Tag Archives: Work

Tip of the Day

If your black Vans sneakers look really cute with your shorts at work but are kind of uncomfortable, don’t wear them.

The devil’s shoes.

Your feet will not eventually “get used to them,” nor will they stretch out enough. They already made your toe bleed once, so stop.

You will seriously injure some tendons in your ankle while making a short sprint to the ferry (or the washroom to beat the lineup, I can’t remember) and you’ll be limping for an estimated 4-6 weeks.

Not days, weeks.

You’ll have to wear your blindingly-white and bulky New Balance sneakers anyway, after you get injured.

Heed my warnings for a pain-free summer. I’ll be limping my way to the subway for the next month or two.

Summer 2k12 in style

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 Even any phone service, for that matter, is obsolete.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.  

I Shouldn’t Dislike Change This Much


So, we got new bills. Canada has brought out these new “polymer” bills (bottom) to replace the old ones (top). This is the third generation of bills I’ve been alive for! The third! And the poor Queen gets slightly older on each new version of the $20 bill. We got one from 1970 at work, and she was sporting a young, brown hair-do. Splendid.

These things are made of some weird plastic, have a see-through window, and feel very fake when you’re used to paper notes. Contrary to what everyone is telling everyone else, they do not just “bounce back” when crumpled up, they actually are little bitches and don’t flatten out properly to go in the cash drawer.

Now I have to think of new sneaky ways to check the bills without offending the customer (and avoiding the “I just printed it this morning” joke. Shudder). Thanks, Canada!

(In all seriousness, they are pretty neat. Who else has money you can see through?!?)

The Perils of Being 19

Oh, 19. It’s the age where half the older people you meet say, “I wish I was 19 again,” and the other half scoff and walk away, brushing off any attempt you’ve made at making a mature comment or suggestion.

First things first, I can drink in all of Canada. (Well, I could drink in Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta since I was 18.) This isn’t really that awesome considering most European countries are more relaxed about their ages, but at least I’m not living in America!

Sucks for you guys.

I mean, just look at our classy booze stores.

But, then again, you guys can buy whiskey at your local Wal-Mart. I do envy that. Occasionally, fancy grocery stores will have those little wine booths on your way out, completely separate from the store, but that’s it. Apparently the government thinks people don’t drink and drive on wine. (That is the main reason we can’t sell it in gas stations and big box stores, right?)

Enough about the alcohol. (I’m 19, cut me some slack!)

It’s just such an awkward age. You can’t call yourself a “20-something,” yet referring to yourself as a “teenager” just seems weird. Teenagers, in my books, usually don’t have massive debt, to start. (Student loans are crazy, although not as crazy as the states. Sorry, guys. We win this one, too.) Teenagers usually don’t live by themselves with roommates…
It just seems like being in college as a “teenager” is the wrong choice of words.

People just assume you’re a student, too. Customers always make that awkward small talk:

“So, you go to school, right?”
“Uh…yeah…I just have the day off class….”

I lie to save face. These are people who are obviously asking that first question because, to them, working retail is the absolute worst fate any young adult could ever succumb to. They must be trying to work their way out of it, right?
I also lie because “Well, I did a year at this university but it wasn’t really at this university and I really did not like the school or the program so now I’m taking a year off to save up money I lost on that first year and figure out where I want to go next” is a lot to spit out.

In the second decade of your life, ages 10-19, it’s pretty straightforward. If you live in a Western country (probably similar to most countries, but I’d rather not assume what I don’t know), it can be expected you’ll finish elementary school, then high school, and then go to some sort of college or university. Aside from dropping out of high school, or choosing the wrong major the first year and screwing everything up *cough*, it’s hard to veer off course. That’s really all you have to do to be successful at that age.

Between the ages of 20 and 29, however, you can really fuck it all up or make it work. You can drop out of school and work at Pizza Pizza forever. You can get married and have kids. You can get hired at a giant company and start climbing the corporate ladder. You can move out and buy a house or you can still live with your parents.
There’s just so much uncertainty, and what seems like so many ways to fail, in the next decade.

I’m sure I’ll come to terms with it.

Every year, when I turn a new age, I think “Holy shit on my next birthday I’ll be 17/18/19/20. Shit, that’s old. My god.”
But, by the time my next birthday rolls around, I’m ready to move on. It’s weird how that works.