You better work.

I stepped up my job application game last autumn, resulting in several interview offers. Though I didn’t receive any job offers, I did get a lot of great feedback and made it farther in one process than I ever had before. So while the outcome wasn’t what I’d hoped, the experience was a positive.

After spending a couple of months putting applications together, I now find that I have several different versions of my resume, each suited for different types of jobs. In browsing through these I can’t help but think of how many jobs I’ve omitted from my resume, whether is be for space constraints or irrelevancy. And then I realize that I’m not even sure I can remember every single job I’ve ever had!

This thought has led me here, where in a mix of curiosity and boredom, I will try and list every paid job I’ve ever worked, no matter how short my time there was. Let’s start at the beginning…

2002-2004: ST – Elevator Operator, Arcade Attendant
2004-2005: IT – Usher, Cashier, Parking Lot Attendant
2005-2005: ES – Breakfast Hostess
2006-2006: ST – Projectionist, Reservation Agent, Cashier
2006-2006: IT – Usher, Cashier, Parking Lot Attendant
2007-2007: OSI – Server
2007-2007: IT – Usher, Cashier, Parking Lot Attendant
2007-2011: NFT – Tourism Counsellor
2008-2008: CNH – Reservation Agent
2010-2011: ABM – Customer Service Representative
2011-2012: SCCN – Usher, Parking Lot Attendant, Cashier
2011-2012: SKI – Programs Assistant (Intern)
2012-2012: BT – Telemarketer
2012-2012: CRUK – Telephone Fundraiser
2012-2012: NHM – Retail Sales Associate
2012-2012: EB – Watch Salesperson
2012-2012: PS – Receptionist
2013-2013: VFTS – Project Coordinator, Customer Service Representative
2013-2013: SCCN – Front of House Coordinator
2013-2014: VFTS – Administrator, Customer Service Representative
2013-2014: TWC – Museum Services Assistant
2014-2014: SKUK – Communications Coordinator (Intern)
2014-2014: BRC – MAPS Assistant (Intern)
2014-2014: MCS – Supporter Donations Assistant
2014-2014: HNC – Ticket Taker, Poncho Distributor, People Counter
2014-2015: CI – Front Desk Agent
2015-2017: CC – Visitor Services Officer
2015-2016: MC – Ticket Agent, Cash Room Clerk
2015-2016: ON – Retail Sales Associate
2016-2016: SK – Brand Specialist
2016-2016: HS – Project Coordinator
2016-2016: OTW – Communications Coordinator (Intern)
2016-2016: CX – Technical Support Representative
2017-2017: REV – Transcriber

There are over 30 employers on this list (though some are listed several times, for example IM, which I quit and returned to three times), and I feel quite certain that there’s one or two that I’ve completely forgotten, and will come to me later!

And boy, does this list make me feel like a flake! But in my defense, I spent highschool and university working summer jobs in a tourist town, where you typically had to find new employment at the end of ever summer season AND needed to procure multiple jobs in order to work 40 hours per week. After that I moved to London where I worked as temp, so several of these were just short-term contracts. And from 2014 onward you’re looking at upwards of four jobs held at one time just to pay the bills.

Oh, the joys of precarious employment!

Can you list all of your jobs?

work

Things Are Looking Up

What’s that? A positive title? What is going on?

It’s been a pretty good month, I must admit. It started off rocky when I went off a medication and had some pretty severe withdrawal symptoms, but it was all up hill from there. My Panic People Project is continuing to gain traction with a local newspaper article, work is going well, things are happening on the career path, I won Alumnus of the Week from my grad school, and in 2 weeks I will be starting The Week Of Awesome (Idina Menzel, Gillian Anderson, Billie Piper, Hayley Atwell, I can’t even!)

Oh, and my amazing g@wd daughter turned 4!

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Alumnus of the Week

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Niagara This Week

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I still have no clue what the future holds, but I’m trying to stay positive. My ‘What Would You Do?’ panic has morphed into an answer of ‘ANYTHING!’ And I’m going to hold onto that attitude for as long as I can.

Life, Love, and CNN

As many of you know my life is vast stretches of boredom punctuated my moments of random and moderately exciting events. (Yes, I altered the old war adage there, sue me.) Aside from the drunken woman inviting me to hang with Meryl Streep in November, not much has been happening as of late. I’ve been sick, unable to find a job, and generally just blah on the current state of things.

Though in January I decided to make the best of the blah, and have gone on a bit of self-improvement kick. I’ve been seeing a counsellor and recently began taking part in an ‘Anxiety and Panic Management’ group. I figured it’s time to get this Panic Disorder under control, so it doesn’t kick my butt quite as badly when I finally do find permanent work. I’ve also decided to give the whole healthy living thing a go (it’s all the rage, I hear) and joined a gym. I had my first session this morning with my dad’s personal trainer. It was painful (literally) but I’m going to do my best to keep it up. I think my dad’s persistence will help keep me in line.

I’ve also been doing some freelance comms work. I’m taking payment in the form of home-cooked meals, handmade gifts, sneakers, and rides, but at least it’s experience. And it’s keeping me busy, which is much needed.

