Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Please Play Again...

Here in Canada, it's the small things that make us happy.  I know the whole world thinks that we live in Igloos and drive around town on dog sleds with huge smiles on our faces.  While we're not that simple, a good cup of coffee sure makes us smile.  And the chance of winning something even sweetens the deal.  We have this ridiculously large coffee chain up here called Tim Hortons - which co-incidentally is named after a hockey player - yet another thing that makes most Canadians happy (myself excluded...).  You can win things like a donut or a coffee or a car or a big screen T.V.  Or you get this,

Yup.  That says, "Please Play Again"
I often joke that if there were ever a movie made about me (although in my wildest imagination, I cannot even fathom why there would be) the title, most definitely, will be, "Please Play Again."  I just have bad luck.  And truthfully, I've made one or two poor choices that have also led me to (please) play again. 

I know I'm a little bit biased, but I really like me.  In fact, I think I'm fabulous.  I really do.  I think I'm funny.  I make myself laugh all the time.  I'm kind to people, even strangers.  I'm sarcastic, I'm witty, I'm smart.   I think I'm the whole package.  The thing is, not every body agrees with me.  I've thought long and hard about how I was going to write this post.  I mean, I knew I was going to write it, because we all know this is my therapy.  All you poor saps read along for whatever reason.  I write because it's cheaper than therapy and I feel so much better when I get everything off my chest.  Having said that, knowing that others read it...it has to be a tad um....modified.  For instance, not every second word is a curse, and I try really hard to remove the whiny, feel sorry for me air and replace it with a "when life gives you lemons" attitude.  So...this is not in any way meant to make you feel sorry for me.  I'm fully convinced that I'm going through a crappy time at work solely for one purpose;  When I make it big, I'll have a I-came-from-nothing-single-mom-worked-the-graveyard-shift-to-support-her-kid kind of story.  Woot, woot, yay for me, right?

I've always been kind of normal.  Mediocre, really.  Like in high school, I was in the 80 percentile, while all my friends were in the 95th.  Except in math where I basically got through by the seat of my pants - but honestly, I have never, ever had to use calculus since I learned it.  Anywho, there was always someone who was better than me.  Smarter than me.  If I got 85% on a test, you could bet your ass there'd be someone sitting next to me who got 95%.  That's just the way it was.  All. The. Time.

My first job, I was next in line to become an assistant manager until at the very last second the manager made up with her best friend after a spat and gave the job to her instead.  Which was a total mistake, but whatever.  At the airport, I applied for a promotion at the same time as my girlfriend, who started at the same time as me...and she got the job.  I did not.  Same airline, different job - another person applied and told them she was applying specifically so I did not get it - and she got it.  Eventually, I moved up in the company, but it took me twice as long as everybody else.  And not because I'm not smart.  I am, dammit, I am.  Smart, that is.  Everybody else just doesn't know how fabulous I am, I guess.

Recently, I applied for a job within the company I am working right now.  After about a week or so, I got a no-reply, cookie cutter e-mail thanking me for my interest, however I did not possess the "basic requirements for the job."  Are you kidding me?  Could they have stated it any differently?  A little less cold, perhaps?  How stupid do I seem to people?  I don't possess the basic requirements?  What?  I can't walk and chew gum at the same time?  (That's not true by the way....I totally can walk and chew gum at the same time.)  I can't breathe in and out and pump blood through my veins while also creating new blood cells?  Actually, I can.  That's basic, in my mind.  Can I do long division in my head?  No, probably not.  But that's not even in the job description.

And truthfully, I don't have one of the requirements.  I don't have a post secondary education.  But, c'mon people.  It's the post office.  No one has a post secondary education, unless the post office paid for it as part of a job advancement program.  Then I find out (get ready to gasp here, people) that they have offered the job to people who have either the same or less qualifications as I do.  Some were offered the job who have less basic requirements than me.  And they were offered the job.  As in, they didn't apply.  They didn't even want the job.  They were approached and asked to take it.  Hello??????  I'm FABULOUS over here...

It makes me so angry, I could spit.  And maybe I will spit.  Sometime.  When no one's watching.  And maybe into a garbage or something.  Because I think we all agree that spitting is gross and completely unsanitary. 

