24 December 2008

Suicide Is Painless

I had no idea that the theme song from MASH had a title, nor lyrics, nor that they were so deliciously dark. The music was composed by Johnny Mandel, and the lyrics by Robert Altman.

Suicide is Painless

Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be
The pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see . . .
That suicide is painless it brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please.

I try to find a way to make all our little joys relate
Without that ever-present hate but now I know that it’s too late,
and . . .That suicide is painless it brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please.

The game of life is hard to play. I’m gonna lose it anyway.
The losing card I’ll someday lay so this is all I have to say.
That suicide is painless it brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please.

The only way to win is cheat and lay it down before I’m beat,
and to another give my seat for that’s the only painless feat.
That suicide is painless it brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please.

The sword of time will pierce our skins it doesn’t hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in the pain grows stronger . . . watch it grin, but . . .
That suicide is painless it brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please.

A brave man once requested me to answer questions that are key
'Is it to be or not to be' and I replied 'oh why ask me?'
That suicide is painless it brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please.
And you can do the same thing if you choose.

20 December 2008

Well, fuck

Life sucks, everything sucks, I'm-a go jump out a window now.

Here's Allan Ginsberg, feeling insane:

...I'm with you in Rockland
where you scream in a straightjacket that you're
losing the game of the actual pingpong of the abyss
I'm with you in Rockland
where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul
is innocent and immortal it should never die
ungodly in an armed madhouse
I'm with you in Rockland
where fifty more shocks will never return your
soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a
cross in the void ...

Hey Allan, I'm with you in Rockland, wherever the hell that is.

13 December 2008

My Awesome Boss

One of our managers got snippy at 3 am and posted this on Facebook; I now reproduce it for your enjoyment.

By Erin McLeese
I am your friendly neighbourhood Safeway employee. I have advanced technical certifications in braising meats and vegetables, candy making, party planning, family counselling and MMA Refereeing, as well as financial planning. And I know exactly what you need, when you need it - ask me anything, I have a catalogued index in my mind of the entire store.

Of course I understand you needed that cut of meat three hours ago, and I should have anticipated your needs before you came to the store and asked that the meat cutter make those cuts of meats for you before he left for the day. Would you like me to take your order for him? No I am sorry I cannot cut the meat for you, I am not in the meat cutters union.

Peanut butter is in aisle 16 on the right.

It is completely my fault, I am not in the meat cutters union and therefore cannot cut your meat; would you like to try this cut of meat instead? Or how about a rack of lamb? Your Great Aunt Matilda is allergic? I am sorry to hear that, what about chicken? It BBQ’s well and is a great alternative to beef.

Peanut butter is in aisle 16 on the right, would you like me to show you?

I am your Safeway Customer Service Rep. I am a Person in Charge, a Courtesy clerk, a Deli Clerk, a Cashier, a Seafood Clerk and Grocery Clerk. I am sorry that we are out of coke, we would have made more, but the fizz machine broke and we are wait listed to have it fixed. If I had known on Monday you wanted 25 two litres I would have ordered accordingly.

Yes Ma'am the peanut butter is still in Isle 16, would you like me to show you?

I am sincerely sorry that the Club Soda is on sale 4 for $10 and we did not order enough to ensure you got some. Would you like a rain check?

Sir, you look lost can I help you find something?

The peanut butter is in aisle 16, left hand side, can I show you? I am sure you are capable of counting to 16, I am just… ohhh… Cream of tartar? That would be in aisle 5 with the spices, would you like me to show you? You can find it just fine on your own, okay, when you can't see it let me know, I will help you see it.

Yes our Christmas candy is in the display in the front lobby, you did not see the display? Perhaps I can show you? It is marked by Christmas balloons and bruised and battered poinsettias that toddlers keep pulling on. You see perfectly fine on your own? okay, again let me know if you need me to show you.

Cellophane is in aisle 6, right next to the cooking oil, and peanut butter is in aisle 16 between the jam and the syrups on the right hand side, would you like me to show you? Yes I am sure you can follow directions... Sir, aisle 16 is on your other right.

No Ma’am I don’t really work here, I just wear the uniform and stock shelves when I come into shop, it helps me consider what I REALLY want to make for dinner tonight. Yes, I am being smart, but you have seen me here before and you ask this question every day before asking me where the peanut butter is, and it is STILL in aisle 16

No we do not sell our donuts frozen, Superstore does? Well they are in Langford Sir, would you like directions?

