Saturday, May 31, 2008


Ok... so it's been a while since last I wrote. In the intervening time, my parents went to China (and were there during the earthquake... thankfully they came through unscathed and in fact didn't know there'd been one until I texted them to ask if they were ok), D and I went on a cruise (one quite different from our previous Caribbean experiences), and I was humiliated by my former employers.

Yup. You read that right.

And yes, you did read a few posts back about me marking my 10 year anniversary with my employers. These would be the same ones.

I returned from vacation on Monday May 26th. Had some computer issues, checked in with my manager, went to start some testing for a project due to launch in August for which testing must be completed by June 20 to launch on time and for which they do not have enough testers. Waded through a week's worth of emails. Went home at the end of the day.

On Tuesday the 27th I went in at my usual time. Got to my desk at 7:30. Before I even had a chance to check email, my manager appeared at my desk. Odd, I thought, he's usually a 9:00 starter. He said "can I just see you upstairs for a minute?", so off I went. Walked into a meeting room in which sat our Senior Manager. Alarm bells. "OK... now I'm nervous" I joked. Ha. Joked. They proceeded to tell me that as a result of the recent restructuring of the department, they had re-evaluated the requirements of the Channel Management team (me and my manager) and had decided that they did not require 2 people on the team. My position was being eliminated.

As if that wasn't bad enough, they proceeded to tell me that my employment with the company would cease, effective May 27th (yup... that same day).

No warning. No notice. No opportunity to review internal postings. Because obviously the department I was working in is the only one in the company... so if I don't have a job with them, there's no hope of me finding one elsewhere in the organization. Arrogant idiots.

I had to ask for my damn 10 year anniversary "gift", since my manager has been holding it since April and didn't volunteer to give it to me. I now see it as my "lovely parting gift" (a la cheesy 80's game show).

They delivered the news and immediately left. Left me alone, crying, wondering what the hell happened and what the hell I was going to do. The "employment transitioning" rep who came in was the one to offer comfort. The one to even do the simple thing like hand my a freakin' Kleenex.

It was humiliating to be treated like that by a company I had given 10 years of my life. Humiliating and insulting. As was the severance offer and it's contingencies.

So now, after 10 years with one company... all my post-scholastic working life... I now have to start all over again. I have to draft a resume that includes my most recent employment in a position for which I never had a title or job description. I have to try to sell myself without saying "I know a little about a lot, but not a lot about anything". I have to figure out how to go on interviews (assuming I'm lucky enough to get one). I haven't done this for 10 years. Yes... I've done something of the sort, but really, my job changes inside the company were working connections more than formal application, or were the results of re-structuring and re-organization within the same executive areas, and the 2 interviews I've had in that time were either with people who were familiar with my father (which is how I got into the company in the first place), or someone who effectively recruited me.

I don't even know what I want to do. What I'd enjoy. This sucks.

10 years. With a large, international bank.

9 years in IT (Mainframe System and user Support, implementation and support of a fraud detection system employing 3rd party software and an MS SQL database, user and technical support for a Data Warehouse running on a TeraData platform (you'd be amazed how much information is available for clients of a bank with divisions for US operations, insurance, investments, US investments, US mortgages, and Canadian banking)), then 15 months on the business side of things in Online Strategy & Client experience (first as an online marketing coordinator, then, as a result of a re-org, as a Business Analyst (which I hated, but I suppose wasn't bad at), then as a result of management attrition and re-structuring, as part of the online Channel Management team.

Education history is predominantly in technical theatre with a focus on stage and production management.

I'm not sure where to go from here. I'm not sure if we should even stay in Toronto, or consider moving somewhere slightly less expensive to live.

I have no idea how I'm going to get the same salary I'm losing (and we need me to bring in at least as much). I have no idea if I'm going to be able to go to my friend's wedding up North in July if I manage to find something else before then. I have no idea if we're going to be able to spend the vacation time we had booked for September together or if D is going to be alone, assuming I find a new job.

I'm not even sure how seriously I should be looking right now.

To explain that. They've offered me a certain number of weeks of "Income Protection" where they pay me the same salary I was getting, and continue benefits... or a lump sum equivalent to roughly half the amount. If I decline the lump sum, I have to submit monthly reports indicating that I am actively seeking alternate employment... otherwise the pay out ceases. If I find alternate employment, payments and benefits will cease immediately and I'll get a lump sum equal to HALF the number of weeks remaining. So, the incentive seems to be... to try to look for work and fail miserably until the end of Income Protection. A challenge... and not one I'm sure my personality will accomplish. I don't think I could stand being off work that long.

Gah. I don't know what to do.

I'm just so pissed off, and humiliated by the whole thing.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Pot Holes

You know... I'm told it was a really bad winter and that's why the roads in Toronto (and surrounding areas) are so bad. But somehow, I don't buy it. Why not? Because we've had worse winters... I remember worse winters. And there are areas that get rougher winters than we did and don't have crap-tastic roads like ours.

To give those of you not in the GTA an idea of what I'm talking about, I'll tell you about the current road works.

First... our roads. Our roads are built roughly like this (and this is both city streets and highways): gravel & sand, then reinforced concrete, then asphalt, then another layer of asphalt. When the crews go out to resurface the 401 (as an example), they grind off the top layer of asphalt, let it sit for weeks on end and then resurface (nobody's really sure why... in some areas they grind and resurface immediately).

Well, lately, the summer road-work pre-season has started to 'fix' the potholes. Except this year... they've ground off BOTH layers of asphalt and there are STILL potholes!!! Yup, that's right, the potholes this year go right down into the reinforced concrete. And it's not just on the highways where there are heavy trucks increasing the problem, but also on streets that see almost exclusively passenger vehicle traffic. Right down to the concrete.

Madness, I tell you... sheer madness! I'm so glad I pay taxes for these outstanding quality roads. *sigh*