Honestly, this is why I haven't started writing my book.  I'm afraid I'll put all of my effort and all of me into it, and it will just be mediocre and no one will see how fabulous I am. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

You Know You're Old When...

I know that in the big scheme of things 33 is not old.  Geez, hopefully I'm not even middle-aged.  I'd like to live older than 66.  75 - 80 would be good.  Old enough that you've lived a good life and seen your child graduate university and marry, not too old that someone else is dressing and bathing you (God willing!)  But I am getting older.  Older than my 20 year old self, that's for darn sure.  Lately, I've been compiling a list in my head of proof I'm not as young as I once was....

  1. I say things like, "that's for darn sure..." (and this time I purposely left out the "tooting" for fear it made me seem reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaallllly old...)
  2. The store I've been shopping in for years starts selling pants that have no buttons/zippers, and have an elastic waist - for 'ease' - say the in store advertisements.  Sorry, Reitmans...you have one less customer, effective immediately.
  3. My bedtime is 10:00pm on the weekends. 
  4. My idea of a fabulous night out, is a night in...
  5. My son comes home from school asking for Silly Bandz and BeyBlades and you have no idea what he's talking about.  I had a difficult time googling it too, because I did't know how to spell it.
  6. I have to take the new winter coat I bought Q back because it makes him look "like a girl..." (it's red).  This is momentous.  It's the first thing I've bought him that he doesn't like.  Here we go...
  7. My son's soccer coaches are 14.  Now, I realize they're in high school and all, I guess I forgot that I wasn't.  They were talking about their school dance next month...which is formal...so one is going to wear a bow tie.  My last school dance was almost 15 years ago.
  8. A night out with the girls is dinner and a drink and home by 11:00.  No more wild parties, no more drinking til I'm stupid, no more poor drunken choices...
  9. Someone says "back in the day" and they're referring to MY day...true story.  And yes, she's still alive.
  10. I'm choosing function over fashion.  Like every.single.time.  High heels are not my friend.  Ballerina flats, however, are.
  11. My excuse for my behaviour/memory/exhaustion/weight is my age.
How do you know you're old(er) than before?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

I am of the mind that every story is so much better with exaggeration.  It keeps your audience on the edge of their seat, wanting more.  So, while Vancouver does not look like this...

...the story is soooooo much better if I tell you that I took this picture of my street this morning when I got home from work.  Truthfully, I pulled this one off of google images and it's of a street in Montreal - but I totally have your attention now, don't I?

I grew up in Calgary, where temperatures routinely dipped well below -30 (Celsius)  sometimes -45 with the windchill in the long winter months.  Most school boards have snow days, but in Calgary we had *cold* days where skin froze in less than 30 seconds, they couldn't keep the schools heated, and everyone decided it was too stupid to leave the comfort of your own home.  Vehicles were kept running, some over night, with the fear that they wouldn't start in the morning if turned off.  Snow would fall on to streets and before you could clear it, more would fall...making the roads a virtual skating rink.   

The year before I moved to Vancouver, it snowed every month of the year in Calgary.  This included a freak snowstorm in April that crippled the city in less than two hours.  Drivers were forced to abandon their cars on the side of the road, and in some cases in the middle of the road as the snow fell.  Rescuers wrote *OK* on the car windows, just so everyone knew that there was no one stranded inside the cars.  Today Calgary, Alberta, Canada was the second coldest place in.the.world.  The South Pole came in first at -36.  Calgary was -31. 

All this to say that I'm used to cold.  I'm used to snow.  I lived it for my entire childhood. 

When I moved to Vancouver on November 4, 2003, we watched the temperature change from -27 to +9 degrees as we drove out west.  The day I arrived, I walked to the store in capris and flip flops.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  Initially, I moved to Vancouver for a guy, but we all know how that panned out...now, I tell everyone that I moved here for the weather.

But it's effin' cold out there.  Out here.  It's minus ten degrees Celsius, -19 with the wind chill.  There is snow on the ground that has not melted.  And it has been there since Friday night.  And I'm not even exaggerating.  I'm cold.  The house is cold.  Houses in Vancouver aren't meant for cold like this.  We have towels wrapped around the pipes so they don't freeze.  The windows and walls aren't insulated the way they are in Calgary.  My car, good ol' lil Rosie, who always gives 150% is having a difficult time starting. 

