Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{March 12, 2008}   Happy Work-iversary to Me!

One year and one week and one day ago, I was unemployed and seriously wondering how I was going to continue to pay my rent, buy groceries, and basically, well, live.  I was filling out the necessary paperwork to postponing the onset of my massive student loan payments on the basis of abject poverty.  I was pouring over job posting after job posting, all of which I was either way over- or way underqualified for.  Then, one year and one week ago, I had a meeting.  Then, one year and three days ago, I was offered a job.  A job with a description that was pretty much written for me.  At a cool place, doing very cool work.  A job with a paycheque.  And benefits.  And pretty business cards.  And a swanky office with a view of the mountains.  A big girl job.

Happy workiversary to me.


{August 28, 2007}  

In the space of twenty-four hours, three people have asked me for advice on whether they should make a major career change. Which I find a bit funny, seeing as I’m the one who was so recently unemployed and couldn’t even find a job for six months.

{July 10, 2007}   Hair Stylist

As you may recall, awhile back I got a new haircut. I went to a new salon where I’d never been before and I brought Danielle & Sarah as my consultants, resulting in me getting a great new ‘do. Well, as it turns out, hair grows and when you have bangs, you can’t really go for three months without at least getting a trim or you won’t have bangs anymore. So, with my bangs down to my chin, I finally found the time to go and get my hair cut again. I went back to the same girl who cut my hair last time, because I really liked the job she did. And I was *shocked* at what a good memory she had! She remembered virtually everything about my one and only visit to her. The first words out of her mouth when she saw me was “You didn’t bring a group of friends with you this time?” She asked how Sarah had liked her haircut and if she’d gone back to Ontario, she asked how my roommate was doing, she remembered that I’d been divorced and asked me how “the single life” was treating me. She remembered how long my hair was before my last cut and noticed the change in colour (which she didn’t like… “too orange for your complexion,” she said, “and not enough variety – you need highlights”1). I made sure to give her a good tip, because she does a really good job cutting my hair and because I’m sure she’ll remember me the next time I go back and I want her to remember me as a good tipper so she’ll continue to give me good hair cuts!

On a related – and funny – note, the reason I had to find a new hair stylist to begin with is that my ex and I used to go to the same stylist. When we broke up, neither of us wanted to be the one to tell her – we were afraid that she’d be so upset that she’d screw up our haircuts (you just have to know this women… trust me, there’s a high likelihood that that is what would have happened). So, for a while, I continued to go to her and she’d ask me how my ex was (thinking he was my non-ex) and I’d say “he’s fine” and he continued going to her and she’d ask him “how is Beth doing?” and he’d say “she’s fine.” It wasn’t that bad for me, as I only get my hair cut like twice a year anyway, but eventually (a) I just got tired of answering the “how’s he doing?” question and (b) due to my extended period of funemployment, I could no longer afford a haircut that cost more than $8, so I eventually just stopped going to her. Well, not too long ago I was chatting with the ex and he informed me that the old stylist *still* doesn’t know that we are broken up (even though it’s been almost 2 years (!) now and he gets his haircut like every siz weeks or so) and still asks how I’m doing and, on his most recent visit, told him, “Oh, you two are going to have kids soon, aren’t you? I can just tell!” It’s like the stuff that bad sitcoms are made of.

1Which I’m sure in no way reflected her bitterness that I’d had Dani dye my hair with stuff from a box that cost $11 instead of having the stylist do it for $100+.

{June 21, 2007}   Feast or Famine

Remember back when I didn’t have a job, and couldn’t seem to find one? Now I have three!

In addition to my regular 4 days per week job, I recently got hired for two part-time jobs for 2007-2008. In addition to my current job, I will be teaching (a) third-year university students1 and (b) grade 3s. So very, very excited about this!

1this is tentative, budget dependent

I’m sitting at Calhoun’s right now, drinking coffee and availing myself of the free wifi*. I’m sitting on the patio. In the sunshine. Wearing sunglasses. No jacket. In FEBRUARY!!

