Monday, May 16, 2022

The Tick Issue

 

We were in the woods (Bob Creek Wild-land) for about 8 hours last Thu.! When we finally saved our asses and came out there were lots of cattle roaming around, meaning we were exposed to all sorts of bugs! Then finally we laid down on the ground (crashed!) from exhaustion near a big fenced area which was full of cattle and calf and, later we found out, one or two dogs. We finally got ourselves to the car and the story has been told. 
I saw a bug on the wall of the bathroom the next day when I came back from work. Grabbed it with a napkin and threw it to garbage, which I think, now, that was not enough. Then on Sun. afternoon, more than 24 hours after the first observation, when I was taking my shirt off I noticed a bug on my left shoulder! I freak out and immediately grabbed it and threw it into the toilet. That was when the alarm went off: Tick! I've learnt about tick when I was in the Quebec, during the Basic Training. They took a set of our uniform and fumigate that. So as soon as I saw that I got dressed and went to the nearest emergency clinic. I was told over there that since the bite needs 72 hours to be effective, in order to skip the line, I could see my physician tomorrow, which is today.
I called my clinic and made an appointment for today afternoon. The physician said that most of the ticks in Alberta do not carry Lyme Disease whoever prescribed me a pill that I should take if rash appears. I will wait for that.
(Photo: The actual tick is a nasty looking bug probably as bad as cockroach. For that reason I decided to use the animated version of it here! That's the one on right)

Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Crazy Boss to be

I've barely had any good experiences with Eastern Europeans here in my life. Very rarely. If there was a service they were providing, they were okay but not great in the way that I would love to go back. If it was a conversation, such as one with a colleague or classmate, not pleasant at all!
There was this Russian guy in my former workplace whom I once got into a discussion with him about the need of nuclear power in Iran and how Russia was helping them in the south, on the edge of Persian Gulf to build a reactor. This is a separate story itself which I will not narrate it here now. He was an IT guy who later quit and I never heard of him. There was another guy I remember, Andre. He was a medium-built white-headed guy whom I never, ever, like the other ones, remember seeing even smiling, let alone laughing! He was okay and always helpful and I even remember I sat with him several times and asked him questions about Russia and he always answered them all patiently but never went closer such as a friendship. There was another guy who was in procurement and was probably 15 years older than me and had the same attitude. He would come to me to ask questions about the contracts and I could see in his eyes that he's really not willing to do that but had no choice. One year at Christmas party I got into an argument with his asshole son who was in his mid-20's or early 30's and obviously has gotten a job at the site through his daddy(!) and it was not really pleasant. The dad came to aid his son and they thought they could intimidate me but I, who was a bit drunk at the time, handled them well and they backed off! 
My so-called supervisor, or the head of the department was a Bulgarian asshole once and there were other so-called med-manager guys from former Yugoslavia (mostly from today's Serbia or Croatia). One worse than another. The Bulgarian used to eat a small Ham Sandwich and a cup of Tea, every single day for the first two years that I was working there and then later started to buy other things from a local supermarket! His image of sitting at a small desk, facing a wall(!) while easting that sandwich and drinking from a cup is tattooed in my brain! He would barely smile or laugh. Had very traumatizing life in a very poor country. 
There were other guys that each are the subject of one post themselves: Romanians, Ukrainians, Slovakians, Polish, You name it. All from poor countries being under strict rules for years and years, lacking the basics of life such as electricity, food, running water and else. You wonder why there personality is like that! 
With that in mind when I applied for this new position and was making myself ready for a Teams interview, I went to the web and did a little quick research about my boss-to-be! He is a Romain guy, one of the poorest countries in Europe which was under the rule of Nicolai Chaoshesko (written actually Ceausescu) for decades! Stories about Romania usually includes, as I earlier pointed, lack of the basics of life. This guy now in Canada for few years, lives on cloud 9! I could easily tell where he was from when first listened to him during the interview! But why do I call him and most of the Eastern-Europeans crazy? Because they all act abnormally and in strange manners. This guy after telling me that he would need me for a project in the US, calls me and says that he would consider me for the original project, again! I was like, make up your freaking mind man! He sends me two documents and asks me to study them for the second Teams meeting. He has a verbal offer which doesn't sound so good but, of course, is way better than what I'm doing now. It's an hourly rate which is less than what I was offered back in January of 2011, 11 years ago!! He said that there would be overtime later during the course of the project. The documents that he has sent me is one that is, most likely prepared by him, containing some bullshit basics about Quality and such and the other one is the detail of the project. What I learned, by having a quick look at the second one, is that it is a small project, defined for nearly 6 months which was supposed to start in 2021 and didn't. So now I wonder if I should go and work for such a low wage (wage!) position for such a short period of time and for a guy as crazy as an old Romanian fella! My initial plan was to keep the current job as a part-time one and see how the new job goes, if I get it, but now that nothing is finalized and I realized that the project won't go past 6 months (end of 2022, at the best) I have to really think about it, particularly that I have another interview this Tue., a face-to-face one and the fact that I would probably be outside in freezing Alberta cold this winter, if I work on the project. 
I'm going to have another look at the papers (electronic version, of course) the guy sent me, have another meeting with him and attend the other interview for the other position that the telephone interviewer said would be permanent and make a final decision.
(Photo: A kind of know-it-all boss. That is a typical Eastern-European manager/supervisor, based on my experience) 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Got Lost in the Woods, again!