In other news- Two loves of my life had birthdays this month. Sir Percy turned one, and my BFF Jacob is seven! Time sure does fly.

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Percy’s party was this past weekend, and we’re celebrating Jacob’s birthday in a few days. He’s requested to spend the night in hotel rather than have a party, and I’ve been invited to join. I’m excited to spend the special day with him and mum.

Going back to my original statement about bits of random excitement- I actually was hit with such a moment last week. It was no Meryl moment (really, what could top that?), but it was still pretty cool. I was contacted by CNN who asked if they could use some of my photos. It started out just on their iReport section, but the photos were liked by Travel department, who used them in an article. As a result I got a shout-out on CNN.com:

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Ah, my 15 minutes of fame! How fun you were.

Now back to the monotony. Oh, and I’m still waiting to hear about my eyes. //Groans in frustration//

100

According to my blog dashboard this will be my 100th published post. As such, I thought I’d do a little ruminating on the past.

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When you graduated high school how did you envision your life ten years out?

I can’t remember my exact picture, whether I was a lawyer or humanitarian worker, but whatever the job was, I was doing it. I was living in a big city, traveling, probably married or on the road to it, and the rest probably looked a great deal like an episode of Friends.

And if 10 years ago I was to see a snapshot of my life at this moment, with no context or information about the past decade, it would probably seem pretty grim. Living at home, working at The Falls, single, and so far beyond broke that I can’t even remember the last time I saw a positive bank balance.

But, I think that’s the problem with having those kinds of expectations in your head. Life doesn’t give a damn about the vision you have for your future. Sure, there are some people out there who are living the life they dreamed for themselves way back when, but even that doesn’t mean the road to get there was easy. And for most of us that road had detours and forks and dead ends, leading to a picture that in no way resembles the one thought up a decade ago.

I can think of a thousand mistakes I’ve made in the last 10 years. And there’s a thousand more ‘I should haves’, ‘What Ifs’, and ‘Why didn’t I’s’. But I like to think that in the last few years I’ve been able to stop myself from dwelling on those thoughts, and being too hard on myself for things that I can’t change. What’s done is done, after all.

And, of course, no one anticipated how the world would change in last decade. Perhaps if we’d known a major global recession was ahead that included staggering under/unemployment for a massive percentage of us, we’d have reconsidered that 4 year liberal arts degree.

But I digress.

I don’t mean to imply that having that picture in your head is a negative thing. Having goals to focus on and work towards are important. But I think having that exact image of ‘this will be my life’ can become negative if you refuse to let it change and evolve as your experience does.

My life at this exact moment isn’t ideal, but the road that brought me here had some pretty fantastic sights. Leaving high school I didn’t think that by 27 I’d have had the opportunity to live in UK 3 times, to travel most of Europe, to meet friends from every corner of the Earth, to live out epic fangirl dreams, etc. Sure, the lows have been pretty low, but the highs have been pretty high too. And both have helped shape the person I’ve become. A person I kind of like, if that’s not too narcissistic to admit. I like that I’m independent. I like that I’m able to do things even though they terrify me. I like that I’m introspective, even if it does end up being cliche.

But that’s not to say that there aren’t things I dislike about myself. I’m too anxious, and too awkward sometimes. I spend too much time alone, and too much time stressing over some random thing I said to someone 2 weeks ago. I wish I read more and was more informed on a lot of subjects and issues. I wish I were kinder and were better at keeping in touch with friends. I’d like to be in shape and not feel so self-conscious about the way I look. I’d like to not feel like I need to follow up the statement ‘I kind of like myself’ by listing all the things I don’t like about myself…

However, unlike the ‘I should haves’ and ‘Why didn’t I’s’ I mentioned earlier, all of these ‘dislikes’ are things that I can work to change. I’ve been working on my anxiety for the past few years now, and have hope that maybe one day it will get better. And I can make an effort to read more, be kinder, and keep in touch with people. None of these things are impossible or even out of reach.

I don’t think a lot people’s visions for their future consider both the aesthetics of their life, as well as the inner characteristics of the person they’ll become. I don’t think mine did, at least. But if it had, I hope it would have included some of the things that I consider myself to be today: Independent, taker of risks/opportunities, self-aware.

When I think about my future from here on out, I want to do so abstractly. I’ll allow myself to make specific goals, but will not let those goals dictate the vision for a specific time too heavily. I want to focus more on the present, and be more accepting of my own experience as it’s happening. And most importantly, I’d like to work towards being a person who is one day content, fulfilled, and comfortable in my own mind and environment.

And, yeah, maybe be a little less cliche.

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2004 – High School Graduation

Day 23

I started work at my new job last week. I began training in one position, only to realize it was very much not for me. I told them so, and they kindly offered me a job in another department. I started training on Thursday and found it was a bit better. That’s not to say I’ll like the job- I really don’t think I will. But I’ll feel more comfortable with the new department at least. At least I hope!

I had the weekend off. Didn’t do much of anything during the day yesterday, and in the evening FINALLY made it to Pizza Express with Sally and Sophie. It was as delicious as I remembered, though I didn’t get the banoffee pie. Le sigh.

