Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Old Friends

I've been sending plenty of snail mail lately, and not to too many people. I've got 4 or 5 people I send mail to, and I realized I might be bombarding some of them. So, I thought to myself "Who can I send mail to?"

Then I remembered someone I went to elementary school with. She was a truly wonderful friend who moved to Port Moody in 1998 (far away at time time, because we both lived in Ontario). Since moving to BC myself, I'd only seen her once - the same year I came. So, through the magic of the internet I found my friend's home phone number, not knowing whether she still even lived there or not.

Today I called the number....

Her mum answered, and she certainly remembered me! We had a short chat to bring each other up to speed, and gave me my friend's email address. I would have liked snail mail, but this might be faster for initial contact since she's living in London England. (not surprising. Her mum's English, and still has ties). Too bad I didn't know this before because she was living in this large (shared) home right in London when the Fiance and I travelled through it in the fall! Ships passing in the night.

So, I've got her email address, and we'll see if she writes back!

(Also, took the resume to the dairy today. The meeting went really well, and she says she'll know by next week. cross the fingers!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Job

Worked my first shift at my new job today. A little yawn worthy since I spent the 4 hours watching the training videos, but I was told that tomorrow I'll actually get to don my apron and hit the floor. Could be interesting. We'll see.

I'm not sure how I feel about working retail yet. The big "thing" is that we're supposed to really push sales and 'offer new ideas' for a person to buy until 'she says stop.' What if I don't think they should buy it? Who cares? I'm supposed to ring in every sale that I'm responsible for, and I key in a number to show that it was 'my' sale. Who cares if it was my sale, especially if I'm not being paid commission? Just some of my musings.

There's one more place that I'm going to apply to tomorrow. A dairy. It's close to home, so it would be really convenient. Actually, I thought that if I could get this job and a shift or two at a local yarn shop (which could happen - we'll see) I would be happy. I'd have one job which involves physical labour, and one job that I get to be involved with something I really have a passion for. But, we'll see.

In the meantime, I'm fending off some respiratory bug. I finally went to see a doctor (at the request of the fiancee because my coughing was keeping him up at night) and he put me on some antibiotics. Hopefully I'll be rid of the most socially unacceptable symptoms of illness in the very near future. Although, my abs feel tight from all the coughing! Haha.

Oh, and along the way today I made an appointment to try on real actual dresses at a local bridal shop on Saturday. That'll be a real pick-me-up after all the stress and self-doubt I've had lately on account of the no-nursing-work situation. If I can take photos, I will! And I'll post some of 'em!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Added Incentive...

Oh, and I decided what I was going to give to myself as the 'prize' for finally getting a real nursing job.

I saved and saved and saved up my shopper's drug mart points. For Christmas, mom and dad gave me 9000 of them, which was 8000 more than I needed. Now, I have 75 000 points, and can use them to get $150 worth of stuff from Shoppers and only pay the tax. That's about $18. When I finally get my nursing job, I'll allow myself to cash in on those points.

I'm thinking I might just toss all of my makeup (minus the really new stuff, or fancy brushes I already have) and get a new set. I'm sure most of it should be tossed anyway since most of it is old. But it's a (n almost) free shopping spree which I'll be more than happy to go on to celebrate.

I'll tell you all about my loot when the time comes.

adventures in .... where?

This blog was intended to chronicle my adventures as a nurse, but as of late, I'm not doing much of it. It would seem like I should maybe call this blog "Sarah's adventures getting into nursing land." I have faith that eventually it will work out, but I'll tell you it's pretty discouraging sometimes.

I was able to speak to a recruiter at one Vancouver hospital that seemed really nice and offered to keep tabs on my application. She said that they foresaw being able to hire again in March. I'll call her then to make sure.

I went to chat with an old professor of mine last Friday, who helped me do some brainstorming. She suggested I apply for jobs within Public health in Vancouver and Victoria. I'm working on that.

