Walking

28 Dec

I don’t so much mind walking.  I certainly do a whole lot more of it now that I don’t have a car (see smushed up car in an earlier post).  Today Michelle invited me over for leftover turkey and the like.  I could have easily taken the bus but I decided since I had the time that I would walk.  I live in Kitsilano, Michelle in East Van.  I’d say it’s about a seven kilometre walk.  When I used to drive it, it felt much shorter, ha.  It was pouring rain but what the heck, said I.  It took about an hour and a half and was a good idea for about the first 45 minutes.  Then I felt it was less of a good idea.  Nonetheless, it is a rather natural way of getting exercise and saves me the $2.50 bus fare.  Yee haw.

The winter rains have hit at last and with a vengeance although it isn’t too cold out yet.  But the clouds are low and the rain, she is strong.  Yup.

Yup.

Yup.

Uh huh.

Oh yeah.

Oh yeah, I met B. for coffee yesterday, also in East Van.  He told me about this cool website – librarything.com.  You can get free copies of books and review them and such. 

“I didn’t want to tell you because I thought you already knew,” said B.

“I did not know.”

I’m thinking of starting to apply for ESL teaching jobs again in the New Year.  While this does not thrill me and even causes a little  (but not a lot!) of bile to rise at the back of my throat (not the stomach flu again!) I think it is a good idea.  What would be ideal is a part-time teaching gig that would pay the bills and enable me to have the money to buy underwear at Superstore on the odd occasion, while still enabling me to feel like me. 

I need to start getting up at a bit of an earlier hour more regularly – I think 8 am is a good start.  Otherwise, once that work starts flowing in, my body won’t know what hit it.

And finally, I discovered during last week’s stomach flu scourge, that I actually enjoy Jello.  So I bought some.  I am not ashamed.

And finally, finally, thanks to my wee United Church minister Beth for calling me back on her post-Christmas week off.  Above and beyond, Minister Beth.  Did I mention that she brought me Gravol and Gatorade before church last week?  That is the kind of stuff you don’t forget. So if you live in Vancouver and happen to be looking for a wee wee (wee) church community that doesn’t take things literally and often has pastry and has a minister that will bring you Gravol et al before she has to go and be churchy, let me know.  I’ll hook you up.   No need to be scared away by what may appear my urging you to join a church – no, no, no, no, no and finally, no!!!!!!!!!  I’m still an agnostic but am too anxious to be an atheist and the old people at this church are really  nice to me. But in general I speak too fast for them and the whole hearing aid deal so I often repeat what I have said.  “I REALLY LIKE THIS AWESOME PASTRY YOU BROUGHT,” I might say.  I do mumble, it is true.   When I become a Mormon, then I will definitely try to get you into the temple.   I shall be a Mormon with a dash of Scientology with a little Buddhist mindfulness meditation thrown in. 

Oh and finally, finally, finally, finally, Shaw cable is coming by tomorrow to flick some kind of switch which will apparently speed up my internet from 7 to 50, whatever the heck that means.  This after I called them two weeks ago and said, ‘You are too expensive and stop raising your prices without telling me and getting away with it and hate you and all that you represent.  But whatever you do, don’t take away the Oprah Channel or the channel that shows the Waltons every weekday from 2 to 3 pm.  It’s channel 118 but for some reason shows up as 120 on the guide.  DO NOT TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME EVER.”

They are taking the sports channels or something and taking $30 off the monthly rate for six months, followed by $10 thereafter.  There is a rather large chance they may screw this up and take Oprah and the Waltons away as well.  That would obviously be intolerable.  They are supposed to show up between 12 and 2 pm tomorrow afternoon.  We shall see.

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6 Responses to “Walking”

  1. fred December 28, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    Happy Holidays!! I checked out your blog. Lots of spelling mistakes… LOL Would you like me to proof read it. Good luck with your job search. I am surprised you want to go back to ESL. Maybe you should go to Korea. That would be a great adventure!