This morning I went to look at a room for rent, and Sally’s mom kindly came with. It was perfect for me. Small room with a bed, wardrobe, chair, TV, shelving, drawers, and an en suite, as well as an all inclusive price. I know they say don’t go with the first one you see, but I don’t think I’d find such a good deal anywhere else. The house was big, clean, and very nice. It’s also a close walk to the station I’ve been using. Plus, I could afford it! Always helpful! Heh.

So, I’m no longer unemployed and homeless! Go me!

(Not to say I was ever homeless. Sally and Karen have been amazing and put me up in their home for the past 23 days. I don’t know how I would have fared these first few weeks without their kindness and support and I am so happy to have been welcomed in to their home! Which brings me to another pro point on the new place- 5 mins from them! Heh.)

I’m still applying to jobs and am still waiting to hear back from ones I applied to ages and ages ago. But, for now, I’m getting settled, have some money coming in, a room to call my own, and the support of some amazing friends. What more could a girl ask for after only 23 days after moving halfway around the world?

25 days ago

This is something I’ve been wanting to write for a few weeks now, but haven’t been able to. I’m giving it a shot tonight though.

I had a very… uneven childhood. It was part calm, part chaos. Those who know me well will likely know what I mean by this. To anyone else, the details aren’t at all important.

What I want to talk about now is the calmest of the calm part. The two people who were a constant source of love, acceptance, joy, trust, and goodness in my every uneven world: My grandparents. I was very close to them growing up. My grandma was my caregiver while my mom was at work, and I spent many weekends going on all sorts of adventures with my grandpa. Many of my happiest memories growing up were with them.

25 days ago my grandfather passed away.

Vern Bradley was a remarkable man. He was smart, caring, creative, and, simply, good. From debating the best donut flavours with him as a child, to debating politics as an adult, he always remained the most important man in my life. Though he was my grandfather, he was very much my father-figure growing up. He was always there, my trust and adoration of him never once wavering.

I had a lot of self-confidence issues as a child. I didn’t know where I fit in to the world, or even how to go about trying to. So, one day (when I was around 10 or so) he took me out to the back of their farm to show me something he’d made for me. Nothing could have prepared me for what was waiting. My own world. In a wooded, overgrown section of their property he’d created series of trails, clearings, and climbing areas, with a sign at the entrance welcoming guests to “Spencer’s World”. He gave me my own corner of the world, filled it with things I loved, and even provided signs to navigate me home in case I got lost. It is, and I imagine always will be, the greatest gift I will ever receive.

25 days ago the world lost a great man.

He lived a long life, and was ready to go. He told me he was ready to die, after struggling through years and years of sickness. And as one of the people who sat in the room with him when he passed, I can assure you that a more peaceful end there never was. He didn’t struggle for his last breaths, which as a sufferer of emphysema was a great fear of his. He simply went to sleep, and after hours of restful, light breathing, he simply let out a breath and was gone. He was surrounded by so much love the last couple of days, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more for him.

I wanted to speak at the funeral, but was having a lot of trouble in the days that followed, so I decided against it. I’m still having a tough go of it, to be completely honest. But, I wanted to write a little something, just to solidify my own thoughts.

I’m not religious, and I don’t believe in heaven. But, I do believe in the soul. And I like to think that somewhere in this vast universe, his is residing, spreading, and carrying with it his wonderful, imaginative spirit.

I love you, grandpa.

 

Stationary

I haven’t been able to update this blog in almost 5 months, and that makes me sad. 2010 was such a great year of traveling, but 2011 hasn’t been the same. I did get to New York and Boston, as posted about, but, that was it.

However, I can’t complain. This year has been filled with other important things. The spring and summer were spent working a few different jobs to help pay down some student debt. Two of my closest friends, Kristy and Tara, each got married this year, and I was lucky enough to be in both bridal parties. Tara, and her husband Mike, also welcomed a beautiful daughter, Lily, to the world over the summer. They asked me to be one of her guardians, which was an enormous honour. I’ve been trying to see her whenever possible! And, because she pretty much owns my heart at the moment, I’m going to make you all look at pictures ;)

I also started a grad program in International Development in September, which has ensured a stress filled fall for me! It’s been going really well though. The program is great and I’m finding it to be a great fit. For those of you who know my past experience with school, this is a pretty big deal! The course is a full year, followed by a field placement, which I’m excited about. My dream is to find a placement in London (England) and settle there. However, I’ve learned that long term plans never work out as expected, so, I’m trying to stay open to all possibilities. We’ll see how things unfold over the next 10 months.

I am happy to report that there will be a bit of travel during said 10 months! And I could not be more excited. At the end of the year, for my birthday, I am meeting up with Vi in New York City for a fun-filled few days. Birthday, New Years, Dan Radcliffe- It doesn’t get much better then that!

The big trip is coming up in February though. London. My favourite city in the world. Orla, Aideen and I will be meeting up for a certain someones, certain something birthday. And it’s going to be fantastic. I’m also planning to peruse some development agencies while I’m there, but I won’t hold my breath on getting too far with anything at that point. But, again, you never know!

Anyway, this blog was rather pointless. I can’t sleep, and am bored, so, here we are.