I, again, got lost in the woods, approximately 6 years after a similar incident, yesterday! This time I was not alone but that was quite an adventure, even more exciting than the last time! I and Stout wanted to do a hike and I thought what would be better than trying Thrift Peak which I and The Chef tried achieving back in 2019 and didn't make it. The planning for hike, this time, was not as easy, mainly because of this freaking job that is very tiring. Beside I don't live in Downtown Calgary any more and renting a vehicle is not as convenient as getting on the train and walking for a few minutes. It was quite a challenge, particularly when the renting fella said that there would be no late return! And it was not only that. The last time I had rented a vehicle it was George W. Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, TX in last Nov. which was very easy. This time I turned to a disaster. The rent was higher, an additional driver would cost $10, which we didn't pay(!), we paid a coverage for the damn windshield and because the late return, which will be told later here, we probably paid more! I will ask Stout on Sun. when I will see him. He had the day off as he was dead tired! 
Our plan was to start from his place where we had parked the rental the night before. I drove there and tried to be early but I couldn't get there earlier than 05:00 or so. We got a coffee and headed south to Highway #22 or Cowboy Trail, it's called. I was driving a VW Passat, which by the way was an amazing vehicle. If I was not into EV and hybrid, I would definitely go for a VW such as that. I'm sure VW, similar to other car manufacturers, is working on an EV or perhaps it has something out but I don't know anything about it. At least a concept.  
We ran to a couple of nice guys on our way and one let me took this photo of him. I hope he doesn't mind it, in case he or anyone who knows him, sees this. His face is not showing. He should be fine. Beside he is so nice, organized and neat. He should not mind being seen on the web, I'd assume
So we headed down and at about 08:00, if I'm not wrong, we were at a trail-head which was a tad off what I had on my map! I thought that little difference would not cause us any issue but it did! We took the available trail and basically headed south and southwest with the hope that we can find ourselves on the main trail with the help from the GPX Viewer. I saw a guy at the other side of the parking lot, when we were gearing up and was waiting to have an interaction with him and exchange words but the asshole walked off! I realized that his gear was different from us. It appeared that he was a hunter or maybe a poacher because the No Hunting sign could be seen at many spots on our way. Later, on the presumed(!) trail, we saw a guy was approaching in full hunting gear. I thought that was the guy we had earlier seen at the trail-head but I was wrong! It was another guy whom was joined by his friend shortly. We had a little talk and one of them gave a sort of water purification tablet to Stout which he never used! We carried on and after a few minutes we found the actual trail but considering we had spent at least 2 hours go get where we should have been only after half an hour(!), if we had parked at the right trail-head!, we decided head back! 
Stout was not very happy with this decision but that was eventually his. We headed back with the hope that we can find our footsteps and go back to the vehicle! Bad idea! There was no track of bread crumbs or such! The result was going up and down hills, bushwhacking, circling and you name it for at least, I'd say good 5 hours, if not more. I just gave up keeping the track of our time, eventually. Stout became very irritated and I sensed in his tone that he was really mad. He had told his wife that he'd be home by 17:00. It would only happened, if we had a helicopter in that situation! Fortunately once we were on the top of a hill discussing what to do, and I was trying to calm him, I realized that I had signal on my phone! It was unbelivable! We didn't get any signal when we were on Highway #22 even before Longview! I told him to check his phone (which later I noticed used the same service provider as I do, Rogers) and it was like he won lottery! He was so happy that he had connection and immediately called his wife and told him that we'd be home at around 21:30! I didn't have anyone to call! So it was not a big deal for me! 
Spring has not fully sprung in Alberta yet but we saw many of these beautiful Crocuses in the area
At that point we decided to go back to the main trail, take it and go to the actual trail-head, where we were supposed to start our hike in the morning and go find the car from there but although he felt a better, he was still anxious and mad and was saying that he had been following me since the start without getting anywhere! I said: Listen. I have a few suggestion for you:
A- We can head down this trail, get to the trail-head and find our car, or
B- We can call 411 and ask for the telephone number of a local RCMP and discuss our situation with them!
" It's up to you ", I added. " You don't have just to listen to me ". Provide a solution and we can discuss that as well! That was my final word to him before he called 411 and we were put through Black Diamond RCMP non-emergency number! The lady at the other side, whom I was talking to, was very nice and helpful and told me to call 911 which in that way they would be able to see our coordinates and would come to get us. Stout, in the meantime, was nudging me to ask how much it would cost! Eventually, after hearing what the lady said, we decided to go with plan A!
I told him: Look. By the time the police of Search & Rescue gets here, we'd be at the car because we still had nearly 5 hours of daylight. He agreed and we carried on. We reached the actual trail-head in about 40 minutes or so and kept taking the assumed road where we found out that only would have been able to get it in the morning, if we had a 4x4! we would have had to park much further down. We kept walking and he was, at this point checking his Google Map which is available, partially, offline in situation like this and we realized we were not so far away from a gravel road which we were hoping to get us to the vehicle. We were both tired but he was way worse and we also were out of water. We reached a stream and he was hesitant to drink but I didn't give the second thought and drank a bit! The road ended where there seemed to be a fenced yard and cattle were everywhere, not to mention that we saw them all the way until there. We decided to have a break and think about the last segment of our journey! It appeared that we needed to go around the fence to get ourselves to the presumed gravel road. We were talking when all of a sudden I saw a big pickup truck with a trailer attached to it at the other side of the yard. I asked Stout, he was on the ground, lying(!) to wave at the guy and ask for help. I was sure he would either give us a ride or tell us how to get there. Stout jumped up and despite the fact that he was exhausted he tried(!) to run for the truck while waving his hiking poles! That was hysterical! The driver saw us and he drove to us. I joined Stout shortly and the guy agreed to give us a lift to the vehicle, although he said it was only a mile away. We were happy to jump back and we enjoyed a ride after 6 freaking hours of walking in the woods! Even when he stopped to get his dog in, which we don't know why it was running after the truck(!), we didn't mind it. We were at the vehicle in no time. We thanked him and I got his number because we're going back to make the summit and we will take a gift for him. 
Our first stop, on the way back was Longview. It was bit late and we couldn't go to a major restaurant, bar or cafe and Stout, who is a big meat-eater wanted to go to the jerky shop but it was closed after we came out from the Fas Gas convenience store to get beverages. Luckily the store had Beef Jerky, probably from the same store, and he bought 3 packs! I can't eat much eat because of my Gout but I tried a little piece and it was good. We headed north and he was waiting for the signal so he could send a message to his wife to tell her he would be late, again(!) because it was 09:30 and we still had another hour or so to go! This time he sent a message and put the telephone in his pocket!
The ride in the back of the truck, with the trailer attached to it, even when the dog of the owner jumped up [which I don't have a photo of it here] was very pleasant
I don't remember when it was that we reached his home and left the rental and I drove home but I think I reached home almost around 23:30! Comparing it to the planned time that I was supposed to be home, 18:00, the latest, I was only 5.5 hours late! I took a shower and went to bed to be ready for tomorrow's work but what led to our unwanted adventure is relying on the unreliable GPX Viewer App on the phone, I think. I also think I should have taken a printed map and studied the area in more detail. We have a plan to go back in three month so I'm thinking of perhaps to buy a handheld GPS. What to do you think?
(Photo, top: Despite being in the area once and seeing the actual fire lockout on the top of Thrift peak, I thought that'd be the summit that we were about to make! It is not. Stout checked it out with my pair of binoculars and found a structure[!] there which we thought was the actual building. It is but not the one that we were aiming for. It could be Centre Peak which is further south but I'm not sure. I will make certain, if I ever decide to go!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The Damn Issue with Spam Folder

