Thursday, October 30, 2008

One Month In!

So, it's been a month since I've arrived on Canadian soil and I've been hunting for a decent job for a while now. Well, probably only the past 2 and a half weeks of serious looking since I managed to score a temping job with an agency but quickly realised that the agency would only give me the shitty jobs no one else wants to do!

I thought I could handle the admin type jobs, to get office experience, but after 3 weeks of doing nothing but make boxes, photocopy, occasionally be allowed the odd job of binding reports if I'm lucky and typing up other peoples terrible handwritten notes, has got to be one of the mindless jobs ever. I always thought doing nothing at work would be fun but I honestly do much prefer the fast-paced, stressful environment because I feel useful! Oh, did I mention I'm on reception for two hours a day - and spend the whole time on Facebook, Gmail or whatever other random site I feel like perusing.

Back to the job situation though - I've had a few interviews and was 'unsuccessful' even though I was 'great but just lack experience' (seriously you should be able to tell that from my RESUME so don't give me that bullshit) and instead of feeling knocked back, it's just making me more determined to get the job I really want.. which is heading into HR. Now, I've been told I need experience... but, there are loads of recruiting jobs which you don't need loads of experience for which is my foot into HR... so, let's hope my interview for a recruiting company tomorrow goes well. But then I also have an interview for another company which is a call centre type job - which would mean - way more friends because it's a large organization, better benefits, less stress and the potential to move up within the company... OR if I got the recruitment job with the smaller company.. it'd mean working with older people, more stressful BUT my foot in the HR door... I hate decisions. Then again I don't even know which (if any) of the jobs I will get so guess I will just need to wait and see.

Missing home a lot lately too. The warm weather, my car, friends, Spring Racing Carnival.... loving it here too, but ... hard without a car and I just feel like I am only half living here because the visa is restricting - like, can't get a car loan (not that I'd want to) and jobs are less willing to take you on because of your visa... but, persistence pays off!

More soon!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Simone *Hearts* Calgary

It has been two and a half weeks since Kirsty and I have shuffled ourselves over to the province of Alberta and set up a life in Calgary. At first, I hated it and was contemplating moving back to Vancouver but then I got a temp job working downtown and doing boring shit but at least it got me out of bed and social which made me happier. I've also been applying for other jobs that I actually want too and have an interview for one job on Monday as a recruiter so cross your fingers for me that I get it! If I don't get a good job in Calgary then I think I will end up moving back to Vancouver earlier than 6 months but we'll see what happens.

Kirsty and I are loving the house. It is gorgeous and even though it is a bit far from downtown it is a nice area and well worth it. We're still looking for our ideal house mate though. There are a few people coming tomorrow to check things out so hopefully one of them pans out okay!

Last night we had a few quiet drinks at home with a couple of guys we'd randomly met. They came to our place and turned out that they were really boring. One of them went home and the other one was Canadian so we convinced him to drive us to a pub down the road... which he did.. when we got there, we drank quite a fair bit more and started speaking to a group of boys from Saskatchewan who were in Alberta for a friends wedding. They invited us back to their hotel to party it up some more when the bar closed so of course we went back with them.

Oh my goodness.. from the moment we made that decision, life got crazy! I jumped in the back of some guys truck, I don't even know if it was owned by the people we were with or a random car! I said I'd drive, which was ridiculous cos I was wasted but I would never have actually gotten behind the wheel. We caught a taxi to the hotel and partied it up with the boys and Jason, the guy who I was getting friendly with, convinced me to go swimming in the hotel pool at 3am. The security guard found us in there and kicked us out so we ended up going on a huge adventure trying to hide from the security guard and ended up behind the scenes of the hotel and in their function rooms and kitchens. Probably not a good idea but it was heaps of fun. We ended up with a few free bottles of soft drink and juice. We ended up crashing with them in their hotel room and got woken up by my phone at 5am and then again at 8am which is when they had to wake up to help set up the decorations for the wedding. So, Kirsty and I left and ended up getting home just after 9 and I slept until 2pm! Excellent way to spend a Saturday. I haven't done that for so long so I didn't mind too much.

