A bit of a career change type situation although ESL is still in the picture but not the picture on this post

26 Oct

Image  Hello.  Long time no blog.  No reason really.  I haven’t been writing at all which is not good so I am trying to get back into it. I seem to be able to do all manner of things other than writing – from reading bizarre things on the internet to reading non-bizarre things in book and magazine form to watching TV to stretching to playing Scrabble with a Scrabble club to doing absolutely nothing for as long as 8 hours in a row.  Well, I mean I may do the above during that time but really, nothing.

I have a bunch of lamps on but it is still dark in here.  It is apparent that I need better lighting.

Oh and remind me to go to the ENT on Nov. 25th at 2:30 pm in blooming North Van. so he can cure my tinnitus that I insist on mispronouncing.  Going to North Van with or without a car is like an odyssey to another land. Two hundred buses and 52,000 hours later, I end up there.  I lived there for many years so my GP and all of her specialists are all still out there.  Move to Kits, Ramona!  Alas, she won’t.

Okay, on with it.  When last we met I was continuing my never ending job search journey. I was still trying to get an ESL teaching job and that was becoming more and more and more and more soul destroying.  There just isn’t much work in that field anymore.  I worked a month or two here and there at UBC’s English Language Institute, but that never ever lasted. I still teach in continuing studies at Langara College – I am doing so presently.  But that is only one or two evenings a week for eight weeks three times a year.  Or if you prefer 1 or 2 x 8 weeks x 3 times a year.  I enjoy that although that commute is also an odyssey similar yet different from the North Van odyssey.  It involves the skytrain at rush hour (subway to my international readers).  In Vancouver, everyone crowds around the doors so to get on and off involves developing the ability to a. say move sheesh get away from the doors and or b.  becoming like a ghost and fly through people. c.  I don’t really believe in ghosts.  d.   move away from the doors e.  please move away from the doors f.  could we try to be like an actual cosmopolitan city where people move away from the doors g.  if you aren’t by the door and miss your stop, you can back track and get on the train the other way which will involve asking people to move away from the doors h.  First I have to walk to the bus stop, then get on a bus where people are standing by the doors and then the train  I.why is this tangent so boring.

Okay, so I was having ESL doors close left and right in my face and not because I was standing at the ESL door.  I did get a bit of sub work at a not terrible downtown school but that was very temporary and the sub coordinator was more passive aggressive than I am and it was surreal.   I was becoming really tired of never having a job, as one does. I have continued to slowly pursue my Masters which is a nice bit of intellectual stimulation but what was happening to ESL was anyone’s guess.  The Canadian government is also cutting way back on what international students they let in and blah blah blah.

One of the ministers at my wee United Church that I don’t go to very much anymore because they moved across town and that would mean riding buses with people who stood by the doors and I’m lazy, asked me one day if I’d ever consider working at a United Church in an administrative capacity.  She seemed to think I would find this beneath me.

“I would so do that,” I said to her.

Well, darned if a part-time, Monday-Friday, 8:30=-1 pm office administrator (see: church secretary) job didn’t  open up at a  mid-sized United Church (see:  picture above).  I was interviewed and offered the position and started on Sept. 30!  They have hired me even though my main admin. skill is typing fast.  Oh and I can photocopy like no one has ever photocopied before.  The churchr is going through quite a transition – a new minister started the same day I did!  He is great actually.  We are only in the office together two days a week.  The other days I’m on my own.    It is sometimes slow and a bit lonely but overall I am enjoying it and I think I am becoming a good fit for them.  I seem to think I am on a three month probationary period.

It is part-time but the hourly rate of pay is not bad at all.  It is enough to pay my rent, utilities, and food which is amazing.  I haven’t had a regular job in over two years and here one is!  If I pass the probationary period, it will become permanent.  Well, as permanent as a job at a church can be – there is always talk of eventual amalgamation with another church and what not but it would be steady for a year or two at the very least.  Yay me.  Such an unexpected career turn of events.    Is it my ideal job?  No.  Never will an office job be my ideal job.  Am I a perfect fit for it?  Goodness lack of admin skills and attention to detail no.  And yet, I find it to be something of a godsend at this time.  And to (mis) quote Sally Field ‘they seem to like me!”  Wait for it, people.  I actually bring a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn whatever it is they have to teach me.  The United Church has been good to me the last few years that I have been attending (not the same church I am working at) and now I get to work for it.  Sure, there’s the seedy underbelly  one gets to see but what church doesn’t have a seedy underbelly?  I am very impressed with the volunteer commitment of many church members who really keep the church going.  Heck, someone comes in to decorate the church for different holidays!  And they should all be thankful that I don’t do the decorating as that would mean a not so nicely decorated church.

United Church churches have a lot of seniors who attend.  And those seniors are opinionated.  Fair enough.  I had to get a criminal record check.  “Are you in charge of a vulnerable sector like seniors?’\ asked the woman at the cop shop.  “Well, no, actually, they are in charge of me.”  “I don’t believe you,” said cop shop woman.  She phoned the minister to check.  I couldn’t hear what was said. Nonetheless, after the phone call she looked at me I dare say wryly and said, “Yeah, he confirmed what you said.  Are you now or have you ever been a communist?”

“No,” I said, “Mainly an armchair liberal who can’t be bothered to do much other than bask in the reflected glory of those who actually do stuff.”

More later.

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