I realized I had an interview request last night when I came home from work and the e-mail was in Spam folder, again! I immediately responded by saying that I had gone to Edmonton and confirmed that I would be available for the phone conversation at the time he had requested. I don't know when this shit would end! I'm tired of all these interviews and camera set ups and lies and crap altogether! I just need to get a well-paid job, focus on it and live my life!
Leonardo DiCaprio and Ted Levine (from The Silence of the Lambs, who could forget that(!) in a scene from the scary and strange movie, Shutter Island (2010). I gotta watch again and read about it to see what it really means. And by the way no wonder why DiCaprio is a multi-millionaire! Every movie like this brings him a lot of money as his performance is superb
With that in I set up the alarm at 08:00 and went to bed after watching a very strange movie, Shutter Island, for the first time. That'd the subject of another post, maybe but I woke up a few times due to the cold and eventually at 08:00 as the alarm went off. I had a little breakfast and the guy called shortly after 09:00 as he had indicated in his e-mail. He was an HR guy so his questions were all general and answering them would mean nothing but I did to my best. It seems a good position and it's in close proximity. I will have an eye on it while I work on the other opportunity. One of these positions should get me out of this toilet that I have been stuck in, for the past 2 years and a half, this summer. Sick and tired of all the crap that I have to take 5 days a week for a little money. 
(Photo, top: I check my spam folder every day now. Three interview requests have gone there and I don't want to lose any)

