Archive | February, 2012

All good UBC jobs must come to an end

25 Feb

Sniffle.  Well, wee fan base, we knew it was coming.  I have four more weeks – one more session – and then boom, out the UBC door.  Sniffle.  I also found out today that they only need summer teachers for two months at most in the summer and even that is not guaranteed.  Sigh. Well, when I started I thought it was only going to be two weeks and then it stretched to the full 10, so that’s nice.  But really and obviously, I can’t be counting on UBC’s ELI to make a living.  I knew that from the onset and yet.  And yet.  It’s been really great though – pulled me out of my 4 straight months (and 4 days) of unemployment which is great and it helped me develop a much better mindset.  I don’t want to lose that once the hazy days of unemployment start up again.

Well, for the next four weeks I have a nice schedule – I’ll simply be doing a morning class again which is lucky instead of the split shift of last session.  Twas good to have had that though – now I can say I’ve taught a variety of different classes at ELI.  So, back to getting up early but also finishing fairly early in the afternoon and since I’m more used to the schedule, I trust I won’t be as tired in the afternoons!  It’s nice to have my own full morning class back and a somewhat higher level too.

My response to having only four weeks left of (great!) work was to go and buy a bunch of magazines at the magazine store.  Uh well.

Oooh and I’ve already bought a March bus pass – a bit of a treat really.  I’ll only need it for three work weeks but since I don’t have a car anymore I’m sure I’ll more than use it.

Okay, nothing too exciting today.  I’m going to read a magazine and take a nap.

T4 I say

20 Feb

So it turns out it IS going to be possibly quite the nightmare to get my T4 from my previous employer. Alll kinds of lies/stories about.  Suffice to say that the head office in Toronto, having had the accountant and numerous others quit, don’t know how to do T4s.  That is right.  A multi-national company has no idea what they are doing.  The local boss here, Stephen, is apparently quite adept at lying I am told.  Pity, he sounds so sincere and stressed on the phone, kinda tumbling over his words.

“I sent them (Toronto) the part of the employment standards act that indicates they must have T4s sent out by Feb. 29.”  And look at that, an extra day this year, being leap year and all. 

I told him that there had been so many screwups, did he really think these T4s would be done.

He’s not sure, he said.  Aaargh.  I know all about the legal recourse and have already called Revenue Canada.  Sigh, I can send in my taxes without the T4 information but I know I’m getting a refund this year, having only worked 8.2 months in 2011.  My paystubs are somewhere but I don’t have all of them and what a huge hassle.  Aaargh again, I say.  Aaaargh.  So beyond annoying.  Many people I know are still clinging, no, no I mean working at my former place of employ and thus have far greater skills in rationalization than I have and are able to not be ticked off by the lack of T4.  Me?  I just want that cord cut once and for all.  Normally, i love a good battle, a good David vs. Goliath, a good, look at poor victimized me but not in this case.

 So that’s annoying.

Also annoying i hae to say is my never ending cold I think it is.  Started two weeks ago and continues two weeks later – up and down and all around, like a rollercoaster type thing – chest, head, sinuses and the like.  I suspect it will let go just when my job does in five weeks.  ha.  today I just felt crappy – no appetite and such.  Sheesh.  Uh well.  Complain, etc.

Yes, I did get extended to March 23 – that will be 10 full weeks of work at the great UBC and that is just fine.  Aftr that, I hear I can be on the substitute list and maybe be brought back for a few weeks in – the summer.  All good, good and good.  I’m already dreading of course my lay off but all in all this time there is great and helped me to feel vaguely employable again. Have I mentioned that I LOVE WORKING AT UBC.

I must now go and try and flush my sinuses out.  How’s that for a visual.

 

I have not forsaken the blog

13 Feb

Just been lazy and sick.  Wretched cold or some such so just working and then doing more of nothing than even usual.  Eeek, not good for me, not good for me, I repeat.  Way too much alone time.

It is the weirdest virus that I will now describe in unnecessary detail.  It started as a sore gland and then just the right side of my throat got super sore.  Just the right side.  Then into the chest and my seal bark cough, then , sinuses, laryngitisy and all around still now.  Kinda weak, get very sweaty and hot at even the slightest outside walk.  Thursday was wretched but I was being observed by two other teachers for two hours.  Oy, oy, oy.  I find out how I did tomorrow.  Maybe not so great but I don’t want to use sickness as an excuse!  Friday was a half day field trip for the students and I went in and felt crap.  Spent the last 2.5 days trying to get over this!  Aaargh, annoying.   But I’m looking forward to getting back to UBC tomorrow.  Have I mentioned I love this job?   Tis true.  Just two more weeks!  And then maybe four more but then that is it for the short programs till 3 months in the summer which I guess they don’t know about till, well, summer.  I do enjoy the job.  Enjoy, enjoy and the people.  Being around people!