It's a good shove in the arse to get ready for Christmas.  Once again, it's beginning to look like the North Pole opened up and puked in my house.  There are decorations and lights and garlands everywhere you look.  I've even begun my Christmas shopping which is unheard of for me.  I'm the one who starts mid-December and not because I'm a procrastinator (although, I am.)  It's because I just can't keep a secret.  I get so darn excited, I want to give the gifts like right now. 

I told Q that I bought one of his presents (a telescope!!!) and he says, "Oh, is it an Air Hockey Rink?!?!?!?"  and I'm like...."uhhhh, no...."  He laughs and says, "I totally know it is because of the look on your face.  I guessed it!!"  What look?  This look?  Oh ya, that's panic.  An Air Hockey Rink?  What happened to the telescope?  Just last week he wanted a telescope. 

Gah!  Kids!! 

Guess I should ask for a Christmas List...

Monday, November 22, 2010

In My Day...

Hello there! 

Where have I been?

Well, let me tell you.  The past two or so weeks have been a whirlwind!  A last minute trip to see my best friend.  We shopped for like 6 hours straight, like only she and I can (in high heels, no less) and we got our noses pierced.  Let me just say that if you've ever wondered if it hurts to get your nose pierced I can tell you that it really, really, really does.  Like a Mother.  I was *stupid* enough to go second and thought it was a good idea to watch how they do it, you know so it wouldn't seem as bad.  This was a huge mistake - HUGE - because it looks as painful as it is.  First of all, they stick this metal rod up your nose so they don't puncture anything else with the needle.  Then they take this super sharp needle about the size of a toothpick and jam it in your nose.  They leave it there, while they take a nose ring with a spiral end and screw it into your nose.  The whole process takes about thirty seconds, but when you're watching it and you know you're next, it seems more like 5 minutes. 

The gal who was giving us the piercings...the *artist* I believe they're called - must still be laughing at us...especially since she had the bridge of her nose pierced...like in between her eyes - and she had the back of her neck pierced.  I'm not sure how that's done.  I'm also not quite sure how/why anyone comes up with that...piercing the back of your neck.  Anyways, I now feel like a super bad ass 33 year old momma with this thing in my nose that feels like a perma-booger.  I'm hoping a get used to it.

In the past two weeks, my birthday has also come and gone.  I puked my way through it, and not in a good way.  I had the stomach flu and my birthday dinner consisted of crackers and fizzless ginger ale.  When I wasn't puking, I was sleeping.  Whooooooo hoooooooooo, what a party animal.  I think I'm creating a nice little tradition here because I was also sick for my birthday last year.  So far, my thirties have been fabulous. 

Best present ever:  Realizing I'm 33 and not 34.  It's like I gained a whole year.

This was the year of gift cards, which I absolutely love because I love shopping and shopping with someone elses' money is always better (even more reason why I should end up with a sugar daddy, right?  Am I right????)  So, I'm standing in line at Old Navy with a new pair of Jammies (yes, they deserve capitalization...) and Slippers (ditto) and I'm minding my own business.  In the line behind me is a teen-aged boy about 14 or so...you know, the age where it's cool to wear a toque inside and his mother.  From out of nowhere, this kid winds up and punches me in the arm.  Not super hard, kinda like a 'yellow punch buggy' type of punch.  I look at him and he laughs and mumbles, "sorry."  (No capitalization there...)  His mother also laughs.

I'm PMS-ing, by the way....

I stand there.  I look at my mom.  I stand there.  I start saying, "I'm going to freak out" like it's a mantra.  I calmly pay for my stuff, and I'm super polite to the cashier.  I'm about to leave, and I just can't let it go.  I turn around, and this is what comes out of my mouth...

"You know, it might be cute and funny that your son is going around hitting women now, but in a few years it won't be funny.  It'll be assault."

The mom freaks out (Mama Bear Syndrome) and starts telling me it was a mistake, and I walk away - shaking like a leaf. 