Would you like your groceries in paper or plastic bags? Would you like carry out service? You're right I can see that you are spritly and lively at the tender age of 75, how dare I insult you by following policy and offering you exceptional customer service.

Molasses is in aisle 16 next to the peanut butter, no I am not S**tin' you, it's considered a syrup in Q'bec, and we keep it with the syrups.

Thank-you for your patronage, please come again.

07 December 2008


A kind of summing up, if you will. Since it's December, right. Cliche, but now's as good a time as any, and 2008 has been interesting.

2008 was:

Screwdrivers with Kim
Movies in the park
Philosophy with Tom at 2 am
Waking up in odd places and making my way home in the wee hours
3 or 4 different jobs
About 9 school credits
Playing drums in the band
Many, many new friends.

It was pretty good, for the most part. There were tense parts, but I think I've developed a new Zen approach, which is very healthy on the whole. It's been good.

Next year promises to be even more interesting. Possibly it is a good idea to take note of the old Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." Now, for instance, life seems pretty excellent. I've done well in school and I've got a new, much cheaper place to live next year. I've got more friends now than at any other point in my life, and I've got plenty of money to spoil some loved ones at Christmas...
Yet...I've been snapping lately. This thing is called Shit Job Tales for a reason. And the job seems to be getting shittier. I've lost my temper with people who may or may not have deserved it several times in the last couple weeks...there's always a good reason to lose one's temper, but I never have before, so why now? I may have to quit before they actually fire me. Life goes...

01 December 2008

Aaaaand we're back

Rough times over here. On the playslist:

Parents just don't understand (self explanatory)
Train in Vain (I got a job, but it don't pay)
Oops, I did it again (and again, and again)
My stupid mouth (I'm never speaking up again)
I Will Survive (though I might wish I hadn't)

Stressful times, but at least life is interesting.

Sometime in the near future, I need to essay my thoughts on faith and religion and god, and all that good stuff. I don't really feel up to it right now though...is going to be Srs Bzness, and requires a bit of run up. Ta.

19 October 2008


is not a word, and it's not clever at all. And boys and ghouls? Don't. Just. Don't.

13 October 2008


I'm going to try to get in as a copy editor at the Times Colonist. My uncle says I haven't a prayer. I try, nonetheless. Also:

I got this from John Scalzi's blog, Whatever:

John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as “not one of us,” I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence… you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations.

This is a comment by one of McCain's former campaigners, published in the Baltimore Sun.

Strong words, but this is a time for strong words.

06 October 2008


The government decided to send me 87 bucks. Why? Haven't a clue. I suspect they're trying to bribe poor people to vote back in a government that plans to rape them up the ass as soon as the election is won. Won't work, assholes. I'm voting Liberal. But I'll keep the money, thanks.

28 September 2008


When I'm keyed up like this I make random noises. On the computer they come out as onomatopoeia, hence the title.

So work was kinda good! It always goes better when they unchain me from the damn till and let me stock shelves or something. Think heavy lifting sucks? At least you get to move around. At least you get to pause and catch your breath. There aren't damn people wanting crap all the time. It's good.

So. Copy editing. To be a copy editor you need, quote:

- Thorough knowledge of the Internet, with the skills and imagination to deliver news in innovative ways;
- A strong knowledge of the English language, with the ability to merge various news stories and sources into compelling copy, in all formats;
- The ability to write clever headlines, succinct cutlines and snappy decks under deadline pressure, in all formats;
- Thorough knowledge of current events in Calgary and Western Canada;
- Page-building skills;
- A passion for fact-checking, nit-picking and absolute accuracy;
- A strong sense of teamwork and individual responsibility.

Dude! I can do all those things! You don't even need a degree!

Now I just have to convince them to let me try it. They'll probably want someone with experience or some of that BS. To hell with that. I am a master of the English language. I can do it.

16 September 2008


For a moment I thought I was wise. I'm not wise. Knowing that makes everything easier somehow...

14 September 2008

Finding BOB


Yeah, so. School, whatever. Work, whatever. Life, no idea.

