Monday, May 29, 2006


Woke up this morning to a Wildcat TTC strike: yup, so I'm stranded downtown, like lots of others.

Why not get a taxi cab, you ask? Well, if I did that, the terrorists would win. That, and apparently they drivers are price gouging. I heard a story of 3 guys all going to Richmond Hill and the driver demanded $25 for each rider to go to Yonge and Finch from Yonge and Davisville (a trip that shouldn't cost more than maybe $30 total, depending on the traffic).

Ironically enough, it's the kick-off to Bike Week. More ironic: smog alerts pin today's air quality at close to poor (index of 50): that's bad.

The funniest thing: it's Monday. Everyone's going to work, presumably somewhere they don't want to be, and they're going to get there extra cranky after a long walk, an over-priced cab ride, or a traffic. Worse yet: everyone's going to come into work late and smelly.

I say, why gripe? It's a perfect opportunity to extend your weekend. Call in sick! Take the day off! Call in transit striken! Sure, I'm disappointed about not going to work because for once in my life I really, really like what I do and I'm not paid for sick days being on contract, but there's a point where it's just stupid to try to make it out to the middle of nowhere and then try to make it back without wanting to kill everyone.

See, it's all part of the Stress Less plan. Everyone needs to Calm. Down. Can't get it done today? Then finish it tomorrow. As long as you've done your best, that's all you can be expected to do. If anyone expects more, then either 1) you're in the wrong job, or 2) their expectations are
ridiculous. If 1), then all you need to do is find some other avenue of work. That's all there is to it. See, two months of being unemployed has really helped give me perspective...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

More from Vicki's crazy brain....

Another great piece by the illustrious, industrious, voluptuous, ferruginous Victoria Essex...
(er... me, that is...)

Friday, May 12, 2006

I said yes!

All I went out shopping for today was a pair of new shoes to wear to my new job...

I ended up with something much, much better...

Meet my new baby: we call him Sammy. We got him a little brother too: Sammy Davis Jr. (HDTV DVD player.)

This is way better than an engagement ring. Right now, John and I are squeeing with delight at the sheer detail we can see as we go through our entire DVD collection. So far, we've gone through bits of T2, the Two Towers, Babylon 5, Teen Titans, Minority Report, and Saving Private Ryan... and we both agree: pores on 32" LCD screens are not a pretty thing, even from 7 feet away.

Me so happy.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Harlequin has hired me!
You are looking at newest Harlequin proofreader! Hooray for me!
I start May 23rd!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Missing the point - I ams whos I ams

So as I've been corresponding with a woman about a job as an editor for her website, she asked me about why I refer to myself as "Miss" at the end of each email. I replied that I'd always been taught that this was the formal way of referring to myself in professional correspondences.

Sure, it might be a little outdated, but I stick to it because there have been enough times when someone will write me a letter signed "Chris" or "Pat" or "Vidya" and I'll have no idea if it's a girl or a boy I'm talking to. "Vicki" is pretty standard as a girl's name, but you never know.

In any case, this is the response I got:
Just so you know, no one here in Canada uses Miss, Ms, Mrs. Or Mr. unless
they are like in their 60's+ & they are extremely old fashioned or one is
filling out an formal application.

In fact I find it degrading for someone to use that in this day & age b/c it
makes me feel they think they are better than me.
All I could think to myself is "WTF?!"

SHE finds it offensive that I refer to myself as "Miss"? How insecure do you have to be to concern yourself with the way someone else refers to themselves and how it relates to you? I don't even know her last name, but do I find it offensive that she, as a potential employer, won't let me know who she is? Not particularly, since I don't intend to work for her anyhow.

I know you could make the feminist argument that any form of address could be degrading and that it would slot you in as being Miss (single and up-for-grabs), Ms. (divorced, feminist, or otherwise), Mrs. (married hoursewife), or Dr. (professional spinster), but it wasn't like I was calling her "Ms. No-Last-Name" and therefore saying "This is what I perceive you as, you are in this category of woman ergo not worthy of being addressed by only your first name."

I've encountered this Miss/Ma'am issue before working retail: co-workers of mine have referred to customers as "Sir" or "Ma'am" which would sometimes elicit a screaming of bloody murder, more from women at the address than from men.

Okay, so "Ma'am" might have some other connotations that are obscurely historical and might be construed as offensive such as "Madam", as in the head of a brothel. Worse are those people who scream at the use of "Miss" - perhaps they'd prefer to be called "Ma'am"? Well what did you want me to call you, lady-who-is-obviously-too-old-to-be-wearing-that-matching-jumpsuit-with-the-word-

I might add that calling someone Ms., which is just too darn feminist for my own personal use, really sounds weird. "Hey Mizz! You forgot your bag!"

Sure, in the case of customer service, you have to be careful. But what the hell else are you supposed to call someone? There are times when you just have to address someone directly, and don't tell me you can avoid it, because there are times when you really, really can't. "Hey lady!" or "You there!" just aren't right. How about, "Non-denominational-unclassified-person-of-the-gender-you-are! I found the book you were looking for."

All that aside, the email from this woman (I suppose she's a woman, since she only referred to herself by her first name, which I won't mention here) went on in the email. This is my favourite part of the message:
Unless someone is a Mistress in the BDSM lifestyle, they just don't use
it & at first that's what I thought you were.

You can do whatever you want, I'm just letting you know how you might
be perceived by others.
Read my resume, slave! And call me MISS!

Yes, I suppose if your brain works that way and that's what you're into, sure, calling myself Miss might identify me as a leather-clad master of the bedroom (and John will only attest to the second half of that identifier, I'm sure.)

But the question remains: if I'm applying for a job, referring to myself as Miss in my CV, and they don't pick me because they think I'm some kind of S&M wielder of a hot pink cat-o-nine-tails, do I REALLY want to work for them?

Oh and just so we're clear: professional correspondences don't use the word "like" in the middle of a sentence... unless you're, like, a teenager.*

*John's joke.

Monday, May 08, 2006

For Blogging's Sake...

Dropping a line to say that after a horrible ordeal with U-Haul, John has finally moved in, and we've been living together for a week. Yay!

Meanwhile, the job hunt continues - have some prospects on the go and had an interview at Harlequin Enterprises today. Yes, Harlequin, the publishers of trashy romance fics you can get at your local 7-11. Though these days, they publish a lot more than just romance (though they usually have some romantic aspect to the plot.) I didn't know this, but Harlequin started up in Winnipeg in 1949 - yes, it's a Canadian success story! Who knew? Anyhow, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping beyond hope they take me as a new proofreader.

Otherwise, life is good. Spring has sprung and I'm making significant progress on my original writing. Who knows? Maybe one day you'll see my name on a trashy romance novel at 7-11...