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Friday, August 27, 2010

What Do You Need To Get A Job?

The only thing you need to find a job ... is another job.

In the ten months that I was unemployed I must have sent off close to 100 resumes, registered with at least 15 agencies, was a daily visitor on and, visited numerous company and agency websites and stayed in touch with employment agency consultants. All for nothing.

Now that I have a job, now suddenly the job offers come out of the woodwork. In three days I received no less than four offers.
I turned them down. You know what they say about rather having one bird in the hand than two in the bush.

Years ago I was in a similar situation. I had a great job and received a job offer for more money, a lot more money. I made the move and came to regret it.

Not only was the work boring and the boss a real jerk, the location was the pits and you know what they say ... location, location, location.

So in this case I decided to stick to the job that I have, take it day by day and see what happens. I’m happy where I am, so why change?
There is a lot to learn, so there is a fair amount of stress, but I’m coping. Today for the first time I actually had a good day with a minimum on hassles.

Well, it was a good day, right up until 4:00 p.m.
I was near the completion of a particular job, hit the wrong button on my keyboard and lost all my work. I nearly flipped. All that work for nothing. Now I have to start all over again tomorrow. Fortunately the prep work has been done, so the second time around shouldn’t take too long.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Expendables

I don’t really like going to the movies, but for Sylvester Stallone I make an exception.

Any movie that he wrote, directed or starred in is bound to be good and has to be seen on the big screen.

For his latest creation, he called upon a bunch of other trouble makers of various ages, colors and sizes and called it ‘The Expendables’. The result is an action packed story with lots of fighting, guns and explosions. I mean really, the stunt coordinators and special effects department must have had a ball.

The movie captured attention right from the start and managed to hold it. No lovey dovey stuff, no endless dialogue, just violence, violence and more violence. But good violence. And the guns ... impressive doesn’t really begin to describe it.

In ‘The Expendables’ Stallone shows how to deal with the Somalia pirates. If reality followed Stallone’s example how to deal with pirates, they would think twice about hijacking any more ships.

As for the rest of Stallone methods on how to deal with drugs, revolution etc. ... maybe we should make him the head of the military and send him the middle east, things would be zipped up and buttoned down in no time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Was yesterday national boob day?

My goodness but the ladies were showing off their assets yesterday. Young and old, big and small, perky optimistic and very depressed looking boobs, they were all on show.

Perhaps you think it’s strange that I, as a woman, notice these things. Well, actually, I didn’t, at first. But then I got on the subway train and even though a number of seats were available, a lot of men preferred to stand.

Why were they standing when they could sit down? Where they stretching their legs in preparation of hours of sitting? Were they gallant for future female passengers? No, they weren’t, they were enjoying the view.

Yes, that’s when I noticed it too. Two double D-cup women were sitting down, wearing something that displayed a lot, and I do mean a lot, of cleavage. The men were grouped around these two like flies around a pot of jam.

The women wore office attire, so they were obviously on their way to work. Women like that make me wonder if they know anything about office etiquette. A lot has been said and written about what to wear and what not to wear to work. Surely they know that such low cut tops are not appropriate office wear.

Which makes me wonder about the men these women work with ... can the men concentrate on their jobs with such ‘distractions’?
For their sake I hope those men aren’t engineers (making precision calculations), high rise window washers (from the outside looking in) or operators of band saws (ouch).

In turn I wonder about sexual harassment in the workplace. If some ladies are on the receiving end of glares, stares, brush ups, wolf whistles or something a little less subtle, can you blame the men?

Monday, August 16, 2010

First day on the job

After being unemployed for ten months and staying up until 3:00 a.m. each night, I was more than a little nervous about going to bed last night. I figured I would lay awake half the night.
The knowledge that my alarm would go off at 5:30 and I would have to get up with only a few hours of sleep, if any, make me even more nervous.

Yet this was not the case.

I preparation for my first early night, I had made myself a cup of extra strong chamomile tea (two teabags in one cup).
The results were satisfactory. By the time I went to bed, shortly after eleven, I was sort of tired and by some miracle I fell asleep within fifteen minutes.

When the alarm went off this morning, I felt fine. I didn’t exactly leap out of bed, but I didn’t crawl out either. It was all much better than expected.

