The Daily EO: April 18th, 2013

There is a weird employment provision in all companies I have ever worked for – a probation period.   They usually last 3-6 months, and may be tied to the earning of conditions of employment like benefits or RRSP contribution matching etc.  The weird thing about it is that the Employment Standards Act does not recognize probation as a special term in employment.  Either you work there or you don’t – meaning that if you get terminated without cause you are still entitled to the severance etc that is outlined in the act.  Yeah, it is going to be tiny, but nonetheless, you can’t be hired then fired within 5 1/2 months with no repercussions to the company.

So, it is a weird provision and it also says “Hey, I haven’t quite decided about you.  You’re in, but not quite really.”  I don’t get to caught up in it really except when the starting of benefits is tied to it.  But, I understand – getting a new employee all signed up for everything and then to find they are not quite the right fit?  Costly, so probably not a terrible idea to say “We’ll see how it goes.”

My current position has a 6 month probation period – which is funny because I worked for my current boss for 3 or 4 years prior to this.  So she knows me and what I bring to the table.   And little was tied to coming off probation, so I didn’t concern myself too much with it at all.   It also helps that I knew my boss already and that I knew whatever came up would be dealt with fairly.

The nice thing about probation is it forces a conversation when you come off probation about how things are going, how you’re feeling, etc.   And after a while, you start thinking “Hello?  Do you like me or not?  Am I here or not?”   So it’s nice to get it sewn up.

April 18th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:

photo 3


The Daily EO: January 19th & 20th, 2013

Being unemployed, my weekends lost their value.  What difference did it make if I didn’t have to work? – I never had to work.   So being back to work is different – suddenly these two days take on new importance.   These are the days that everything else needs to get done – and the days that you get to relax.

On Friday night, I purchased yet again another piece of IKEA furniture – a bookcase.  This allowed me to be able to place all the books in boxes and a number of pictures and other items in “something”.  Before Emile even got out of bed on Saturday morning, it was all completed and looking great.  Most of the boxes are unpacked and we have storage for everything now.  Pictures are on the walls and it feels more and more like home.

I made soup from some wilty broccoli and some wrinkly orange and red peppers. romaine lettuce hearts (why not?) and the non-moldy onions. (not that I was saving the moldy onions for anything)   It tastes pretty good, but is a weird bright orangey green.  I guess that is what happens with soup – you get what you get.    With that I was able to clean out the fridge to make room for better and fresher produce in the drawer.

I went grocery shopping to the biggest and busiest grocery store I have ever entered on Grandview Highway.  It had ever piece of produce I could imagine – and some things I couldn’t.  Since when do carts cost $1?  I know I get it back, but it irritates me – is the quarter so low in value now that people won’t return the carts?

For the first time since November – and even longer since outside – I ran.  I ran through Chinatown, up Main Street, along the sea wall underneath the conference centre and back again.  I managed 5.26 km and felt so accomplished, strong and better than I have in a while.   I use “run” loosely because honestly, there was some walking involved, but that is okay – I am back out there.   I ran by where my car was broken in to – said “ha ha!  I am not scared of you neighbourhood!”

I finally figured out how to make folders on the iPhone, and spent several happy minutes organizing my ap’s.  And downloading some new fitness things for the hell of it.  Did you know you can use “Squat Pro” ap which counts your squats while you hold it out in front of you?  Do I need such a counter?  Is it difficult to count to 10 or 15?   But cool, I guess and I’ve done 40 more squats this weekend than any other weekend.  (that also means that I cannot walk or sit down on the toilet well).

Laundry was completed – though after my run which means I have to do another load.   Afterall, it was cold out there and I am still getting over a cold – so yes, my sleeves are a little dirty.  Yeah, eeew.

January 19 & 20 Extra-Ordinary:  A productive weekend makes it easier to face the week ahead.

The Daily EO: November 9th, 2012

I make a great effort to eat a healthy lunch each day at work.  That mainly starts with building a good lunch the night before.  I hate wasting time on things in the morning that extraneous – like lunches or reading the newspaper.  I’m up and gone.

I’ve worked long enough to know that unless I am having a strangely quiet day, the chance are slim that I will leave the building to get lunch.  If I don’t bring one, I will not eat.  And that can lead to me crying at my desk at 3:37 pm.  Not good.