I mean, you go to school and take courses. For what? I still don't know. I work because I need to live. Why am I living? Don't know. So life continues. Work hard, study hard, what the hell am I doing? I need to quit my job and go dig wells. I need to get into a proper program and learn how to build rocketships. I need to stop getting drunk every weekend. Or alternately, start getting drunk way more often.


So the latest special thing Safeway is doing. Finding BOB. BOB is stuff left by customers on the Bottom Of Basket as the pass through checkout. Oftentimes the cashier doesn't see it, and the customer walks out without paying for the item. Apparently Safeway loses 10 million per year because of this. I don't really buy it, but w.e.

So to encourage cashiers to catch more of these, we're having a "Finding BOB Story contest". You write your story about finding BOB on an index card and put it into a box, and there's a draw each week. The winner gets a cheesecake or something.

An example story: "I was working on till and I checked the customers basket. There was a large bag of flour left on the bottom. I said, "Excuse me, is this your flour?' The customer said yes. I rang it in and finished the sale. The end."

It turns out I would have won this week, except my entry contained a little too much much "playing silly buggers" for the management's taste. Bleah. The thing is, the contest is so damn ghey I can't bring myself to write a BOB story without being a smartass. No cheesecake for me.

05 September 2008


Five months of summer vacation is really to much. I was starting to forget that I'm still an irresponsible child who can't do anything right and isn't expected too. I almost felt like and adult for awhile there. Dangerous thoughts. Anyway, school is back in, and I fuckin' love it. Yes, tuition, blah blah, books, blah blah, screwed up registration at Uvic, whatever. School is good. No one knows me here, and those who do, think I'm hot stuff. It is so much better than the distant memory of high school on every level.

There is the downside, of course, which will hit me as soon as I fall off this caffeine high that I've been on. I haven't worked in a few days, and realizing that I have to go back tomorrow makes me remember how much I really don't want to. I did screw up my one course at Uvic, so I think the Creative Writing thing is out the window. I really want to take ACP (that's applied communications, working in tv, radio, media, whatever) or Economics. I'm trying to figure out which one would be more likely to get me a globe trotting job the UN. I'm pretty sure one of those is definitely what I want to do though, although Computer Science has become an attractive option thanks to a really cool teacher.

All this typing has made me remember what brought me to the computer in the first place which is to do some homework. That's the third downside: school is work. Brain work. No one to make you do it, just the threat of impending failure and a life of humiliation working at Starbucks. Onward...

PS. One other thing I'm psyched about: I can make my own coffee now! I got one of these.

26 August 2008

Burn In Hell Bitch

One of these days I will blow. On that day, I advise you stay about 20 feet away- out of range of flying objects, but close enough to film for the interwebs. It will be worth filming.

I scan customer's ice cream and reusable shopping bag.

Me: "Do you have a club card?"
C: "No"

She pays.
I put ice cream in bag.

C: "Don't put that in the bag."
Me: "Huh?"
C: "Wrap it in plastic please."
Me: "O...kay..."
Me: "Why buy the bag if you're not going to use it?"
C: "If you out the ice cream in that bag it will melt and get the bag wet."
Me: "But it dries...no..?"
C: "Just wrap it in plastic!"
Me: (rolleyes)
C: "Give me one of those game cards."
(The store is running one of those silly contests with game cards, only card holders can play, she did not give me her card)
Me: (Doesn't hear, I'm deaf, yknow)

Me: "Wha...?"
C: "Give me a game card!"
Me: "No."


C: "Why?!"
Me: "No club card." (Also, I hate you, bitch)

C: (storms out)

It is possible that I am overreacting. It is possible that I was being a little dumber than usual that day and she grew legitimately frustrated. This does not change the fact that if I ever get really angry when I've had enough coffee and am feeling energetic enough, I will do something really, really violent...lose my job, but by god, it will be worth it.

20 August 2008


Holy cow, we're getting a raise! It's significantly lower than what the management hoped for, but what the hey. I'm out of here in a couple years anyway. It's 8.75/hr to 9.75, for me, plus .50/hr in back pay retroactively from the end of March. (Is the use of retroactively redundant? I'm not sure.

It means I'm still below the poverty line, but it's still a hell of a lot better than before. I'm going to spend the back pay on booze and clothes. I deserve it, don't you think? I spend like, 20 bucks a week on food. I live like a monk, only without the cool robes and Buddhist street cred. So yeah, this makes me pretty happy.