My first day on the job was filled with new experiences. Lots of new people to meet and places to find. The set up of the offices is a true labyrinth, it’s gonna take weeks before I knew my way around.

Everything looks promising though. Good location, friendly people, nice work ... I think this will be alright.
The pay could be a bit better but okay, maybe I can do something about that in the future.

On a different note ... we went to see the bank manager today.
Remember the plans to sell our condo? Well, as it turns out we qualify for a mortgage and as such we’re no longer looking for a place to rent. Now we’re looking for a place to buy.

Stay tuned for updates.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


For the first time in years, I’ve stayed awake on a Sunday afternoon.

I’m a notorious napper. Most weekends I have the best of intentions to stay awake in the afternoon and do something useful, but after lunch I usually feel so tired I have to go down for a nap.
When I do, I’m off to zzzzzzzz-land in minutes.

It’s quite different at night. I only go to bed when I’m tired, very tired, falling over – can’t keep my eyes open tired. The moment I get into bed though, I’m wide awake.
Then I lay there, staring at the ceiling, waiting for the sandman to come. Sometimes he comes within the hour, sometimes he doesn’t show up until first light.

So no nap for me this afternoon. I want to be properly tired for tonight.

As long as I was unemployed and spent my days at home, this was not a problem, I didn’t have to get up in the morning, but now that has changed. As from tomorrow morning I have to get up at 5:30 a.m. I can no longer afford to stay up until all hours of the night and then to wait until it’s convenient for the sandman to show up. Can you imagine dozing off at 5:00 and having to get up at 5:30?

I briefly considered getting a sleeping aid, but after reading up about those pills on the Internet, I think I’ll pass. I’ll just make myself a cup of strong chamomile tea and hope for the best.

It’s not easy being a night owl.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Talking with Tom Cruise

Saturday is bowling day.
Dieter did beautifully.
He played: 191 – 194 – 194 – 211 – 175.
My scores ... oh, let’s not go there. Suffice to say that I finished on a high note ... 200 on the dot.

Where it comes to gambling I was kind of hopeful that I would win big this weekend, either on Friday with Max Millions or today with Lotto 649, but except for two free tickets, I won nothing. 

Excuse me for being hopeful, but take a look at my horoscope for yesterday. Now wouldn't you be hopeful too?

Expect some great news regarding money, possibly professional advancement. You may have to control the urge to break into tears of joy, Gemini. A female friend could be going through some heavy changes and might want your support. Your best course of action would be to listen rather than offer advice. You may have to try hard to control yourself, however. The situation could defy all reason.

As I’m a little short of inspiration today, I would like to tell you about an embarrassing experience at work a couple of years ago. It involves Tom Cruise, but that’s all I’m gonna say. If you want to know more, here’s the link:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Are breasts important while job hunting?

Goodbye to Workopolis, goodbye to Monster, goodbye to so many job sites I frequented on a daily basis over the past few months.
I won’t be visiting anymore because I found a job. It’s not exactly my dream job, but as everyone keeps telling me, it’s better than nothing.

Better than nothing yes, but it is a shame that experienced staff has to settle for less, while young dolly birds get the good jobs.

You might have heard that looks are not important while job hunting. Forget it, they are important. I recently wrote an article on the subject, so instead of repeating myself, the article can be found here:

By the same token, they same that honesty is important. I disagree on that too.
In 2008 I worked with someone, let’s call her Samantha, who blatantly cheated on her time sheet. We were both temps, but while I recorded my working hours accurately, she added 2 to 5 hours per week to her time sheet.

As I worked for the accounts department at the time, I picked up on the fraud and pointed it out to the financial director. Nothing was done about it.

I spoke to the temp on the subject too and asked her to stop.
“No way,” she said, “the sooner I have my 500 hours, the sooner I will qualify to be hired full-time.”

To cut a long story short, the financial director knew about her deceit, HR knew about it and the agency Samantha worked for knew about it too. All of them closed their eyes to the fraudulent time sheet.

Then the day came that I met Samantha. So far we had only spoken on the phone and communicated via email, but during a lunch meeting I met her face to face.
And suddenly all became clear. Truth be told her face was not the first thing I noticed, her breasts were.
Excuse me, but they were hard to miss. Forget double D, they were at least triple D.