I was lured out of my dark dank basement suite by the sounds of birds singing! I’m not making that up. Friggin‘ birds were friggin‘ singing outside my friggin‘ window. In the sunshine. In February. The Weather Network claims that it is 9 degrees out**, and Environment Canada would have you believe it is 8 degrees. This is complete bullshit. It must be at least 15. It’s gorgeous. I’m pretty sure this is a conspiracy to keep the rest of the country from knowing how amazing it is here, as we have no room for any more people to move here.

Also, I’m going to a blogging conference tomorrow – Northern Voice! It’s two days – tomorrow is Moose Camp, the unconference and Saturday is the more conferency part. I’m volunteering because I didn’t have the $50*** it costs to attend. I’m really looking forward to it – it sounds like there is going to be a lot of really cool sessions, and it’s sold out and so I’ll get the chance to meet lots of really cool people. My friend Phillip is going, so I’ll at least know one of the attendees. No doubt you’ll be hearing all about it from me over the next couple of days.

*Free because UBC made a deal with fatport where anyone with a UBC Campus Wide Login (CWL) can use any fatport in Vancouver for free. Apparently it is a one-year trial. Of course, being
UBC, they didn’t bother to actually advertise this, so hardly anyone I’ve talked to knows about it. I only know about it because I have connections.

**That’s 9 degrees Celsius. For my American friends, that’s 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

***Yes, I’m aware that $50 is a fantastic deal for a 2 day conference. But I’m ungainfully unemployed, so to me that it a prohibitive amount. Thankfully Darren & Cyprien, two of the organizers, took pity on me and are letting me volunteer.

As you can see from the “Events” list on my Facebook sidebar thingy*, I’m a busy girl for the next week. So I thought I’d share with y’all some of the exciting things I’m doing. And for one of them, you can even play along at home!

Next Thursday, I’m going to “Danielle and Beth’s First Shower Power.” Hosted by my friend Kalev, the tagline for the event is: “because all girls should see wet naked men shower in a gay bar before they die.” That’s right, Thursday nights at the Odyssey feature a shower on the dancefloor. And you get to watch the hot naked men shower. For some reason, this seems like something that Courtney would want to attend.

This Sunday is the “Aggies Roosters Run”; tagline: “Because Aggies do it best.”** Roosters is a country bar out in Pitt Meadows. Piling a bunch of Aggies on a schoolbus with a lot of beer and taking them to a country bar is a definite recipe to ensure that the event lives up to its Facebook “event type”: “Party – Night of Mayhem.”

The third event, and the one where you can play along at home, is called “Lights Out” – tagline: “.. Take part in the greatest mobilisation of citizens against Climate Change!” Utilizing my mad cut and paste skills, I give you a summary of the event:

The “Alliance pour la Planète” (a national grouping of environmental associations) appeals to all citizens to give the planet 5 minutes respite :

Everybody to extinguish all their lights and illuminations and turn off equipment on stand-by on the 1st February 2007 from 18h55 until 19h00. (GMT)

The purpose is not just to save electricity for 5 minutes that day, but to draw the attention of citizens, the media and the authorities to the waste of energy and the need to initiate action! 5 minutes respite for the planet: that’s not long, it costs nothing and will show our politicians that climate change is something which should figure prominently in political debates.

Why the 1st February? Because that is the day on which the latest report of the United Nations Panel of Experts is to be released in Paris.

Although this event is scheduled to take place in France, we should not miss this opportunity of drawing attention to the global climatic situation.

If we all participate our actions will have great public and political resonance, at an important moment in our political life.!

Please make this appeal as widely known as possible in your own circles and networks ! please also publish it on your websites and in your newsletters.

So dont just stop after this little event but carry on everyday being aware of the little things that you can do to save our world.

Further clarification on the site indicates that you should actually be doing this at 6:55 pm local time, so no need to do any conversions to GMT.

