The Winds of Change

It’s been ages since I posted, apologies! I assumed winter would be a filled with several months of quietly working away on reports, countless rounds of edits and submissions to the government. And, for the first little while that was the case. Alas, it was not to last.

Around Christmastime things started to go downhill between my immediate boss and the head of the company. Eventually in a fit of frustration my boss quit. Sadly no one at the company seemed to understand what that actually meant for the company. Without a permit holder we can’t do any fieldwork or start any new projects…

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I distracted myself from the stress of work with adventures out into the mountains.

Things seemed to get progressively worse after that. We tried to finish the reports as best we could to meet the deadlines the government had given us, as well as the clients; although, we were winging it a bit since we lacked mentorship. It was also exhausting to continually have to explain what it is our job entails to our bosses. We received little support and even less communication. The atmosphere continued to become more tense and anxious as the months passed – we could see that no new work was coming in and they were not doing anything to bring in new clients or a new permit holder. We expected a layoff eventually, but in the end they decided to fire us based on vague, unclear reasons.

While the president was firing me, he kept referring to some ‘incident’ and when I asked for clarification he told me that he ‘didn’t feel like getting in to it right then’. Awesome. He then goes on to tell me that I should take what I’ve learned and apply it to my next job so that this won’t happen again – how can I avoid doing something if I don’t know what it was I did? Nothing was ever written up, I was never reprimanded for anything…I’ve never felt so belittled, being escorted out of the building like a common criminal.

So that was the low point of things. However, the next day I started my own business – eek! I now have my very own little numbered company. I’ll predominantly be doing work for my old boss who seems to have a rather booming business at the moment, but I’ll work for anyone who will pay me!

So, hopefully this is the beginning of something good, I’m nervous about the consistence of work but I’m sure that would be the case regardless of when I attempted this. I have had some fun forays out into the field already, but I will write more about that soon!

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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.