Tag Archives: Jobs

Obligatory Summer-is-Over Post

I left after class today to catch the bus, and apparently the temperature dropped 15 degrees between 2 and 6. Oh my god.

I actually miss my summer job. Not the whole repetitive thing where you stand in the sun for 9 hours and yell at children, but all the friends I made. Corny, I know.

Things I learned this summer:

-children + turnstiles = the most frustrating thing you can ever imagine.

-if you work with farm animals all day and then get on the subway, people will move because you probably stink.

-the TTC will sometimes make you want to yell at everything and everyone. You should probably just get off the subway when it’s stuck at the station for 40 minutes and do something more useful with your time, like walking.

-at the same time, getting stuck with people you just met at work on the subway forever is a great breeding ground for new friendships!

-don’t ever try to make your hair look nice before work. HA.

-starting school will be bittersweet, and you’ll miss all your friends that went back to school like crazy.

TTYL, summer. It’s been nice.

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I got used to napping under trees this summer.

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A Story of Awkward Clumsiness: Subway Edition

As I had mentioned about a week ago, I got a contract position with a marketing company to distribute displays in small businesses. Literally “field marketing distributer,” which looks beautiful on a resume compared to “display hander-outer.” Again, it’s for the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, so check it out!

Today was training and I headed down to the office at Richmond and Bathurst for 10am. For any of you who know the TTC well, this means I left at like 8:30. Whatever, not a big deal.

However, for some reason I wasn’t expecting to collect the marketing materials at that particular training session. I’m on board to distribute 500 units in 4 weeks at the very least, which is not a big deal. I took home 50 today, doesn’t sound like a lot, right? Each one has three separate cardboard pieces and a brochure to put in the top. They provide a little bundle buggy, but, well, here is where the fun begins!

After the 100lbs or so of material was loaded into the cart, I was set free upon the city to somehow make it back to Scarborough. Without the cart, this would have easily included a streetcar, a subway, and an RT without any hassle. With the cart, however, well..

I decided to skip the streetcar and try to find a subway where I could manage to get down the stairs. The streetcars are extremely narrow and there are three very steep steps to get on, so yeah, not a great idea. It probably would have been different if it hadn’t felt like the cart would implode every time I went over a subway track or bump in the road, or if I could actually pick up the front without it collapsing, but hey you can’t have everything, right?

I walked to University. So thirsty. All the Tim Hortons I passed were full, and the cart had no turning capabilities at all. Running over old ladies on the quest for an iced tea wasn’t on my priority list, so I skipped it.

And then I stumbled upon Osgoode. The most beautiful sight for my eyes. Is it…was it…could it be? A beautiful blue handicapped sign, meaning there would be an elevator? Yes, yes it was! For reference, here is the TTC subway map. Note the amount of handicapped-equipped stations vs. non handicapped. The fully-equipped ones have a little blue square beside their names. Depressing, isn’t it?

This was honestly the best map on google. I have no idea why.

After my little “praise the lord” moment that I had stumbled upon a station with an elevator, I managed to somehow get the thing on to the subway without taking out too many ankles.

I have to say I wasn’t too worried about the weird looks I was getting. If you’ve been in this city for longer than a week, you’ve seen much weirder than a girl pushing a granny cart full of pink pamphlets.

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Yes, I am that creep who took your picture on the subway. Sorry.

I did enjoy how the elevators in St. George and Kennedy Stations are at the extreme opposite ends of the platform. Nothing like some good ol ‘exercise!

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Beautiful saviour.

The majority of the buttons in all the elevators I took were completely rubbed off. And nonsensical. Apparently, in the TTC world “B” stands for bus aka ground, but NOT the exit. The star stands for the exit!

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Wrong floor. Oops.

After TWO HOURS I had made it home, and now I faced the final frontier. I had  avoided all stairs up until this moment!

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Death.

But it all turned out okay, because…

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SUCCESS.

My thoughts:
I am really goddamn happy I didn’t take any downtown routes to distribute these. Thank god I have a car and it’s easy to find parking on Danforth east.