This week, though, my main focus has been on applying for jobs that will pay the bills. Where have I applied?
The Verse
Movie Gallery
Tony Roma's
Cineplex Odeon
Aldo shoes
Duffy's Pub
On the Rocks
Pier 1
Warehouse One Jeans
White Spot
Boston Pizza
London Drugs
Shoppers Drug Mart
the Keg
Value Village
A Twist of Fate Yarns
And I still have plans (and a cover letter for)
Tumbleweeds Pub
So, These last two days I've been busy send out the resumes. Today I had an open-call interview for the White Spot opening in the Holiday Inn on the North Shore that's just about to open up. I also had an interview at BP yesterday (the interviewer seemed to like me, but I don't have any experience, so we'll see how it goes). I also have an interview scheduled for tomorrow at Pier One. Mike got at call this morning for an interview at Jysk. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

What's been interesting is to see how potential employers react when they realize that I'm not a nursing student, but an actual, real live nurse. When I explain why I'm not working in my field, they're quite understanding, but their first reactions are usually pretty interesting. It usually starts with "OH!...wow...huh..."
Even though I needed money anyway, what really got me on the kick this week was the realization that I couldn't even pay for the courses to keep me up-to-date (nursing-wise). If I let my CPR + first aid courses lap, what kind of nurse would I be? It would also be nice to know that I could pay my cell phone bill, or put more than the minimum payment onto my credit card every month. Or get a gym pass so I could at least feel like I had something valuable to do with my time outside of the house. Basically, I wanted to be able to earn money for a little bit of independence. Being unemployed without a little nest egg of some sort really blows and I wouldn't advise it.

To my credit, I am definitely not the only nurse (or degree holding professional) without a job. In speaking with that professor of mine, we discussed how when I was in school, everything was "Jobs here! Come to us! 1000's of jobs!" and then within 6 months of my graduation, government funding for jobs dried up. Now the teachers are telling nursing students that jobs are very few, and they should likely take whatever job they can get, because there isn't room for picking and choosing. So I at least have that going for me - that I'm not the only one.

In the meantime, wish me uber-luck!

Monday, January 4, 2010


aaah, yes.

After some meddling, buying the wrong product, more meddling, and then some fiddling, my new computer (with thanks to a certain fiancee) has Internet! So my gift to you for the New Year is a new blog post...with many more to follow!

Since the last time I wrote, I was let down by the hospital I was pursuing. It was the Friday before Christmas, so it was like an early 'eat shit and die' Christmas present. not really, but for those few hours after I got the email, that's sort of how it felt. The worst part was how I got the email letting me down in the first place. It went like this:

Email #1: Thank you for blah blah blah...unfortunately, we cannot blah blah...

Email #2: Please disregard the previous email.

(Pause. Wait....so what does this mean? Did they not mean to send this to me? They were letting others down and I ended up on the wrong mailing list? what?)

Email #3: Thank you for blah blah blah...unfortunately, we cannot blah blah blah....but we would like to encourage you to contact --- on the --- unit, as they may have a position available to you.


It was pretty effing lame. Why not just send an additional email to the let down one, rather than giving me an afternoon of doubt and hope and confusion? And since I was dead broke, I couldn't even go anywhere or buy anything (including junk food, which may or may not have been a good thing) to make things feel better.

and the best part? They'd waited three week to tell me this, and there wasn't anything I could do after that because you know that every other hospital nursing recruiter was going to be on holiday starting from the moment I got the third email. Although, one of them did manage to send me a reply email just to let me know that after that day, she was no longer working for that hospital, and that she'd forward my correspondence to the next recruiter in her position. *yawn*. sure.

But enough of the griping and moping. That was weeks ago now!

Christmas turned out to be quite lovely. I managed to get in tons of baking, and cooking and knitting and crafting. As it turns out, if you only have a can of cherry and a can of blueberry pie filling left in your cupboard, blueberry-cherry pie tastes great! I did my very best to do Christmas on a dime, and that turned out o.k. too. Most people understood that I haven't been in any position to go shopping for anything, but I tried my best to turn out handmade items that really meant something. I still have an item or two to churn out, but I don't feel like anyone felt like they were jipped. On the other side, I felt like those around me were particularly generous. Somehow I ended up with a new kitchen! Sort of. Come Christmas Dinner, I'd been outfitted with a bread maker, two crock-pots (one has been returned and since transformed into some new cookie sheets), dish towels, cook books, and an assortment of other items. The bread maker turns out some lovely loaves, and although I've only made glorified BBQ cocktail weenies in my crock pot, I feel some excellent recipes coming on.

I managed to pack in at least two Christmas dinners and a New Year's feast with both mine and M's family in attendance...so I feel like this Christmas I was well fed for both body and soul. Yum.

My New Year's Resolution? I really want to turn this year into something even better than 2009. 2009 was amazing. living in Vancouver, flying in a Cessna for 2 weeks, living in Ontario (and gorging on theatre), travelling to Europe, getting engaged...If I remember any year, it'll be this past one. I would love if I could make 2010 even more amazing.

But I'll save writing about New Years for Tomorrow.