Is it worth it, let me work it

I have worked a number of crazy jobs in my relatively short time here on planet earth.

Like many other young ladies, I started out as a babysitter, but quickly learned that it wasn’t really my jam. I never cared for the portion of the evening that included the kids being, well, conscious, and it was pretty devastating to learn that most of the families that I worked for had mediocre pantries at best.

If I was going to give up my Friday night, I figured I might as well get a week’s worth of junk food stuffed in my face – AM I RITE OR WHAT LADEEZ?

Anyways, after my failed and relatively short-lived foray into the world of child monitoring, things took a turn for the serious, and I was hired on as a Safeway cashier in the summer after grade ten.

For my then teenage self this was HUGE. I was making eight dollars an hour and I got to nonchalantly creep on all the weirdos who came into the store.

(And by creep I mean epically judge them based on the goods they were purchasing.)

This job was nuts for many reasons, the first being I had the absolute WORST assistant manager of life.

Sanjay* was a young, cocky, sexist jerk who was constantly on one giant power trip. The guy wouldn’t allow me to wear sweaters (so instead I would just wear the massive winter coats that were reserved for the dudes who collected the shopping carts at night) and he once made me cry in the upstairs back room by telling me I had failed a secret shop, despite having no material evidence to back up his claim.

According to him, I hadn’t thanked the secret shopper by their name on the store receipt. For my “punishment” he made me read aloud the names printed on about two hundred receipts, just so he could be sure that, and I quote: “I could, in fact, read.”

I pretty much sobbed through the entire thing, choking out the names, my cheeks burning with shame and embarrassment. Every so often I would squeak out, “This…this isn’t right…”

You can imagine how, for anyone, let alone a fifteen year old girl, this kind of thing can be pretty darn traumatizing.

I ended up filing an informal complaint against him (and by informal I mean I stuttered out my frustration to the actual store manager, letting him know how I thought it was unfair that Sanjay would let other girls wear sweaters but not me, and about how he told me I had a failed a test when I clearly hadn’t.)

And that yes, I could read, thank you very much.

I never expected anything to come from my actions, but amazingly from that day forward Sanjay never spoke to me again. He wouldn’t even make eye contact with me when he would come around to give me more change/bills for my till.

Just remembering those tense, awkward exchanges gives me the heebie jeebies.

Other than that, Safeway was pretty par for the course in terms of high school jobs. Working crappy shifts, bonding with my co-workers, having a laugh when my friends come through my line.

Also, I am strangely proud of how Speedy Gonzalez I was on the till. I had those PLU codes DOWN (I will never forget bananas – 4011), and would often make it a contest to see how quickly I could clear my register.

Sometimes customers would even be nice enough to compliment me on my mad skills.

(Or maybe this was just because I looked a bit like a rapper in my massive, massive winter coat.)

Anyways, my tenure at ye olde Way of Safe came to an end when I received a job a small café the summer after grade twelve.

I literally left a letter in the upstairs office that read: Please accept my resignation effective today.

Looking back, it probably wasn’t my finest hour, both in terms of politeness and leaving on a positive note, but by then I was so worn down by the store’s rampant culture of apathy and soul-sucking awfulness, that I really didn’t care.

After the café (which ended after that summer) I worked a number of jobs throughout my time as a university student, including stints at an international newspaper and magazine store (which also rented international movies and had a massive pornography section).

In the two years I worked there only two dudes came in to rent from the latter category.

I just figured they must be crazy traditionalists.

This job was great because I got to keep a ton of the magazines, which meant my collection of international fashion, nature, political, and photography periodicals grew like (paper) weeds.

I also watched a lot of great foreign flicks.

After that, I was hired as a temp at a chocolate store to help them in their lead up to the Easter rush, worked as a receptionist at a physiotherapy clinic, and then as a barista at a coffee shop down at Granville Island (MY FAVOURITE JOB OF LIFE).

After my stint with BIG ORGANIC FAIRTRADE COFFEE, I tutored and then took on a two-year stint with immigration with the government of Canada.

And now? Well, a girl has to have some secrets, doesn’t she?

Looking back, I wouldn’t trade in any of these jobs.

They introduced me to lifelong friends and provided me with experiences (both good and bad) that have helped shape who am I.

Which is of course, a rapper in a giant winter coat.

AM I RITE LADEEZ?

