Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This *could* be terrible

Why is it that the closer you are to life altering events, the more the potential for things to do drastically wrong? Is there some sort of warped timing fairy that decides to send along stress to ADD to existing stress? Why can't she just space it all out? As if its not enough that in a mere 15 days I leave my home, family, friends and most importantly steady employment to head off into the literal unknown. Now, add a slowly imploding Maternal Unit, stir in ambiguity around a bank statement that tells me I have $10,000 LESS than what I should have in my bank account and a garnish with a potential life altering injury to that mix, and you have the perfect cocktail a la Murphy's Law.

Although I'm (fairly) sure that the bank thingy is just an error and will sort itself out, I'm not that confident about the injury. Right now, it hurts too much and I'm petrified that its going to affect my departure AND my dancing. Both are equally important.

It all began a few weeks ago when I left dance class feeling that things were not quite OK with the big toe on my right foot. It felt like it needed to "crack" but try as I may, I couldn't get it to do so and that meant that every step I took caused a sharp pain in my foot.

I hobbled around for a day bemoaning my fate, but positive that it would "crack" and all would be well. Sure enough, 2 days later I was flexing my feet and felt the toe release and then there wasn't any pain as I walked.


Then, yesterday at dance class I did a routine spin turn and felt a sharp stabbing pain shoot through my entire foot like a white hot iron had been pushed against my toe. The pain was just too much and I had to leave class. Somehow I got home.

It was slightly better this morning, but again, I thought it would just sort itself out, so I headed out to work. By the time I got off the subway downtown, my foot was throbbing so much that I could feel the vibrations in my neck! The closest chiropractor was luckily across the road from my office and I headed over.

He poked. He prodded. He asked me a hundred questions.
He moved my foot right, and then left.
He made me flex up. And then down.
He took a tuning fork and held it to my toe. I was tempted to sing in the key of C sharp.

He looked up. I held my breath.

Its a strained tendon, maybe even torn. You'll be in pain for a while, but it will heal and then everything should be ok.

I beamed, and started to breathe normally again.

Rest it as much as possible, ice it regularly and no dancing for at least 2 months.

There goes my performance dance next week. 3 months of practice down the crapper. And that's barely enough time for me to recover before the trip to Israel - that guarantees a lot of walking around. And HOW am I going to get all of my packing and last minute preps done if I'm supposed to not walk around at all?

There's just too much cloud right now. I can't find the silver lining.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The First of Many

Got a call from my friend the Professor last week. He told me he was heading out to India to visit his brother. I'm leaving on Friday he said. We have to meet before that - can't go 2 years without a proper meet up and a last pint together!

And so, after work today, I headed over to The Artful Dodger on Isabella street and we met and talked and laughed and remembered. We'd met almost 7 years ago; I was hired by York's International department to run one of their student programs, he was hired to be my right hand. It was a bit of a rocky start, but we worked through our differences and ended up friends. Real friends. The kind that last and endure.

His girlfriend joined us later. A young little thing with the glow of graduation still on her. She's so perfect for him, and I love seeing how great they are together. Excited about her first trip to India, she chatters on asking about this... about that...

Finally it was time. The hands on the clock had be marching steadily as we sipped our pints. I stood up to leave and took an astonishingly long time to gather my belongings, delaying the moment.

A hug to Freckles. Email me if you need anything - like shopping tips! Then over to Professor. He envelopes me in a big hug. I find myself tearing up. Take care of yourself I whisper. Be nice to Freckles. She's good for you. Without her you'll probably go back to being a bastard - more so than usual - and I won't even be around to kick some sense into you.

He nodded, but still I didn't let go. I gave him a quick kiss and left. I didn't look back. It was too hard. Besides, I didn't want them to see that I was crying.

The cool night air stung my cheeks as I walked over to the subway. I took a deep breath to steady myself and thought - this was only the first. How was I to get through all the others?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Cinderella Story

Once upon a time, there lived a little brown girl with beautiful hair called Pixy. She was a smart and sassy little thing, always ready to laugh and loved - just loved - to dance.

