Thursday, 29 December 2011

2011 in Review

*I wrote this before 2012.  I really did.  And then I didn't bother to edit or post it and mostly had forgotten about it until a friend asked me about my blog today.  Sorry friends.  If you have been in withdrawal without knowing about my life.  I am just a little behind.  I am going to start on my list of resolutions tonight.  (sneak preview - number one is to stop procrastinating...). Now on to the original post.*

I like to do a year end summary as each year passes in my life.  Most of the time it is in my head, or in my journal (you know, those little books of blank pages of paper they used to use in the 1600s and everybody else has since moved on to an electronic version but I continue to buy them, as well as calendars??).  I know, everybody these days just has facebook do it automatically for them.  Well, this year I thought I would sum it up for you here on the internet in the form of pros and cons.  I couldn't decide if I should start with the good or the bad.  I've done a lot of cutting and pasting and re-cutting and re-pasting and have decided to start with the bad and end with the good.  Just to keep things light and positive around here.


I applied to exactly 37 jobs over the course of this year.  During that time I had four interviews.  The only job I was offered was minimum wage seasonal at the mall, which I have grown to enjoy, but it is not my dream job.  I did have an opportunity to interview, twice, for my dream job.  I am still not quite over that rejection.  Sheesh.  That one hurt more than when one of my highschool boyfriend broke up with me by just not speaking to me anymore and finding himself another girlfriend (although, in retrospect, my only regret about that is I didn't stop speaking to him first).  In conclusion, hopefully 2012 brings with it some better luck and interviewing skills on my behalf.

We moved out of Toronto.

I spent six entire months planning a wedding.  For those of you who haven't done it, my only advice would be, don't!  No matter how happy you are to be getting married, or how well everybody gets along, this will be a hellish journey through hell you would wish only upon serial rapists and anybody who works at Leon's(see pros for more details).

The world is filled with stupid idiots who in turn fill my blog with babblings about those idiots.  This is a con for humanity, but really a pro for my life because otherwise this blog would have to be a lot less sarcastic and a lot more boring and uplifting. 
Regis quit Live.  That was one of the biggest downers of the year for me.  I cry over a lot of television, but never so hard as that final episode of Live. 

There really has to be more.  Lots more.  I am sure of it but for now I think I have covered all of the major events. 


The biggest one for this year is that I got married to the most wonderful husband in all the land and then went on a fantastic honeymoon around Europe for six weeks, completely and totally avoiding all responsibility and pretending I was not a grown up at all.

We moved out of Toronto.

We moved into the cutest little comfy house I have ever seen and I'm happy to be here.

My wedding is over and I never have to do that again.  Before I was even engaged my cousin whispered to me, "if you are thinking of getting married, don't have a wedding, elope."  I smiled sweetly and thanked her for the advice, knowing my wedding planning wouldn't turn into a horrible mess of awfulness.  It did.  It absolutely did.  I found I was stressed over the colour of the ribbon that tied my lillies together, or whether or not my lactose intolerant guests could manage the blue cheese ravioli I adored, and what to do if it rained, and what flip flops I would wear under my dress to dance in.  These are not the sort of things I ever thought I would care about.  My wedding turned me into a crazy person who was genuinely upset over these tiny details and thousands of other.  Plus I managed to get a raging sore throat and the beginnings of my 'stress' rash on my face (which a doctor told me almost 6 months later had nothing to do with stress and I needed antibiotics to clear it up...  oops....) in the week before our wedding.  My advice, newly engaged couples, is to elope. 

If you must have a wedding, make sure it ends something like this - beer, chips and your very best friends documenting the entire thing for fb to see.

Do I need more?  I believe life is made up of all the tiny pros.  My puppy making me laugh.  My husband doing the dishes (that might have happened in 2010, but the joy of it still fills me all the way through this year and into the next).  A day at the cottage.  A night cuddled on the couch watching the Charlie Sheen roast (don't lie, you know it was a highlight of your year too).  A new friend.  Or finding out your old friends are more wonderful than you knew.  Winning a minor battle over Leon's.  These sorts of things keep me optimistic about next year.  2012 will be the year of my career.  Also the year of the dragon.  How can anything go wrong?  Unless of course the Mayans are right, and then we are all in for a serious amount of trouble.... 

