Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Beware the Trees of Suburbia!

Does anyone else see the rapelling stealth caterpillars hanging from the trees, or have I simply stumbled upon a covert operation lying in wait for me alone?

I’ll be walking along a tree-lined street when BAM! – a small pale-green caterpillar is staring me down from his invisible silken line attached to an overhead branch, I swear hanging on by one foot so he can stretch out all other feet towards me in the hopes of latching on and – I don’t know – using me as an unsuspecting mode of transportation for a block or two, until which time he’ll leap from my back using a home-made invisible silken parachute to glide onto his next victim?

I look like I’m having some sort of balance confrontation when I see these guys – walking along in a relatively straight line until suddenly my head rears back and I lean sharply to my left (I don’t know why I don’t lean to my right. It’s a thing.) to avoid the dangling potential parasite because my momentum is carrying me right into his trap and it’s too late to stop outright. My upper body completes a last-minute semi-circle of evasion as I proceed forward and then check behind me to make sure the caterpillar has remained on his thread and not managed to clutch onto me.

Who knows how many of these caterpillars I haven’t seen – and where are they now? My bookbag? My apartment? Trying to hot-wire my RAV4? It’s the unknown that worries me the most.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What ill does society hold that ice cream can not resolve?

I don't really have more to add. It's just one of life's truths I wished to share.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Only for your amusement -- got it?

Okay, I share this not as a complaint, but because my job just keeps getting more surreal each day. I wish to share the latest in a long line of examples of the provincial government hard at work spending your tax dollars. Since my escape plan from this vortex of continual farces is inked and awaiting only an exit date, what do I care in the larger scheme of things? This rat is scurrying off the ship. But before she disappears into the warm Caribbean sea (seriously, you thought I'd jump ship into the Pacific? Fools!), a brief please-tell-me-you're-kidding chuckle:

We finally got a new executive director after about a year in limbo -- but she was just kind of introduced to us at our May meeting. She wasn't interviewed or "hired" in any fashion. The head of our division had been invited to our May meeting to explain why there had been no movement to hire an ED, and he showed up with her (I'll call her Ed) in tow, we assumed to counter the tongue-lashing our Committee was going to give him.

My coworker had heard through the grapevine that Ed was the best friend of our division head's daughter. In my naivete, I had thought that, be that as it may, she must have some skills or qualifications. Surely being the boss' daughter's best friend isn't enough to secure someone a managerial position in the provincial government.

Apparently it is.

Coworker and I have been working with her for a month, but Ed's work history in its entirety never came up until Wednesay's June meeting. (Don't get too comfortable. This won't take long.)

1) Second Cup Server while attending University for an education degree
2) A few months teaching English in Japan
3) Four years in a correspondence unit
4) One year providing maid services
5) Unknown number of years as boss's daughter's best friend

Yeah. That is our boss. The person who is to read my edited reports and "approve" them. The person who is supposed to have a higher understanding and greater skill base than the rest of us so that she can be "in charge".

Let me share with those of you who are unaware of what I bring to my lowly position under the bastion of qualifications that is Ed:

1) Two years coordinating two province-wide workforce surveys and compiling data summary documents for distribution throughout the province (on top of 2 years providing support to the project. That's right, I started as admin support to the project and was promoted to coordinate the whole project)
2) One year working with workforce legislation applications
3) Alberta's first registrar of Midwifery, a position I held for three years, during which time we coordinated and held the first midwifery registration exams in the province.
4) Four years in a correspondence unit
5) Hell, I'll even throw in a year as President of the Board of Directors for a non-profit organization.

So we have 4 years in a correspondence unit in common. Then apparently I wasted my time surveying employers and professional colleges, vetting applications for regulation, registering midwives and heading a non-profit board of directors. I should have been serving coffee, cleaning houses and befriending more children of influential people.

And before anyone gets their gonch in an uproar that I'm being elitist -- she really really really enjoyed serving coffee and cleaning houses, and lord knows I'm hoping for a job I enjoy some day, so I'm not putting down the whole coffee/cleaning experience. I just can not wrap my mind around how that can possibly be relevant qualification for a managerial position in the government.

Which leaves the nepotism. Which I was aware exists. But I thought it only tipped scales in hiring situations, not removed scales in their entirety. Again, lesson learned: Vote NDP.

(ha! that one was for you Dad!)