Friday, October 8, 2010

So Calgary Had A Bad Night Last Night

Opening game of the season for both Calgary and Edmonton, and what a way to start off the season by playing the Battle of Alberta. For the most part, only one team showed up though, as Edmonton (save for the 2nd when Calgary decided to put the pressure on with no results) took the game handily, including this little scuffle near the end of the 3rd:

Ouch. 4-0 Oilers, 5-0 if you include the knockout.

Just Do It?

I'm guessing a majority of readers who peruse my blog will have a hard time understanding why it is so difficult for me to find a job right now. If it's a job I wanted, I could get one, sure. I could go to work at any number of places that require few to no skills to acquire, but that's not what I'm looking for. Here's why.

In 2000-2001, I enrolled in a full time pre-apprenticeship training program for Heavy Duty Mechanics, which is, the overhaul, repair and maintenance of heavy equipment such as bulldozers, excavators (hoes, if you will), loaders and any manner of equipment basically. It was a 9 month course. This course gives you the fundamentals to start an apprenticeship in that field.

 During my course we were to find a 1 month work practicum, then return to school for the final week and final exam. I got my practicum at the City of Vancouver engineering department, working on everything almost. When I was finished my program, they hired me on as an auto serviceman, the idea being to work my way up to a HD apprentice. 2 years of that, with no perceivable hope of making it to full time employee, let alone an apprentice position, I was laid off.

Sadly, after I was done my pre-app program, the provincial government changed the apprentice governing body, formerly called ITAC (Industry Trades and Apprenticeship Commission). This set up what was to be a few uncertain years for apprentices, as there was no governing body set in place immediately to watch over us. So, nobody wanted to hire apprentices.

It wasn't until 2006, after 3 years of toiling around, working temp jobs and doing what I could to stay afloat, that I finally started my apprenticeship with a local materials handling dealer, mainly forklifts. I worked for them from 2006 to 2009 (with a brief period in 2007 where I left to go to Alberta to work for Komatsu) and then was laid off in October of 2009, having completed 2 of my levels of training (6 weeks each at school).

When I got laid off, it took about 6 weeks before I found another job, that is, one in my field, sort of. Great company, amazing benefits and people working there, but the drawback was that they only work on diesel engines, so, my training would end as far as they were concerned with Level 3, where I'd be a Diesel Engine Mechanic. I wanted to complete my HD ticket, be a HD journeyman, with red seal certification. Since they couldn't offer me that, I left them to work for a smaller forklift company who doesn't deal them, but had a large rental fleet.

It was 3 months after I started with these guys, they laid me off, and here I am today.

It would be easy to go and find a job in a warehouse, or something of that nature. But would it pay me as much as my unemployment, when you factor in commuting costs and all that jazz? Probably not. Also, since I have my 3rd year booked and tuition paid for school starting in November, no place is going to hire me for a month, then let me just leave for 6 weeks.

When I do go to school, the Provincial government, in response to the economic downturn, has offered incentives for those laid off or unemployed to still get their training done, such as tuition reimbursements, travel allowances, living allowances and so forth. There are also bursaries and grants I can apply for once there.

So it is that I've decided to put off searching for a path back into my career for now. It's plainly obvious that the reason no one is hiring me is because I'm still in my 3rd year. So I'll take this time to go and complete my 3rd year, come out on the back end a 4th year, and thus almost a journeyman. Much more attractive to employers.

In the meantime, I'll blog, I'll clean, I'll do projects around the house (like the pesky rips in the drywall from the cats...), I'll study up for school and be prepared.

tl;dr I'm putting off looking for work until after my 6 week schooling is done, unless something amazing comes along and they allow me to go.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Would You Do?

If you were laid off/unemployed like I am at this time, for as long as I have been, what would you guys do with your time? I've spent most of this time doing a myriad of things from cleaning up, playing Call of Duty/Counterstrike/Left 4 Dead, playing with the cats, blogging and even touched up and painted a wall or two. This in addition to sitting at the computerbox and sending resumes and scouring for job ads. How would you spend your time? Since it's likely this is going to take a while, maybe I need to add some things to my dailys to make life more interesting. Learn the guitar sitting in the corner? What would you guys do?

Happy Birthday Love :)

Happy 26th Birthday to my lovely wife :) Here she is with Lulu not long after we got her and Basil. Hope you're having a good day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 42

So now is officially ending (at least worktime wise) day number 42 of my layoff. I've sent out 67 resumes. I've had 2 official interviews, and a couple of chats. I have, out of all that, one prospect for which I am waiting to hear back from. I give that one at least till the end of this week, then I guess I lose hope since that interview was on the 23rd of September.

The next level of school for my apprenticeship is coming in November, which I have already booked and put the tuition in for. If we get much closer to the backout date for that, I'm gonna say fuck it, and put off my job search until I get back from school. Then at least I'll be one step closer to being done my apprenticeship, which seems to be keeping me from getting a job.

Basil For Your Morning

Morning everyone. Now is the time when the credit card company is starting to call about past due payments. Yay, this is where unemployment becomes fun. Hopefully my EI can cover most of what is needed to catch up, certainly won't be all of it. Oh well. It's a nice day here, NHL season starts for my Vancouver Canucks in 4 days, so there's some things to be happy about and look forward to. Last nights dream included me trying to figure out a way to buy a $5000 model excavator. They exist. It runs on batteries, but has working hydraulics and everything. Man I want one of these.

*fucking drool*

Monday, October 4, 2010

Waiting For The Call

I swear, this has to be one of the worst feelings in the world. You've had interviews, sent out dozens of resumes, and all you can do is sit, and wait. Wait, and wait some more. You stare at the phone, willing it to ring. It doesn't. I hate this. I keep checking my ringer to make sure it's on, I check my phone to make sure it's charged. I go nowhere without it. Everytime it buzzes or makes a sound, I jump, and it's a text message. Or a facebook random update that someone likes my status. Aggrivating. It's like waiting for a chick to call. This sucks.




 Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

"I Didn't Do It"

Good morning, followers and those who stumble through. So begins week 2 of the blog to end all blogs. My search for a job gets fired up again this morning, and so far, as usual, nothing to report. Phone isn't ringing, haven't seen any new ads to reply to, and the incoming emails are nil. So the most exciting thing I get to do today is go and get cat litter. Oh and do the dishes. I guess I could watch more of The Wire... Stay tuned.