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Happy Shopping Season!

I know this will seem a little unbelievable, but I have actually been incredibly busy this last little while.  I apologize, but my part time job quickly became full time, and then more than full time, with me working 6 days last week and 47 hours!!  Yikes!!  As an unemployed person that is a horrifically overwhelming amount of work to be doing in only one week.  That's about my hourly total for the months of July, August, September and October combined.  Seriously.  That is not a joke.

I just came across a little piece of news to brighten your day and fill you with whatever sort of holiday spirit you care to be filled with.  The results of a young alumni survey I had filled out a few weeks ago for McMaster came in today.  The most startling information is that 16.5% of the 2500 respondents said they were unemployed.  I didn't say I was unemployed, but I definitely mentioned being rediculously underemployed. 

I understand that chances are more unemployed people bothered to actually do the survey (me included), but still!!  That is much much higher than any national averages.  What are we doing?  Besides sleeping in our parents' basements and eating chips until 4am and hoping that the next day we will have the inner strength to be bothered to put on clothing or at least not entirely and completely lose the will to live.  But why aren't we out there in the work force?  This seems absolutely crazy to me.  I am happy to not be alone in this.

Can I also let you know that further in to the survey the number one thing we would like a discount on is retail stores and number two is travel related?  Uhmmm  how are all these unemployed people travelling and buying stuff?  (unless they have all read my blog about marrying for money/rent, in which case I completely understand, and spend on my fellow losers, spend on!). 

I have no real conclusion, only my condolences for the rest of my generation.  I had this vague hope that possibly I was in a small minority of unemployed, going nowhere in life, people who haven't managed to really do anything and would have been better off with only a highschool diploma and a full time job.  But it looks like I am not alone, and although that is mildly comforting, I wouldn't wish this fate on anyone!

Back to my real world - we can't afford a new vacuum cleaner and I am trying to fix our old one and they company just emailed me and told me they didn't even make the product we have because apparently Electrolux switched hands in 2001....  oops....  haha  The quest for a new filter continues!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Leons Versus The Brick - An Internet Showdown


Note: Re-updated.  Darn you Leon's.  Darn you to heck.

Another note:  Re-re-updated.

Since we have a little bit of wedding present money left to spend, and a brand new rental house to furnish, we've been buying furniture.  Specifically a bedroom set from Leons and a living room set from The Brick.  We have had two radically different experiences that I would like to share with you. 


Go shopping at the Danforth store.  Have sales person follow us around.  Choose furniture.  Wait half an hour for the order to be processed.  Wait some more while she wandered around doing nothing and trying to make us buy more furniture. 

Day of delivery.  Wait for phone call, never received.  They show up randomly and deliver furniture.  Footboard is smashed all up.  Dresser drawers are uneven and don't close.  Night table is not put together properly.

Call Leons.  Am told someone will come to fix it.  Specifically describe problems and say, `Will the technician be able to take apart the dresser because that is the only way to fix it?". 

Technician comes.  Cannot take apart dresser.  Fill out forms.  Leaves.  Without fixing anything, except a little paint on the night table to hide the fact it was not put together properly.

Another day off work, waiting around.  This is $80 I could desperately use, Leons!  New footboard is fine.  New dresser is dented.  Given $100 off.

Decide that is not acceptable because the dent is really noticeable.  Call Leons.  Offer to send another dresser and let us keep $100 off for the hassle.

Dresser #3 is broken and cannot be taken off the truck it is so severely damaged structurally, good thing I took another day off work.  We had been assured it was in good condition because a manager had checked it.  Right.  Just like every time I call and they don't call me back and I call again and they say, "O I was just looking at your file and was about to call."  Don't patronize me Leons.

