Working Update

Yesterday I had a follow up interview with that job I talked about last week. This time, it was with two sales people in Quebec, and somewhat to my surprise, entirely in French.

My French is ok at the best of times but my guess is, that if I am successful in getting this job, I’d be doing about 20% of it in la langue officielle du Québec as I would also be covering all of Canada.

It’s basically a proposal writer job for an IT company and I have some experience with proposal writing, but never owning the entire process, and I have zero experience in IT. I had zero experience with legal services but that worked out ok in the end, for a while. Until I got shitcanned.

In a lot of ways, this would be an ideal job for me. It’s remote and it’s mostly writing based. That used to be right in my wheelhouse before my career path went all weird because I was more passionate about food and shelter than crafting an elegant paragraph. So I will need to really ramp up my French again, as well my Word skills. I think I can do that.

But I would be lying if I said I was not nervous. This past year was difficult for me at work, and honestly, something happened at the beginning of the pandemic that broke something in my brain. Suddenly, I was struggling to manage my job as its requirements began to evolve. In March of last year, I was laid off when the company restructured and I was assured it was nothing to do with me personally even if it didn’t feel like it. It was a blow but it sparked the decision to move back to Saint John, which I think was the correct decision in the end.

My next job went ok but, again, my manager expressed doubts because I wasn’t delivering what he expected, even though, per the job description, I believe I was. Just the same, I left it after five months when I was offered a similar job to pricing gig at the previous law firm. I was let go after three months, for vaguely defined “performance issues.”

So it’s fair to say that I’m anxious about meeting any new challenges in a new career. Over the past four months, I’ve looked for new jobs in just about every industry, and wondered if a low stress, repetitive, entry level gig would be better for me. But I couldn’t even get a second interview with Costco. I feel like I’m overqualified for entry level work but underqualified for the jobs I actually get. I’m a great interview because I’ve had a lot of practice but I always struggle when I get the job.

But knowing this, and knowing what usually triggers these issues in advance, I think I can manage to anticipate what I will need to do to be, if not successful, competent.

So off to Word tutorials on YouTube I go.

More Job Huntin’

I just had what I think was my best interview since I lost my job in February. It’s a remote job for an IT firm to act as a proposal writer, which I’ve done in bits and bobs at my other jobs.

There will be a second interview, if I move on, in front of a panel, which is slightly terrifying and I’ll really need to get back into gear with my Word and PowerPoint skills but that’s what offline learning is for.

They keep saying Canada is in the best labour market ever but boy, you wouldn’t know it from my perspective. In the perspicacious words of Ms. Olivia Rodrigo, it’s brutal out here.

Content Consumption

One thing about unemployment, it does give one a little more time to enjoy one’s leisure hobbies.

Terry Pratchett has always been a bit of blind spot for me because I’ve not read a lot of fantasy and one of the worst people I know was a huge Pratchett fan so it sort of coloured my opinion. Yet I would always comes across passages from his Discworld novels and kept thinking, “This is the type of thing I could enjoy.” So I’ve started in on them and so far, they’re pretty funny and extremely well thought out in terms of the world he builds. This is all old news to Discworld fans but I’m enjoying the discovery.

I also recently finished How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu and Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel. Both of which will be going on my favourite books of 2022 list.

The HBO genre-defying “Barry” just wrapped its third season and who knew SNL alum Bill Hader was such a great writer/director? Hader plays a Barry, a hitman for hire who pursues and acting career in L.A. while trying and failing to avoid having his past (and present) catch up with him. Like “Breaking Bad” or any prestige drama with criminal protagonists, it’s a difficult line to walk between creating a compelling character and making the mistake of having the audience sympathize with him. “Barry” pulls it off.

Wilco are back with “Cruel Country,” a 21 track double album recorded live in studio and with a sound that harkens back to their earlier days as Uncle Tupelo. I can say I enjoy it while while enjoying a local craft beer while barbecuing.

Did I mention New Brunswick has great craft beers? Seriously, come on down sometime if that’s your thing.

One of my favourites, Foghorn, has a weekly trivia night where my brother and I are frequent champs. Golden Grover, named after the country road my own street intersects with, is my usual go to beer.

So what are you all up to?

One Year Later

It’s been a year since I last updated this thing but I imagine most of those who still read this thing get my news from social media.

Just the same, I thought I’d take a shot at regularly updating the old blog, just to have a place to put a few thoughts down as they occur to me. It may not be daily, as Twitter pal Scmutzie is doing but it should still be a productive exercise for me, just to get back into the habit of writing.

So, when I last wrote, I was about to start a new job in advance of the big move to Saint John (I started it a year ago tomorrow, in fact). So we did the move and it worked out ok, more or less, but the actual financial transaction of selling and buying a house is a little complex if you are, as we were, with a virtual bank. A lot of things were done at the last minute, including learning that the movers were set to show up on July 1st, not a few days later as I asked, and getting the bank draft to pay the lawyer at the very last minute.

The house needs a lot of work still but we did manage to replace the original 1967 asbestos siding with new vinyl siding and the original windows with new ones, as well as adding a heat pump. Not as exciting as a kitchen reno or bathroom or basement reno (we need all of these things) but saving money on heat bills is also sexy in its own right.

The new job was ok but my boss had some other ideas about what I should be doing and I left after five months for a new job in the legal industry that would see me doing remotely much of the same work I had been doing for four years. To be honest, I enjoyed the job but the remote aspect of it left me feeling a bit directionless. Perhaps that was evident to my boss, because after three months, I was let go due to undefined performance expectations.

That was in February. I have had a few interviews since then but it’s been tough to be frank. You get to a certain age (I’m north of 50) and you begin to wonder if you’re past your sell by date. I even got shot down by Costco. In any event, I have an interview on Wednesday with an IT company in Montreal for a remote proposal specialist job. Maybe this will be the one.