ripper (Walter Richard Sickert). I have discovered that Big Foot candies taste like Swedish Fish or Swedish Berries. Also The Boyfriend likes to go to bed early as opposed to staying up and explaining things to his Mom.

Fine. I am drunk now too. And I have not even looked for a new job yet. Not one listing. At all. BUT I have decided to see Huey Lewis and the News at the local fair on Wednesday. Progress is meausured in baby steps after all.

Did I mention I had been drinking?

I've made good friends with The Boyfriend's sister's prospective stepdaughter (she assigned me some learning puzzles about space and the human body) but as she is 8 I can't imagine this will help my job prospects.

You would be right in assuming that I have made zero job progress this summer.

Want to know what else? The panic is starting to set in. Aside from the lake friends and the binge drinking. What if I am unemployed for the rest of the year? What if I end up with another crappy job?Or even less (even possible???) money?

The panic is setting in. Drinking or not. Advice please.

Yup. That's my post. All week long and this is my material?? Am fired from blogging too.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Heat Wave

So I didn't go to the doctor. When it was time to leave I reasoned myself and The Boyfriend out of the need to go. I'm really good at reasoning stuff like that. I've been wearing a tensor on my knee when I walk and since Saturday night there has been a huge improvement. Obviously something isn't seriously wrong. And that's what the doctor will tell me too.

The problem with this heat (for me) is that there isn't a whole lot of stuff that I feel like doing. Everything requires entirely too much effort and I have no intention of spending the day outside baking in the sun so that in 20 years I'm all leathery. This woman getting into the elevator in front of me yesterday? Her back had been tanned but then she burned and her whole back was this really dark red. You know that's going to be painful later.  I don't even think she had realized it yet. And that's the problem with hot weather like this-people don't take proper steps to protect themselves from the sun.

I do. I stay inside. Or find shade if I absolutely have to be outside. Covered in high SPF sunscreen of course.

I found stuff to do anyway. Because I'm a champion who isn't going to let a stinkin' heatwave get me down. I cleared out some of my PVR. Its a good thing Say Yes To The Dress is on every week because now I have no more episodes recorded. This serves 2 purposes: wedding dress porn and it makes The Boyfriend happy that not all of our PVR space is dedicated to my shows. Although it still mostly is. He has Rudy recorded and that's about it I think.

I finally did laundry. This has been on my To Do list since I got laid off but it just didn't ever seem to actually get done. The way I play this game is that as long as there is still clean underwear, I'm good. I should probably change the way I think about laundry since I'm getting to be on the more serious side of my 20s. I'm going to go with blaming the heat for this one. Obviously part of my brain has melted. Now the laundry is done and it feels good. I definitely questioned my decision to do the laundry yesterday in the heat of the day when I pulled loads right out of the dryer though. That stuff is hot!

Besides not being able to fall asleep last night (see heat) when I finally did fall asleep I was awoken by itchy mosquito bites at 4.30. This is prime sleeping time (aside from the fact that being unemployed I didn't exactly need to be up at a specific time, but still) but I was scratching the hell out of my limbs. How the hell did I get mosquito bites in the city? Do I now have West Nile? I'm going back up to the lake tomorrow so I guess I should consider this a preview, but mostly I consider it uncomfortable. Especially if I end up with West Nile.

Speaking of the lake, we made an important decision regarding our trip yesterday: there will be slushy drinks. When we went up last time it was all rum and cokes, wine, vodka, red bull, beer but no slushy drinks. I feel like slushy drinks would be both fun and refreshing, so slushy drinks there will be.  This is important because while you are on any kind of vacation you want to select the correct drink for your purposes. Relaxing weekend for 2? Wine of course. Crazy bachelor/bachelorette weekend? Start with vodka, work your way to shots, tequila or otherwise. Mexico? Slushy drinks. Trying-to-recreate-Mexico-because-you-are-too-poor-to-actually-go-because-you-are-unemployed-and-a-lake-seems-as-good-a-place-as any-to-try-for-the-re-creation? Slushy drinks.

Exciting prospects ahead eh?

