by , on
January 28, 2008

I am so bloody sick of bilingualism. It is one of the reasons that we have (sort of) decided to move away from our Nation’s capital. Unilingual people, or people who know that their  grammar is not good enough for them to attempt to write anything important in French are at a serious disadvantage.

The federal government gave up on language training a while ago, and I guess they’re now assuming that the provinces are boosting their educational systems enough so that everyone who wants to work anywhere in the city of Ottawa will be perfectly bilingual.

I firmly believe that the expectation of hiring someone who is perfectly bilingual – someone who can read and speak and write clearly and professionally in both languages – is ridiculous. There are very, very few people who can work seamlessly in French and English, but almost every position in the federal government requires it.

What set me off today, though, is the guy who decided to file a lawsuit against OC Transpo because the bus drivers announce stops only in English (how exactly do you translate “Bank at Albert?” – oh, right “Bank et Albert”).

This pisses me off mostly because I know that if the bus drivers were announcing stops only in French, this lawsuit probably never would have happened. It also bothers me because if this guy is successful in his attempt, it will mean either the city paying for language training for a majority of the bus drivers currently on staff, or they will have to get rid of the majority of drivers currently on staff, phasing out the unilingual (mostly immigrant) drivers – which will probably result in a lawsuit against OC Transpo by unilingual drivers.

I am so tired of French right now.

There is no way to make the long story short

by , on
January 26, 2008

Last Monday I was in Regina. At 10 that morning I had a job interview. By 11 they had offered me the job – provided I could get back to Ottawa by Wednesday.

I spent Tuesday flying. I started work Wednesday at 9 am.

I’m exhausted.

I think I like my new (short term) job, except that the stress might eventually kill me. I’ve always had a habit of getting extremely involved with wherever I’m working (with a couple of glaring exception – journalism, I’m looking at you), but this job demands it. I have to be on the ball at all times. For God’s sake, the job involves a Blackberry!

The plus side – I have an office, I work with great, enthusiastic people, I believe in what we do, I get to leave work (physically) at 3. The down side – I have to be at work at 7 and said office is freezing.

My contract lasts until the end of February, Joe’s is up at the end of March, and then we take yet another long, hard look at our future. I may get an extension, he’s got one if he wants it and Regina people are driving me a bit insane.  A little over a week ago I had an interview out there and it was, I swear, the most frustrating interview of all time. They asked vague questions and then re-phrased them even more vaguely, so I felt like an idiot. Today I got a phone call and e-mail asking me for an interview for another job. When I e-mailed the woman back and told her I would be in Ottawa on their interview day but would be happily available for a phone interview that day, and she politely informed me that she doesn’t like phone interviews, and maybe they’ll get to talk to me again in the future.

Well, screw you too then.

Overall, I’m glad to be home, exhausted and almost positive I’m going to get sick this weekend because I haven’t stopped since Monday, and lonely because I happened to come home just before the weekend that Joe went away to Huntsville to play in the National Pond Hockey Championships as a member of Hamel’s Hammers.



by , on
January 20, 2008

I am in Saskatchewan.

My skin in dry and itchy.

I am still recovering from the worst job interview of my life – which didn’t actually have much to do with me. The questions were awful, vague and ridiculous. I hate living in this place where I have no idea what my competition is like.  What kind of experience do the other people they’re interviewing have?

Now, I’m am over-tired and self-analyzing. It seems like I probably don’t have enough training, skills or experience at any one thing to find a great job.  I’m reaching that point where I start to doubt anything and everything.

Added to this is the fact that I’m looking at rentals, trying to find us a place to live since it has now been decided (and yet, I still feel somehow left out of the decision), that we can’t risk buying right now. I can’t find a place that allows pets and has a garage and a backyard. I found great places, similar to the one we have in Ottawa, that does allow pets – but no garage and no backyard, at least not a closed-in backyard.

I feel like I’m trying to put together a puzzle and none of the pieces are fitting. Is this what we want? Is this what I want anymore? I just don’t know.

I miss Ottawa. I always do. Ottawa is comfort to me. I know it has what I need. I know where things are. I have people to talk to. Here I am alone, with an enormous responsibility weighing on my shoulders and no real support system to hold me up. Everyone is telling me it will be fine, but nobody is listening to what I’m feeling or paying real attention to my situation.

I’m feeling almost the same way I did when I decided to apply for journalism jobs again a few years ago. It was an easy out when nothing else was working and within a month I was in Northwestern Ontario, miserable. Over-worked, over-tired, unhealthy and alone.

But this is it. This is the grand solution we decided on. It really doesn’t feel like a solution to anything. It feels like a hole I’ve fallen into that I can’t dig myself out of without disappointing someone, or screwing up an opportunity. The truth is: I can’t handle it. Not any of it. I can’t be the one charged with setting up our future. I can’t do this alone.  I don’t even know where to start.

I need to adjust myself

by , on
January 6, 2008

Having arrived in Regina, now living with my mother and my dog, I now need to help me help myself.

Networking and meeting new people has never been something I was good at, and now my survival depends on it. I need to get out there, hand out resumes, tell people I’m new to town and looking – in short, sell myself.

It doesn’t help that I have little to no confidence at this point. I build up my confidence by being gradually successful. Surviving the plane ride here was a success, but combined with the giant step back of leaving my husband at the airport and not knowing when I will see him again. Now I am in a new city without my support system, without a space to call my own and without any idea what the future will bring. I just want answers.

I want closing dates to hurry up, I want interviews and friends, I want to know that I’m getting somewhere. I want to know that he’s getting somewhere. The sooner he finds a job here, the sooner I see him again and I can hug him and we can have a home again.

I don’t want to give up, because giving up seems like failure, but I can’t be stuck like this for too long.

The thing is, I want to succeed here because I want to know that when I do see him again he will be proud of me. I will have a good job, I will have less debt, I will know my way around and have people to introduce him to, and houses for him to look at. It’s just so damn hard without him.

Just like starting over

by , on
January 1, 2008

It’s 2008 (how the hell did we get so far along in the 2000s?), at least it is here in Ottawa, working it’s way across the rest of the world. The new year is supposed to be the time when we try and better ourselves and I am no different in the making-of-resolutions department.

There are a lot of things I’d like to stop doing this year, and a lot of things I’d like to start doing, but really I think I have a few days before I actually start changing because I’m getting ready to move across the country and leaving my husband behind. I believe that I can reset my New Year to January 5, once I’m settled, reunited with my puppy and living in my mother’s study I will begin to do the following:

  • Eat healthily
  • Exercise more (which, apparently, is easy in Regina because you can walk almost anywhere)
  • Find and keep a job
  • Pay down my debt
  • Keep to a reasonable clothing budget
  • Network, make friends, go out and meet people
  • Read more and watch less useless television (whilst maintaining my devotion to Ugly Betty and giving myself a pass for Miss America: Reality Check)
  • Knit more challenging things
  • Write more, think more, read the news more

I want to be connected and informed, I want to be a better citizen, I want to learn to control myself.

2008 is the beginning of the rest of my life, and I would like to make better decisions than in the first half.

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