The TTC is sadly inaccessible if you, for whatever reason, have issues with stairs. The RT doors actually closed to someone’s shoulder because, due to the crowds, they couldn’t get off the car quick enough.

It’s a jungle out there.

Tree Planting?

In an effort to avoid going back to my old job by any means, I applied at almost every single listing on the Toronto Library “student summer job suggestions” page. Almost every summer job imaginable, that I could do with my clothes on, got an application from me. This included a reforestation company.

Yesterday, I received an email back asking if I could set up a phone interview. (Phone interviews=no sweaty handshakes!) So I googled a little about the job, because reading over an entire job description before applying is clearly too difficult for me.

Basically, I’d be committing to spending two months sleeping in a tent without internet access (le gasp!) or even 3G. Even any phone service, for that matter, is obsolete. Apparently they drive you into town on your day off (work 5.5, get 1.5 days off) so you can call home. Once a week. What is this, 1950? Oh, and the place is probably 5-8 hours away from my house.

Hyperventilating  aside, there’s something kind of nice about the opportunity to rid myself of these devices. How many hours have I wasted messing around online when I haven’t even gotten out of bed yet? (Hint: it’s 11:14am on a Saturday and I’m writing this from my bed.) How often do I have my nose buried in my phone, what am I missing from the real world?
Does anyone even remember how to entertain themselves without a computer, phone, television or video games anymore? We spent 3 weeks in a cable-less, phone service-less (well, at least for me, since Rogers is the worst company in the world, but that’s a whole different post) house in PEI last summer. Even then we had my 13″ laptop and some Harry Potter DVDs, thank god.

But for two months? Yikes.

At least I look great in plaid.

And then there’s the other facts. You get paid per how many trees you plant, not hourly. Some rookies who go up and quit after a week wind up owing the company money,  since you have to pay a daily fee for camp costs. A lot give up.
Then there’s the physical strain, since you have to carry all the little seedlings in bags around your waist. 6am is wake-up call. SIX AM. Even when I was scheduled for 6:45 shifts at my other job, I would roll out of bed somewhere around…oh…6:30?

I just can’t figure out if I’d be good at it or not. If the no internet/phone thing didn’t drive me insane outright, would I be able to make a decent amount of money?
I’m an efficient person. I’ve been told this many times. The secret to tree planting is refining your movements so they are purposeful, useful, and minimal, or so I’ve read. I’m pretty damn good at that. Anyone who’s ever seen me work a cash register knows that.
But then there’s the times where, after 2 hours of watering plants in 40 degree heat, I’d be all “what is this shit I want to go die” and slow down to a snail’s pace. Planting 2000+ trees a day seems a little…depressing.
I’m also actually pretty weak sometimes. I have blood sugar issues and feel faint easily, which gets super embarrassing and kind of dangerous if I’m alone.

Even though the idea of being able to make a semester’s tuition in 8 weeks is attractive, I think I might just send back a “thanks but no thanks, I’m a city girl and I always will be.”
I’m pretty sure they don’t want that one person on the bus who keeps going “Aww, is that a town? It’s so cute! Look how little it is!” Guilty.  

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of January 24, 2012

Today was a very strange day, but an interesting shake-up to my weeks of job-less mediocrity.

The Good

I somehow secured a position as a “field marketing director” on a short contract with a local event company. I will basically just be distributing little displays of brochures for the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers all around town, chatting with small business owners to get them to allow me to set one up on their counter. It is not sales or fundraising, and I am not metaphorically handcuffed to a cash desk all day, so go me! It’s actually an amazing cause, and last week I even filled out the volunteer form. If you have never attended anything like this, go. It’s amazing how supportive everyone is. I’ve volunteered/participated in the CIBC Run for the Cure numerous times, and it’s just a great time for an even better cause. You won’t regret it.

Image courtesy of the event website

The Bad

After applying to a bunch of jobs on Kijiji yesterday, I received an email this morning from one of the more promising, yet vague positions. “Accounts receivable with little experience,” the ad requested. Perfect for me! I have done tons of order entry, quotations, invoicing, etc and this was a great way to expand on my knowledge.

