Monday, January 26, 2009

Final Post - Announcement

Hi everyone,

I just thought I'd let you know that I'm retiring my blogger account. It's been great so far and I've been glad to meet so many of you.

Thanks to blogger itself for slowly introducing me to the blogging world, but I feel it's time to upgrade. I'm still a bit nervous, but my husband seems to think I'm ready.

So fear not! I will still write and I will still rant. But at this new site, I will also be doing much more than that.

Please feel free to visit me and subscribe to the list. This is not something I understand, but my husband says this is entirely possible.

So check it out and JUST KICK IT!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Through Her Eyes

So as per my last post, my day has been awful. Sadly, it's just one of many awful days. I'm slowly running out of reasons to 'save the world' or even just live in it.
My husband says "The point is, if no one at least tries then the bad guys win" to which I respond "Haven’t you seen the Fifth Element? “What’s the use in saving life when you see what you do with it”"

There is nothing anyone can say to this. Except for young Connie Talbot.

I've seen this video and others like it, several times over. Honestly, I cry every time.

I desperately want to see the world through her eyes.

What Really Grinds My Gears - 11

You know what really grinds my gears - today, everyone.

I walk to the bus stop every morning. I get there at the same time every day and I'm generally the first person there. I wait at the lights like a good pedestrian and despite the fact that there may not be any traffic, I still wait for the pleasant little walking man to give me the thumbs up on crossing the street.

This morning I'm halfway across the street when I start to hear cars from three out of four directions blaring their horns. Naturally I turn to that fourth direction to see a speeding car coming right for me. I guess this person is colour blind, because normally red means STOP. I take two quick steps back and let the speeding car pass. That's right, I was two steps from being hit by a car. Now let's suppose for a minute that the rest of the cars didn't see this guy coming. That would have led to a 3 car collision at least and I would have been hit by at least one of the spinning vehicles. So yes, I'm thankful for horns today and for all of those other cars and their drivers to be paying attention. To you, the colour-blind man, take a walk.

So now I'm waiting peacefully at the bus stop. The same old lady (and by old, I mean probably just in her 40s, but she pretends to be senile) who waits at the bus every day with me but generally gets to the stop 2 minutes before the bus comes, decides to stand in front of me.

So I'm waiting for the bus, but you get to come and stand in front of me? What happened to the concept of a line? Or how about the concept of 'first come, first serve'? The bus arrives and she gets on first. That really grinds my gears. I feel like I should push her in front of the bus so she doesn't have this opportunity.
There is one friggen seat available on the bus and now this old lady gets it. So she gets on the bus, takes what should rightfully be my seat and I get to stand for all 30 minutes of the ride. Whatever. When the bus arrives at the final destination I feel like holding back the masses and allowing the old lady to get off the bus first. Because really, she needs to be first. Again, this lady isn't old in age, she's old in misery. Just one big miserable pain in my thigh.

Now I always complain about the subway folk, so really you can just read my past rants to get the full gist. But please, can someone enlighten me? What exactly is the point of the escalator dash? You know when people have to be the first off the damn train, they push everyone out of their way and run as fast as they can to the escalator. They stop, wait a few seconds as they debate which of the moving stairs they'd like to stand on, they make their first step and then just let the escalator do the work. What's the point? Why are you in such a rush to get to the escalator, only to stand there? If you're in such a damn panic, you should be running up those steps two at a time, but you don't. I don't understand you. You know who you are. You take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself where the fire is.

So after an hour and a half of commuting with these bogus people I am now safely at work. I'd like to take a minute here to explain why exactly I go through this process every day. This is not a career. This is no where near my dream job. So why do I torment myself on a daily basis? Simple. My husband is an immigrant. Actually, he can't even be classified as an immigrant, he's still just a 'visitor'. He has lived here since 2006, and we've been married for over two years.

For anyone that says to get a "green card" or "residency" just get married, they're lying. We submitted the official paperwork a long time ago and the government just makes excuses as to why their job isn't done.

First, it was because the Doctor's exam had expired. Well, if it didn't take you a year to look at it in the first place, it would still be valid.

Second, the criminal background check is missing. Well, we submitted that according to the web site's request, but sure I'll put in for another one. It only costs an extra $20 and 3 months of my time. The UK police say 40 days, but I guess with the time difference this is 3 months because THAT'S HOW LONG IT TOOK THEM TO SEND US THE PAPERWORK.