I still don't think 1 dollar an hour is enough of a raise, considering what a pain this job is, but my boss said something wise- "If both parties are unhappy, that's a sign of a successful contract. If one side walks away thinking, 'What a deal!' then the other side is fucked." It just remains to be seen if the corporation is unhappy too.

12 August 2008


Not the rock on, pounding heavy metal sort of headbang, but rather the kind where you have no other outlet for frustration, so you let it out on the walls and your forehead.

I want to go to England. I want to have a proper job and things to do at the weekends. My online friends, who started out in the same boat as me (high school and bored as hell) have now graduated. They are nuclear engineers and newspaper reporters, website designers or in school for degrees in heavy, prosperous subjects. Me, I'm still at fucking Safeway, and it's time to get the hell on with life. This has got to change...

31 July 2008

The Fish

Last year I worked in a fuel dock, or gas station for boats, in Tofino, BC. As the float supervisor, I was meant to hang about down on the floats, rather than in the store with the other employees. One very foggy morning, I was going about my business, coiling hoses and such, when a small motorboat puttered into my line of sight. The engine was dying- the problem later proved to be a mucky carburetor. Anyway, they didn't quite make it to the dock. I had to throw them a line and haul them in.

These three old fellas were in Tofino on a fishing trip, which, unfortunately, could not get underway until the engine was fixed. While one of the gentlemen went ot up to the store to see about the carb, I stayed and passed the morning with the other two. As there were few other boats out on that foggy day, we had plenty of time. By the time the fog burned off and the motor was putting again, we were all fast friends. They swore to bring me a fish in honor of the way I had reeled them in.

I assumed I'd never see them again, of course. To my surprise, though, they came back at the end of my shift, the next day. With a fish. A coho, just like this one:

Such are the good days, even in shit jobs.

28 July 2008

Plastic Bags: It ends here.

A letter to the editor of my local newspaper, published here for anyone doesn't live in Victoria.

I want to commend Oak Bay residents. Many of them try to reduce waste by using cloth grocery bags rather than plastic ones. As a Safeway cashier, I’m in a position to notice and appreciate this.

However, for every conscientious person who brings bags, there’s another who doesn’t seem to care. They wrap each item- the coffee, the chicken, the single apple, and the tiny box of pills- in its own produce bag, and expects the cashier to put the whole lot in another plastic bag at the checkout. Sometimes they even ask for double bags, lest their hands get sore from carrying that heavy load.

The usual justification for this is to prevent coffee grounds from getting on the apple, or fluid from the chicken leaking out. But why? Stuff washes off.

It almost hurts to think of the reams of flimsy plastic that pass through my hands every day. I want it to stop. It’s possible- Ireland has almost eliminated the use of plastic bags by simply of taxing the heck out of them. People waste things that are free, but a 25-cent tax will make them think. It would make me think too- I occasionally use plastic bags myself, even though I have fabric ones at home. I wouldn’t mind some help breaking the habit.

Not to generalize, but I have noticed a pattern in the worst of the bag-wasters. They tend to pay close attention to discounts, quibble over sales prices, and count their change carefully. I think people of this temperament would respond very quickly to a bag tax.

I don’t understand, in fact, why BC doesn’t have a bag tax already, seeing how well it has worked for the Irish. Perhaps the people in charge of these things are just waiting until enough citizens demand it, to be sure it’s what we really want. In that case, add my name to the list.

23 July 2008

How To Deflect Hatred

When you are paying for your purchases in a store, especially a high volume grocery store, 9 times out of ten, you are in close proximity to someone who hates you. Severely, passionately, hates you. I speak of the cashier. S/he hates you because you do the same annoying things that every single customer does. Time wasting, idiotic little things that make the poor cashier want to do violence. As a public service, I want to explain how to avoid bringing this psychic wrath down on yourself.

1. Don't count change.

If you're paying cash, use bills. Don't count out every damn penny, especially if you're old and you don't know how to count and your hand shakes. Just put your stupid change in a jar and take it to the bank once a month. Let them deal with it-it's their job. At the store, just pay fast and get out.

If you really don't have any money but change, forgawdssake let the cashier count it, okay? They're good at it. It's their job.

2. If you brought your own bags, say something.

Don't wait until the packer has already loaded most of your stuff into plastic, and then make them take it out and repack it. Get your head out of your ass and speak up.