Call Leons.  Ask for a fourth dresser.  No problem.  It will all be fine, Jason assures me.  Bed doesn't go together.  Technician will come and fix it.  Bed is apparently always difficult to put together, but we were told it would be easy for us to do ourselves.

Technician comes and fixes bed for us.  Keep counting, this is day five off work.

Night before Leons is supposed to deliver the fourth dresser, I call Leons in Toronto, they are sure it has been double checked by a manager.  They offer to call the store in Burlington and call me back.  Call back, oops, dresser number four is broken too.  Maybe we have to wait until a new shipment in the end of December?  Who knows.  I ask for a further discount.  Am assured that of course there will be one after the dresser is delivered.

Get a call.  Possibly a dresser for us.  They will deliver it.  I ask the Burlington store about a discount, of course we will get one, they understand that we have taken six days off work to wait around for their delivery guys who never call because the one time we had to be out of the house they promised they would call an hour before so we could get back in time and they didn't call until they were already at the house. 

Dresser is delivered.   It is fine.  We take it.

Wait for Leons to call us about discount.

Keep waiting.

Call them.  Manager will call me back. 

Keep waiting.

Call again.  O, what great timing!  They were just going over our file and about to call me back.  They offer me $100.  The original $100.  No discount for the FOUR extra days off work?  I ask how I can get a hold of head office or someone above the store manager.  Apparently everything is handled through store managers and nothing else.  I only want to let someone know about my issues with their quality control.  Nope.  No way.  I explain that I have never heard of a large corporation that doesn't have an organized hierarchy for complaints.  Still nothing.  If you had a problem with my mall store you could speak to the manager, then the store manager, then the district manager, and you could take it all the way up to the head office if you felt so inclined.  Leons has no such hierarchy.

Fine.  We will take the $100 discount.  Well, we can't actually have it because it is illegal for them to store our credit card number.  Canada privacy act or some such thing.  Husband will have to call with his credit card number.  Half an hour later he gets a message saying they had used his credit card number  that was on file to give a refund of the $100.

What the hell Leons?

The Brick

Go to store.  Find couch I had already seen on sale online.  Buy couch.  The entire process (including driving to and from the store) takes under an hour, and we sat on every couch in the entire store!  The sale only took five minutes.  We bought the couches on Thursday, they offered to deliver on Saturday or Sunday (Leons doesn't deliver Sunday). 

Couches are delivered.  Minor problem, missing legs for one of the couches.  Otherwise everything is in great condition, got offered an extended warranty and given protective spray for couches.

Call the Brick.  They offer to have legs shipped to us. 

Everything is fine, our living room is ready to go and less than a week later we are sitting on our couches in our beautiful living room.

I bet you can guess which store is getting my face punch.  No?  I'll give you a hint.... 

It's not the Brick.

**** UPDATE ****

Yesterday (3 whole weeks after I first posted this and then sent it in an email along with the blog link to Leon's to show them that I mean business about hating them), my Husband got a phone call from Leon's.  We stared, confused, at the call display, wondering what awful thing they were calling to tell us now.  Finally I said, "well you might as well answer it".  He answered the phone and I heard him say, "well you can talk to her", and handed the phone to me.  Imagine my shocked surprise to find out they were calling to apologize for their terrible service, and to tell me they had discussed the problem with their supplier AND in the most shocking news off all, they would like to offer us an additional $200 off. 

In conclusion, I felt like I won.  Although on further reflection I feel what I won was a major battle, that will have minor long term reprecussions for them in that we will not shop at there store any more (ever heard of 'too little, too late' Leon's?), but overall they got rid of their crappy furniture and still got the majority of our hard earned money so maybe they were the winners of the war.

I thought I should update you to be fair to Leon's as a company.  If you would like to put in many many weeks of hard work, calling and never being called back, and leaving messages and never being called back, and having multiple dressers delivered and service men come to your house and $30 in long distance charges on your cell phone and waiting three months for a resolution that may never come and being filled with anger and resentment any time you spend more than five minutes in your bedroom - if all of that seems worth $300 off, then by all means, go ahead. 

