All work is noble.

A woman slowly, carefully, collects her strength and steps her way out from behind the counter, purse in hand, hair net still on her head, and walks towards the door. It’s been 13 hours since she got to work this morning. Her feet are aching and have been for hours. And she just kept cooking. She always keeps cooking. Every day she wakes up hours before the rest of the world and she works hard, all day. Why? Because that’s her job.

Just down the road a man is working his second shift for the day. As he lifts up the trash can and dumps it into the compactor truck that he’s driving, his muscles strain just a little bit more. Some put their trash in bags, others don’t. Some put lids on their cans, others leave theirs to spill out over the street. And he collects it all, every time. No one acknowledges him. No one ever says thank you. They just expect him to do it and he does it. Why? Because that’s his job.

As a society we tend to decide one’s value in this world based on what their job is. And, the people in this world who work the jobs that society doesn’t necessarily value, those are the are the people I have the greatest admiration and appreciation for. Why? Because they keep our society going. They keep our world functioning. The work HARD. All of the fucking time. Whether their feet hurt, their back aches, their stomach grumbles, their arms quiver, they just keep working.

Cooks, garbage collectors, cashiers, waiter/waitresses, construction workers, plumbers, janitors, and so on and so forth (I really could go on forever), these people work hard, all of the time. They keep us going. They’re there for us when we need them and they ensure that our lives function properly. I don’t think people really understand how much they bring to our lives and how thankful we should be that they do what they do. Example: people don’t pay attention when the garbage collector comes, but they sure as hell crank when the garbage collector doesn’t come.

I think if there’s one thing I can teach the people in my life it’s that I want them to be thankful for those people who do the jobs we all take for granted. I want them to place value on all work, and not just their work. I don’t want my family member’s to think their kids have to end up with doctors or lawyers, I want them to think that all jobs are noble and they’d be lucky to have a son-in-law or daughter-in-law that is simply passionate about what they do, no matter their job.

Doctors and lawyers are very valuable to society. They absolutely are. But, I want the people in my life to understand that so is the cleaner who keeps your house tidy, so is the cashier who keeps their register open ten minutes late to ensure you can purchase your food even after the store closes.

All work is noble work. Remember that when you see someone walking with a slight limp because their feet or so sore after they’ve been on them all day. Remember that when your garbage is collected or your house or office is clean without your having to do it. Remember that when your brother or sister or son or daughter, or even you, are searching for love. All work is noble work. Everyone plays an integral role to pushing our society forward.

Life and times and unimportant things.

My thoughts are all over the map tonight. I just need to write some of this down to get it out of my head.

If I could sum up job hunting frankly, it is a lot of trying to prove your worth and value in this world to people who really don’t deserve your time.

I was denied Unemployment Insurance due to receiving a severance payment from my last employer. It really doesn’t matter that I paid 1,000 or more, per year, every year for the past decade to Unemployment, for (god forbid) an instance in which I did find myself unemployed. They took my money and now I don’t get it back. Oh well, I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles. What I have left is what I have left until I find a new job.

I was also red-flagged medical insurance from two separate providers. See, here is the flaw in the system. When you don’t get medical insurance through an employer, you’re required to fill out a lot of forms and explain a lot of things about who you are, what your health is like and what your family history is like. So when they ask for me to list every medication I’ve been prescribed in the past 12 months I’m given a giant red-flag to the company. They’re not telling me I can’t have insurance, they’re just never going to tell me I can. Oh well, I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I will pay for what I have to until I find a new job.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately. Job hunting is really weighing on me. The Hiring Manager for a job that I was passed-up for well over a month ago has been revisiting my LinkedIn page and I can’t help but want to send him a message saying ‘You know I can see you’re viewing my profile repeatedly, right?’ That’s a definitely struggle I have with the older generation. They can’t seem to clue into these simple concepts. If you’re going to turn me down for a position with no explanation or reasoning why, after you’ve told me I’m one of the final two candidates, why are you reviewing my LinkedIn page three days in a row, over a month later? Feeling bad about the person you hired? Or do you just genuinely not know that I can see you’ve viewed it?

My mom seems to be in good spirits the past few days, which is nice. I wouldn’t wish on anyone what she’s been going through and I know there are people in this world who have it so much worse and have had it so much worse. I’m glad to see her spirits lifting, and I’m glad to see a smile on her face again, even if it is only for a few fleeting moments at a time.