They were fully covered by a turtleneck sweater, but the sweater was so tight, nothing was left to the imagination. As were the leggings she wore that day. Skintight, revealing every curve of her size 12 voluptuous body.

I suddenly understood why the manager who signed his approval on Samantha’s time sheet didn’t see the extra hours she declared … he was too busy looking at other ‘things’.

I don't have such 'things', at least not such big 'things', so I guess I'll have to be happy with any type of job I can get.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday Night - Bowling Night

Tuesday night, bowling night. And a good night it was. See for yourself.

Dieter : 209 - 150 - 192 = 551(average 183.6)

Me      : 182 - 174 - 180 = 536 (average 178.6)

I was very pleased.

When we came home the cats got their dinner, we had some dinner, we watched an episode of ‘Castle’ and then ... then the moment we had been dreading came ... giving Gabriel his eye ointment.

Earlier in the day I had tried sneaking up on him while he was sleeping, but the little bugger saw me coming with the tube and legged it where I couldn’t follow him, under my bed.

Tonight we made it a two man job. Dieter held Gabriel and I approached from behind. Gabriel is smart, but I’m smarter.
There was some wiggling and squirming, but I managed to get the ointment in his eye.

His eye already looks a lot better. There is no more redness and the swelling is gone.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A visit to the vet

Have you ever tried given a cat medication? If you have you know what a battle it can be.

Gabriel has an eye infection and even though some type of human eye medication was recommended to me to treat the condition, I rather played it safe and took him to the vet.

In his carrier, in the cab, he cried all the way there. At home he hardly says a ‘word’ but now he recited a whole dictionary.

At the vet Gabriel turned into a little angel. He didn’t mind being examined and he didn’t protest one little bit when the doctor put the ointment in his eye.

I thought administering the ointment myself was going to be a breeze. Yeah right.

When I tried to put the medication in his eye, he wiggled and squirmed, kicked and slapped me and generally turned into a little lion that wouldn’t be tamed.

He’s supposed to get that medication three times a day for the next seven days. Perhaps the vet should have sent a team of nurses along to help me with this task.

I’ll try again when he’s sleeping. Maybe I’ll have better luck then.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Can real estate agents read?

We had some excitement this morning.

While having breakfast I suddenly heard the sound of dripping water on the balcony. Was it raining? No, it was our upstairs neighbor’s balcony leaking water for some reason.

This has happened before, but not as severe as this morning. On previous occasions there was just a bit of dripping of water. At the time I thought our neighbor was watering his plants and our balcony was the recipient of a little excess.

This morning it was quite different. The dripping changed into pouring and what pooled on the balcony floor wasn’t clear, but soapy water. To the best of my knowledge nobody tends to their flowers with soap and water. Within no time my balcony flowers were ‘knee deep’ in the soapy stuff and it was time to do something.

I considered going upstairs and asking my neighbor what was going on, when I remembered going up there to ask him to stop banging on the walls at all hours of the day.
His reply at the time was ‘Shut up’, followed by slamming the door in my face.

So, this time I played it smart ... I called the superintendent of our building and he could take care of the soapy problem.

The super took one look at the flooded balcony and went straight upstairs. Minutes later the downpour stopped.
Problem solved. No idea what caused it though.

As for an update on the real estate problem ... I'm wondering about estate agents' intelligence.

Now that we are in the market for a new place to live, I went on the Remax and Centure 21 websites and completed their little questionnaire regarding what kind of new property we are looking for.

I selected condos, townhouses, lofts and houses as possibilities, with the must have of: A/C, close to public transportation and pets allowed. Within 24 hours a representative of Century 21 sent me a message with two possible condos he found.
Both of them had no A/C, were miles away from public transportation and had a no pets allowed policy.

Makes you kind of wonder, doesn’t it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Moving time

Well, the shit has hit the fan. The real estate shit that is. We’re gonna have to move soon.

I got a call from our landlord this morning, announcing that he is planning on selling our condo. We’re just having no luck.

Ten years ago we came to the building and moved in in unit 504. A little over a year later the landlord sold the place.

