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Back in June, the company that I work for decided to cut everybody’s hours and salary, because they aren’t making any money and they didn’t want to lay anybody off. It was a shitty situation, but I guess it was handled the best way it could have. Instead of laying off one or two employees, every employee got a pay cut. The good news: I don’t work Mondays anymore. The bad news: I don’t make very much money.
In July, my friend Albert told me the Ford dealership he works at was looking for a shop cleanup person. It didn’t sound like very exciting work, but it paid more than minimum wage, and it offered convenient hours and a location close by. I decided to take the job, expecting to get around 10 hours per week. Instead, they have me working 20 hours a week, which is good for the money situation, but not so good for the time-and-social-life situation.
I now work Tuesday to Thursday from 7:30am to 4:30pm at my day job, then from 5pm to 9pm at the shop. Those are some long days. I also work Saturdays from 8am to 4pm, which isn’t very fun.
The job itself isn’t too bad. It’s dirty, though. I empty garbage cans into the dumpster, crush up boxes, clean up oil spills, scrub the floors and generally clean up whatever’s messy. I work with good people, there’s no stress and it’s physical labour, which means I get a bit of exercise. The issue is I don’t have nearly as much free time as I used to. Tuesday to Thursday is basically a write-off, because I’m working from 7:30 in the morning to 9 at night. Friday nights are affected because I have to get up early to work on Saturday.
I know it sounds like I’m complaining, but in reality, I think this is good for me. I’m hoping it’s only for the short term, since my day job hopes to have everyone back at 100% by the end of the year.
Update! Just yesterday, my company notified us that they are doing better financially and are bringing everyone back to 100% pay and hours. I put in my two week’s notice today at Ford, so starting in October, I’ll have normal weekends again, not to mention more time during the week. Yay!
The trip was a success! We rode hard for four days and got to Montreal around 8pm on Monday June 30th. It was a lot of riding and a lot of work, but also a lot of fun.
Thanks to the generosity and support of a bunch of people, we more than doubled our goal of raising $1000. Our final count came to $2100! Thanks to everyone who donated, including family members, friends, coworkers, the fine people at Marigold Ford in Whitby, Coach Canada for the free bus ride home and everyone else who contributed or helped out in any way.
We met at Spencer’s house on Friday morning at 7am for a little send-off party. We presented the money we raised to Wyatt’s aunt, took some photos and then we were off. Within four minutes, we had our first breakdown. Spencer broke the first of many spokes. It took a good 25 minutes or so to get fixed, then we were off again. As we were turning into Darlington Provincial Park, I took a little spill on some loose gravel. Luckily, I didn’t get hurt and nothing on my bike was affected. As soon as we left the park, I got a flat tire. Ten minutes later, I got another one.
So, within the first hour or so, we had three breakdowns and one wipeout. It got better from there. Spencer’s spokes broke almost routinely throughout the ride, but the frequency decreased as the days went on. It wasn’t horrible though – spoke breaks provided us with a little break to get off the bike and stretch.
We had a good time in Montreal, checking out the sights, eating at different restaurants and drinking at different bars and pubs. It’s a nice city, like a smaller, Frencher Toronto. While we were there, we got to check out a little bit of the Jazz Festival, which drew a lot of crowds.
Over the next week or so, I’ll write about some of the highlights of the trip and upload some pictures.
I recently learned the true meaning of that phrase. About a month and a half ago, I was contacted out of the blue by an old friend from university. He is working for a consulting company in the USA, and was looking to hire a programmer/database guy for their Canadian office. The job sounded great at first, with a nice salary, an interesting work environment and there was even a career path already mapped out for me. The only reservation I had was that the job was in Oakville, which is about 100km west of where I currently live.
After talking with my friend for a bit, the possibility of getting the job sounded very promising. He told me if it were up to him, he’d hire me right away, but of course it wouldn’t be that easy.
Almost immediately, my mind started racing with thoughts of relocating to a new city for this new job. The very next weekend, I drove out to Oakville to get a feel for the town and see what it was like. I started thinking about finding a new place to live, how soon I would be able to move and all the other things that come with a big life changing event.
As time passed, I got a bit more information about parts of the job, and about relocating/commuting. That last part really put my mind at ease. My friend basically told me to try commuting for the first month or so, and then figure out how close or far away I could move to keep a balance between getting to work and still being close to my family, friends and everything else in Whitby that I’m used to.
As the hiring process continued, I had several phone interviews. They went very well, except for the last one. In this particular interview, I was asked a lot of tough technical questions, and I had no idea how to answer them. Suddenly, the job was not what it originally appeared to be – it was sort of similar to what I do now, but not really…
Needless to say, I was contacted several days later and was informed they would be moving forward with several other applicants. They thanked me for my time and that was that.
Overall, the entire process was interesting, but the time and stress could have been lessened if so many assumptions weren’t made from the start. I learned a lot, and I’ll take that with me moving forward. It was a long, drawn out process, and even though things didn’t work out, I’m glad it’s finally over, because the uncertainty was annoying.
My piece of shit car was deemed too unsafe to even be tested for the Ontario Drive Clean emissions test, so I couldn’t get my plates renewed. The car’s not worth fixing, so I’m looking for a newer car at the moment. But that’s not what this post is about.
One of my coworkers lives near me, and offered to drive me to and from work until I get a car, which was really nice of her. I had to adjust my schedule, since she starts at 7:30am and I used to start at 8. Today was the first day and it was a bit rough getting up earlier, but that’s not what this post is about either.
So anyway… on our way to work, we stopped by Tim Horton’s to get morning coffee and tea. When we got to the drive through window, the cashier informed us the lady in the car ahead of us paid for our order! That was a pleasant surprise and brought a smile to our faces. My driver (the nice coworker, not a real chauffeur), in turn, paid for the order of whoever was in the car behind us. Hopefully it sparked some sort of chain reaction that continued all day, but I’ll never know how far the giving went.
I have heard of this sort of thing happening before, but never seen it firsthand. I hope the nice lady in front of us had a great day.