Alright kids, I see a trip to Wal-Mart in my future.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sangria and Jager

It's hot. Way too hot. I don't like it. Next season please. Even some rain. I would love some rain. A really good storm. I'm probably in the minority here, people seem to love laying out and baking in the sun. But I prefer to be able to sleep at night and currently? I can't because its too damn hot.

OK I think I'm done with that. The heat makes me cranky too, did I mention that?

All the days are starting to run together. I'm pretty sure that today is Monday but not being employed I can't be completely certain. Monday really isn't a terrible day. I mean today? I slept late. I'm blogging without the fear of someone walking up behind me and catching me. I plan to have breakfast at some point. If it wasn't so hot...it could actually be a pretty nice day.

I guess you are all wondering how Friday night's "work" drinks went. Maybe you aren't, but you should be because its really all I have.

It was actually kind of awesome. Amy wasn't there, neither were John or Turd or anyone that would have made it awkward for me. Veronica was there, but if she's not in charge of me, I don't honestly mind her. She's actually kind of a nice, fun person.

Guess what was on special? Sangria pitchers. The last time I had sangria...I was in Spain. It also happened to be the first time I had sangria. A friend and I were traveling, we were in Madrid, and sangria seemed like a good idea. Well it was a good idea because after sharing 2 pitchers we were smashed. And refreshed. There isn't actually a story attached to the sangria drinking, its just me wandering aimlessly down memory lane.

So a pitcher of sangria was shared. I think there was also a pitcher of blueberry mohitos involved and then we were kicked out!

I would like to say it was because we were all so drunk that we were disturbing other patrons, but its nothing as exciting as that (and also, I'm not a lightweight). None of us had the foresight to make a reservation on a Friday night. So there was another party coming in at 7 and we were being removed from their table. Lame. We walked over to another bar that at shortly after 7 was completely deserted. Which according to me, makes it the perfect place.

I started off by being good with just rum and cokes but at some point someone started getting jagerbombs to show up at the table. Anna doesn't do shots but shots kept appearing in front of her. Because I am a good person, a real team player, I took the shots for her. I feel like this is material that I can use in a job interview at some point: Give an example of a time you were a team player. Well there was this one time that I did shots for my friend who couldn't. Ace material no?

One by one people started to leave. Eventually there were only like 5 of us left. And because we are all ancient we were done at 11. Again, according to me, this is kind of perfect. In bed before midnight? Awesome. I'm looking forward to early bird specials too.

Did I mention that I wore heels? Well I did. And I wore them all night. The next day? Crippled. Not just my feet, although there were kind of sore too. No, my knee. Remember how I had that issue with my knee months ago and I didn't actually injure it as far as I know but it hurt? Well its never actually gone away, despite the icing, the heating, the pills and the rest. After Friday night's debacle, the knee was actually really really painful. I've even conceded that I need to go to a doctor. Which for me, is a big deal. I don't go to doctors unless I'm halfway dead. Or bleeding uncontrollably (and then they actually have to do something aside from prescribing rest).

And that is a summary of my Friday night. My life is so glamourous. I didn't even tell you about the grilled cheese that I had for lunch on Saturday. A story for another day. If you're lucky.

If you are still stuck in a Cubicle prison, here's hoping that it goes by quickly and painlessly. And Anna? Welcome to your first day of freedom. Feels good doesn't it?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Driving Me Crazy

Before I lost my job there really weren't that many occasions for mid-week, mid-day driving-in-a-car excursions. Most of the travel time was spent on a bus, with a book, blissfully unaware of the lunatics on the road in this city.

All this week, in an effort to stem the flow of boredom, The Boyfriend and I have spent our daytimes running around the city doing stuff (yes, non-specific stuff). And almost dying in the process because people? Really can't drive.

Aside from the people running into traffic to cross the street (not at marked crosswalks where obviously we would stop), drivers just aren't paying attention. There are those that can't park under pressure (you know, when they see a spot on a busy street that requires parallel parking skills that they do not possess and they hold up traffic before giving up?), those that are weaving in an out of lanes due to an alarming lack of patience and those that are still on their phones despite the fact that its now illegal.

