Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's nice to be treated nicely

I had almost forgotten that job satisfaction feels really good. Not that I was completely unsatisfied at Top of the World in Ottawa; I found my seven years there to be tremendously rewarding and wouldn't give them up for anything in the world. But my job there took on a different flavour when I graduated and became a full-time retail employee with a graduate degree. I knew I had to move on, and so my sense of job satisfaction suffered until I moved to Toronto.

I had been here less than 24 hours when I took to Queen St W armed with a stack of resumes. I was looking for serving/bartending work, something quick and dirty to keep me fed and clean while I take on the daunting task of finding a "real job" (ie- something in my field. Sociology. Zombie film. Good luck!) I must have handed out 25 resumes that night, and most of the managers and supervisors I spoke with treated me like exactly what I was; one in a million servers/bartenders looking for work in trendy bars on Queen St. Many of them didn't even try to mask their sarcasm when they said they'd give me a call. Thanks for the humanity, guys. I'll be sure to frequent your establishment when I'm important, someday.

Nocturne was different. The bartender working took an instant liking to me; something that doesn't happen very often, especially among females of our species. Within a week I was working there and at the end of my first shift, the staff toasted my hiring together. Since then, I have never once been dealt with rudely or unprofessionally, nor have I ever felt overworked or taken advantage of. As a result, I care deeply about Nocturne and its staff and owners, and take it upon myself to promote the bar and its events as best I can.

Happy workers make for happy workplaces in so many ways. Looking for full-time work in an economic recession with a somewhat abstract area of expertise is rather daunting, and I used to think that good pay was the best I could hope for in these circumstances, but there are possibilities on my horizon for some very rewarding and exciting work. To be continued...?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

remember knitting?

I found a webring for knitting blogs in the GTA and I've been perusing it for a few hours (oops, I mean minutes. I'm not a psycho, I swear). I remember when I started this blog, meaning for it to be a knitting blog with some personal content. Then it became a blog about school-related rantings, life-related gripings and occasionally, knitting-related braggings.

I haven't knit-bragged for a long time, and not because I haven't produced anything bragworthy. Could it be that I've lost the compulsion to share my precious FOs with the blogosphere? Or could it be that I've lost the readership to even bother updating this blog more often than once in an FO?

At any rate, my needles are currently being occupied by a pair of penguin mittens for my friend and former coworker Raelyn. A penguin enthusiast (apparently such things exist), she collects everything and anything remotely penguin-related. When she saw my adaptation of the alligator mitts into sandworm mitts), she asked if I could produce penguin mittens. I told her I could, but that she's have to be patient; I was working 2 jobs at the time and preparing for the move to Toronto. She agreed to accept the mitts well beyond mitt-season, and lo and behold I'm finally working on them.

The problem with the mittens I initially designed was that I wanted the wristband ribbing portion to be black with white on the inside of the wrist. Think black penguin with white belly, right? The thing is, changing colors when you're knitting in the round on dpns is a bitch. A real bitch. You can't use intarsia because you leave the working end on the wrong side of the color block, so you can't use that end again. Get it? Even if you don't, you can see the complexity of the problem. I was stumped. As such, I have had to make the wristband and heel-of-hand portion all in black, saving the white underbelly for the lower jaw portion (which is knit flat- no problemo).

All this to say that I'll have your mittens to you someday, Raelyn. And on that day, I will blog. And brag.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Some jobs I've applied for recently

- court reporter
- freelance video game reviewer
- flight attendant
- crack-whore trainee

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hmm. As I was saying...

The move to Toronto went about as smoothly as a move could ever go, in my experience. The only glitch was Uhaul; I booked it weeks in advance but they made me pick it up in Carleton Place. Carleton Place is not close, it's not convenient. Hell, it isn't even in Ottawa! I was pretty grumpy that we had to drive out of town to get the truck into town to then move out of town. Outrageous.

Apart from what a pain that was (and what a pain it was to move sick. Did I mention I had a cold?) once we got to Toronto things went better. I had helping hands waiting for me so we got my stuff in my apartment and had time to spare to use the truck to move my roommate in, too. It was scary to move into an apartment I'd never seen before but I LOVE IT. It's a very new townhouse complex. I haven't lived somewhere "new" in quite a while (all working fixtures, adequate amount of electrical sockets, laundry? DISHWASHER?? WHAT?!?) and there are security guards everywhere so I don't have to be nervous walking home in the Big Smoke. In addition, we have a terrace that we've recently furnished with an awesome patio set.

Being unemployed upon arrival gave me plenty of time to settle in, and as soon as I had my room set up I hit Queen St with a stack of resumes. Sure enough, 48 hours in the city and I had a bartending job. Nocturne, located at 555 Queen St W, is a very cool little joint. I was lucky to be resume-ing when I was, because the bar used to be called Savage Garden and had just been reopened under new management - a perfect time to come aboard. Nights were slow in the beginning but have picked up substantially in recent weeks. We have some really exciting shows coming up, including a Japanese pop night tonight and a burlesque show later this month!

Another spot I found to be lucrative is The Fashion District, located at 550 Queen St W (both Nocturne and TFD are about 5 minutes from my apartment, PS). Similar to The Workshop in Ottawa, The Fashion District is packed with handmade goodness from over 20 local designers. In addition, the store is a co-op, so every designers works a shift in the store to help promote one another. Most designers rent a gable or two but my stuff takes such little space so I'm just selling on consignment.

As happy as I am to be working at Nocturne a few nights a week and have stuff at The Fashion District, I obviously still need a full-time job. It took forever to get my internet set up at home (Thanks again Bell, for being sooo user-friendly) but now that I do, I'm hoping to find something full-time very soon. My consignment spot at TFD is good for boredom because it's something I can spend my free days working on, but it has stiff competition for my free time; free cable, a new vampire novel series, my friend Ian's Xbox 360.

Overall, I like Toronto if though I can't afford to go out and appreciate it as much as I'd like. Soon, though. Soon, I think I oculd be happy here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Until I get the internet at home this Wednesday, here's a snap shot of what's up.

- I live in Toronto now
- I bartend at Nocturne, where Savage Garden used to be on Queen St W
- Undeadclothing items are available at The Fashion District, 555 Queen St W
- I have wonderful friends in Toronto who are making the adjustment that much easier
- I miss everyone in Ottawa, even the people who pissed me off on the regular.