12/22/2004: "there is SO much to do"
I've had the paperwork for Calgary in my hands for 48 hours now, and I'm only now getting my head around how much there really is to do. They way this is being structured between my future employer, the recruiter, and myself, I'll actually be an independent contractor being paid by the recruiter, and being assigned to the employer. That way - I've been told - I can maximize the tax benefits of this whole endeavour, and pretty much write anything and everything off while I'm in Calgary.
Of course, the down side to this is that it's all dumped in my lap, and my responsibility. So I have to figure out how and when to get out there, figure out where I'm going when I arrive, how I'm getting around, and what the heck to do with myself when I'm not actually working. Luckily, some things are starting to make sense.
I got a couple of quotes for moving some of my stuff out to Calgary, and the results were extremely instructive. One place quoted me just over $800 with a 6-14 day delivery schedule, and another quoted nearly $1300, on an 8-21 day window. Needless to say, if I'm moving only a table, some chairs, a futon, a dresser, and some boxes, I'm leaving it all at home and going shopping at Ikea when I get there. So that much was decided - no moving, other than clothes. Going shopping at Ikea to furnish an entire bachelor pad could be fun!
There's the possibility that I won't have to do even that, however. Thanks to a great lead provided by none other than Gordie creator Kevin himself, I found an ad for a fully furnished bachelor suite that is pretty close to where I work, and on the bus route that goes right past work to boot. Sweet! I called, and a short-term rental isn't a problem for them at all. I'll likely book it once I get the pictures they're sending me later this week.
Today I spent some time looking at fligths between here and Calgary. Obviously I need to get there, but I want to come back a few times as well to see my kids growing up, and for a nice visit with my wife (nudge, nudge). Jetsgo has a decent rate, but right now Westjet has a seat sale. I can get from Toronto to Calgary for $150, including all taxes and fees, and back to Toronto for $130! That's a great deal! So once I get a firm start date (my January 6th date is now up in the air) I'll book a flight out plus a couple round trips.
So what's left? I have to get a GST number, as I'm going to be a sole proprietorship from this point on in the eyes of the law while I'm working in Calgary. I'll also need to buy a bike so I can get to and from work, and around town too. Transit is tempting, but part of the allure of Calgary is a lifestyle change for me, which involve biking, so dammit, that's what I'm going to do.
Other than that I'm going to look into a computer rental, because without a computer I'm either going to read a lot of books (which would either be spending a lot of money at a bookstore or visiting Calgary's public library a lot) or simply go stir crazy. My wife joked that I could simply cook... buy a chest freezer, cook meals every night, and by the time they move out here I'll have a freezer full of meals ready for when we relocate. Nah - I'll go for the rented computer.
Things are coming together. Of course, I still don't know about that Ontario job...