Hopefully this is the conclusion of this drama.  But who can know what the New Year will hold?!?!

January 2, 2012.  That was obviously not the conclusion.  Today we checked our credit card bill.  We got $100 back.  Not $200.  Why did I ever bother?  Herm said, well you should call and ask.  But o no, not this time.  I am finished with those liars.  I am sorry I ever felt badly for being so mean and ammended this post.  DO NOT SHOP AT LEON'S.  The end.  For real this time.  O I really really hope so....

February 8, 2012.  Weeks after this whole fiasco we got a random $100 credit back.  So weird Leon's.  So weird....  In conclusion, I really don't know what to say.  Upon further review the furniture isn't even that nice.  It scratches easily.  And dust shows very clearly.  And it wasn't worth all of the hassle, or all of these updates.  I stick with my original opinion, skip Leon's. 

Just when I thought I had finally found rock bottom, I find you can always fall a little further. Sometimes, literally.

I felt like I was piecing my life back together, again.  After not getting that job I had decided to move on and stop looking in at the dress I had decided to buy at RW as a celebration dress which I can no longer afford and the adorable ankle boots I was also going to get.  I started packing my lunch instead of eating at the food court on my breaks.  I applied to a few more jobs on Monday.  I visited my family on the weekend.  Yes, I found I could move on, and possibly up.  There was something else out there for me.  Something better even!

Today I headed out to work at the mall.  I was walking because I cannot afford a car on my luxurious salary of under $600/month.  Also, let's be serious, I need the exercise.  I have become extremely inactive, even for an unemployed person.  While walking I thought of a funny story I wanted to tell my littlest sister.  I called her up, but since it had snowed last night and I was freezing I did something a little silly.  I never wear hats, for unknown reasons I hate them, instead I have a cute little headband to keep my ears warm.  I stuck my phone under my headband, thus creating my very own 'hands free' talking!  This is not an attractive look, but it served its purpose and it was early and nobody else was out.  I was zipping along trying to get to the mall when I decided to take a little short cut through a very small patch of grass.  This is where the problems started.  They ended with me dramatically slipping and falling into a mud puddle, screaming at the top of my lungs and grasping for my stupid phone which stayed stuck in my headband.

Please, picture this.  I am covered in mud, showing up to work right on time, but no extra time to go back and get changed.  I cannot afford buy new pants.  I definitely cannot afford to call in sick.  I have no choice.  I show up, pants soaked all the way up my butt, muddy and awful.  Is there really no end to my humiliation?  World, I apologize for whatever I did in a previous lifetime, but I do believe I have suffered enough.  Seriously.  Enough.  I am not sure how much more I can handle. 

In hilarious news, if that isn't enough, when I went to work and explained the story, I finished with, "you know, just in case you were wondering why I showed up looking like such a mess..."  to which a co-worker simply raised an eyebrow and stared me down.  I was forced to reply with an awkward, "well, more of a mess than usual.  *uncomfortable giggle*"

I tried to google various pictures of mud puddles and wearing your cell phone in your headband, but apparently this unique situation has not happened to anybody else, or if it has they have not documented in on the internet.  So, I have taken this opportunity to draw you a visual Paint representation of what happened.  Enjoy.  If you would like a self portrait done please send me your most embarassing moment and I will try to my best to draw it for you.

Yes, I took some liberties and made myself a lot blonder and thinner.  I needed something to brighten my day.

Friday, 2 December 2011

So close, and yet.....

This week has been filled with stories that I have selfishly been keeping to myself.  Let me try to catch you up.  Last weekend I went to my sister's for a belated Thanksgiving (we were celebrating the American version this year).  Our Thanksgivings involve feasting and drunk dialing other family members.  This year proved to be no different and included us shouting at our littlest sister, "Why are you with a man?  We can hear a man with you!"  Once we sobered up she informed us she had been on the bus.  Oops.  Our bad. 

