Wednesday, July 6, 2011

No More Workees For Me

Last Thursday afternoon I came home to find an email stating that the contract I supposed had until September had unceremoniously been cancelled, and I was to finish all work and return my security card the very next day. While I was not surprised, I was shocked at the suddenness of it all. Work had been slow and we had been anticipating our project would eventually end, but I had work I was in the middle of, so it was a shock. Of course it is no reflection on me; the entire document processing team was let go, though some got more notice than I.

To make it all more stressful, I am a self-employed contractor, so this means no severance pay and no government employment insurance payout. However, I get my pay six weeks after the month I've worked, meaning I still have pay coming in August. After that things get tight.

I can't say I'll miss my job that much. I found the bureaucracy frustrating, and the IT infrastructure painful. Trying to work from home with a small child is an exercise in futility at the best of times. I did feel I was helping those who had been wronged by the Indian residential schools system, and I definitely added to my research experience, but I am partly relieved to not have to squeeze it into my life anymore. But really now the issue is money. Vancouver is an expensive place, and the three of us on one income will be tough. If I can find another part-time, work-from-home job with flexible hours, I'll be fine, but they're not exactly easy to come by. Holly starts pre-school in January for three hours a day, so that is the only consistant childcare I have in the future. But finding three-hour a day jobs are tough. Plus, we have to pay for the pre-school. Mum has been helping me out with incidental babysitting for me, which has been a big help, but is not enough for me to commit to a job.

So I am pretty much looking at six months as a house-wife. This is really my first time facing primary home-taker-care of duties, as I was offered the research job two months into my mat leave with Holly and could not turn it down. There is a huge psychological difference between being a work-from-home mum and a -stay-at-home mum. Adding to my dilemma, is the mass exodus of wonderful friends out of Vancouver. Most are moving or have moved to a different city (damn you San Francisco!!!), while some have moved to suburbs that are difficult to get to for us (apparently the only parents in Vancouver without a car).

Still, I am trying to take this as an opportunity rather than a set-back. I was lucky to get the work I did when I did. I love spending most of my time taking care of Holly, and now I can have more energy to focus on getting to my seriously lagging behind To-Do List. Now I can catch up on things like writing this blog. I am just finishing a creative writing class at Langara College, which has been wonderful. Last September I took courses in technical writing, and after that I was keen to take a course that let me use adjectives again. I am trying to make room in my life to write everyday. I doubt it will ever pan out professionally, as I know far more talented writers than myself finding it tough to make a living, but for own peace-of-mind, I am keen to get back to something that meant so much to me before I became "grown-up".

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