3. Also, don't bring floppy bags.

Look, you brought your own bags, it's good, you're a good person, saving the environment and stuff. You're much holier than the person in no. 4. Still, don't bring your grungy old bags from the seventies. They are floppy and hard to pack, and the cashier has to waste time wrestling with them. It sucks.

4. Don't be a pansy.

Ooh, this bag is too heavy. Can you double bag it? Wah, I have a bad back. Don't pack too much stuff in the bag. Could I have a bag for this tiny bottle of medicine? For this single apple? To put my asshole in after the cashier tears me a new one?

Man up and take the heavy bags. If you can't handle it, go die. You're probably too old to live anyway.

5. The cashier has no fucking clue how much stuff costs, and doesn't care.

It's a big store, okay? The prices are marked right on the shelves, if you want to know, go look. Don't ask me.

This is a partial list. I think I've forgotten something. But next time you go to the cashier, analyze your actions. Think, would it be annoying if I had to watch someone do this 1000 time a day? If yes, don't do it. Kthxbai.

18 July 2008

Whoa, veggies...you can eat those?

Hmm. So there don't seem to be very many motorbike mechanic courses around. In fact, the nearest one seems to be in Saskatchewan. That's on hold for a bit while I think about it, I guess.

Anyway, about actually working. It's simply amazing what sunshine, good sleep, and decent food can do for a person's mood. I've tried living healthily for the last few days, and I must say, I'm feeling pretty kick-ass. You know, spinach and such. Onions. Blueberries. Whatever, it doesn't take much.

Also, my sleep rhythm was completely screwed up due to having the night shift all the time, and then getting randomly shifted to day shift one day per week. It's hell, really. I was going to bed at three am and waking at 1 pm. Yeah, I'm getting enough sleep- actually, I'm getting too much. Who knew? Word to the rest of you- sleeping 13 hours a day won't make you less tired.

Today's shift went alright- the bitchy old ladies seem less so when I can bring myself to greet them with a smile. There's a cute guy who's been making unnecessary trips to the store and getting into my line. There were 8 police cars outside when I knocked off. Yeah, 8. An ambulance, a fire truck, and drug dogs as well. Who knows?

I'm all registered up for courses next fall- can't wait. Got to get an education, got to get a life.

08 July 2008

Motorbike Mechanic

Alright, I've decided to become a motorcycle mechanic. I'm still getting my degree in Creative Writing as planned, but I'm going to do this on the side so as to be able to eat. Also, I'm having a hard time actually finding a course in bike repair. I'm going to down to Action Sports and see if the lads in the shop can give me some advice.

I actually ride a motorcycle- or used to, rather. It was a 250 Kawasaki Ninja, about 15 years old but in great shape. I smashed it up about a month ago, though. I sold the wreck for 900, so that's my price range for my next bike. I'm hoping I'll be able to learn something about motorcycle repair so I can fix it myself next time I screw up.

Anyway, another tale of Safeway:
A young man bought a single banana. e paid with exact change- 20 cents, although the banana actually cost 21 cents. He couldn't come up with the final cent. I let him off the hook. As I closed the cash register, the gentleman spotted some sort of organic matter on the conveyor belt. It looked a bit like a pomegranate seed- I'm not really sure what it was. Anyway, he picked it up, looked it over, and popped in his mouth. Yup. Good old Safeway.

25 June 2008

Love Handles

Visualize a portly woman wearing tight jeans, a short knit poncho, and NOTHING ELSE and welcome to my life.

Also, I fell down the stairs. Not just a little slip, but a full story.

On the brighter side, I've decided to become a motorcycle mechanic.

19 June 2008

Adventures At Safeway pt. 2

Well they finally paid me, it's just not a hell of a lot. Like, 150 bucks, when what I need is more like 800. I've been working almost every day for about 3 weeks now, shouldn't there be a bit more than that? I don't know, I'm bad at math. Maybe if I was good at it I'd have a decent job. Emo..

I haven't been doing Kabuki lately either. Fun as it is, sometimes you're lucky to break even after paying the lease. I'm actually in debt to them at this point. Don't know if I'll bother going back and paying up. Bloody life. This sucks unbelievably. I want to go home. I want to go home. I want to go home.

18 June 2008

Adventures At Safeway pt. 1

I've been back working there for 3 weeks now and have not yet seen a paycheck. This is illegal. I need to go kill someone.