What is going on in this world?  Children are randomly assaulting women while their mothers stand by and watch?  And laugh?  (Why yes, yes I am still PMS-ing...how'd you notice?)  I put myself in the mother's shoes.  If Q bumps someone, intentionally or not, he knows it's wrong and I would be mortified.  I wouldn't laugh.  What kind of parent laughs at that?  Maybe I overreacted.  Probably I overreacted.  But if nothing else, that kid will never hit another woman without thinking twice and thinking of me.  At least, I hope he'll think twice.

I'm in Walmart today.  It's one of those new Super-Walmart stores.  It's a novelty.  It's a zoo at two o'clock in the afternoon.  I'm standing by the meat counter, bending over to get said meat when a woman comes between me and my cart and pushes me out of the way so she can get some meat.  I look at her, and she's like, "Oh, I'm sorry, I need some meat..."  Really?  I didn't notice.  I don't need meat.  I'm just standing here  IN FRONT of the meat because I thought it would be fun.  Why not consider waiting until I've moved on?  Like I just did when there was someone there 30 seconds ago? 

Seriously.  What is wrong with our society?  Have we become so rushed, so multi-tasked, so impatient that we've lost our manners?  I know Walmart is the lowest of the low in terms of social standings, but c'mon people...we're nothing if we're not polite and courteous.  It takes so little to smile, to wait a moment, to be patient.  And it can mean so much.  We forget sometimes that we have the power to make or break someones day with one simple gesture. 

So, the next time you get in my way, remember that.  Okay?  Okay!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Experiement, Phase 1

Where I work, we have a social media policy.  To be honest, I've never actually read it.  But just the fact that we have one makes me think that it's a pretty big deal around here.  Then they throw around words like "fired" and it makes you think twice about work-related blogs.  Of course, if I were to blog about work, I would have only positive things to say and wouldn't even think about mentioning less than positive or even unpositive things about my work place.  Especially in my position of authority (okay, okay, I'm just a lowly supervisor...of the world) it would be completely unprofessional of me to slag my employees or my colleagues or my managers.  In fact, I wouldn't even consider it.  So I don't have to even read the social media policy, because I would never, ever, ever write a post about my work, employees, etc., etc.

However, I have this friend...

No seriously, I know when people say they have a "friend", it really means themselves, but really it's not me.  It's my friend.  I've already stated above how dedicated I am to the secrecy of my work place.  So much so that I haven't even mentioned (in this post) where I work.  If you're eager enough to go through all my previous posts to find out where I work, well I appreciate your dedication to the blog, I absolutely do, but that's your problem.  This post is definitely about my friend's work place.  She tells me stories, like all. the. time.  So many stories, that I actually feel as though I work there (but I don't) and I feel equally qualified to talk about some of her co-workers and such.  Because she talks about them that much.

So much fodder, she gives me, I'm actually considering a regular post about her job.  Of course, she'll get royalties if I ever get that famous off it.  I'm that generous of a friend.  I really am.  Tell me what you think...

There are a few similarities between her job and mine.  I cannot explain this, it's pure coincidence.  For instance, she works the night shift too.  Also, she works with unionized employees who's collective agreement is substantial.  It covers most everything.  And let me tell you, these employees are covered.

One employee doesn't show up to work for 7 months.  Seven months!!  They send him letter after letter saying, "Uh, hello?  Are you there?  We're worried about you..." and progressively get more serious, like "Okay, now we're really worried about you.  You must come back to work.  Or at least call us."  And then, "Now, Mister...now, we're really mad.  You have to come to work.  Now.  Okay?"  Then they fire him.  Well, they send a letter saying,

"Dear Mr. Such and such,
You haven't been at work for four months now, you haven't contacted us, so we're pretty sure you're either not coming back or you've dropped off the face of the planet.  We wish you luck in all your future endeavours. 
The Management"

The employee gets this letter and evidently figures he's in trouble, so he starts calling in sick.  And he sends in a doctor's note as an additional CYA.  For three months, he does this.  Sends doctor's notes every month and calls in.  For a job he no longer has.  For a job from which he's been terminated.  Then, one day seven months later, he shows up for his job.  With a list of conditions (he can only work four hours a day).  And the company takes him back, conditions and all.  They've decided to give him a 'second chance'. 

