Not From Toronto

Monday, January 31st, 2005

uh-oh, the feeling

Today I got The Feeling. I've known pretty much from even before the first day that this job I now find myself at wasn't going to be a long-term thing, but today was the first time that I actually started to look forward to something else. The job hasn't changed at all, nor have the co-workers or the workplace or anything like that... It's just that I found something out today that really turned me off. Call it the nail in the coffin, if you like.
MrSka @ 08:12 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Friday, January 28th, 2005

the devil's in the detailing

So I've been employed for all of four days now, and I can already see that this isn't the position for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking to leap out of it yet. I was told that this position could last a couple of months, after which they might keep me on as a designer (which would be more interesting) or I'd move along to a different contract. But either way, detailing is not what I do best.
MrSka @ 11:43 PM EST [Keep reading...]

stupid graphics files

Way back in December during my first career advisor session, one of her recommendations was to make business cards. It makes sense, as it's a very easy (and standardized) way to distribute contact information for yourself. Instead of asking someone to write down your contact info, handing them (or mailing them) a business card is quick and easy. (It could also win you a free lunch or two.)

Well, come January all my job leads fell through so I thought I'd best get on making business cards. I had a "eureka" moment shortly after New Year's Day, and came up with a brilliant idea for a logo. I managed to draw it up on a large scale, have created a business card layout that I like, and am ready to print... except I can't get the damned logo to scale properly.
MrSka @ 11:30 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Thursday, January 27th, 2005

The Truth About Recruiters

NFT Feature  When I was searching for employment nearly three years ago, I started a spreadsheet documenting all the different recruiters I'd had contact with. When I got laid off this past November, the first thing I did was open that spreadsheet and send out an updated résumé to each recruiter I had listed. I've since updated and added to the file, and have even started keeping track of which recruiter has been representing me to which job opportunity. Recruiters have placed me in 3 of the 5 career positions I've had since graduating. I thought they were great.

After conducting a post-mortem on the lowball offer I had to turn down recently, it's clearer that recruiters aren't really all that great a deal.
MrSka @ 08:37 PM EST [Keep reading...]

the ethics of wifi

When my wife's new Apple Powerbook G4 arrived earlier this month, we were both excited. Not only did it represent a fully functional computer that is actually up-to-date and chock full of handy software, but it meant we could finally ditch the ugly beige box, monitor, keyboard, and the kilometers of wires that accompanied the whole mess.

Little did we know that it would also bring up an ethical dilemma.
MrSka @ 07:54 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Monday, January 24th, 2005

sudden employment

I finally got my butt in gear and got my first real broadcast letter in order today. I printed out a résumé, printed out the broadcast letter, signed it, found an envelope, printed a lable for it, and put on a shirt and tie to go deliver it. Just before I stepped out the door the phone rang. It was opportunity calling, and it would change all my plans.
MrSka @ 09:57 PM EST [Keep reading...]

gearing up

I've been pretty quiet about the job search lately, simply because there isn't much to report. There was that small flurry of post-New-Year's activity that gave me the confidence boost to turn down Calgary, but it's pretty much died out. However, I'm actually busier than ever looking for work. Just not the way I normally would be.

I had another career advisor appointment earlier this week, and we covered a lot of ground. It was an excellent meeting, and has given me lots to do to get my jobsearch really humming.
MrSka @ 10:55 AM EST [Keep reading...]

Thursday, January 20th, 2005

Leasing vs. Buying: What You Need To Know

NFT Feature  One of the most interesting parts of the automotive sales course I took back in early December was learning more about leasing a vehicle instead of buying (financing) it. Leasing is, at best, a generally poorly understood financial mechanism. I myself knew only that it offered lower monthly payments, and that the leasing institution would be the legal owner of the car. The latter part, which a bit confusing, was secondary to the lower monthly payments in my eyes.

Now that I've learned a lot more about leasing, I can sum up getting a new car in a nutshell: it is never better to buy than it is to lease. I now know very concretely why leasing is the way to go with new vehicles. I'm here now to spell it out for the benefit of everyone else.
MrSka @ 10:59 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Saturday, January 15th, 2005

poor LJ

I just tried checking out some other blogs that I typically check, like Pete's and Walt Flanagan's Dog's, but found out that LiveJournal has been hit by a massive power failure. Oops.

So while it's a bit lonely being the only one on the planet not using LJ to blog, it's times like this that I get to lightly snicker. It's even more ironic when you know that the good friend of mine that actually set up Greymatter on his webserver for me uses LJ too. Heh.