Yesterday I saw a woman trying to get out of a McDonald's parking lot and, I'm not exaggerating, she could barely see over the window of her car. How does she drive if she can barely see? Then there are the motorcycles who are seriously tempting fate by driving batsh*t crazy. There have been two separate instances where The Boyfriend has picked me up from work and during our drive home we have passed a motorcyclist hit so its not like the chances of it happening are low to begin with.

Now I get to the part where we actually almost died. Like my heart stopped, and after it happened The Boyfriend started laughing really hard, but that really unnatural laughter where clearly he was scared sh*tless but now that he's on the other side of it its funny. So we're driving in the left lane going towards the city and this car in the right lane is stopping traffic by parallel parking and the car behind it decides that his time is way too important to wait 5 more seconds while guy number 1 successfully parks. How does he handle this? By pulling out into the left lane without looking at all.

Well we were just coming up on him as he pulled into us. The Boyfriend is a very defensive driver so he managed to avoid him by pulling the wheel more left, into the left lane for oncoming traffic. Traffic was definitely coming towards us, away from the city. Like I said, The Boyfriend? Excellent driver. He jerked the wheel right again and we were good. But holy hell, time totally slowed down and I thought we were dead.

I don't remember the city being full of such horrific drivers. I mean, yes I wasn't out and about most days, being trapped inside my Cubicle prison, but seriously? I guess we could also blame it on the warmer weather and the summer vacation state of mind. But smarten up Vancouver. You're being ridiculous.

Yesterday I also went back to my office to drop off my signed termination papers. When I say went to the office I mean, I stood outside talking to Anna and another Cubicle dropout (they are both leaving, yay!) and asked Anna to hand over the papers. While we were talking they mentioned after work drinks today to commemorate the end of the department. Since I never got to say a proper goodbye and since, contrary to what may have been written here, there were some awesome people that I worked with, I have decided to attend. It sounds like its not an official function so I can totally go. But I'm nervous.

I guess I should be grateful that a) there will be booze and b) it should provide yours truly with some actual blog content.

Its Friday yes? Enjoy the weekend! And Anna- you're freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

No One Works In These Parts

Several weeks ago, during the semi-finals of the World Cup my brother texted me "you do know that no one works in this city."

It wasn't even a question, it was a statement of fact.

See I had been watching second halves of games on weekdays because I worked in an office that didn't have a TV. Had they had a TV I seriously doubt that anything would have changed of course. But I digress. My brother, working in a nightclub, had his days gloriously free to watch entire games in the comfort of his local pub. I thought that the pub must have been pretty quiet, it being a week day. But my brother assured me that this wasn't the case. Apparently no one works in this city.

At the time I thought he must just be full of sh*t. That the neighborhood that he lived in was filled with students and service industry workers so of course out there, no one would be working. I was caught up in my own little 9-5 hustle in the centre of the city, the financial district no less, so of course everyone around me was rushing to work. Taking the bus in the morning, everyone was dressed for the office. At 12.30 I used to be able to watch them all scurry around on their lunch hours (you know, back when I had a window?). At the days' end we all crowded each other at the bus stop, desperate to get a seat, desperate to just get home already.

Now that I don't have a job, now that I'm not part of the hustle, I have to admit that my brother was right. I don't like to admit that other people are right but honestly, how come no one in this city works?

Living where I do, on top of a mountain, in a city that enjoys driving I'm surprised to find that the cars in my underground are pretty well permanent residents. They never move. I never knew this before because a) I took the bus and b) by the time I got home at 5.30 a lot of the cars were "back". I assumed that they were back anyway.

The Boyfriend and I have been running errands a lot this week. Mostly the kind of errands that don't cost us any money. But everywhere we go is filled with people not working. They are enjoying leisurely lunches (not dressed for work that's for sure), heading for a work out, enjoying the sunshine. Its like some kind of twilight zone episode. How are all these people paying the rent?

My guess is that we live in a city that sees a lot of people owning their own companies, or working freelance as consultants or something. The kind of jobs that allow you to set your own hours. Work that allows you to take advantage of beautiful days, extra long weekends and mornings where you just can't deal.