So as per your request Mr. Government, here is everything you asked for and then some. So what are your excuses now? Well, there is a backlog. That's not really my fault, I gave you everything you needed a year and a half ago, if you had looked at it then, nothing would have been "expired" or "missing" and there would be no backlog. They tell us to call back 'next month' for an update on the progress.

When we call back the next month, we hear the same nonsense. After a few months of these phone calls we now are getting a different excuse. "The process has changed due to the election and political changes, please call back in two months."

WHAT DOES THE ELECTION HAVE TO DO WITH ME? Honestly, this is like saying well the price of gas has increased since your last purchase so you owe me $#.## based on the difference of what it is now and what you paid BEFORE. Ridiculous. Why are we paying so much money to the government when they aren't doing anything?

I was invited to go to the TTC meeting. This is where they discuss changes that are to be made to make the world better. Right. This is where you tell me you're increasing the fare by yet another quarter and decreasing the service. Less trains, less buses, and meaner staff. Excellent.

Oh right, the reason why I come to work. Due to the fact that my husband is just a 'visitor' he is not legally allowed to work in Canada. I have agreed to 'sponsor' him for three years, but apparently this three years starts the day his residency is approved. So for the last 2+ years that he's lived here he has been my responsibility. Well he's my husband, this is not an issue. The issue is that in order to sponsor him I have to prove that I have job stability. This means that I have to work in this hell-hole for the next three years and 2 months (plus the actual time it takes the government to approve the residency). That's only if he's approved. Suppose he's rejected. That means we have waited all this time, and put all of this money into a process that failed. We'd be homeless and kicked out of the country. Lovely, isn't it?

Now let's move on to the reason I started this stupid rant. I'm going to list all the reasons why my job sucks. No, correction, I am listing the reasons why it's sucks TODAY, why it sucks in general would just take too long.

I am in a department that consists of 4 people and a manager. The manager is just a figurehead. One of the four people is considered to be a team lead. A team lead is someone who delegates all work, yells at everyone, and sits around on his ass all day. We will just call this person "TL" for the rest of the post. Another one of the four people is a man. A man is similar to the TL except there is less delegating involved and more excuses. These excuses usually come in the form of "I'm too busy doing my own work to help anyone else with theirs." We have yet to see the results of said work. He also claims it takes him 8 hours to do a job that I do in 1 hour. This is not an exaggeration.

The other two on the team are myself and one other woman. We pick up the slack and take the brunt of the arguments. We do the work because if there are ever cutbacks, we know we'd be the first to go. We try not to give them any reasons. Strangely enough, if TL and man ever leave (and they have been known to take weeks off at a time) the jobs still get done. But if us women take off, well chaos ensues. You think, that this would show our value, but alas, it does not. Us women have to coordinate our schedules because we're not allowed to be on vacation at the same time. Crazy? Indeed.

We are to train each other on our daily tasks so that if the roof collapses or something drastic, at least the job will still get done. So while we're training each other we still have to keep up with our daily tasks. This is quite stressful as you can imagine, because there is not enough hours in the day to do all these things, but man is still too busy to help.

So the person who trained me in the first place is no longer in the department. She is still with the company. Today, I made the mistake of asking her for an email list. Well, TL yells at woman and writes an email to everyone saying that we are not supposed to go outside the 'team' for help. So no one here has the answers, do it incorrectly, all hell breaks loose and we get in trouble. Ask for help to avoid this, and we get in trouble.

I got yelled at for not filing work that wasn't done by me. I got yelled at for not cleaning out someone ELSE's desk. Apparently, it's my job to search every filing cabinet in the building, including those that belong to others, for piles of paper. Then I'm supposed to sort this paper by date. PS, I am NOT a secretary. I'm NOT an administrative assistant. And I am most certainly NOT your bitch.

Life is grand. I'm too tired to continue writing so let's end on this. I'm not sexist, or ageist. Ignorance and laziness come in all shapes and sizes... and that's what really grinds my gears.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What Really Grinds My Gears - 10

You know what really grinds my gears - fashion statements in the winter.

Right now it's -14C outside, but with the wind travelling at a speed of 24km/h it feels like -24C. And this is not the coldest day of the year, it's not even close. You really should be prepared with scarf, tuke, mittens/gloves, winter boots and whatever else keeps your body warm.

This is no time for high heels and mini-skirts ladies. Honestly, how sexy do you feel with those bright red legs? How safe are those high heels walking around on ice? Just who are you trying to impress?

Kids, this goes out to you too. You are wearing a winter coat, but it's of no value unless you do it up. And where are your hats? You know it's cold outside, you know that you're freezing right now. Why are you torturing yourself? Are you only considered cool if you're shivering? Is it hip to walk around with red nose and ears?