Isn't that thoughtful of them.

These employees are Teflon coated.  And they know it.

It makes me wonder...

It makes me wonder how far we have to go these days in order to get fired.  If you can not show up for work for seven whole months and still have a job at the end of it...I wonder, what else can you get away with?  What is it that makes people think they can get away with it and then actually get away with it?  What does it say about our society where it's acceptable to have little to no work ethic?  What's happening to us?

To be clear, my friend does not work with youngsters, the gen X-ers who've never had to work hard for anything and therefore have no appreciation for the value of a dollar earned (typically...tsk, tsk to the generalizations, I say).  These are all people in the prime of their career.  They are not working in a highly skilled profession nor a job that requires physical exertion.  They do not have degrees or trades or special powers.  Well, they might...but they're not specific to this job.  They have entry level jobs that requires very little training.  They all get paid very, very well ($20.00/hr - where the minimum wage in BC is $8.00/hr.) for the job they do.  They have health and dental benefits up the ying yang and they will all retire with a full pension and benefits package.  To slack off in this environment is an idea completely foreign to me.  Where does this sense of entitlement come from? 

And why don't I have it?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Funkity Funk Funk Funk

Why is it that being in a funk isn't as cool/acceptable/fun as being funky?  Well, I should rephrase that, not funky as in, "Gee, that smells funky."  More like, "Wow, she's cool.  She's super funky!!"  (yes, I know....no one talks that way anymore, unless it's a SNL skit.)  But no one would have decided to make a song with the lyrics, "Can you take me to....fun-ky town?  Can you take me to...fun-ky toooown?" if funky town wasn't so much fun.  I think the real problem here is that there are too many meanings for the word funk.  English in general is so ridiculous that way.  You'd think that all those scholarly types could think up enough words so we didn't need to clarify the difference between a tear and a tear, not to mention the differences between bare and bear.  One time years ago, when my brother and I were young, we're playing Pictionary and he gets the word 'Hoe'.  Don't even ask me how my brother knew what a 'Ho' was and why decided to draw that instead.

All that just to say I'm in a funk.  And it's not fun.  It's not cool.  It's would be way better to be funky (and not in a smelly way...)  I'm so bored that last week I had to talk myself out of chopping off my mid-back super long blonde high lighted hair and dying it black.  Seriously, it's that bad.  I mean this is what my nightmares are made of, my hair being cut with or without my knowledge.  I have literally woken up in a cold sweat after a horrid night terror consisting of my hair being cut.  But last week, it seemed like such a good idea.  And the colour, I couldn't decide whether or not to go platinum blonde or jet black.  Both would have been equally as shocking to the system.  I was thinking of a Victoria Beckham-esque bob.  Kind of like this.  Actually, exactly like this...

Or this....

Minus the tattoo, of course. 

Hmmm, or maybe not...I wonder what it means and if it's applicable to me...

So, I thought I'd try one of those web sites that takes a picture of you and merges it with the celebrity hair styles of your choice so you can see what you look like with Jennifer Aniston's hair (hmmm...I wonder if they have a site that does that with celebrity noses too...)  But get this, you have to pay...for a (minimum) three month subscription.  I'm trying to be spontaneous here, people.  I don't need three months to decide.  I want to upload my face and download Victoria's hair.  Simple.  Fast.  Bingo Bango...Bob's your uncle. 

With that idea out the window, I thought I'd keep the length and go black.  Jet black.  But the problem with that is it's so final.  Just as they say, once you go black, you cannot go back, and that's not just with men my friends.  You cannot just go back to blonde if you decide you don't like black.  Well, you can...after about $300.00 - $500.00, after they've stripped your hair and it has the consistency of straw, then you're back to blonde...only it's got a bit of a greenish hue to it.  Well, except for the parts that are orange.  Or falling out from all the processing, for that matter.

In the end, I couldn't even commit to bangs.  Bangs are always a mistake.  For me, anyways.  And they take forever to grow out.  Instead, I'm going to just live with my brown hair with blonde highlights and my funk.  At least until next week, when I have some solo girl time with my bff.  Who knows what trouble her and I will get into, but it's always good times with T.B.