This very same littlest sister, who puts up with so much from us, had sent us a giant bag of hand me downs.  We went through this bag and divided everything up with hardly any fighting.  What we didn't know was that these clothes had magical life saving powers.  That's right, this is not an exageration, it is the real truth.

My middle sister had one of the shirts on and was about to head to work when she looked down and saw a little hole in it.  Being the slobby sister, she was going to go to work anyway.  But she realized as a professional she shouldn't dress like a homeless person (Yes, if you are wondering, I am the older, unsuccessful, jobless sister.  I am happy for her, but even sadder for me).  She went back in to the house and one her drive to work passed by a giant horrible accident that she would have been a part of had she left the house five minutes earlier.  Shirt = life saver (not the candy, stay with me here people, it actually, literally saved her life). 

Then on Wednesday I was going out for dinner with my friends.  I was a little late because I had to stop by my parents house to drop off a very belated birthday present for my Dad.  My Mom was disappointed because her birthday had only been four days ago, so she obviously thought the present was for her.  They had both forgotten I had not got a present for my father this year.  So much for spending time and energy on choosing thoughtful gifts, next year I'm getting them nothing and then when/if they mention it I'm going to pretend I bought them something and they will never know the truth.  Hope you are all looking forward to Christmas!

So, on my drive from their house to dinner I encountered a giant car crash.  Fire trucks were there, but I was there before the police and got to see the tow trucks come to drag away the remains of the cars.  Fortunately I was about 30 cars behind the whole thing and didn't have to see any of the human remains.  I have a weak stomach and seeing blood and gore would have totally ruined my appetite.  As it was I managed to devour 4000 calories of cheesecake when I finally got to my dinner.  While waiting for the accident to clear I texted my middle sister to say that I had also not died this week.  She was happy, and asked if I was wearing one of the 'new' shirts I had acquired.  I was!!!!  Our littlest sister had single handedly saved both of our lives in one week.  Thank you littlest.

Wednesday was also a very happy day because I had a second interview for a job that I would be fantastic at, it was my dream job and would make me the happiest person in all the land.  I felt it went well and was happy I might soon be able to quit this blog and live my life in the real world.

Yesterday, the job called me back with a no.  They reassured me I had done a great job and that was why I had been called back for the second interview, and there had been a lot of discussion about who they should pick.  It just wasn't me.  I kinda believe that because they bothered to call and talk to me.  The job interview I went to before this one had emailed me and said, "We've made our decision.  It's not you".  So this was a little more gentle. 

I mean, let's be real, it doesn't give me anything meaningful to do with the rest of my life, and it means I spent two nights staying awake all night studying the company and wasted pages of paper writing out fake interview questions they might ask, and it doesn't help me pay off my credit card bill and fastly increasing debt, and my electricity might still get shut off, and I am alone and depressed as ever.  And, they never really clearly said I was second place, so I might have been 8th or 42nd, which really isn't very impressive at all.  I didn't get to update my facebook status to, "Finally got a big girl job." like I had been planning on.  I will have to continue biking to my job at the mall that doesn't pay me enough money to even afford fruit.  I may, in fact, be well on my way to scurvy, given that I haven't had fruit in weeks.  Also, I believe my Visa will be reaching it's limit soon, and I doubt they will be increasing it for me since I have been unable to make payments on it.  On a side note - No Frills doesn't even accept Visa, and what kind of scam is that for poor people?  I have to get a mastercard to be able to buy groceries?

I was summarizing my week in my head yesterday.  In between sobbing uncontrollable about what a failure I am at life, and cleaning my house like a maniac because that is how I deal with disappointment.  Here's what I came up with - I spent the beginning of the week intoxicated, and then I didn't die, and now I am in the same unemployed state I was at the end of last week. 

That's right.  The highlight of my week is that I am still alive.  I made it.  Survived this week.  Sometimes, in this awful experience of unemployment, you have to just be grateful for that much and hope for better next week. 

Let me know if you made it through this week.  I'd love to hear your tales of survival.