*Name has been changed, despite rampant douchbaggery

Tricks and treats

Happy Halloween boils and gouls!

(That will never not be funny to me.)

Tonight, as the rain coats all that is living (and all that is undead – MUAHAHAHA!) M and I are sitting by the fire, playing some Skyrim, and handing out candy to all the little ones skipping about our neighbourhood in their fancy dress clothes.

We were supposed to be heading out to a murder mystery party, however poor Mr. M is sick as a dog and the thought of transforming himself into the Grim Reaper without at least one clear nostril to breathe through wasn’t exactly topping his “must-do” list, 2012 edition.

Completely side note: In 2008 he went as the Headless Horseman and it was absolutely phenomenal. Unfortunately, when it came time to cut out his eyeholes, I was laughing so hard that I accidentally poked him in the face with the scissors. As such I was immediately relieved of my duties as vision granter and he tried to do it himself.

Let’s just say it wasn’t the best.

Fast forward to us dancing our faces off at an absolutely packed Media Club to the musical stylings of our friend Marco’s Celtic-punk band.

At one point I looked over at M who was just careening about and thought, “WOW. He’s really going for it.” Right then though he lunged at me, grabbed a hold of my forearm and shouted, “I CAN’T SEE!!! HELP!!!”

Of course this set off a massive laugh attack like nothing, so I had to really work hard to get myself together AND drag him to safety.

Needless to say, he spent the rest of the evening very much with head and clear vision.

And to this day, just thinking about it makes me bust a gut like crazy.

Anywho, getting back to what I was saying, yesterday as I got into bed, I too could feel an itchy-tickle in my throat, so I thought it best if I also sat this one out, much to the chagrin of my inner drama queen.

I love a good chance to get into character, and just generally act like mad chicksor.

Today at work everyone was dressed up, which was pretty heartening to behold.

We had a Robin, a Princess Di, a Justin Bieber (probably one the most amazing things I have ever seen), an Axel Rose and Slash, a snow princess, a law suit, a flapper, a patch of seaweed – honestly, my workmates really hit it out of the park.

My favourites hands down though were these two gals:

L is the train-hoppin’ hobo, and S is the scarecrow.

THESE LADIES BE CHAMPS.

As for me, I am sad to say I somewhat half-arsed my way through Halloween this year.

For the morning I dressed as a Tough Mudder (not exactly me at my most clever I can assure you) but it was pretty fun to walk around saying, “I actually dress up every other day of the year. This is my natural self!”

What ended up happening was that I had a speaking engagement with the United Way at noon, so I needed something I could easily change out of, as I did have need to Clark Kent myself into professional attire.

(Although I kind of wish I could have gone in TM regalia. Talk about a way to pump people up! )

Also, I must apologize for not having photos to share, but I promise to post one as soon as I get a copy of the snaps S took of me in costume.

In the mean time, I’m happy to rest my knackered bones (I actually did a Tough Mudder workout yesterday, and that, combined with a long day of work, and my stand up classes at night has left me feeling a little deflated) and have a glass of wine.

Meanwhile, the kitten is investigating all the treats for our little tricksters:

What are you all up to for the night?

Stay safe, stay warm, and scare yourselves absolutely silly.

BOO!

At the speed of light

Do you remember that Madonna song – Ray of Light? You know, from the 90s?

It had the lyrics:

Faster than the speeding light she’s flying
Trying to remember where it all began –

Now, normally I’m not one to go around quoting the Big M, but this – this pretty much sums up my life at the moment.

(Except I’m pretty sure the girl she’s singing about is happy about her ride, whereas I am blinkin’ excited to get the heck get off mine.)

I’m feeling overwhelmed and exhausted and completely creatively zonked.

I am also pretty sure that I am now part human, part almond butter, because that stuff has become my life force extraordinaire over the past few weeks. I’ve been eating it like a eating thing.

(And yet somehow I’m still as white as I ever was. What a raw deal!)

Yeesh.

Add in the fact that M and I are still trying to complete our compulsory Tough Mudder training, and I’m basically a walking zombie that has been shot with insane amounts of adrenaline and caffeine to keep her momentum going.

Thank goodness for all my amazing co-workers – J, L, A and S – seriously, these ladies are pretty much the coolest dudettes a girl could ever ask for.

(If it wasn’t for them I would probably have taken off for the wilds of the BC forests long, long ago.)

