Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Wishes

It's amazing how long you can go without blogging and just not realize it! I can't believe I haven't blogged since March/April. And yet, I know I haven't. Lots has been going on.

For one thing, I got laid off from my job in April (just found the post talking about that in my drafts folder and posted it. That's what happens when I "draft" things... they get completely forgotten or I assume that I published them!). I spent a few months collecting Employment Insurance and trying to figure out what to do next. I wanted to take a pastry course at a local vocational school, but by the time I'd made up my mind and decided to register, I was too late for this year's session. But it turns out that that's ok because next year's session is day classes and that's what I wanted anyway. So I am registered for school for fall 2013. Then I needed to find a job until then, with flexibility to allow me to take my trip to Haiti this past July! There aren't a ton of options, and my French isn't on par enough for office settings, so it's really difficult for me to find work in my areas of study (secretarial/accounting).

But a job offer did come up, at the local Women's Centre's social enterprise (Boutique Encore - a high end used clothing shop). It's a project I've been interested in getting involved with since they opened in 2009. So that was good. The only catch is that it's all government funded and a special program, so I had to get special permission from Emploi Quebec to be able to do the job. The agent I was assigned at my local EQ office was really uncooperative and not supportive and kind of discouraging. To sum up the interview, she implied that I was stupid and wasting my time for going back to school again; she basically said that I would fail at this course because of my lack of French (as if working in French would be easier than studying it? I think they're equally difficult...); she told me that if I wanted to do this type of government program that I should do it in French if that's what I need to improve, but she didn't tell me about any job offers in French; she tried to tell me that I wasn't suited for pastry and that there would be no more work for me in that industry than there is in secretarial/accounting. Real helpful gal. In the end, she relented and let me have the permission because I told her I was lacking accounting experience because of my French, and that this job would involve some accounting tasks and give me some experience in a relaxed atmosphere. So she didn't want to give it to me, but eventually did. It was a 30 week program, and I have about 3 weeks left. My boss is going to see if they can extend it for a few more months, but I have my doubts.

In any case, they were super flexible about giving me the time off in January. The Haiti trip was very eye-opening. I met my correspondence child, Ismelanda Jeanty. She's 15, so I wasn't sure what to expect, how she would respond to me. But it was great! It was just like hanging out with a little sister or one of my younger friends from youth group. So it was nice. She's very girly and gave me lots of hugs. I wouldn't say we talked a lot because we're both kind of shy, but I learned quite a bit about her that I hadn't known before, and our relationship has changed. She writes longer letters now that are more personal.

I've been looking forward to Christmas since the middle of October, but I'm starting to not look forward to it anymore. I'm not exactly sure why. We went to Burlington, VT this weekend, just for the fun of it, to do a little shopping and see the sights. Just something to do, you know? But I way overspent. I didn't realize it in the moment, but afterwards as I was counting up the total of my receipts (for customs) and realized that I'd spent as much as the rest of my family, all by myself... that was rather sobering. (On a side note, we didn't have to pay any additional taxes at the border, despite my overspending, so yay!) So I felt bad for having spent so much, and worse because it's not even gifts! It's pretty much all for me! And then as I was trying to "unpack" everything at home, it started to dawn on me just how much of my purchases were impulse buys. So... it was a fun day, and I got some cool things (and I did get a couple gifts), but overall... I'm pretty disappointed in myself and my life in general right now. But, tomorrow's a new day, next week is a new week, and in 3 weeks it will be a new year! Changes can (and will?) be made soon. And that's my Christmas wish. That the New Years Resolutions I'm making will be achievable and that I'll actually stick with them (all) for once! I'm also wishing that I'll be able to get my room in some semblance of order before Christmas.

I guess this better be the end of the post. I should really just blog more frequently instead of writing novels every 9 months... *sigh*

New Direction?

So... I got laid off a few weeks ago. Kind of a shock, but not really. I've been expecting it to happen for ages, so that part wasn't a shock. The shock came when everybody had gone out for lunch together for a coworkers' birthday, had a lovely time, and then we get back and my boss tells me I'm being laid off, effective immediately.

So, I've been home for 3 weeks, this is the 4th. I got to experience the joy of navigating Canada's Employment Insurance program. What a farce. I definitely appreciate the service it offers to workers, don't get me wrong! The principle of it is wonderful. How it actually works out is ridiculous. Their website is a joke. It's impossible to find anything, and you just end up going around and around in circles. Very frustrating. And it's next to impossible to get through on the phone. Doesn't matter what time of day or what day of the week, just about every time I call, I can't get thru at all, or else it's a 45 minute wait. And the automated phone system doesn't answer questions any better than the website. The people I talk to are pleasant enough, when I finally get to talk to somebody, but the whole process has not been a pleasant experience for me. Anyway, I guess it's just another of life's experiences, but one I'd rather not have to deal with for much longer or ever again. I guess once everything with the claim gets finalized and straightened out it's not so bad, but ...

In any case... So what have I been doing with my time at home? Well... not much, unfortunately. I'm a bit disappointed in myself, I had grand ideas of whipping up all kinds of crafty projects and baking and whatnot. In reality, I have read 3 books, made 3 small sewing projects (1 a definite failure, and the others were nothing great), started and (kind of) stuck with the C25K program... and that's about it.