Derrick, the aforementioned roommate, has continued on his streak of making stupid/bad decisions this week. I’m beginning to think that he just prefers to make stupid decisions so that people take pity on him and do things for him. I could be way off, but it seems like he’s mastered the art of getting other people to do things so he doesn’t have to.

I’m still annoyed/bummed/frustrated that my autoimmune blood work came back negative. Though I was exceptionally anxious for the results, I was most definitely hoping for a diagnosis. At least with a diagnosis, I could finally know what is wrong. At least with a diagnosis I could learn what to do to fix, or minimize the issues I’ve been having. But no, now I have another test that says, on paper, I’m an otherwise perfectly healthy human being.

I got really pissed off at a rude Hiring Manager the other day. She was being exceptionally callous on the phone and I was trying to, as they say, ‘kill her with kindness’. It wasn’t working. It reached a point where she said ‘Tell me why you deserve this job’. I responded with ‘How about you tell me why you deserve my talents, expertise and intellectual property?’ It’s safe to say after a response like that that I won’t be hearing from that company again. Oh well, employers who take the high-and-might platform aren’t that great to work for anyway. #JobHunting

I broke my toe a few weeks back and I’ve really been having a frustrating time waiting for it to heal. I’ve been trying to not walk too much, but now that it’s finally spring, I really want to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. It’s not too too cold in Canada, so it’s time to take advantage of the fresh air. Heal toe, heal. (No pun intended)

Unrelated – I want to find friends, or at least acquaintances, who watch Jane the Virgin. I’ve been obsessed with that show since it first came out. Now that the final season has just started airing, I need someone to gossip with about the show and make predictions as to what’s about to happen. If there’s any Jane the Virgin fans out there – holla at me!

Does anyone else struggle, at times, with simple actions? This morning I had a really difficult time just crawling out of bed. I’ve been feeling myself slip deeper into a depressed state as the months go on, but I’ve been trying to fight it. Today though, today was a rough start for me. I wouldn’t say that I’m suffering from depression itself, I would just say that I’m struggling to cope right now. I need an outlet, or a sign from the Universe to let me know that everything is going to be okay.

Okay, I think that’s enough confessions for one night.

Not afraid of what’s to come.

Normally people talk about having ups and downs in life. From my perspective, the past eight weeks of my life have had a lot of downs. I won’t lie, there has been a few good moments. But, it’s seemed as though the bad has far outweighed the good. For me, bad things don’t come in three’s, bad things come in eleven’s or twelve’s.

Nevertheless, life goes on and we must learn to deal with what is put in front of us. For me, for the first time in eight weeks, I am feeling hopeful. At least I think this is what hope is.

Today was a really good day. Nothing overly special happened, it was just a calm quiet Sunday. I think that’s why I liked it so much though. Calm and quiet are good things to have right now.

This week I will be getting some blood tests done to test for autoimmune diseases. I’m not afraid of being diagnosed with something. At this point, I would actually really like to be given a diagnosis. At least with a diagnosis, I could have proof that my symptoms aren’t in my head. Also, with a diagnosis, I could say ‘okay, this is what it is, lets work towards minimizing my symptoms and the toll it takes on me’. Wish me luck!

In other news, something really cool is happening this year that I haven’t really talked, or thought much about the past eight weeks. My two younger brothers are identical twins. This year, they’re having babies… just two months apart from each other. They’re going to become dad’s for the first time, right around the same time. I’m excited to see what the future holds for them, I am excited to meet the newest little additions to my family and I have been really enjoying shopping for adorable baby clothes for them. The babies will be technically both cousins and half-siblings (DNA of identical twins being the same). How cool is that?

This week I am determined to make farther steps to getting a new job. I’m tired of being unemployed. I don’t need work to feel as though I have a purpose, but I want to work to feel as though I am contributing to something. Furthermore, I want to travel so I need to work to save money. All things said, I NEED A JOB. Vee does not want to tolerate being unemployed any longer. I am a badass, intelligent human being with a university degree and ten year’s experience working PR for a massive organization. I CAN DO THIS. I CAN. (That was a pep talk to myself, in case it wasn’t clear)

It’s 8:30 on a Sunday night and I’m already considering curling up and calling it a night. Is this what being a grandma is like?

Rest easy, world.

Day 27: What’s it like to be homeless?