Monday, May 09, 2022

A Different Project?!

I've had issues with my e-mail before, back to the last Nov. when I had that Federal Government job opportunity and blew it but I never thought the issue stays. I was proven wrong this past Fri. I checked my mailbox, at work, through my telephone to see if I had received any message in regards to the last week's interview. There was nothing to see. Went home and in the evening checked again, this time the Spam folder too. There was a message there! He, the guy who had interviewed me, wanted me to call him and his message had been sent around 08:30! 
I had no choice but to wait until this morning. I wondered what he wanted. I wasn't expecting something very good, to be honest! The best I expected was that he would ask me to take the course and test he had mentioned but he said something else. He said that he'd like to consider me for a project down in the States(!) and he would send my resume to their guy so they can set another Teams interview with me but the position wouldn't be for a Quality Coordinator position unlike the one that they had considered me originally and that'd a 21-day work 7-day off schedule. he said that would prepare me for the future projects and gave me hints about the project to look for in the web. I really don't know why he did that and I don't even know if I have a chance because he, again. asked questions about the things that I have never worked on but added that it was not rocket science! 
While it's a great opportunity and I'm very grateful for that, not because I get out of this shithouse but also because I will get a chance to see 2 or maybe 3 states that I haven't been too and they're full of hiking and climbing opportunities. It might seem ridiculous to one that I measure everything with mountains but that's my passion and I look for any opportunity to make it happen and enjoy it. So I thanked the fell and told him that I would review the project's details and I, in fact did a little this afternoon when I got home. I will send him a follow up message and will ask question to see what will happen. If this works, I will also have a chance to meet the guy that we reached the summit of Guadalupe Peak in Texas, last Nov. but it's too early to celebrate and plan! I will have a lot to do, before that and I wonder what would be my situation if I'm going to work in the US? The only good thing, and I'm surprised that he didn't even pointed at it, is that I have my passport! Many people are having difficulty getting passports because Passport Canada is backed up! I can go anywhere I want in a heartbeat as long as every else is ready!
(Photo: Looks like a petrochemical or any petroleum processing facility to me which has nothing to do with the type of project that they expect me to work on but I had to put something here!)