But today, I didn’t back a lunch.  I didn’t feel like it Thursday night – exhausted – and Friday I couldn’t find any lunch-y foods in the fridge (translation:  there wasn’t a prepared lunch in the fridge).  It was no matter however, I was heading in early to take care of several items, and the week was drawing to a close.  I would make time to find some healthy food for lunch.  Maybe even buy some safety shoes.

From the minute I got in, it was busy.  Review the demand and machine capacity for this.  Track down this parcel.  Attend this meeting.  Review incoming material for pea protein.   Discuss with customer.  Tour the warehouse with supervisor.  It went on and on.  Do this.  Undo that.  Redo it.  Change of Plans.  Oh, book a truck.  Get overtime coverage.  Redo it again.  Talk to DHL and UPS several times (couriers are my Achille’s heel).  Answer the phone.  Cell Phone rings while on phone.   Sweat.  Stress.

Honestly.  By the time that the rumbling of my stomach actually got through to my brain, it was 1:33.   I work in an industrial park, so not sure where I thought I was going to get healthy food.  But I managed to get to Wendy’s, and I was ashamed to say that I really wanted to say “Get me  Double Burger with fries and a Diet Coke.  And you know what, Dave?  Supersize it.”  But I resisted, and instead ordered 1 junior bacon cheese burger and 1 small fries.  Well, at the last minute it was 2 burgers.

But as I sat in my car awaiting my turn at the speaker, I noticed a sign that Wendy’s had put up especially for me.  Here I was trying to hold it together by dashing out to get something to eat and take a few calming breathes to just get through to the end of the day.  And here they are taunting me.  Upside down no less.  I’m trying to hold it together here, people!!

November 9th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:


The Daily EO: October 10th, 2012

There are pivotal moments in life – and we all know to grab our camera to record it.  One such moment happened this past weekend.  Our friends’ son got his “big boy bed” and moved from his crib for good.  The sheets were Lightening McQueen and Mator and Carson was so proud, so happy.

Big Boy Bed

There were no cameras when I left for work this morning.  I sat in the kitchen at 7:20 am awaiting the clock to turn over to 7:40 so I could leave.  I slipped into the traffic and drove out to Coquitlam only to find that I arrived early.  I checked mail.  I listened to music.   Then it time.  I got out of the car.  I pulled open the door to begin my future.

October 10th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  I was locked out.


The Daily EO: September 27th, 2012

Dear Future Employer,

I am excited to be getting back to work soon!  I plan to work hard and to make a difference.  But I am going to need some accommodations.  Over the last year, I have been unemployed and have become accustomed to certain things.  But I want this relationship to be successful!  So here are some things that I think might help us both – you will gain a focused and committed employee!

  1. I am concerned about working 5 days/week and all of them in a row.  I mean, if I work on a Tuesday, I don’t think it is reasonable for you to expect that I also come in on Wednesday.  And Fridays can be tough for anyone, so maybe I could get all of those off – but I’ll work most Thursdays in exchange.
  2. And while we are on the topic of days of work, lets talk about start time.  I’ve never been an morning person, so having a set start time could be difficult.  I’ll just come in when I wake up (and after I’ve worked out with my personal trainer now that I can afford one).  That way I don’t have to start my day with a jarring alert from an alarm clock.  I’ll be much more relaxed and well rested this way.
  3. There are several days I must leave early – days I am feeling stressed, when I am cooking brown rice for dinner (it takes a long time), Thursdays (so I can get off to my long weekends easier), when there is a major traffic snarl, and days that I need to get to the grocery store (I just hate shopping when it is busy)  I will give at least 15 minutes notice.
  4. Vacation is important – your team members are much more productive with downtime – and with six or seven weeks of vacation, I think I will be able to bring a clear and focused mind to work.
  5. Your professional office environment requires a certain level of dress and I want to fit in.  I would like to request a bi-weekly clothing allowance.  How much you provide determines the level of my professional dress.
  6. I may continue to do some consulting work on the side, this will not interfere with my work for your company about 75% of the time.

With these points – that you can see I’ve been quite reasonable – I think this is going to be a successful win-win relationship.  I look forward to your feedback!

Yours Sincerely,