See what you find out about your surroundings when you don't have a Cubicle view to blur your vision?

Remember that job that I interviewed for 3 weeks ago? The job with the old company that I don't actually want? I've heard back from 2 of my references that they were contacted and gave me glowing references. One actually said that they would be fools not to hire me.

Which is awesome. Not that I had any doubts about my references coming through for me, but still nice to hear. But like I said, I don't want the job. And it would be a lot easier if they just didn't choose me. On the other hand my "get the interview, get the job" streak could be alive and well.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Printer Problems

The best thing about being unemployed so far? Drinking in the middle of the week/day. Obviously I practiced last week but that was different: I was on vacation, mid day drinking was expected.

But being back in the city now, facing the layoff music, drinking in the afternoon is a nice little perk. 

I'm not saying that I have been smashed every day this week- far from it. But I like that there is the option. And it was totally mom-approved.

Instead of the dog walk park yesterday, my mom, 2 sisters and I ended up at Wal-Mart. Obviously almost the same thing as the dog walk park. Then she made me lunch. And there happened to be wine in the fridge and I got a glass. I didn't even have to ask, she just knew. So there we were, sitting in the sunshine, with a light lunch and a glass of wine.

If you ask me, unemployment just isn't that bad.

I don't have a printer. Never needed one while I had a job that had lots of printers. Now I'm finding it kind of a pain in the butt to have to print stuff. I needed to print a bunch of stuff related to my "termination" so I thought I would kill 2 birds with a wine-soaked stone: print, hang out with parents. 

Well the issue at my parents' is that the printer is in the playroom, which belongs to 3 rather rambunctious children. The printer cable was missing. Since the children could have used the cord to tie each other up, we asked them for it. No dice. My irritation threshold is not very high when dealing with tasks that I don't like so I immediately called The Boyfriend for a solution. True to form he found a printer place up the street that we could use. Meanwhile my dad had come home and found another printer cable.

All that to print a few lousy forms. So irritating. The one time that I actually felt the loss of my job might be an inconvenience has nothing to do with a lack of paycheque but a lack of printer.

Finally, because I never got to act out my "I quit" fantasies, thanks to Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater (we can all relate, can we not?) I give you some memorable quitters courtesy of People magazine . Because this is what I do now, troll the internet for interesting stuff. Since I harboured intense quitting fantasies for over 2 years, this really spoke to me. I especially like the 33-point office email complete with photos. 

That's all for me today. I have some shows on the PVR that need watching.

PS Anna: I'm sorry that I'm not there with you anymore (although judging by the sound of that email, I'm not that sorry). Just remember that they are all a$$holes and you only have 3 more days there but they have the prospect of a lifetime of being f*cktards. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Settling In

Yesterday was my first real day being unemployed. After being a part of the 9-5 hustle for the last 2 and a half years I was quite looking forward to lying around the house doing nothing.

I had grand notions of getting back to some of the "stories" I was so fond of in highschool and the first couple of years of university. What are Bo and Hope up to now? Will John and Marlena ever crack a genuine smile? Is Sami still up to no good? But that plan was vetoed by The Boyfriend who is also off work--but for injury reasons. He did let me watch part of Sex and the City (the movie) and suggested we watch The September Issue again so I guess I can let it go about the daytime soaps. I just think they are funny.

I found myself thinking of everything in terms of what I would be doing at the office. I woke up at 9.30 and thought to myself that I would already be at work by now. When I was having waffles for breakfast I thought about how I would be going on that first break. While I was watching a movie in the afternoon and realizing that it was only about 3.30 I thought that if I thought my day was going slowly at home, I could only imagine that those still left in the Cubicle were ready to hang themselves. I wonder how long this phenomenon will last.

I spent a good chunk of the day making time to see some girlfriends that have been rather neglected lately. Today I'm going to the dog walk park with my mom. Should be fun. The weather isn't amazing (hate to say it Vancouver, but I think summer is over for us) but its dry so far. Honestly, I'm OK with the chance to break out my rubber boots in August. Quite a novelty. In the afternoon Gloria is coming over to kung fu her way through some computer-y tutorials.

