Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back in the Saddle

CD in Play: Joy Division, The Best of...

I had an interview with a local security company here in town and have landed a part time job with them. I felt they should know that I am in the application process for a job with the Health Region and it was agreed that they would take me on part time until it was sorted out. If the Health Region doesn't take me on I will officially be full time if I haven't found another job elsewhere. They pay .50 cents less than my old employer in BC, which is $2.10 more than the perogie place. (see below for that story)
The owner seems very... uh, colourful - but his employees look relaxed and happy and they aren't dressed like para-military goon squads. So we'll see how it works out. Saskatchewan is much more unregulated when it comes to security, which I find worrisome. In BC, legislation forces you to actually talk things through with people and use your brain. Not that everyone does, but it is the best option. I am not eager to be back in security and have never ever wanted to work in this industry. But I need to work and the offers haven't been rolling in from other places. One of my references figures I have little to worry about with the Health Region job and his opinion is valuable to me. He said there is just a lot of bureaucracy to go through in jobs like those, so it takes time.
The owner of said security company is also a private investigator and may be willing to be interviewed by me down the road - so I might just be able to get going again on that crime story I was trying to write a while back. It is about someone who thinks he could solve a particular crime, but completely mucks it and his own life up in the process.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dead End Jobs

CD in Play: Blonde Redhead, 23

The Way of the Dead

As the people who know me know, I am interviewing for a job as an autopsy technician. I found out about the opening courtesy of Geosomin, who has ties to the Health Region. I have had the first interview and am impatiently waiting for the second interview, which should have taken place last Monday. However, the second interview will now take place after August 11th, when the Lab Manager returns.
The reaction I have had from many people after I tell them what I am going out for ranges from surprise to disgust. Let me state that I am actually interested in the work, as I have always been fascinated by human anatomy. It is a tough job as I have been told in the first interview - which is about discouraging the candidate. Let me state emphatically: I am not interested in this job because of those crappy CSI shows or any other forensic types of shows, not even one I like such as Da Vinci's Inquest. Any comments to that effect will be deleted. The main purpose of autopsies is to look for missed diagnoses, it is not only about homicide, suspicious deaths or suicide. That may explain why the number of autopsies performed in North America have decreased since 1955.
It is a tough job, so why do it? Not only do I have to assist the pathologist and put people back together, but I believe I have to wheel the decedent out for families to view. The job carries risks of exposure to pathogens and diseases, like Hepatitis C and CJD and vCJD. Why not take something easier? One reason is the money. I won't state how much it is, but it is better than any other job I have a shot at doing here or anywhere else right now. That said, the job is quite underpaid and that is something that the Lab Manager makes of point of saying in the first interview. However, I have debts to pay down before I can return full time to school.
I am also interested in the work as it happens. My parents bought me a the "Visible Man" model when I was a kid and I was forever taking out the organs and disassembling and reassembling the skeleton. I loved my Anatomy class and found dissection pretty interesting. The Lab Manager apparently found this hard to believe, as she was asking Geo if I was really was interested in medical stuff or just putting on a good show. I am genuinely interested in these things and look forward to working in a more intellectually stimulating atmosphere. Also a place where my darker sense of humour may be allowed to flourish.
If I get the job, I know it won't be easy but then many jobs aren't. I know people who think I am nuts for wanting to teach grades 11 and 12. I have worked in call centers and those jobs will just grind and wear you down. Many jobs will just get to you with their pointlessness - they feel as though they are there just to keep people occupied. Office politics will eat at you. It really depends on your point of view. But autopsies are necessary and someone needs to deal with our dead. I dunno, I just feel it is a job I can do.

And as for perogies...

I had a horrible day today. It is hard work. My jobs range from packaging, shipping and receiving, to peeling potatoes, coring cabbages, dishes, mopping, sweeping and helping with catering orders. I have been doing a lot. I have one job that I will not do and that is kneading and stretching the dough. I have a bad right shoulder and the dough job aggravates my shoulder something fierce. If I did dough I'd be close to useless for the rest of the day. The woman I said no to is in charge of production. She was not happy. I am sensitive about my arm. I have had years of people treating me differently when they find out about it. Some people treat me like a complete gimp and others think I am faking in order to get out of some hard work. She shot me a look, a particular look that I have had to endure all my life, and I have set up a job interview tomorrow morning at another place as a result.
I like the owners, they are nice people. I hate to just jump ship so suddenly, but I will not work in a place with such a poisonous individual working there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In a Nut Shell

DVD in Play: The Flaming Lips, VOID 1992-2005

Dreams I have been having: Attending cricket matches with friends from British Columbia. I know precious little about cricket, but all the matches are test matches and are always between Australia and Pakistan. In the dream, Elijah derides the game while Diana asks me what the rules are (no clue) and her friend Julianna tells everyone to shut up. Trent and Pete are sitting near by and snickering at me, while Gavin talks about how he could have a career as a cricketer if he really wanted it.