Saturday, April 30, 2022

The 3rd Teams

I was at work, as usual, on Thu. and during a short break I decided to check my e-mail to see if there's any message from the lady who had a short telephone interview with me, last week. In fact I noticed a message form the Quality Manager of the company indicating that he had tried to call me but it had not connected. I knew why and I was not surprised! If anything I actually was happy! When I'm inside the building there're spots that the signal is the weakest or even doesn't exist. I the call had been through, then I would have answered it in the noisy environment of the workplace and I probably not only would have had issues hearing clearly, but also he would have heard the noise and wondered where the hell I was!
So I got out and called his office number which was available in the e-mail signature line. The fella asked me why I had not called her on his cellphone!! I had no answer for that! Then he asked me a few question while, obviously was looking at my resume. He asked about my educational background by going through everything that I had written on that part of the resume where usually gets no attention from anyone! This is a fact in Canada that most of the time, the employers are interested in what you have done rather than what you have studied while that couldn't be entirely true all the time! I just lost a position simply because I do not have my CWB Level I Inspector certification! 
When he said " There're good universities everywhere " in response to what I said about my education, I immediately got that he was not a Canadian although his name didn't show it at the beginning! He said that he would have wanted a Teams interview and Fri. afternoon was set for that.
I got out of work before noon to prepare for the interview, on Fri. When I looked at the invitation in the e-mail, I saw more than 8 people! The interview started at the time but there were two people directly involved which then turned to one only! On the screen was the old man with heavy accent and another fella who was quiet the entire time. The questions were very surprising to me and showed how silly the guy is but in fact I looked silly in his eyes, I think, because I wasn't confident enough or didn't show enough confidence, at least in their eyes! He asked me what I knew about the company and if I knew the projects that they had been involved! Why do I give a shit about that?! I don't think that my answers impressed him very much! Then he started asking basic questions about QC and QA! Question such as if you ask a driver what a Steering Wheel is?! What is the normal diameter of that?! What colour do they usually use for it?! and stupid questions like that! Not easy to answer! Then he started asking questions about the " things " that I had very limited knowledge and interest, as well(!) but I gave the answers that he surprisingly liked because I either said I knew this much, which was correct to that level or I said I didn't know anything! He was happy with my honesty! 
It was at the end where he asked " Others " if they had any questions and that was when I realized there were " Other ", the ones who had been listed in the e-mail, who were part of the interview without being on the screen! I didn't know Teams would provide that opportunity or in fact those people were involved! One of them asked a question and I answered that easily because that was something that I had done. " we would be in touch " was the last thing that the old man said and we hung up. One thing that I remembered after the interview and I haven't ever used it is the phrase " did I answer your question " or " Is that what you were looking for ". I think it'd be a good communication builder because then I can ask what they actually want to know and be more clearer in my response. I'll send him a " Thank You " e-mail tomorrow and will wait for their response. I don't think it's such a good position but for me who has been struggling for years, it could be a good re-start. 
(Photo: Microsoft Teams logo. There was an issue at the beginning of the interview. I was able to see them on my screen and they were not. He asked me to go get my cellphone. I now that would not work well. I asked him to let me to hang up and reconnect again and he wouldn't let me! I didn't listen to him and did that and it worked! Right form the bat it proved that he's a stubborn asshole!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Best Time to Take a Trip