    • jobsearchinginvancouver December 28, 2011 at 3:59 am #

      Thanks, Fred! Typos!!!!! Not spelling mistakes! I don’t really want to go back into ESL, just being vaguely realistic!

  2. Thomas December 28, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    Everyone’s a critic, eh? I must say that I am enjoying reading your posts. You have quite the sense of humour and are a good storyteller. It is obvious that you have a knack for writing.

    Finally a little time to share my own unemployment experiences. At the end of next month it will be officially one year since I was laid off from my last position. As I mentioned in an earlier post I have decided to go in a different direction after 27 years in broadcasting.

    Up until last January I had always been lucky enough to find employment in my chosen profession. My broadcasting career had been quite extensive. I have done every time slot in radio including the dreaded midnight to 6am shift years ago when I first started out. I was also in management for about seven years. Those were probably the hardest years of my broadcast career and it was also at that time that I discovered that I did not enjoy being a manager.

    Being a manager of people is probably the most difficult job going. I decided that it wasn’t for me , not because I don’t like a challenge or hard work at all but I wanted to concentrate on other things mainly my broadcast skills.

    I realize this is a job search blog and believe me I will get to it but I thought first a little background.

    So why have I decided to go into a different direction, in other words try something new? Mostly because my desire to continue working in broadcasting has all but faded at this point. To be honest, I just don’t miss my old work at all. This tells me a lot.

    Perhaps one morning in the future I will wake up and think to myself, what am I doing? I love radio, time to get back into it. Right now I just don’t have that feeling and why continue on with something that you really aren’t interested in or passionate about. You really have to love your work. I figure I have at the very least 16 years left in the working world , do something you want to do.

    Another factor that has me turning my back on my profession is the uncertainty of it. In my view broadcasters don’t age well like a fine wine. The older you get the slimmer the opportunities there are for you out there. I know of plenty of ageing unemployed broadcasters, the list is a very long one.

    There you have it, in a nut shell the reason why I will not be looking for media work in the New Year BUT I realize you can never say never.

    I really have a ton to add but not sure how much I should post at one time so consider this part one, lol. I will add more in the next day or two.

    Keep up with your blog, people are reading it with interest!!!
    Bye for now.

    • jobsearchinginvancouver December 28, 2011 at 6:03 am #

      Thanks, Thomas, very interesting! I realize I hadn’t ever really thought about aging broadcasters and the difficulties associated with that – but sadly, ageism there like everywhere else.
      I admire your decision to stick with going for what you want and not settling. For me, at this point, teaching ESL is settling but I’m just getting freaked out that I won’t find anything else.
      I’m loooking forward to part 2 – and write for as many words as you want – that’s what I really want this blog to be, people sharing. I would also love to hear stories from your seasonal customer service job – those are always darkly funny.
      – Karen

  3. Thomas December 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    I have two shifts left at the “seasonal job”, the last one will be New Years Eve. As you may know , you are allowed to “top up” that meager EI you receive, and apparently I am receiving the most you can get, which is not much, with a little work on the side. In my case I am allowed to make an additional $187.00 per week.

    Because I was given several months severance I really didn’t start to look seriously for work until the end of August. I took time to relax and take a breather that included a nice long visit to different parts of Asia. It was a much needed break, especially since I had no clue as to what was next.

    Out of all of the jobs I applied to this “seasonal job” was the only one that got back to me. In fact, I just applied on their website not even aware that they were hiring for Christmas. Needless to say I was delighted when I received a call mid September asking if I was interested in a position and would I come in for an interview. As I recall the first thing they told me on the phone was the pay scale. I guess they get that out there first, a quick way to weed out people from the very start.

    Even though this was much less than half of what I used to make an hour I had no problem with it. Something is better than nothing plus I was thrilled that someone had gotten back to me.