Pixy's cousin was about to be married. It was going to be a big family affair. She really really really wanted to look half decent at this wedding and so she asked her friend - the brilliant and talented Niffer - to help her out. She showed Niffer an old sari that belonged to her grandmother and Niffer agreed to make her something wedding worthy out of it.

Last week, Pixy dropped by Niffer's place to try on the creation. It was BEAUTIFUL. A simple pattern that was brought to life by the rich vibrant colours of the sari and the intricate gold embroidery. Pixy tired it on and felt like a princess; Niffer had waved her magic over the cloth and turned it into a living wonder. The result was almost overwhelming for the Pixy girl who usually stumbled around in ratty jeans and T-shirts. She couldn't wait for the wedding next week.

But this would not be a fairy tale without a horrid twist - would it? And here's that twist.

Pixy came home yesterday and was informed by her mother that the skirt came back from the dry cleaners - but was absolutely ruined. The entire bottom embroidery had disintegrated and some of the seams had ripped as well. There was no way she was wearing that. Ever.

She surveyed the disaster.

And then, fled to her room where stormy tears flowed freely. Pixy had set her heart on "looking nice" and now, that was all ruined. She cried for seemed like hours. For the lost chance, for the wasted material, for the lost effort on Niffer's part.

Perhaps she was over reacting. After all, it was just a dress.... and in the whole scheme of things not important. But it didn't feel like so to Pixy.

And so, she went to bed that night thinking about how she almost had the chance to live the fairy tale, but now there would not be a happily ever after.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Social Reject

In an effort to dodge the lady who I inadvertently called a fatty, I decided to try out a Wednesday night class instead.

After making sure that fatty lady wasn't in class, I settled down to follow the routines and to my immense surprise I found that I wasn't getting as winded as I usually did. When the instructor dismissed the class, I caught her eye and beamed. Did you enjoy the class?, she asked.

Oh very much!, I gushed back. I was so happy to find that I'm not totally winded right now like I usually am after a pilates session. I guess I'm just getting better at exercising for an hour - and that's good right?

Yes, of course, she replied. But this was a 45 minute class.

*sigh* I just cannot win here.

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Weakest Link

About a month ago, I sent out a mass email to all of my friends in and around the T Dot asking them to keep the evening of July 11 free for my last big night in the city. A couple of days later, Trippy and the Lady Killer politely but very firmly told me that that was the extent of the planning for me. I was to hand over a list of invitees to them and they would take it from there.

That's what I did (coz LK threatened to sit on me if I didn't) but boy is the suspense killing me! Though, as Beer Baron stated its not so much the suspense as much as my inability to be part of the planning process that has given me a nervous twitch and made me occasionally break out into hives. I am not good with lack of control. But then again, you dear reader knows this!

On Saturday as Beans and I were having one of our usual weekend marathon Skype conversations he mentions that an email from Trippy has just come in. Its about your farewell party, he said and started to read out the email. Stop, STOP!!! I hollered. I'm not supposed to know the details!!!! That shut him up, but then he proceeded to read the email and interject things like oh that's interesting and I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised at the venue and oh my! Don't wear anything new that night...... which of course just drove me crazy, which I suspect was what he was aiming for all along. Still, I decided to take the high road on this one and although I was DYING to know, I changed the topic and put the party right out of my mind.

Of course that zen like calm lasted all of one day after which I started casually questioning friends about whether they had gotten the invite (just to check if they'd gotten it of course), and mentioned that if they WANTED to tell me anything about the party, I'd be more than happy to not mention that I got it from them......

No good. Either they looked at me blankly and said that they just noticed the date but not the details, or they looked at me blankly and said what party? or they looked away and started talking about other things in a high pitched voice.

In desperation, I went back to Beans promising him all sorts of sexual favours if he would only just tell me something, ANYTHING about the party. Instead he pointed out that after 5 months apart I would be ready to do anything anyway. Humph! True.

Oh well, I have about a month. SOMEONE's going to crack sooner or later.

I think.

I hope!

Friday, June 05, 2009

And the Embarrassment Continues.....