And there are lights at the end of this bleak-sauce tunnel! Like I said, after this week I will be down one major project (and only have to deal with the tail end of another.)

In other thank-goodness-this-alone-is-keeping-me-semi-sane news, M and I are putting the finishing touches on our travel plans for the end of June. We will be heading down the Oregon Coast for some sweet, sweet anniversary camping times, and going to see Henry V at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

This will be my state of mind once I am on vacation.

We are more than a little excited.

We are the most excited.

(It seems as though I cannot write too much more on the subject because when I get this excited I waste much of my precious energy resources on being excited, and not, you know, on other more pressing – but nowhere nearly as brilliant – ventures.)

So what’s shaking in your neck of the woods friends?  And how do you deal with insane work commitments?  Your tips and tricks are always appreciated around these parts.

p.s. I’m sorry I’ve been such a crap blogger-gal, not visiting your rad spaces and responding to comments. I’ll be much better in the next couple of weeks once I am human again.

On a hot tin roof

Hello humans.

This is Nymeria writing to you today. My servant, or “Ethel” as she asks you to call her, is otherwise indisposed this afternoon, and as such is unable to write her usual Monday post.

Are any of you familiar with the term brain melt?

Symptoms associated with this affliction often include stress, loss of sleep, fits of unstoppable laughter, and a much hindered ability to just roll with life’s little punches. I’m sure she is exhibiting a myriad of other signs, but my vocabulary is limited, and my aggressive cuddling regime has already calmed many of them.

So don’t fret too much.

I’ve seen her like get like this many times before in the time that we’ve shared a home together, and I’m happy to report that she has always managed to recover – and quickly at that.

(Also, let’s hope that she remembers to feed me on time tonight. Last night she was late by at least six minutes! It if hadn’t been for my continuous, obnoxious mewling at the food cupboard door, I’m not sure if it would have ever happened.)

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.

Things should be back to their regularly scheduled program soon enough.

Now if you excuse me, there is a chair I need fur up.

The sight of hair-free upholstery unnerves me. 

Come on baby, strut your stuff

It was the Hyack festival and parade today in New West.

After completing our morning training session, M and I sat out on sixth street and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the different cultural and community groups that are alive and kicking in our little city.

I really love going to parades, but for some reason I always have a really hard time not crying while I watch all the different floats and parties go by.

(I understand that this is really strange.)

I’m not sure exactly what it is, and like I said, I am the first to confirm just how weird this affliction of mine may be – it’s just that every time I find myself lining a parade route – BAM!

Like clockwork, I choke right up.

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I cannot ever see a procession of elderly war veterans without getting a huge lump in my throat.

I immediately start to think of my granddad, and that folks, that  just destroys me.

So you can imagine I was working extra hard to keep it together when these dudes walked by today:

I also have a HUGE thing for pipe bands, so the fact that I was treated to three different groups over the course of two hours – cor. I was happy as little Scottish clam.

No.1

No. 2

No. 3

Although, I have to say, nothing brings on the waterworks like the bagpipes.

I was a highland dancer for many, many years and nothing stirs my soul quite like ye olde cornemuse.

But I digress.

My favourite group was the Bangladeshi society who carried these absolutely beautiful bird puppets in their procession.

Check it:

I also met this guy:

The weather around these parts of late has been completely off the charts. I really, really hope it stays like this for a very long while.

All day today M and I bopped about our neighbourhood – walks down to the Quay for french fries (me) and beef brisket sandwiches (him); sushi down at the old Met hotel; wine and the NYT crossword out on our balcony; training runs in the park.

Oh, OH! I also bought a long (a little past knee length on me) forest green pleated skirt – actually, it is a skirt with a sheer pleated overlay – and believe me when I say that it is darling and a half.

I will wear it to work on Monday and be sure to take a snap to show off it’s gorgeosity (yes, I did make up that word, but I love it so moving on.)

I have been really quite stressed at work for the last little bit, and one giant project (it has been in the works since the beginning of February) is finally coming to a head at the end of next week. I cannot even begin to communicate how happy I will be to have closure on that part of my work year.

Today was a really nice way of putting my job on the back burner, if but for a little while. Though I cannot wait for the day when it will not even be on the stove (July baby, you are not coming quick enough!)

I hope you all have had a terrific first half of your weekend.

And that your stove tops remain clear of any employment related activities.