I remember when it was cool to be warm and comfortable but I guess that was a long time ago.

So why don't you just dare to be different and start a new trend? Running shoes aren't really made for this snowy, icy weather. The scarf you're wearing, isn't really useful if your chest is still exposed, so do up your jacket. You'll be the first cool kid without frostbite.

And what's with people on the elevator. Not only are you lazy, getting on the elevator on the second floor to go down to the lobby, but you're pretty stupid too. There you are frantically looking for the "G" button, but where exactly do you think the elevator is going to go. You got on an elevator full of people, you know it's going down, and you also know that there is nothing beneath the "G" level. So, do you think that if you don't press the button the elevator will just stop where it is? No. Of course not. The button has already been pressed by one of the other ten people on the elevator. You don't need to press it too. In fact, just get off and take the damn stairs.

To the lady on the subway train, you're too fat to sit there. Don't squeeze your fat ass in that small chair between two people. There is no where for them to go and you really don't fit. Maybe you should stand for those two stops, it might do your body some good.

And that's what really grinds my gears.

Talk About Great Service

So I thought I'd take a break from my usual rants about people on the subway, and other common ignorant people to make an announcement.

So recently, I had the unfortunate experience of losing puzzle pieces. I worked for hours, probably close to 15 hours to be exact on a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. And in all this time, I probably only completed about 150 pieces worth of work. It took me a solid 9 hours to complete just the frame, and that was after a few trial and errors.

My cats thought the puzzle would make a nice sleeping spot. But three cats makes for a lot of back and forth and of course some pieces were knocked to the floor.... only to be consumed by the dogs. I cried. I worked so hard on something that was just ruined in the space of minutes. To top it off, the puzzle is a limited edition and sold out everywhere. I'm left with two choices: complete the puzzle despite the missing pieces or throw it all out and count my losses.

Well as per previous posts, I'm persistent. I called several different stores trying to find this puzzle to no avail. A week later, I walk into a store and come across the last copy. Cha-ching! I now have a replacement but still no place to work on it.

Here is where my great service experience comes in. I come across this website: JIGSAW JUNGLE

This place specializes in all things puzzle including a few safe storage options. I decide to spend a bit of money and get a good quality jigsaw briefcase.

If you spend over $79 (I believe) you get free shipping. This is a bonus because I'm in Canada and JIGSAW JUNGLE is in the United States. With the free shipping option you are guaranteed delivery in 5-10 business days. The exception of course is if you are located outside the States because they can't guarantee the length of 'border time'. Well fair is fair. They also say that they aren't responsible for duty fees. So now I'm expecting my package to be delivered in 5-10 business days, but if it takes longer, that's OK too. And if it comes with an extra fee, well I've been warned.

I ordered my package on Friday afternoon and it was shipped to me on Monday morning! This is cross-border! That, my friends, is awesome service! The bonus, I didn't have to pay a thing at the door. Also good news. I will definitely be doing business with these people again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Easy Math Yet Hard To Comprehend

I'd like to take the time here to mention a very charitable cause and a very charitable man. It's the 12 for 12K cause.

Each month a specific charity is chosen. For January, it's War Child. By the end of the year, that will mean there are 12 charities that are helped through this cause and countless people.

The goal is to raise $144,000 in 2009. This breaks down to $12,000 per month (per charity).
It may sound like a lot of money, so let's break it down even further. If 1200 people get involved in this cause, they only have to donate $10/month. If 2400 people get involved, it's only $5/month out of their pockets. The more people that get involved the less money per month is needed. Or, if everyone commits to donating $10/month then the goal will not only be met, but it will be surpassed.

1200 people may sound like a big number, so let's break this down. If I tell 10 people and each of those people, tell 10 more, etc, you could reach out to over 1000 people in just three steps:

First, I tell 10 people.
Second, if those 10 tell 10 others, that's 100 people.
Third, if those 100 tell 10 others, that's 1000 people.

So if I, plus 10, plus 100, plus 1000 are donating $10 month then we just raised $11,110 per month! That's not quite the goal, but if we all do this then we've reached 93% of the goal and it only cost us $10 and 10 minutes.

All you need to do is write an email and send it out to everyone in your address book. You know there are more than 10 people in your hotmail/gmail/yahoo/outlook account, I'm hoping you reach 10 people and they do the same.

This cause has been running now since January 1st. In 15 days, they have only reached 6% of their goal.