I think riding the bus is like one big sharing germ enclosed area.  And tomorrow I shall share mine – so perhaps avoid the 84 or 44 buses around 8:45 am.  I will be the seal barker.

I just spent 1/2 hour writing Oprah’s OWN network to tell them how to fix the ailing Rosie show.  I may not know much, I may not have my own family, a permanent job or my own home but I do know for TV.  They only allow 2,000 characters so I had to keep trimming.  Here’s the thing – people want HAPPY ROSIE, people want Rosie of old, Rosie who talked about Tom Cruise and getting diarrhea when she met Barbra Streisand.  They don’t want an hour of the host of Fear Factor talking about his 911 conspiracy theories.  Can the old Rosie be re-captured?  Not completely but she needs to dump most of her edge, have TV stars of old on and also triumphant burn victims and paralyzed people as well as poor teenagers who have to raise their siblings after the tragic deaths of their parents.  And then she needs to surprise them by paying their mortgages and such.  She’s a pretty good celebrity interviewer actually, she just needs to get celebrities who inspire nostalgia in women in their 40s and up.  I mean a Mary Tyler Moore reunion?  Who wouldn’t watch that.  And get the soap stars on regularly!  This is not rocket science, Oprah.  I’m sure my comments will be duly noted and soon I will be the head of the Rosie show.  Don’t really want to live in Chicago but could do for say a season or two.  But first I must finish up my contract at UBC, Oprah.  Oprah admires commitment so she’ll like that.

I have been thinking way way too much about Oprah lately.  I am annoyed by her view of women my age – how she seems to think we have a certain level of depth but never deeper and she’s built an empire around that.  I find it continually insulting but then I sometimes watch OWN, especially when there are like triumphant burn victims or paralyzed people on.  Sick this weekend (really! you didn’t say, Karen, you are such a non-complainer) I even bought an – oh god oh god oh good god – Oprah magazine.  Okay, I like reading the people who write in to Dr. Phil.   I don’t even care about his answers, I just like to read the problems.  She could  have a whole magazine devoted just to that.  And this issue had a whole bunch of pages on Gayle King cleaning out her closet and not once does she mention she has this great life and job because she is a long time friend of Oprah’s.  She seems nice enough but really, without the BFF Oprah, where would she be.

I need friends in higher places.  I do have an FB friend who loves DC in part because of the great and inexpensive manicures to be had there – apparently they last a really long time!  She might ascend to these higher places.

I have to go now and think about vertigo.  Come back, wee fan base!

a tiche lazy

5 Feb

Just a quick note.  I’m not too happy with my last post – it was lazy in regards to my vast generalization of the corporate world.  I didn’t put a lot of thought into it so I feel it was just too judgy and immature.  A lot of my frustrations come from just how shockingly difficult it is to get a job these days and how much is expected.  At the same time, it is not my cup of tea which is fine but I don’t need to be making blanket statement me thinks. 

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to add!

a little of this and that

5 Feb

Okay, I have to say, I HAVE TO SAY, that the bra lady at the Bay downtown is amazing.  Let us not belabour the bra point but my goodness a good bra makes all the difference.  I know this but hadn’t gone to get any new ones for several months due to, well, being unemployed.  On Friday, pal Tracy and I went to Costco and then skytrained it over to the Bay.  Like the good stereotypical husband that she is, she took a chair in the lingerie department and waited.

“I CAN’T SEE THE BRA LADY.”  I shouted.

Tracy, however, has a keen eye.  “I just saw her go that way?”  “Which way?”  “That way.” and etc.  This bra lady knows for bras.  Within five minutes she had re-sized me up (hmmm, seems I’ve gained a little weight) and found the one sale stuff and within 10 minutes I had two great bras for like $45!  Amazing.  One brown and one light pink.  Glory be.  The brown one is making its debut today.  Fabulous.  Why shop anywhere else?  I’ve tried the more specialized shops and no one, no one I say, knows her stuff like bra lady.

On Saturday, I went cycling around Stanley Park with Michelle and Chris.  It was sunny but cool.  Then rather fascinatingly, a huge fog rolled in and it was cloudy, windy and freezing.  I do love the seawall.

More work related talk now.  I was told yesterday that some expert says that most employers won’t even look at your resume unless you have at least! 200 connections on LinkedIn.  Yeah, that kind of stuff is uh, yeah.  It’s the whole corporate game that I have always hated and even in my chronic unemployment, a game I do not want to learn how to play.  And I will have to learn how to play if ever I want to land permanent work, I guess.  But, ick.  It’s not like any of these corporate folks are reading my blog so I feel free to say what I think of that whole thing.  The whole movers, shakers, offices on the 90th floor, business trips and doing lunch and on and on – oy.  Oy.  Not sure what else to say about that.  This will mean that I am jobless longer than ever perhaps but I won’t be . . . . that.  Hmmm, I’m not explaining this well so it is coming out holier-than-thou which is not what I mean at all. And to be honest, even if that’s what I wanted – I am not in that league.  I don’t have the connections, I don’t have the look, the attitude or the experience.  So I’m not at all saying oh, I could but I don’t want to.   I’m saying I couldn’t and I don’t want to.    I mean I haven’t’ forgotten the black hole where my resume and cover letters have gone.  Brutal.  It is all just – wait for the cliche – it all just seems so soulless to me.  I’m not idealistic in any way but just, ick.

