Tenting hobo no more!

It’s been awhile, my apologies I am the queen of good intentions.

I am pleased to say that I think I am done living like a hobo in a tent outside of Calgary while working in the city. The timing on this is good considering that the nights were getting awfully chilly at the end there.I should be doing fieldwork now until the snow flies and it generally becomes too miserable for us to be out. While out camping though I made some lovely new friends at the swamp nearby (what else was I supposed to do?). I chased around some ducks and befriended some very curious muskrats. I must say that we have some fantastic sunrises and sunsets around here as well, I am thoroughly enjoying them lately.

I was losing my mind in the office a bit though, feeling rather inadequate at my job. I’m sure that’s normal for a new job – the overwhelming feeling that you know nothing but I must admit that it was starting to wear me down for sure. So much to learn all at once. Not only do I have to learn the whole government/paperwork side of things, but I also still feel like I know so little about the history and archaeology of the areas that we’re dealing with. There just never seems to be enough time to read and learn everything I want to about everything – archaeology, geology, bones, geography, plants, animals, etc.


Catch Up Time!

I’ve been a bit bad about writing lately, oops. I shall blame part of that on stress about the job situation, but a small catch up posting might be in order.

I got fed up with all of the waiting around and hearing nothing, so I drove up to Calgary to talk with my boss – I wanted to make sure that I would have a full-time job come fall, before I told the college I couldn’t teach any classes. I didn’t want to burn all my bridges and then end up without a job in a couple of months. When I arrived at the office, though, I was informed that they had ‘let go’ the permit holder I worked under on the Birch Mtn project. That had me a bit worried but now her last e-mail to me made more sense, where she had let me know of another company looking for junior permit holders. I was a bit confused if she meant that I wasn’t going to be getting anymore work, but I think she realised she wasn’t going to be around to train me and merely wanted me to have the best chance at getting trained well. However, I did talk with my boss and he reassured me that yes I would have work in the fall and that I didn’t need to worry about any of that. I do worry that my training will be a bit more haphazard then I had anticipated, but I’m not sure they would a) hire me b) pay me as well. I also discovered that if I show up, they’ll find me work to do – excellent. So I worked for the rest of the day and then headed home with the promise of being sent more work to work on from home.

They did send me some work, however, it only took me about an hour to complete each of the two tasks they sent me – that’s not really enough to pay the bills. In addition to that, I had already told the college I wouldn’t be able to teach anything in the fall, thus a steady income was suddenly quite important to my financial situation. So, the following week I decided I would just start showing up for work every day and they could find me things to do, which they did. I worked on writing sections of reports, doing some editing and formating, learning about map making, etc. Instead of driving back and forth from Lethbridge to Calgary, though, I decided to pack my tent and just camp.

I feel like it should have been more of a political statement or something like that, but really, it was because I’m cheap and it saved on gas. Plus it was kind of fun. I met a nice lady a couple of sites over that became my camping mom. She checked to make sure I had a hammer for my stakes, a pillow, food, and enough blankets. I tried to convince her that I had planned ahead but in the end I still inherited an extra blanket (which was actually really nice to have). She also warned me of the dangers of having strange men invite themselves back to your tent – she doesn’t put up with any of that and calls the RCMP, just as I should do in that situation. She lives in Nanton, I have no idea why she was camping so close to home and I wish I had gotten her last name.

That brings you up to speed on work, this week we’re in exciting Drayton Valley, but I’ll write more about that in another post.