The day that I was fired from my job I gave notice that I would be moving out of this apartment. At the time it seemed like the right thing to do. I didn’t want to be here, and if I wasn’t working, why should I stay? I was clearly way too over-confident in thinking that I would have everything sorted out in one-month’s time.

Here we are 27 days later and I don’t have any more answers now than I had the day I gave my notice. I’m packing my things, cleaning my apartment and getting ready to become a stow-away/couch surfer/mooch from everyone I know.

In the truest, societal definition of the sense, I am not ‘homeless’. I won’t be on the streets. I won’t be in dire straights not knowing where my next meal will come from. Thankfully, I do have some extremely wonderful and loving people in my life whom I know will make sure I have a place to sleep during this awkward transition I seem to be going through. That being said, it’s going to be weird to be of no fixed address. To not have my things and my bed and say I am going home to my place at the end of each day. Maybe I’ll get used to that. Maybe I’ll even like that. It might be nice to have nothing to tie one’s-self down.

The one thought that has remained constant during the past 27 days is the desire to travel. I have the most intense, urgent desire to up and leave everything behind and see the world. I want to take beautiful photos, eat exhilarating foods and spend all of my savings just living. Truly living.

Perhaps I’m wrong. But then again we’re all allowed to make our own definitions of what it means to truly live. I can’t shake this feeling though that there’s got to be more out there for me than a cubicle with my name on it.

Maybe I don’t need a fixed address. Maybe what I need is out there… somewhere in this world that I have yet to travel.

Question of the day: where’s your ideal travel destination?

I’ve been reading this a lot lately.

“At this time, I regretfully have to share that we’ve decided to move ahead with other applicants for this role. We will certainly keep you in mind and reach out in case another opportunity comes up that may be a good fit. Hope you understand that it’s often quite difficult for us to decide who we proceed with in this process. 

Wishing you all the best in your job search! 

The thing about trying to “prove yourself” based off the information listed in a single piece of paper is that it really provides no insight as to who you are. Being turned down for all of these positions before they event want to give me a chance for an interview is frustrating to say the least.

Truth is, I could make a huge fucking difference to your office. I could.

Waiting for someone to realize that is an annoying process. How do you make yourself stand out on a piece of paper? How do you sum up your whole life, skills, personality and successes in one piece of paper? Someone please tell me because I really don’t seem to be doing well at it.

-V

Stories from a toxic office.

At my former job – as a female working in a male dominated office – 24 men to four women – one of the things required of females to do was to answer the phones. Rather than hiring a receptionist to do receptionist jobs, the men of the office decided that all the females were required to share the duty of answering the phones.

None of the men in the office were willing to acknowledge that answering phones takes time out of one’s day. They didn’t care to acknowledge it, so they continued to pile things onto our ‘to-do’ lists and act as though it took no time at all to answer the phone hundreds of times per day.

The HR Manager, Steve, thought he was a funny man. In addition to frequently making racist and sexist remarks and encouraging other men in the office to laugh at him when he did so, he frequently liked to make remarks about the appearance of females in the office – who he thought was pretty, who he was attracted to, who he thought was ugly, etc…

One summer’s day last August, Steve decided to call the office with a fake accent to be his particularly heinous self and play (what he considered) a practical joke on me. Two of the four women in the office were named Ally.

In a fake Chinese accent, pretending to be an idiot, Steve asked for Ally. When I responded with “Which Ally would you like to speak with?” Steve’s response was ‘The bang-able one’.

‘Excuse me?’ I responded. Truthfully, I should have just hung up then.

As he started chuckling, I recognized that laugh and realized that it was Steve, thinking he was being funny.

‘Put me through to the sexy one, please,’ he said whilst laughing.

At that point I did hang up on him.

Steve promptly called back and, when I answered the phone, told me that I needed to learn how to take a joke.

I’m sorry. How is that a joke?

How is the HR Manager able to make jokes like that? How does behaviour like that get stopped in an office when it’s the HR Manager is leading the charge of the disgusting behaviour? Why is it okay to be like that? And why, as a female, am I being treated as hostile and overbearing for telling him that he can’t say shit like that.

It’s not okay.

Where do you go to exclaim that when it’s the HR Manager who thinks that behaviour like that is acceptable? Do you just keep working in a toxic office that doesn’t treat the female gender with respect? When you go and ask for help and outsiders tell you ‘talk to HR’, what are your other options?

And he wonders why women in that office have such a hard time feeling like part of the team.

-V