Unwilling to let my previous experience at Pilates deter me from achieving that flat(er) tummy that I craved and the mind-body balance that I was so obviously lacking, I headed off to my second class yesterday. Determined not to find myself in the same predicament as the last time, I had carefully monitored what I ate all day and was confident that there was nothing in me that would feel the need for er... manifestation as I did the exercises.

On entering the room I found myself in a sea of blonde haired, size -0 Lululemon wearing girls. while my $15 Walmart pants seemed to scream bargain basement in comparison. Also, how was it that these girls who were supposedly dressed down for an exercise class looked more put together than I did when I went out to meetings with clients? But I was a little late, and the instructor was already calling for attention, so I hurriedly unrolled my mat and decided to ponder the mysteries of creation another time.

Just as the class was about to begin, another student ran in and settled herself just behind me. As we worked our way through the hour I could tell that she seemed to be having the same kinds of problems as I with understanding the exercises and holding certain poses; and I was oddly comforted by this! At the end of the hour I turned to her and with a big beaming smile said, Oh, I'm SO glad you were in class today! At least there was someone else in here that wasn't thin as a rail!
As she straightened up to face me, I could feel all of the blood drain away from my face. Oh no! I'd basically just called a perfect stranger a fatty!!! That sentence had sounded WAY better in my head, but it was too late. I'd said it. It was out. And in a second she would process what I said and think I was the rudest person alive!

Mumbling incoherently about having to leave, I ducked out of the room as fast as I could get around the other students. Not wanting to risk meeting her in the changing room I took my bags and scampered right out of the building thinking that perhaps the fart would have been the lesser embarrassment after all.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

How to Spot an Eejit: The Recruitment Model

The past few weeks at work have been particularly interesting for me as I'm in the process of winding down operations, handing over key clients to my colleagues and also recruiting for my replacement as well as 2 other newly created positions in my company.Sidebar: Isn't it nice to actually hear of a company expanding in these gloomy times? So many people have commented on how unusual it is to hear about a Non Profit expanding right now, but we're doing well and actually our services are more in demand than ever!
Anyway, I degrees. Back to the recruiting.

I've done a fair bit of recruiting over the years both here as well as in previous jobs. Although the actual interview part is fun - you get meet all sorts of interesting peeps - the lead up to that can be a painful process akin to pulling teeth!
The past few weeks have been an endless run of creating job descriptions, scanning resumes and trying desperately to find the good ones from amongst the mountains of rubbish. And I do mean mountains given that so many people are out about job hunting right now and a lot of those have the idea that they'll just apply to every and all postings in the HOPE that someone out there will give them a call.
Well, that's just the very worst approach to a job hunt in my (humble) opinion and all it does is piss off the person who has to wade through all the rubbish resumes. In this case, ME.
Still, every now and then I do find a resume that makes me pause. Not so much because the person has a great skills set or an amazing cover letter, but more because of the absurdity of the statements in the resume or appalling and very obvious grammar and spelling errors and (best of all) outright pleas to be considered for the position.
Really? You want to apply for a management position where you'll be overseeing projects and liaising with external clients and you start out by begging??? Really?
The list of stupid statements is endless, so I've tried to narrow it down to the gems of the lot. Like the guy who began is cover letter with a "Good Morning Madam, I hope you are enjoying the sun." Of course, this would have been a lovely greeting had the sun actually been shining on the day I read his application instead of the torrential downpour that soaked me on my way in to work that morning. Or the candidate who stated that they had "tactile AND hands on experience with managing projects". I wanted to call him back and offer him a new thesaurus.
Then there was the guy who was "affortless" at integrating new solutions to old problems. And while we're talking about problem solving skills, let's not forget the candidate who declared that she possessed "extra traditional yet creative" problem solving skills. My thought - huh?
And let's not forget the plethora of unprofessional emails attached to these applications like chyna_gurl@xxx.com, jediking@abc.com and my personal favourite, pushtheenvelop@123.com

In spite of the obvious frustration around having to sum up one's entire professional life into 2 or 3 concise pages, I still think that resume writing is essentially simple.
Don't write it in all caps, do spell check, and most certainly don't list drinking as a hobby.

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