Hope you all are back up soon!
MrSka @ 02:35 PM EST [Keep reading...]

the future is DIY crack repair

The crack in our foundation is finally going to go away next week. It's not going to cost $300, like all the quotes that I've been getting. I'm embracing the future of foundation repair and going DIY, baby!
MrSka @ 02:24 PM EST [Keep reading...]

new interface

Over the entire course of my lifetime, I have used or had only 5 computers. A VIC 20, a Commodore 64, a generic 386/40, one brand-new Pentium II, and the current used and refurbished PII that I've been using recently. Well, thankfully, all that is now changing. My wife finally received her Apple Powerbook this past week, and now that we've transferred all our data over, it's our primary computer. Woo-hoo!
MrSka @ 02:22 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Tuesday, January 11th, 2005

a final decision

I finally got word back about the job in Tillsonburg today. Over the weekend I had given them many options that would keep me interested in this great career opportunity, but today they came back and said that they will "not negotiate further with me". In a way, it's a relief - I don't have to wonder about the manager's decision making skills, and I don't have to move to Tillsonburg, either.
MrSka @ 10:30 AM EST [Keep reading...]

Saturday, January 8th, 2005

it's been a while...

I don't know exactly when the last Not From Toronto feature article was posted (I'm too lazy to look myself), but I know it's been a long time. Well, the urge to write (and explain, complain, and exclaim) hasn't totally left me, it seems, and I've managed to put one more together. Perhaps now with some free time again, I'll be able to do more. I wouldn't count on it, but it would be nice if I could.

In any case, I hope you enjoy it.
MrSka @ 10:33 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Repeal The "Yield To Bus" Law

NFT Feature  Recently here in Ontario a new traffic law came into effect. In what is an effort to make public transportation faster, and thereby more appealing to more users, this new law makes it an offence to fail to yield to a transit bus that is re-entering traffic from a bus bay.

When I first heard about it, I had a mixed reaction. On one hand, I can see how legislating a right-of-way for public transportation is a good thing. We North Americans are way too dependent on our personal vehicles, so any measure that helps increase the efficiency, appeal, and speed of public transit is good, right?
MrSka @ 10:29 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Friday, January 7th, 2005

can a waffle flip-flop?

I really figured that today would be the down slope of yesterday's newsworthy climaxes. Have the interview, then spend the rest of the day making muffins and figuring out what companies I should sic my recruiter on. How foolish of me.

No, instead I had the interview (more below), and then received the ultimate waffle: Tillsonburg came back.
MrSka @ 08:05 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Thursday, January 6th, 2005

it's a tequila day

If I had a bottle of tequila and all the makings for Margaritas, today is most definitely the kind of day that would call for a tall pitcher of Margaritas, light on the lime and heavy on the cactus juice.

First, the stress that Calgary had embodied evaporated today, after my wife and I independently decided that turning that job down was for the best. Then, to top things off, I got two more pieces of news.
MrSka @ 08:42 PM EST [Keep reading...]

decline the first offer

I've decided that I'm not going to Calgary. After much consideration, my wife and I decided that it's too much aggravation for not enough incentive. There wasn't any more money, or opportunity, or anything, and even a little less than some other opportunities locally. So, we decided today I'm not going. I've already told the recruiter in Calgary, so it's a done deal. I'm staying in Ontario and entertaining opportunities here.

No word on Tillsonburg, yet. Stay tuned...
MrSka @ 02:55 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

laboured breathing

No news. No call, which means no decision. Am I surprised? No. Disappointed? Yes, of course.

I shouldn't be surprised... if you start a talent search for one position, switching that mandate to two positions isn't exactly a no-brainer or an easy thing. The only reason I'd think this particular company would jump on it are the facts that they want to hire immediately after this first position is filled, and that they have a very aggressive growth mandate ahead of them, which means they need talent and they need it now.

I'm surprised my family hasn't called to find out what's going on, but I'm glad they haven't. I'm tired of telling them "no news" over and over.
MrSka @ 09:20 PM EST [Keep reading...]

I want to hold my breath...

A change of events, and an encouraging one at that!

I got a call from the recruiter today, and there has been one decision made. The hiring manager (in Tillsonburg, of course, for those following along) had received the profiles from both myself and the other candidate. Apparently, they are EXTREMELY close. So he's now approaching the managing director, asking to hire BOTH of us. Be still my beating, anxious, stressed-out, fucked-up heart.
MrSka @ 03:40 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Tuesday, January 4th, 2005


That's right, fuck. Enough being all optimistic and hopeful and understanding that the hiring process can be long and difficult. Now it's time to purely vent, and to that end, I say, "FUCK".
MrSka @ 04:58 PM EST [Keep reading...]

Monday, January 3rd, 2005

stupid floating stat holidays...

It's enough to make you want to cry. Only 3 days into the new year, and already I'm being delayed by a day.

I got the link to the online personality profiling quiz bright and early this morning, did it immediately, sent off the results, and waited. Finally, I decided to call the recruiter at 4pm today to see if she'd received everything, and if she'd heard anything more from the company. Well, it turns out that the company that does the personality profiling is closed today, thanks to a floating stat holiday from New Year's Day. Ergo, the recruiter didn't get the 10-page in-depth analysis of my profile, and couldn't send it off to the company. Therefore, the decision will most certainly not come today. Argh.
MrSka @ 06:57 PM EST [Keep reading...]




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