More happened that I should probably not say so I'm going to end this now! Overall a fun night!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sun and Snow and JOBS in Calgary!

WoW! It snowed yesterday in Calgary - just little tiny snowflakes but it was exciting. Kirsty was more excited than me. My reaction was more "oh shit if it's snowing already then what's it going to be like in 3 months." Still, I knew that before I moved here and it'll be exciting or, really annoying!

I bought a pair of black Airwalks which are totally not my style of shoe but I figure getting to and from work in sneakers is not a good way to go because you end up at work with wet feet. Even though it is okay walking through snow, the snow melts and then your feet end up wet - it is not fun and I learnt that the hard way in London. Not making that mistake twice. So even though they may not be my style they will keep my feet warm and I figure that I can either keep my work shoes at work or pack them in a bag and take them with me each day. Too easy!

Job prospects have been slowly happening... I had an interview with a recruitment agency and they have set me up with a two week block working in admin in some kind of company that is looking for someone with more accounting experience - I'm worried because I have no accounting background at all and I actually suck at maths in any form so here's to hoping they don't expect much from a temp on the accounting side of things. I think it is more just invoices but I guess I'll find out next week.

While I am happy to have had this job lined up for next week, I just went for an impromptu interview as a Recruitment Consultant for another company. I met with the manager and he wants me back for a second interview but he said he'd call tomorrow to line up the time and date which is screwed because he wants to interview Tues/Wed next week which is when I am meant to be in the admin role. I'm not too sure what to do because if I go for the second interview but don't get the job then I am out of work for 2 weeks... tricky!

I've also started getting random calls from other companies that I've applied to so I think I will be fine getting a job. I really want the recruitment position because it pays well and sounds like it will be fast paced and challenging - not to mention completely different from what I have done before.

So, it's all starting to happen. Kirsty and I have been told we can keep the house for a little longer than we expected, we just need to find a third person for the house because the landlord wants to up our rent. I think it'll be fun having a third person in the house. We're hoping for a male to even out the dynamics, I think another female would make the house too bitchy. Not that it is bitchy now but it could get that way with three of us. We'll see.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Well I have finally decided it is about time that I sat down and spent some time blogging rather than emailing off a zillion resumes to potential employees - but we will get to that later.

I think I have been in Canada for just over a week now and - WOW - I am loving it. I don't think I am coming home for a while considering I can keep getting a visa until I am 30.. I spent a few days in Vancouver and had some amazing weather. I got my bank account and SIN set up which is basically like a tax file number in Australia. When I met up with Kirsty the day before we drove to Calgary she took me to get my mobile phone. I went with Koodo which is a cheap phone provider. Phones aren't like they are back home, they're pretty shitty but hey, it's cheap and it will get the job done. I was shocked at first but then I thought that if these are the only options open to Canadians then it can't be that bad. $25 a month gets me unlimited texts - international too - and 100 minutes, although, stupidly, when people call me on their phones, I still get minutes charged from MY phone - happens on all networks. Canada is a little backwards.

So, the road trip was hilarious! Kirsty and I are going to be so much trouble together.. It's amazing what happened in the whole day drive it took us to get to Calgary.

We saw a dead cow in the back of some rednecks ute with its poor hoof dangling lifelessly over the edge which was one of the two times that Kirsty and I actually stopped talking the entire trip. We were shocked. Poor cow. Oh, did I mention we had hamburgers for lunch? Actually, we stopped off at White Spot and grabbed some burgers and fries (is that more American than Canadian?) but as I was parking the car, Kirsty was excitedly yelling "Maccas" and because she was garbling on about that I kind of accidently forgot to brake and our nice, new, RENTED Chrysler ended up with a nasty scratch on the front bumper.. oops. Luckily they had included a fee that covered us for such stupid incidents.