So I was really getting into the groove of my unemployment by 5. I was watching a movie, was about to leisurely make some dinner, and felt really relaxed. Then I got a text message asking if I was still in for book club that night. Wha??????????? So I knew that the inaugural book club meeting was set for some time in August but didn't actually know the date. Something got lost along the way. I needed to be across town (and showered, part of the charm of the unemployed eh?) by 7.

At first there was panic. How was I going to manage this? Is there enough time to get there? Then I slowed down long enough to realize, that there weren't actually any problems. I didn't have to work in the morning, I wasn't rushing home from work only to have to turn around and go the other way, I wasn't exhausted from a day of Cubicle bullsh*t, and I had already read the book. If I had been working, I don't know how I would have worked it out, purely a timing issue. And the exhaustion. But I'm not. I was able to drop everything (stop watching my movie), shower and drive out there. Wasn't a big deal at all. It ended up being a fantastic evening. It was my first time telling people face to face (that weren't parents) about my "termination" and I was congratulated. Which felt good.

Today is going to be an action packed day, I can feel it. Its only been a day (aside from my vacation, which doesn't count) but I can already tell that this unemployment thing is so much better for me than working in that toxic hole they had the nerve to call an office.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Plan Pretensions

So I'm back. More or less. The time away was much needed. Mostly so that I could completely ignore everything that happened right before I left. Vodka is really so helpful in situations like this. Also, there was a puppy.

First of all, thank you to all of you that left me messages, sent me texts or drank with me to make me feel better about the whole thing. It all comes down to ego. I didn't leave them, they dismissed me. A bitter pill to swallow at this point. Obviously its for the best- I don't have to work there anymore. This whole week, while they are being painfully polite, pretending that they aren't angry to be dimissed 6 weeks ahead of schedule, I'm sitting at home, being a drain on society.

I am kind of miffed that I'm missing the ice cream sundae party on Friday afternoon. They are so right- ice cream totally makes up for losing your job.

So I had to rename the blog. Cubicle Confusion just didn't apply anymore, not having a cubicle to be confused in. It was a little bittersweet though. Necessary but bittersweet.

Here's the plan. Obviously I learned something at that sh*thole: Don't settle. So this time around, I'm not going to settle. I will probably take the rest of the summer off, not look too seriously, if only because I kind of need the headspace to recover from the past 2 and a half years. I don't want to go to my new place of employment and assume that my boss' sole purpose in life is to screw me over. Come September, I will look hard. And I will find something, and that is the plan.

You'd think coming up with that plan was simple, but it really wasn't. Also, am feeling a suspicious lack of panic at being unemployed. I figure this is the Universe's way of showing me that I need the headspace recovery time.

Last night, knowing that I would have to deal with some more unpleasantness that couldn't be resolved last week, I had employment dreams. I went for an interview in an apartment across the courtyard from me. It was a bakery. In an apartment. I know. I love baked goods too. So the woman who sort of ran it (she was from Courtney that's why she lived in the bakery. Made sense to me too) literally got out of bed when I walked in and then she gave me some things to do. Apparently in my brain, interview = employment. It was so much fun. Turns out I'm really talented in the baked-goods-as-art department. And there was drinking. On a boat.

What do you think it means? I've missed my calling?

It means I need to stop eating dinner so late and not procrastinate. So first thing this morning, I made the call to the HR department so that I could sort out my severance and an extension date. Its all sorted now and I don't have to think about it too much.

Reading this back it sounds more like a to do list than a witty, yet informative, blog post. I'm sorry about that. My brain is still at the lake, wondering what the hell I'm doing up so early. Wow, its not even that early. What a lazy girl Meh, I'm clearly getting better at this 'drain on society' thing. I should be proud.

I guess this was more of a 'hey I'm not dead' kind of post. I will try to do something interesting today so that we have something to work with tomorrow. I do believe that there is some daytime television that needs watching. I do already have pyjamas on...I'm so productive.

Admit it, aside from the I-don't-get-paid part of the equation, considering its Monday, you're jealous.