In the same building we moved to unit 402. A little over a year later the landlord sold the place.

From there we moved, still in the same building, to unit 502. A little over a year later the landlord ... you guessed it, sold the place.

That’s when we moved into the unit we are in now. In this unit we’ve been for about 6 years, but now, now it’s selling time again.

Damn it and we just recently fixed the place up. We painted everywhere and modernized the kitchen.

The building is far from ideal, but over the years it’s become home.

It also has a very convenient location. Within walking distance of the subway station, close to stores, close to the bowling alley and everything else we need.

It’s not moving that worries me, it’s the price of rental units. At the price we’re renting now, we’ll never find anything similar.

We’re considering buying the place, that way we’ll never have to move again, but do we really want to do that? Over the years the quality of residents in this building has gone down and the management and Board of Directors are far from ideal.

Along with the downsides, the building does have some good points. The units are large and the balconies are enormous.
We’ve seen other condos in the past and my goodness, in comparison those are shoeboxes.

What will the future bring? The real estate future that is.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My first

Beautiful, isn’t it? And they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

This is not the type of book I usually buy, my favorite authors are: Maeve Binchy, Sheila O’Flanagan, Marian Keyes, Penny Vinchenzi, Santa Montefiore, Joy Fielding, Erica James, Maureen Lee, Janet Evanovitch and Dan Brown, but since I am switching to e.books to read on the iPad I wanted to try something.

Plus, I got a promotional email from Kobo today, advertizing books for as little as 99 cents. I have to admit, I love a bargain, so this was an offer I couldn’t pass up.

So far so good, the story is a little old fashioned, but it’s entertaining enough.
Plus I have an interview at 12:00 on Monday and a doctor’s appointment at 2:00, so I need something to read on the train and in the waiting room.

Reading on the iPad is quite nice.
The reader has a choice in displaying the book pages in white, cream or black. I prefer cream, softer on the eyes than white. The reader also has the option of different types of font sizes. Nice as even with bifocals I have trouble seeing small letters.

That’s not all I use the iPad for of course, but that’s a story for another day.

For now I leave you with a story of a time when I was a complete idiot. I mean, you have to read it to believe it ...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Good bowling

Today being Tuesday we went bowling tonight.

Dieter: 199 – 163 – 134
Me: 213 – 157 – 178

I did pretty good hu.
I was a little ticked off though. In the first game I left the 10th frame open. If I had closed it I could have had a 223 or even a 233.
Still, I was very pleased.

On a different note ... the court case that was to be (re. the A/C in our condo) is not to be. Dieter asked me not to go through with it.

I got notified today that the court date is set for August 20 (small claims court) but Dieter thinks it’s too risky.

The future of our condo hangs in the balance as it is (landlord wants to change management companies) and with this complaint, he might just want to sell.

I agreed because quite frankly I don’t want to be blamed. Suppose the landlord wants to sell, then it will always be a case of ... what if we hadn’t complained?

As Dieter said, it’s not the landlord’s fault or our management’s company’s fault that the A/C malfunctioned, it’s the management of this building’s fault and its Board of Directors.

I can see his point, so I agreed.
But as I said to him ... this is exactly why people put up with all kinds of shit, fear.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A resolution for August

I’m taking a break.

My goal this month is to write three article per day. This may seem easy to you, but judging by past experiences this will be tough for me.
Some days I manage two or three articles per day, most days I only manage one.

Too many things get in the way: sleeping, emails, looking at job sites and applying for positions, commenting on forums, spending time on Facebook, tending to my farm on Farmville, tending to my garage at Car Town ... you know what I mean. Playing is nicer than working.

I also lose a lot of time looking for suitable titles to write to. If I had titles all mapped out for me, that would definitely save time.

Gosh what did I ever do before the computer and especially the Internet came along? I remember those days, I was bored.
I would wander through the house, looking for something to do.

I remember knitting, I knitted one sweater after another. I remember crocheting, needle pointing and even doing some bead work. It’s a good thing I lost interest in that, because my eyes aren’t anymore what they used to be.

And then I got my first computer and everything changed. How long ago? Well, let me put it this way. The boy in the picture is Dieter and he is thirty now.

I was so pleased with my new friend. I even wrote an article about him.