It was a really long drive and Kirsty and I took shifts. Whenever I was driving, Kirsty would FREAK out and shriek for me to get back in the lane - she had this fear that I would hit the side railings, which I was totally never anywhere near! Whenever Kirsty drove, I was gripping the edges of my seat tightly! Needless to say, neither of us slept on the drive. Neither of us veered onto the Australian side of the road either, we both managed to stay completely alert to the new and weird Canadian driving expectations of driving on the right... Awesome. At one point, I freaked out because I thought someone was driving on our side of the road and was heading straight for us - turns out the other side of the road had an overtaking lane added for a few kms... but a few hours later, the unthinkable actually happened and we really DID have someone veering onto our side of the road because they were overtaking a truck but chose to ignore the double yellow lines ... I acted really calmly and slowed down and they managed to scrape back into their lane in the nick of time. This was the second time that Kirsty and I managed to say zilch because real fear had kicked in. It was quite scary.

Anyways, continuing on our way, Kirsty randomly blurts out "Simone, do you want to steal a traffic cone?" and of course, I say "sure". So, she pulls over and out I jump trying to grab one of these bright orange sticks with the fluorescent white strips at the top... It's amazing - the once empty road was now littered with cars. So I pretend to stand there stretching waiting for them to leave when suddenly a car pulls over on the opposite side of the road.. Kirsty and I were like "fuck, let's hope they aren't coming over to us" because we had a traffic cone sitting right next to our open car door - turns out they just wanted a stretch too and went on their merry way. We hoisted the traffic cone and continued onto Calgary!

We finally reach Calgary at ridiculous o'clock at night and we were exhausted. We were so happy that we were FINALLY there and almost at our awesome house - and drove down the highway for ages trying to find our turnoff... except, we drove about 20 minutes too far. At the time we didn't know this and stopped off at a petrol station to figure out where we had to go and got about 3 people trying to give us directions. I was tired and cranky so was a little rude and walked out while Kirsty got the rest of the details and we backtracked so we could find our house! Another half an hour later and about 4 cop cars later we still had no idea where we were going and Kirsty was freaking out with all the cop cars driving past and pulling people over so we decided to ditch the traffic cone... *sorry sigh*

It seems that after we did this good deed it didn't take us long to find the house and we passed no more cop cars. Damn, we could have had a bright orange traffic cone as a backyard decoration.. We were so excited to finally reach our house and we went looking for the keys which they said they'd put under one of the pot plants... Now, this pot plant was fucking heavy and it was placed on wooden decking, so of course, what happens.... the keys fall UNDER the decking and onto the grass - at 1am! Why would we have ever thought to have brought a flashlight, so we had to use our phones to try and see where the keys had fallen - Kirsty used her camera to try and see if she could see it from the flash and took a million photos of grass.. excellent! We couldn't find the keys on the grass at all - turns out they'd fallen into this super tiny bucket which was full of disgustingly dirty looking stuff... Kirsty got the keys out... :-)

Quickly explored the house which is awesome and jumped into bed.

The house is double story and it's a 1/4 acre block that goes right along to the river. It's a gorgeous view. We have a backyard decking which is great and a massive kitchen. There is an upstairs living area where we spend most of our time and a downstairs living area with a fireplace and really comfy leather couches. Two bathrooms but we're only using the upstairs one because it is nicer and bigger than the downstairs one and will be easier to keep clean. Kirsty is in the master bedroom upstairs and I chose the downstairs bedroom because it was the only other room with a double bed and the single beds are kid beds and really springy and uncomfortable. I want to take the canoe out but it is really dirty and gross and I am scared of bugs hiding in there and getting stuck on the river!

Have more random thoughts about Canada and the differences with home but am running out of battery power and I need to keep you coming back for more now, don't I!?

Hope you are all well back at home