Musical Obsessions: The Flaming Lips, The Flaming Lips, The Flaming Lips. Xylophones and glockenspiels. Tortoise. Caribou. Beck's new album, Modern Guilt. The Flaming Lips. Neurosis. Acid Mothers Temple. Moog emulators. The Flaming Lips.

Culinary delights: Broiled tomatoes. Take bacon and heat it up in a roaster, add olive oil. When hot, add in herbs. I use fresh basil, tarragon, thyme, oregano and marjoram. Add and vroil the vine tomatoes for 6-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the skins off the tomatoes. Pack Italian sausages (hot or mild, your choice) out of the tubes around the tomatoes, drizzle some olive oil over top and continue to broil until sausages are cooked and then broil it all some more. Serve with bread and the vegetable(s) of your choice. Courtesy of Jamie Oliver.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oi Gevald!

CD in Play: Caribou, Andorra

Applying for a job with the Health Region is a bit like trying to convert to Judaism or trying to get a Rabbi's permission to study the Kabbalah, a waiting game. (or so I have been told by Elijah) I have been bidding my time waiting for word about my second interview for a job at City Hospital. This week I received news that I would get my second interview on this coming Monday. Good news! I let my current employer know that I would be gone Monday to do the interview. It made me happy as the current job isn't one I'd want to do for any length of time. Very tiring and awkward to get to. However, I just received an email stating that the interview would have to be forestalled to the middle of August. Most frustrating.
The pay for this job is much better - $17.00 and hour vs. $9.50 an hour. The job is psychologically tougher, certainly grimmer but much more stimulating and interesting for a person like myself. One week in to my current job and I am looking for a way out. The people (employer included) there are great, but it is just a grind. Anyhow, I am just disappointed. Good employment has just never seemed to come easily.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Oh... Go Pinch a Perogie!

CD in Play: Carbon Dating Service, eponymous.

So I landed a job today. My usual cautions still hold and I will not mention the name of the place where I will be working, (this blog is searchable) but it is in a handmade, family owned pirogi place. There are no machines - everything is done by hand. No additives or preservatives. They also make cabbage rolls and have a restaurant. It doesn't pay that well, but I need to get a cash flow going now.
The guy who interviewed me was very cool and realistic. He realizes I'll be keeping my eyes open for better paying work and that isn't a big deal to him. I am excited, it looks like a good place to be. (I bought a bag of Saskatoon berry pirogis)
I interviewed for a different job yesterday but I couldn't tell what the people were expecting or how it went. The woman seemed okay, (and only just okay) but the guy seemed to loose interest after he asked me why I would move from Vancouver to Saskatoon. He seemed quite incredulous that anyone would do that. But with his sunbed tan and Hawaiian shirt, maybe I shouldn't be too surprised? There was an implication in his voice that I may have screwed up, not been able to cope with the big city. Whatever, I hope they don't call back. They pay 40 cents an hour more and seem like complete dips.
Still, the Health Region job would have been great - if only it were full time.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Impressions of Saskatoon

CD in Play: Amon Tobin, Supermodified. Neurosis, Given to the Rising.

So Far...

I am impressed by Saskatoon. It has its ugly areas to be sure - my Dad and I drove through them on our way in and around town. There some areas that are too ugly to believe. However, where Geo and J are is really nice and the city east of Idlewylde is quite nice. The area along the river is beautiful. The people here are really friendly and I have even had good experiences dealing with the bank.
Saskatoon may not have the amenities that Vancouver has, but it is not as bad as most Vancouverites might assume. There are good restaurants to be had and some quality shops to buy from. HMV is the only big record store in town, (I suppose Future Shop and the upcoming Indigo might count) but there are a couple of indies out here that do a fine job. In terms of pubs, there a few fine watering holes to be had with a selection that might surprise even the most snobbish. My only real complaint about the amenities is that the transit system shuts down far too early, on holidays completely and is not extensive enough.
The jobs haven't been as readily available as I had hoped - at least they haven't been jumping out to grab me in the way I had hoped. However, I have had some nibbles and that means there is hope. I have an interview with one of the City's departments on Monday and am still waiting to hear back from the Saskatchewan Health Region for my second interview.
Anyhow, I should actually get outside and do something with my day. I spent a while applying online for a position with a major company coming to town - a far more protracted process then it ought to have been.