17 June 2008

Power and Money

In Ender's Shadow, the protagonist, Bean, muses on the nature of loyalty and friendship. They're not things that come easily to him, so he spends a lot of time thinking about them.

Bean tries to puzzle out the reason why one person can control so many others. He figures it's because most people try to acquire power the wrong way. They see obvious sources of power-people and organizations that are powerful(which will henceforth be referred to as POPs). They try to get some of that good stuff for themselves, from the POPs. The problem is that those who have power also realize how very easy it is to lose it- so they hold on to it tightly and apportion it out in tiny, almost useless amounts. This is why your immediate supervisor has just enough authority to make your life miserable, but not enough to actually do anything useful. So you see, trying to get power from those who already have it is next to useless. Trying to work your way up from entry-level almost never works. You'll notice that there are thousands of entry-level slaves for every CEO who managed to claw her way up the ranks.

So how do you get power?

Bean is a bright boy- he saw the answer almost at once. You get power from those who think they have none. Average Joe. The kids who don't vote because one vote doesn't make a difference. From the starving villagers who will trade their freedom forever for food right now. It's easy to take these peoples power because they're willing to part with it. They think the little they have is worthless. So the few people who understand the nature of power can get a little from each person, and it adds up until they are unstoppable, until they control everyone...

Like I said though, Bean didn't understand about loyalty and friendship. He didn't know that power isn't the point at all, loyalty is. Loyalty isn't a means of getting power, but rather, the opposite. Power is a means of gaining loyalty, but if you already have the loyalty of good friends, you don't need to bother with manipulation and other nonsense...

Okay, now we apply this logic to money. I'll try to be brief.

Don't throw yourself into a career at Safeway. Or McDonalds. Or at any big company. You can work your ass off all your life, but you're just chasing the wind. They don't want to make you rich, they just want to keep you from being poor so they can control you. Instead, get rich off people who don't mind giving you money, because they think it isn't worth anything but dollars. Start your own company, providing stuff people want in exchange for the cash that they don't care about and which you so desperately need. You may not get wildly rich, but then money isn't the point. Money is only a way of keeping score.

04 June 2008

Good Things

1. Got rent paid for one more month.
2. Parents coming this weekend- they'll bring money
3. Weather is warm for motorbiking

Again, trying to keep a positive attitude here. However, I've come to realize that there's no way anyone can possibly succeed by getting a minimum wage job and working their way up. It just doesn't work- I'll explain why next post, using a theory I've developed from reading Orson Scott Card's fantastic "Ender's Shadow".

03 June 2008


If anyone out there has gotten the idea that it might be a good idea to hold 3 or 4 part time jobs at once, let me assure you- it's not. No matter how many bad jobs you have, they will not add up to one good job. All they will do is sap your energy and reduce your sense of self-worth.

So, I've quite the gas station, because that job was only 12 hours a week at 8/hr. I am quitting Subway, though first I'm going to collect my last paycheck and steal some cookies. That job was only 6 hours a week. I eagerly anticipate screaming at my boss "I hate you! You suck! And I'm taking these cookies!" Tomorrow, I think.

I've gone back to Safeway, sadly. This is the job I'll likely be stuck with for a few years, though I'm trying to have a positive attitude about it. The Safeway uniform is better than average, lots of hours are guaranteed, and they give you a raise (25 cents! big money!) every 520 hours worked. Okay. Not bad.

I continue to work Kabuki Kabs at the weekends- ferrying drunks around the downtown core is pretty fun. Life continues...

28 May 2008

Vector Marketing

If you live in Victoria, chances are you've seen ads, posters and business cards advertising: "Work for Students!!! 16.85/hr!!!". The thing is, the ads don't tell you exactly what the work is, and you know there's going to be a catch, cause I mean, come on. Businesses are hiring in this city, but only for the kinds of jobs that pay 10 bucks an hour or less. So if they're offering 17 per hour and not giving information, you have to think, "do I get to keep my clothes on for this job?"

Well, purely out of curiosity, I applied for the job and was accepted. Only then did they tell me what the hell I was suppose to do. Here's the deal:

-The company is called Cutco
-They make cutlery
-The marketing branch of the company is called Vector, and they're the ones who are so desperate to hire anyone
-You're expected to sell the product via something like a Tupperware party, giving presentations to people you know and then getting phone numbers for people they know for your next presentation
-It does indeed pay 16.85/hr, but only when you're actually doing presentations, and you're supposed to find your own customers.