Okay, enough of that, it makes me feel more nihilistic than usual.  I have three more weeks at my job that I like so that is great.  It is sunny here again today so also great.  I’m rather hungry but have no groceries whatsoever.  Must go grocery shopping today.

I wonder how many connections the awesome bra lady at the Bay has.  Just curious.

 

like riding a bike

3 Feb

Eeek.  My throat hurts but I shall live in denial.  Deny, deny and finally, deny.

Anyway before my throat hurt, say in the pre-hurt phase, I decided to ride my bike up to UBC and my great job!  My temporary job!!!!  Job!!!! At UBC!!!!  It is about 40 minutes and there are 3 great big hills on the way there, I’d say about a third of the way.  These hills are difficult even for real riders – you know the ones with the skinny skinny tires and the tight fitting bike gear.  So there was me.  I haven’t bicycled in awhile and it was morning and la la la.  But I was determined and weaved all over them there hills.

I was pretty tired and sweaty by the time I got to work.  I saw my boss.  “I biked!” I announced.

“You are my hero.  No, really,” she said, scurrying past before I thrust another one of my articles into her face.

Well, now, she bikes daily from Main Street, which is way way farther away.  But she is also much skinner than I am so it all adds up to the same. Huh?

The bike ride home was less happy happy.  I was pretty tired and more sore throaty I have to say.  But the joy joy was that it was mainly downhill.  It was twilight though, which to drivers means, “Try and hit cyclists while impatiently driving right behind them.”  Made it home generally alive.  Tired but proud of self.

Oh and my EI claim was decided!  Six weeks and one day later, in case any of my fan base of three (hmmm, seems the Courier article didn’t raise the fan base, uh well) is also applying.  I get 18 weeks that I can use until December so that is good.  The maximum amount again, which covers the basics – rent, hydro, a bit of food, bus, etc.  Good good.  And good.  A relief.  I won’t need it until March though.

Not much else – I have tomorrow off (Friday) as the other teacher in the morning class is taking them on a field trip – a scavenger hunt I think.  Next week will be my turn and he’ll get the morning off.  Since there are no afternoon classes on Friday, it means a day free.  Good good.  All good. 

Apologies again for typos.  I’ll probably be back tomorrow.

Eeek, Grey’s Anatomy is doing some sort of weird alternative reality episode.  Not bad, kind of better than the usual drama drama.

 

 

For the hordes

1 Feb

Of people that are sure to flock to my blog like like like crows to a rat’s carcass (I lived at that building at Nanaimo and Dundas for a year, I know for what I speak) from my online Courier article:  http://www.vancourier.com/opinion/Reader+Soapbox+search+Vancouver+economy+sweet/6079181/story.html

For all of you, I would like to say hello.

I hustled down with a copy of the article to my head teacher boss this afternoon.  She’s super super busy because it is the first week of a fast four week session, new students, new teachers, etc and the like.

“Here’s my article I told you about!” I say, vaguely waving it around her.

She was good about it.

Twas the first day for new students so they (we) had a welcome lunch.  This meant I did not get a lunch break but it also meant a free sandwich, wrap and those great Costco like cookies.  My co-worker noted that she had tried to get some at the end but they were all gone.

“Oh,” I said, thinking of the two I had thrown into my bag.  “They did go fast,” I said.

My brain is operating at about half speed so this will be a short post tonight.

The new hordes may wonder why I seem to be working if I have written a job search piece.  A great question.  Excellent, yes.  Well,, I’m sadly only temporarily teaching at the awesome wonderfulness that is UBC’s English Language Institute.  And I speak more than just of the free cookies!   Cookies that are big!  And sweet!

If my readership goes beyond 1,000 tonight, there will be a special draw.  Wait for it. 

Exhausted, eyes bleary.  Going to bathe, watch Mary Tyler Moore, go to bed early to get the insomnia going.

Please don’t mind the typos.

Oh and and and within an hour or so I think of my article being posted, someone called me (they got my cell # how?  I thought those weren’t listed) to try to get me interested in a mysterious scheme that would onlly be explained by e-mailing me a video.  I declined.  Does the person think I have money to become part of a pyramid scheme or some such? Hey, if  had money I’d buy a better brand of ketchup.