*I think it’s actually called a “badge,” but I was never a girl scout, so I don’t do badges. To me, it’s a “thingy”

**Having never done an Aggie myself, I cannot verify nor deny this claim.

{January 17, 2007}   Career Fair

Does anyone else see the humour in the fact that this Career Fair poster features a photo of an unemployed graduate of one of the sponsoring Faculties??

In related news, I saw a job posting for a Professor of Potato Storage Physiology. Would you really want to have that as your job title??

I know you’ve all been dying to know what a Dr. Coat Check girl looks like on New Year’s Eve. Well, wonder no longer:

Props to Jessica (the other girl in the photo and the hostess that I worked with on NYE) for having a camera to snap this photo.

Yup, that’s right, it’s day #3 of my attempt at posting every day and I’m already phoning it in.

{December 31, 2006}   I’ve Been Traded!

As you may have heard, I’m spending my New Year’s Eve as a coat check girl. Well, I just found out that I’ve been traded to a different bar! It’s a bigger venue and I’m told that the clientele there is older, so here’s hoping that translates to bigger tips!

{December 27, 2006}   I’m Officially a Cliché

I’m going to spend my New Year’s Eve working as a coat check girl/hostess. In a bar. That’s Dr. Coat Check girl to you.

{September 1, 2006}   Woman of Leisure

So, I think I could get used to this whole being unemployed thing… if only the pay was better. The other day I was just chillaxin’ at a coffee shop on Dunbar, reading a book and drinking my coffee and it turned out that the guy at the next table was a local radio talk show host. I never would have known this if an older lady hadn’t started talking to him (and pulling me into the conversation as well), insisting that she knew this guy and repeatedly stating, “I can’t believe you don’t remember me!” even as he was repeatedly stating, “No, I don’t know you.” After she left I asked him what radio show he worked on and he told me he had his own talk show for years, “but now I just read novels [indicates the novel he’s reading] and get accosted by strange old ladies who think they know me.” It was a strange little incident, and it made me wonder how many times I’ve encountered (pseudo)celebrities and been totally oblvious to the fact.

Yesterday was the grad student orientation at UBC, so myself and a couple of colleagues had a table to recruit new volunteers for Let’s Talk Science. It was specifically requested that I wear my traffic stopping shoes so as to dazzle unsuspecting new grad students with my fine footwear, rendering them so befuddled that they will sign up for the program. Mission accomplished.

Oh yes, and with my free time I’ve decided to become a contributor to the illustrious Urban Dictionary. In truth, I’ve wanted to do this for some time, but never had a new defintion to contribute until now. I was recently made aware of a unique term which apparently originates in Port Alberni, BC. And thus I give you: snug (I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out which of the definitions of “snug” I contributed). If you approve of this definition, please click the “thumbs up” next to it to voice your approval.

And I’m going to be a model. Now, I’ve already contemplated putting “model” on my resume, ever since Jorge took photos of me which he swears will go into his portfolio once he gets through his backlog of a gazillion photos he’s taken this summer. But now I’m really, really going to be a model – on brochures for grad programs in my Faculty. At least, I’m going into campus for the photo shoot… here’s hoping that the photos don’t turn out so hideous that I end up on the cutting room floor. And I’m not actually getting paid for it. Unless “tasty Starbucks beverage of your choice” is a recognized currency. Which around here, it is starting to sound like it might be.

In less exciting news, I didn’t get this job I’d applied for to teach Anatomy & Physiology at a local college*. In fairness, the job was listed as an ‘internal/external’ posting, so it is possible that they already had a staff member that could take the position and the posting was just procedure. Or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.

In more exciting news, roofing boy called…

*I don’t think I’ve actually mentioned this here on my blog, but there has been a bit of a snag with my Stanford postdoc and everything is kind of up in the air right now about if/when I will actually get to go there. Story of my life** these days, eh?

**For a succinct version of the story of my life these days, see Beth’s Law.

et cetera