Browsing "Work"
Dec 7, 2011 -

Well, That Was Unexpected

I just got in from the staff holiday party put on by the company for which I’m working this winter. This was quite a treat. I did get a dinner out from the crazies at the RV park in Oliver (which was rather shocking), but otherwise this is my first staff party since the 2003 holiday season. Oh, we got a staff party when I worked the government, but we had to pay to attend, so it doesn’t count.

We had the party at the Regent Restaurant, here in Lethbridge. They serve Canadian-Chinese food. The owners ordered a variety of dishes and we ate family style. It was very good! There were a few chicken dishes, some beef, assorted vegetables, noodles, and rice. Chinese food is at the bottom of the list of cuisines I’d go out for, but I don’t hate it, I just find that it tastes like junk food. This stuff didn’t. If someone was to ask me to recommend a Chinese restaurant in Lethbridge, I’d say I’ve only been to the Regent and I can recommend it.

Everyone was given an envelope and I didn’t think much of it, assuming it’d be a thank you/happy holiday card. I opened it in the car and, sure, enough, that was it. But there was something else in the envelope, too, something that shocked me so much it took five minutes for me to recover enough to be able to drive. I’ll just say it was the most generous bonus cheque I’ve ever been given and I was able to order myself an iPad when I got home.

I’m off to stare at my Amazon order confirmation for a while. I don’t expect delivery until the New Year, but it’s on its way. Amazing.

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Alberta, Canada, Communications & Electronics, Finances, iPad, Nice Folks, Restaurants, Social, Travel, Work    12 Comments
Dec 2, 2011 -

Five Jobs Everyone In the World Should Have At Some Point

My guilty pleasure over coffee every morning is to see what’s new at cracked.com. This morning’s article about Five Jobs Everyone In the World Should Have At Some Point made me reflect on my own job path and how my various work experiences have shaped who I am today.

#5 on their list is waiting tables

I’ve never done that, but I have worked extensively in the customer service world, both in retail and in hospitality. I agree with the article that serving others tells you a lot about yourself and can influence how you treat others.

#4 is something with kids

My baby-sitting career lasted from about age eight to about age 20 and then I said, never again! But, again, I agree with the article that working with kids gave me a sense of being an adult and of being responsible. I wasn’t just watching kids for an evening. It could be for a stretch of a couple of weeks. I also supervised mentally handicapped adults during this period of my life, again for weeks at a stretch, while being responsible for the full running of the household. I felt more like an adult during those years than I have since.

#3 is tech support of any kind

I wore many hats during my first position in the Federal government, and one of them was telecom officer. I was responsible for getting phones hooked up, walking people through the set up of personal options, and troubleshooting problems. I was also the conference room scheduler who had to know how all the equipment worked, from the conference call telephones to the projectors. Yeah, I certainly learned how to deal patiently with people who don’t speak the same language as me.

#2 is something where you have power

I’ve had roles with weak power in the past, but nothing like my current position. I have the full weight of the Alberta tenancy act behind me in dealing with deadbeats and jerks. I decide if someone is going to get an apartment or not, if I’m going to be patient with late rent or evict them, let them have the cat, put up with their party, etc. I’ve never had a job like this before and I am shocked to discover that I am good at it. The comment I get from all my tenants, even those I have to be strict with, is that I’m the best manager they’ve had. I’ve discovered that I know how to use power positively and that I can command respect. This job has been transformative and I am truly grateful for the experience.

#1 is something mindless/labour intensive

I experienced this at the nursery in Oliver. My mind is too active for this kind of work, but I am glad to know that I can do it, that I can put in an almost relentless eight-hour day of bending and lifting or assembling cardboard boxes, one where there is no doubt that I have earned my supper.

I think that there is one job missing from this list, or, rather, there should be a sixth. Everyone should try working for themselves for a while. By doing so, I’ve discovered that I am actually a very disciplined person.

Now, would you believe that this post only covers about half of the jobs I’ve had? 😀

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Finances, Work    6 Comments
Dec 1, 2011 -

Another “No Update” Update

I just survived another rent collection day. I can’t believe I only have three left! Even though I will have ultimately spent a year in Lethbridge, it really doesn’t feel that way since I’ve changed location and circumstances.

I’m having fun working on the route I’ll take in the fall, trying to cram in as many states I haven’t been to as possible. I’d like to be able to hit about half of them going east and then the other half when I come back west. And then I’ll just have to schedule a trip to Hawaii. 😉

For those who are curious, these are the States I still haven’t set foot in:

1) Alabama
2) Arkansas
3) Hawaii
4) Idaho
5) Iowa
6) Kansas
7) Kentucky
8) Louisiana
9) Mississippi
10) Missouri
11) Nebraska
12) New Mexico
13) Ohio
14) Oklahoma
15) South Dakota
16) Tennessee
17) Texas
18) Utah
19) Wyoming

I think it’d be easy to figure out a round trip circuit that would include all of these States except Hawaii as they are all clustered together. I’ve basically done the entire east and west coasts, New England, and the states around the Great Lakes, plus Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado. That leaves me most of the midwest (including Wyoming), the southwest (including Utah), and the south.

"I can't wait to get back on the road again"

The weather here is still surprisingly decent. We had a nasty snow storm on Wednesday, but it’s since warmed up (all I needed today was my fleece sweater). That said, this is my least favourite weather: it warms up during the day so everything melts… and then it gets frigid at night and everything freezes. Can we say slick?

Miranda is doing well. I haven’t measured the temperature inside her with just the one heater, but we haven’t really hit frigid yet except for a couple of nights. I’ve lived in her in this kind of weather with just the one heater and been comfortable, so I’m not worried about anything at this point. I do keep hoping for free daylight hours in warmish weather to get some work done in her. I’d like to take advantage of the rig being cat-free to do a really thorough deep clean and de-furring before the spring.

That is all at my end. I’ve had a very long day and have no transcription so collapsing into a muddle of exhaustion sounds good to me right now.

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Alberta, Canada, Cats, Cleaning, Finances, Homemaking, Itineraries, Personal, Travel, USA, Weather, Work    9 Comments
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