Archive for the 'Work Life' Category

I’m not sure this is a “Looking Up” post, but maybe…

My temporary job ended this week.  There are regulations surrounding how long federal government departments can hire casual employees during a calendar year, and I had reached the end of that term.

So, on Thursday, those I share an office with made me a cake.

Those I worked with took me to lunch, bought me flowers, and signed cards.

There were hugs, and sad faces, and encouraging words.

It is a long road and a far cry from when I last had to leave a job.  Pats on the back are far more comforting than knives in them.  And it is not Christmas, it is the awakening of summer.  While my heart is sad and I am afraid, my confidence is not broken.

This time with sadness there is gratitutde.  This time with fear there is faint hope.  Always there are cookies for comfort.


A late breaking resolution

I have begun to dream that I was hospitalized for drinking too much coffee.  I would wake up realizing it was just a dream, but subconsciously I knew that one part was true.  I really do over indulge in cafeinney goodness more often than I should.  And in the back of my mind I wondered, was my body trying to tell me something?

Then Tuesday I was working away at my temp job… it had taken about a day and a half to get my computer system up and running again… and I still had no phone… so as I was strolling though a cubby on the way to use a phone… and the very full, very large, very new coffee treat I had just purchased splattered out of my hand, crashing to the floor… just at the entry of my supervisor’s cubby.  The supervisor of my temporary job.  Lovely.  Then not two days later… the day after they had to get that now coffee-stained carpet steam cleaned… I did the exact same thing all over the staff kitchen.  For those keeping track, that is two very full, very large, very new coffees in three short days.  More than one person suggested I start using a sippy cup.  Including my supervisor.

I was more than happy then, that Thursday evening, to finally get home and change out of my coffee splattered work clothes and get into my dobok for taekwondo class.  Fresh clothes and a reason to re-focus.  I chatted with other parents as we watched the kids’ class.  And then it was time for my warm up.  And I noticed it.  Every time we stretched… and my face got closer to my own skin… I could smell coffee.  Stretch up, stretch down, smell coffee.  Feet straight out, feet pulled in, smell coffee.  The last spill of the day had apparently permeated my skin.  I may not have been very ninja like, but I was cafeinney goodness.

I knew then, it was time to cut back.

So, since Friday morning, I have been very very careful not to go too crazy on the coffee.  Just a regular sized cup or two through the day (which, to be honest, is about what I used to drink before I even left the house).  The rest of the time I’ve been drinking herbal tea, or hot water, or something other than coffee.

And ya’ know what?

I feel like crap.

I know it will take time.  I know that I will get grouchy.  But I also know that I need to do this.

I, Sock Girl, officially resolve to cut back significantly on coffee.  And, to reward my new efforts, I splurged on this:

Some may call it a snazzy little travel mug.  Some may call it a sippy cup.  I like to think of it as Spilly Pants Warranty. A little peace of mind for the perpetually clumsy.


I was in the lunch room at work the other day and some people were talking about seafood… so I started telling this story from long ago… and I realized that I had never told it here.  NaBloPoMo seems the perfect time to rectify that situation…


There are a few things you can be sure to find here in Prince Edward Island in the summer… one is the Island’s famous cultured mussels, and the other is Japanese tourists.  This story has both.

It was about 20 years ago, and my younger self had a couple of jobs, one of which was working the front desk of a lovely local inn.  The inn was very popular with Japanese tourists, and most typically young Japanese girls who would come to experience the Land of Anne.  The Inn was very reminiscent of Anne’s time, so I’m sure that was part of the draw.

This particular sunny afternoon a large group of Japanese men came clammering in the front door and flopped themselves in the chairs at the front desk.  They had obviously spent a busy day sightseeing and were tired.  It was the first time I had ever served a group of male Japanese visitors.  The guest with the best English approached the desk.  He was obviously the designated speaker for the group.

Me: Did you have a nice time?

Guest: A leely nice time.  You got muzzooos?

Me: Of course we have mussels!  I’d be happy to get them for you.  Would you like them in the dining room, or up in your room?

The guest paused.  I pointed to the dining room.  Then I pointed to the room.  Guest smiled.

Guest: In the room! The room! And up the stairs he went.

One by one each man ordered and went up the stairs to their room.

So I went in the kitchen and placed my order for all those mussels, and when they were ready I loaded a tray and headed up the stairs to the guest accommodations.  I knocked and Guest answered.  They were all in the room in various states of attire.  I passed them the tray and made way back to the desk.

After some time, Guest came down the stairs and approached the desk.

Guest: Ummm… The shells….. Are they included?

Me: Well yes, you take the shellfish out of the shell, then put the shell in the bucket. I used charades to demonstrate.

Guest: So the shells are included?