Well, the email described how I would be sent cheques to my home, and my only job was to cash them and wire the money to this “company,” while keeping a percentage for myself. Seriously? Is that not one of the sketchiest things you have ever heard of? A quick google search tipped me off to how this is a common scam. Basically, they send you bad cheques and you don’t find out until after you have wired them the money, so the onus falls on you. I couldn’t even find them on the BBB website. After a quick domain search, I discovered the company was based in California. I forwarded the email to the FBI. Take that, suckers.

I kind of wanted to troll them back and say “So, how do you know I’m not going to steal the company’s hard-earned cash?”

The Ugly

The boyfriend, who parked outside for 40 minutes while he quickly ate and got changed between school and work, got a parking ticket for $60 bucks for being too far on the sidewalk. I understand the sidewalk rules, but Toronto parking ticket prices are insane. Reading over some forums about fighting traffic tickets, apparently you can get $450 tickets for parking in disabled zones and whatnot. I mean, I understand disabled zones are necessary. But…$450?

Bonus Round: The Just Plain Weird

As I do every morning, I walked upstairs and plopped down on the couch with my laptop. This couch faces the big wall-of-windows that gives me a view of the somewhat-busy corner we live on. 20 minutes into my productive Facebook-creeping, I see two Toronto Police cars pull up, two officers and a police dog get out. They were coming up my walkway!

I opened the front door, and the officer asked me about any cars parked outside or weird noises. I hadn’t seen anything (although I wish I had. My superior skills for recognizing car makes, models, and details would have had that case solves in an instant, if that didn’t make me look too suspicious.) They then spent over half an hour photographing something at the foot the city-owned grass and questioning the other neighbours.
I still have no idea what happened. Nothing else seemed weird, I looked down the street and there weren’t any clearly vandalized places or anything. This is a neighbourhood filled with seniors and young families, so it’s not like we’re used to grow house busts or anything, like some other parts of Scarborough.

January 24th, you will forever be the most exciting day an unemployed 19 year old has ever experienced. Good job.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Revisited

Every time I stumble upon some old journal, I’m amazed at two things.

1. What the hell was I even thinking? I wrote one entry in a school journal about why I want Pokemon to be real.
2. Wow, my attention span was short. There’s always about a week or two of everyday entries, followed by a 3 months of nothing, followed by an entry that starts “wow it’s been a while.” Predictable me.

Here are some answers to the fateful question about my future career I’ve found or remembered:

Veterinarian, like every other 10 year old girl.

Video game tester. Is that even a thing? Wow. I dreamt big.

Graphic designer in advertising. More recent. This persisted until I figured out that really, I’m not that clever.

Art director in print.  Also extremely recent. This one was crushed by the dwindling print industry and my reluctance to learn anymore HTML or web design beyond basic tables.

Journalist. Again, quashed by the “dying art of print” idea going around.

Surgeon. Inspired by M*A*S*H and ER. They just made it look so cool. And then, high school chemistry came along…

Psychologist. Grade 11 anthro/sociology/psychology class was probably the only interesting class I’d ever taken in high school. I figured I’d be good at listening to people’s problems. “Psychiatrist” was in the running, but you need med school for that. We all know med school needs chemistry. *gag*

Nurse. This was born out of my love of medicine but hate of chemistry. The fact that a lot of employees at my mom’s workplace, aka hell on earth aka the largest phone company in Canada I don’t want to name, had degrees in things like psychology is something that lead me to nursing. I did not want to get stuck at a shitty job with a useless degree because I couldn’t find anything else. It’s my worst fear. Oddly enough, it looks like a lot of nurse graduates from the program I was in had hard time finding full time work. Oddly enough, since the province keeps crying that we don’t have enough nurses but apparently they won’t hire any more? Hmmm…

I’m sure we all have crazy lists like this. Please share! Growing up, no one hopes to become a senior analyst (what is that, even?) or a marketing coordinator. Well, maybe some kids do.