If this sounds like it would appeal to you, by all means, sign up. I didn't go back for the training. They just seemed too desperate to hire me- there's no way this kind of job is going to be fun.

20 May 2008

Not A Shit Job, Actually

Right now I'm doing Kabuki Kabs. Like every job, it has it's bad points, but on the whole it's one if the best ways to spend a summer vacation, aside from actually being on a yacht with the millionaire kids club.

The cabbies hang out in a huge old warehouse way out past the edge of downtown Victoria. Like, you go past Chinatown, then past Streetlink where the heroin addicts are, then you come to Kabuki. When not working, lounge about on couches, drink beer from the beer vending machine, play darts, Risk, and otherwise waste time. There's lots of weed floating around, and often free beer too. If you think this sound a bit more fun the average office break room, you're quite right.

As for the actual work bit, we do have to do that sometimes, too. On sunny days, warm weekend evenings, and anytime there is a cruise ship in port, we go out on these big tricycle-like contraptions and try to convince tourists to let us take them to dinner, back to the ship, on a tour of downtown, wherever. We charge a dollar a minute (no complicated math) plus tips. Generally, if we charge anywhere between 14 and 19 bucks, they just hand over a 20. That's all anyone ever has, 20s, so we get some multiple of that.

The best part is, everyone wants to take a picture of themselves with the cheerful young cab driver. I know for sure I'm going to walk into someone's house someday, somewhere in the world, and they'll pull out a photo album that contains my very own face staring back at me.

Anyway, between the drinking and carousing, it's possible to make $1000 a week. If, like me, you only like to work in the sunshine, it's still 40 bucks an hour but only maybe 8 hours. Pretty sweet joint altogether.

13 May 2008

The Hangover Shift

Yeah, I should know better than to party on a Monday night when I have to work on Tuesday morning. Tuesdays are bad enough without a hangover. At least I was smart enough not to try driving home last night, so I woke up on the couch of the Kabuki Kabs headquarters downtown. That gave me two hours to hustle home and make myself decent for work at 10. Along the way, I narrowly avoided losing my gloves and keys, and did lose my cell phone and my temper. No one should have to climb over a rusty iron gate at 8 in the morning.

Okay, so finally at work. No headache, just dizziness and general despondency. This translated to a sort of slow clumsiness that my new co-workers probably think is my normal state of being. A woman came in, your basic old-but-but-not-elderly type. She bought cigarettes and $50 in lottery tickets. Lord, this can't go on. If I'm still a minimum wage slave at that age, just strike me down with lightning.

And now, off to Big Bad John's to hopefully locate my phone.

12 May 2008


My dad worked in a liquor store for 30 years. I guess he liked it. Me, I'd rather die right now than spend the next 3 decades in retail hell. But as long as I'm in school, I can only work part-time, and I have no skills, so I'm stuck with the same kind of thing. This blog is a chronicle of all the crappy jobs I'm bound to go through in the next four years, while I finish my degree (or fail, or get distracted by something more fun).

I'll start with past jobs. At the age of 18, I've been the following:

Page at a library,
minimum wage,
stocking shelves,
no human interaction,
in my hometown

Fuel dock supervisor,
11.50, nice,
full time,
handing gas hoses to boat people and chilling in the sun

Clothing store cashier,
boring as hell but a good coworker who was into air guitar,
in awesome Tofino.

Fuel dock again,
11.00, full time,
really cool people to work with,
back in the hometown.

Subway slave,
nowhere near enough hours,
bitchy customers and mental patients from the hospital down the street,
coworkers who don't speak English,
in Victoria.

Safeway slave
8.75 minus union dues,
extra bitchy customers,
way too many hours,
brutal work in every way.

Pedicab driver
Most fun job by far,
free beer and weed,
but no money unless you're a born salesman, which I'm not.

And finally,
back in another gas station, a Shell this time.
8 bucks an hour.

yeah, I went from 11.50/hour, to 11, to 9, to 8.75, to 8. I'm obviously doing something wrong. In the future we will explore just how retarded I am and attempt to find explanations, maybe even solutions. Bear with me folks. Tomorrow is my second day at the gas station.