Me: Well… yes.

Guest nodded that he understood and back up the stairs he went.  Again some time passed and Guest again comes down the stairs and stood before the desk.

Guest: You got muzzooos?

Me: I brought you mussels.

Guest: Muzzooos? It’s his turn for charades.  He starts rubbing his shoulders.

It was a sickening moment of realization.  I think my blood rushed to my toes.  He was asking for a masseuse.  And I had offered to fill his order in the dining room for crying out loud.  Chances are he had never even heard of our famous mussels before that day.

Guest: You muzzoos?

Ummmm… no.

True story.  The mussels were on the house.  That was fun explaining to the guys in the kitchen.

Fear and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

There is no question that I have a deep seated fear of unemployment, and that the pending end date on my current job weigh heavy on my mind.  It flashes through my mind at least 100 times, even for a second, the thought:  you will be unemployed again at Christmas.  And I feel a little sick inside as fear momentarily overtakes me.

But the rational part of me knows that everything will be ok… that I have found enough weeks of employment that I will qualify for unemployment benefits to help keep us floating for a time… that maybe, just maybe, the job I’m meant to find will emerge somewhere, somehow.

But some days I have more fearful thoughts about the matter than rational ones.  It truly never leaves my mind for very long.

And now I wonder if that might be part of the problem.  If, as many of those consultants who teach manifesting one’s ideal life might suggest, we are focussed on the negative, how can we bring ourselves the positive?  Am I so fearful that this could become self-fulfilling?

So I think I need to do some work to turn this mental train around.  While it may not bring me the job I need, it will certainly alleviate the stress I feel.  I need to:

  1. Live in the now.  When I hear that little voice in my head say, “December 16th is coming, get your fear on,” I need to shoo it away and say, “Today I have a job and I am darn grateful.”
  2. Recognize my own strengths.  I truly lack confidence.  While I mask it, this entire experience of joblessness and job hunting has left me feeling battered, betrayed and incompetent.  And I have to recognize that this is the result of other people’s projections and behaviours and not reality.  I need to recall what I excel at and celebrate that.
  3. I need to visualize what I want and hold that in my head.  I might even make myself a vision board.

So that is one of my goals for the rest of this month.  To let it go, and make that the habit instead of the fear.

Thanks for listening.

Wordless Wednesday: Winning Office Gnome of the Week is kind of like winning an academy award except without the fame and fortune


The Most Sensational Inspirational Celebrational Muppetational Wednesday

When I was a little girl and my parents would ask, “what do you want to be when you grow up,” very often I would answer “I want to own a flower shop.”  I liked the idea of making money surrounded by beauty.  I liked flowers.  I liked money.  Seemed like a plan.

“Why don’t you be a doctor or a lawyer?” my father would always ask.  I have never felt drawn to either profession.  I had a vision then.

Floral entrepreneur is no longer my vision.  But I have spent a great deal of time during the past 7 1/2 months trying to envision what I would like my vocation to be.  Somewhere between childhood and unemployed adulthood, however, I seem to have lost a job vision that I could really own.  Something I was striving for.

So I’ve been practicing.  Imaginging the ideal.  And most of the time I have an easier go knowing what I don’t want, than what I do.  For example,

– I don’t want to sell things;
– I don’t want to farm things;
– and I don’t want to serve fries with things.

My actual wish list so far of things I might like is just as eclectic:

– I would really enjoy being a muppet;
– I would think it would be cool to have a job where I have background dancers;
– and I wouldn’t mind being a civil servant in the federal government.

Each seemed as unlikely as the rest.

But today, dear readers, pending my respectability screening (or whatever the heck it is called) I was offered 90 days of casual work in a federal government department.  My first time ever working for federal government.  90 beautiful days.  Now they say there are no benefits, but they showed me where my cubicle was and it was right next to the receptionist’s jelly bean dish, so obviously they are not yet aware of my fondness of jelly beans.  (Except, of course, the green ones).

I hope it is the foot in the door I have waited for.  I have renewed optimism.

I almost feel muppet-like.

Care to dance?

My Job Is Gone

After more than four years of work in my office, I finally got a name plate and they hung it yesterday morning.

Then in the afternoon HR called.  My contract will not be renewed and my so last day in the office is December 12th.  I will be on a priority call list for temporary work for five years.  I’m thinking “priority call” does not necessarily mean “priority hire”.  And I unless it were longer term temporary work (not vacation leaves, etc.) I don’t know how that is really much comfort.

I haven’t been able to eat.  I’ve barely slept.  My head is pounding.  I feel sick.

My mind is whirling in so many directions that I need to jot down my thoughts  on things to do so as not to forget them.  I don’t know that I’ve ever felt like this before.

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