This is what I cannot comprehend. $10 is not a lot of money, and 10 minutes is not a lot of time. I understand the economy is low, but if you can make your coffee instead of buying it for one week - that's $10 you can put towards a charity.

If you make your lunch for two days instead of buying it, that's $10 you can put toward a charity.

If you can rent a movie instead of seeing it in the theatre, that's $10 that you can put towards a charity.

And my personal favourite (yet hardest for me), if you can go to the library for one book, instead of purchasing it, then that's $10 that you can put towards a charity.

It's not a hard thing to do, and it's not too much to ask. Think about all the people you will be helping. You're helping to build schools in Africa, you're helping to find cures to diseases, you're helping to clean up pollution, you're helping to find clean water, you're helping animals find homes. You're helping.

It took one man to have a vision. He put all of his time and resources into this project and it's completely selfless. If one man can donate 100% of his time to this project, surely you can find 10 minutes? If you are absolutely without money, surely you can find someone who can help.

Ask your parents, ask your siblings, ask everyone. Spread the word. The more people who get involved, the more people we can help. It's simple.

Spread the word, open your hearts, find the money, check the link.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Really Grinds My Gears - 9

You know what really grinds my gears - hairstylists. Or mayhaps I should specify, hairstylists that don't listen.

I had a package at a new salon. Some promotion where you just book your appointment and your cut and style is already paid for. So I booked my appointment and went in for a brand new look.

Here is a picture of me BEFORE I went to the salon.

Nice, long, curly hair.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my curls, but it's time for a change.

So when the lady says "what would you like done today?" I hand her this picture.

It's short and straight and completely different. I've had my hair short before, I know how it will look, and as drastic as it might be for me, I like drastic and I'm not threatened or scared by change.

The lady says "oh no, your face is too round to pull that look off." I advise her that I know what it will look like and this is what I want. She says "you have broad shoulders and short hair just accentuates that." Again, I tell her that I don't care and to cut my hair off.
She says "why do you want it short? You have curly hair. I'll teach you how to do your hair so that you'll love it."
I say "I know how to do my hair curly, I also know how to straighten it. Please cut it off."
She says "I specialize in curly hair, I know what I'm doing. You just haven't been to someone who knows what they are doing. Trust me, when I'm done with it, you'll love it."

This is when I realize that I'm not going to get my way so I just stop talking. Really, I've had curly hair my entire life. Are you trying to say that in over 25 years, I've NEVER been to someone who knows how to cut hair? That I've never bothered to ask someone what the best products to use are? Get over yourself lady.

At one point she has me curling my own hair... Because that's why I went to the salon of course, to do my own damn hair.

I tell her I want my hair to be short, straight and flat. I tell her I wanted it parted to the left. This is what I get.

Note the similarities. That's right, there aren't any. She didn't cut my hair, she didn't straighten it, she added volume and for F*&K sakes she parted it the wrong way.
I really could have done this myself. I could have just chopped it and it would have looked the same. I went to the salon because I wanted a new look and this is hardly new.

This lady told me I had to dye my hair as soon as possible because my roots are showing (big deal). She asks me what colour I was thinking about going with it. Just for kicks I say "blue." She says "we don't carry that colour but how about a really nice blonde?" BAHHHH Why do you even ask? You clearly don't care what I want done, you just cut/dye/style whatever the hell you're in the mood for.
She says to me, "worst case scenario, if you really don't like it, come back in a few days and I'll cut it again."

Why would I go back? Why did I waste my time at all?

She layered my hair and even if I go back she won't be able to do my hair the way I asked. She's ruined it. She's ruined my chances of even getting it fixed so now I just have to wait until it grows out and try again.

The biggest slap in the face was at the end as I was walking out instead of asking me if I liked it, she says "there, that suits your personality much better."

Excuse me?! HOW THE F*&K DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MY PERSONALITY? It's not like you've listened to a damn word I said. Honey, you haven't seen an inch of my personality.

The next day I go to a new salon and ask the guy there if he can fix it. I tell him straight up, if he can't then I'll just wait until my hair grows back and try again but don't waste my time and money telling me you can do something you can't.

He fixes it - all is good. Now I spent $65 dollars on something that was supposed to be 'included in a package' and over 2 hours on a hair cut that went out the window.

I feel like going back to the first lady and saying, next time just listen. Don't tell me I will look terrible. If it's a bad cut or if it doesn't suit me, that's my problem. Hair grows back, I can deal with it. I've shaved my head over bad haircuts in the past and I'm not afraid to do it now.

Don't tell me you know, because you don't. Go F*&K yourself.