Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing

"Sometimes you're loved because of your weaknesses, she said. What you can't do is sometimes more compelling than what you can do."

Had I had access to the internet from day one I could have started this blog at a more appropriate (read more assignment-deadline-friendly) time...but here I am, curled up in sweatpants, coffee in hand, in a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop on Davie Street starting my online journal. Initially viewing my lack of internet and cable in the homestead as a problem, I've started to see it as more of an opportunity to get to know my new neighbourhood.

The diversity of the West End's inhabitants is as electric as the ethnically diverse cuisine offered in every other store front and in between those...more fetish stores than I've seen in the entirety of my life. Instead of the ongoing battle of price wars on gas it's who can offer the cheapest peep show (25 cents to the lowest bidder, in case you're wondering).

It takes me exactly 25 minutes of downhill power-walking to arrive at work at the Pan Pacific Hotel on the beautiful Vancouver waterfront and precisely 35 arduous minutes of uphill, traffic- dodging labour to return home...and I love every, single second of it.

I lucked out and got a position with the bell services team at the front doors of the hotel. I work with a group of amazing bellmen and doormen whose experience with hotels ranges from 3 to 30 years. They granted me admission to "the boys club" immediately and it's been a hilarious and pseudo-professional journey since my first day, May 6th, 2010.

Unfortunately, I was only able to secure 30 hours with the team and have since been searching for additional, part-time employment. It's a fine balance between working for school experience and much needed funds and maintaining some kind of sanity via my days off. I've had incredible support and assistance from the hotel group and they're currently trying to find a way to get me into the hotels restaurant, Cafe Pacifica, for my remaining hours. This current battle has already taught me so much about the labour standards rules and regulations. Like did you know you can't exceed 40 hours a week? Simple, right?! BUT did you also know that you can't exceed more than 8 hours a day, even if those hours are split up between entirely separate departments? Still easy. Okay okay about this: Did you know that you can work a split shift, for example 4 hours with the bell services team and 4 hours with the restaurant but if and only if those two shifts are distanced by exactly 4 hours?!

This making money thing is proving more challenging than I'd anticipated.

I just read a book called The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, a collection of short stories told from a woman's perspective on life, love and work. She spends her life becoming an editor and after realizing how much she dislikes judging other people based on their written word she quits and starts a new adventure.

"How was the first day of the rest of your life, he asked. It was okay, she said, but I think the second day of the rest of my life will be better."

For some of us this coop experience is going to be flawless, exactly what we'd hoped for and an amazing opportunity to learn new skills in the work place. For others, perhaps, it will just be a lesson in patience and anger management. For me, it's been a great way to get outside my comfort zone. I started to fall asleep in Victoria but for more reasons than one Vancouver is reenergizing my life and teaching me how to start from the bottom again. How to work my way up through respect and hard work. I've got the unfailing support of my family but am starting from scratch with friends. It's daunting and at times I just want to run back to Camosun and laze about Dunlop with my classmates. My friends.

But, for now...I forge ahead. So to those of you who read this, thank you and good luck. I miss you.