    So far that has been one of the biggest disappointments in this job search, the non-response. I now get a little excited when I submit a resume on-line and get a generated response back, lol. Sad. Every Time the phone rings my heart sinks when I look on my call display and it’s a friend or family member calling to say hello or chat a bit. Also, one of the first things I do when I arrive back in my apartment after being out for a bit, I look at the answering machine for messages. The “zero message” display has become a real downer.

    Anyway, back to the “seasonal job” at this major retailer. I was hired after two interviews and began work towards the end of October.
    Totally different from what I am used to. Hauling around big bags of things like Cat Litter and Dog Food, fifty pound bags. Walking this massive store constantly, answering customers questions “where is this, where is that”. The job is fine. It gave me something to do , to meet up with people and basically feel a little useful again.

    Some weeks were twenty five hours , a couple of weeks were a disappointing fifteen hours. No matter what all hours must be recorded on your EI Report. If I made more than the extra $187.00 per week they simply deduct that from your weeks EI payment. One week I worked more than twenty six hours and to my horror I received nothing from EI that week. They consider anything over twenty six hours full time and regardless of the pay you’ll get nothing from the folks at Service Canada.

    The “seasonal job” gave me a few things. A new reality of my current situation, pay scale, work hours and the availability of jobs out there.

    I had it very good at my last position in broadcasting , something I knew and never took advantage of. I consider myself a dedicated, hard working employee and I always tried my best, but I had it good.
    Great hours Monday through Friday, very little work on weekends and if I did work weekends I got payed handsomely for it, etc.

    Retail is a whole different story. You work Christmas, you work New Years Eve, you work weekends. You work late into the evening. All things I don’t have a problem with at all but it is just “a different world” from the one I used to live in.

    The pay is low, so low you just may have to work, two , three different jobs if you aren’t working full time. At this particular retailer some people I work with have been hired as part time employees for years. They want to work full time there but the fact of the matter is that everything is by seniority, therefore some people have been part time for three, four years or more waiting for that full time job to come open. That was a bit of a wake up call for me.

    I have a lot of respect for this one young Filipino guy I work with. He works seven days a week and has been doing so for four years now. He works at the retail store I am at from 6pm to 11pm usually five days a week, Saturdays and Sundays are included in those days. If it’s a week day he works til 11pm goes home and sleeps for four hours or so then gets up at four am to be at his daytime job for seven. He works there until 3:30pm goes home and then get ready to come to the store for 6.

    He is always smiling and in a great mood. As I said, I have a lot of respect for him and his worth ethic.

    More to come later. Bye for now.

    • jobsearchinginvancouver December 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

      Again, very interesting! Yeah, I too had the maximum EI (but only till Dec. 24. I had had 34 weeks starting last Jan. but silly me
      I chose to keep working after a brief layoff. So now my EI is finished but I’m re-applying based on the 8 months I worked in 2011. It will take them forever to figure it out – Service Canada just laid off a zillion people- and I’m sure it will be now less than the max. and for very few weeks. I’m not counting on it and am living off my savings. You’d think they’d reward me for continuing to work!) Up until the end of 2010, I also made a great salary, particularly considering the work I was doing. There were even some extended health care benefits! If I’d only known that it was all going to go kaput in 2011, I would have saved a lot more money and not taken yearly vacations to places like Turkey. Uh well.
      But for that week you received nothing – at least it is still counted as a week for you and you will get EI for it. The intricacies of EI are so annoying, I find, and more than once I’ve sat down with some colleagues to answer their questions – not that I’m an expert by any means!
      I enjoy hearing about the retail work – it is indeed, a different ball game and I admire your ability to do it pleasantly. I have a couple of former colleagues who worked for awhile at Lulu Lemon for extra money and that was a whole story in itself. I tip my hat to you.
      Looking forward to part 3.
      Oh and I totally get you about the phone ringing thing – sometimes during the daya I turn my phone to silent just so I can get the excitement of seeing if anyone has called! My excuse of it being the Christmas season is going to not be valid soon!

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