I've been planning for a trip outside North America for more than 6 months now! It might sound silly as why I've been busy with such a thing for too long but a trip without planning would turn to a disaster, particularly if you're going alone and that is the first time to the country.
My original plan was going to Italy because there're a guy living there whom I knew. We met in Firearm Safety Course once and I took him to a cafe shortly after that. I never saw him after it until he sent me a text message from Italy a few years ago and said he was there! We eventually started talking when WhatsApp was available and popular, back in late 2020 but I put a stop to that after he acted weirdly a few times! He lived in a small town in southern Italy which looked like a poor area. He said that I could stay with him and indicated that he would go to Etna with me but he had some requests! He wanted me to buy him (and send him!) some vitamins and white socks! I had and still have difficulty to understand why someone would need these things! Don't they have vitamin bills and socks in Italy?! What would be his requests when I'm at his place (which I think was his parent's place)? We had a number of text exchanges once when I was complaining about the cost of living and he said that I should've left for Iran! I told him that he didn't know what he was talking and that was the last text exchanges between us! It was not the main reason that I cancelled the trip. I still have it in mind but I have to see what the requirements of The Ministry of Health (Ministero Della Salute) of Italy is.
My next destination in mind was (and still is) Japan. I was lucky enough to get some good information about traveling from a Japanese lady whom I met at a sort of business meeting. Not that obtaining information is hard these days. Everything, almost everything is available in the web. Unfortunately she's married or we'd travel together but then when I was planning for the detail I realized that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has not yet decided to let the foreigners in, for tourism purposes.
The next destination where I seriously thought about is Morocco. This North African country offers good hiking in its mountains and as well could be a good destination for relaxing and have some good food. It seems to be reasonably priced. I know lots of Europeans go there. I my way from Frankfurt to Calgary, back in 2001 I sat next to a Canadian young fella who was coming from Morocco. He was a nice guy and even gave me his number but I lost that or never called him after one time. I don't really remember why. Lack of good communication would have been a problem but doesn't matter now.
But why its a good time to take a trip? Many people may say it is not! They may site Corona-Virus or some may see it in a different perspective and say restrictions are lifted and travelling would not be easy and comfortable. I'd say both is correct in a way but for me is a good time because I've saved more than $4,000 paid vacation! My plan for every destination was different. For Japan I was thinking of at least a month. For Italy, 2 week and I think for Morocco 1 week or at the most 10 days would be enough. the reason for the last is, you always should consider the time you need to adjust yourself to the local time. The main problem with going to all of these destinations is I CANNOT book the damn ticket! I'm looking for a position so I can get myself out of this stinking toilet and just yesterday the lady who had a conversation with me, sent an e-mail and said she was waiting for the hiring manager to go back to her. Even if this doesn't work, I will have to keep looking or I will be another summer with lowlife motherf*ckers! 
(Photo: Morocco cannot be as nice as this picture! It is selected and edited but seems to be a good destination for someone who wants to see a new place)

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Mumbling Guy's Advice

I've already written about my miserable life and how shit it is at the moment! Not that anyone cares or would like to know about it! But I'd like to attract your attention to what The Mumbling Guy said to me once. But I would like to introduce The Mumbling Guy first so you get an idea what kind of guy is giving you an advice! 
The Mumbling Guy is a short, ugly Indian (from India, not an Aboriginal!) fella who has been living in Canada for over 15 years. He used to live and work in Ontario, with his family but then came to Alberta and joined the company that I used to work. He started in 2012. He did a Master's Degree while was in Ontario but that worth shit 'cause he has showed that his technical knowledge is as good as everyone else who doesn't have that, if not less! The only thing has helped him to live his life well (in his own opinion!) is being a good ass-kisser and shit-eater! That's the character of most of the (East!) Indians! Submissive bitches who do anything for more money! Why? Because, first, they have no self-respect and dignity. And secondly they all born and rise in shit and poverty. This is what he told me once: " If another employer asks me just to doddle the paper and pays me more, I'll go there without thinking twice! ". Another example to know him better is the lunch hour at the company. I used to take fresh fruit of different kind for lunch almost every day. For example one day it would a Mango, an Orange and an Apple. The other day another combination. This cheapskate came to me once and said: " Even me I don't eat these! ". 
With that in mind, and I could tell you stories of this fella, over and over, he said something once that now that I'm shit, I think it matches my situation! He said that he has saved enough that his family (of four) could keep the same life style (eating cheap shit and walking around like hobos!) for 2 years without being worried! That's actually not a bad idea for someone like me who lives alone and has no one to assist him if anything happens. For him he had his wife but I think she was so helpful, despite the fact that he insisting she was! She briefly worked for the same company as both of did and then she left for whatever reason.
I know everyone's life style is different and many people would not live like that, particularly Canadians but that works me, unfortunately or perhaps I should say I'd have to follow it especially that I don't have a very good personality at work! For example at the current work I've been called to the freaking office at least 3 times and I've had argument for the majority of the guys and it's a miracle that I still work there but I know why that is: That's because I'm not a filthy, lazy slacker like most of them! At a previous job, which actually was a good job, but low-paid, I had an argument with a fella from a piece of shit island in the middle of nowhere and got pissed at a lowlife motherfucker! 
I finish this post with pointing at the time I worked for Cargill Meat Solution in High River, many years ago. I was a scary killer back then! After the first year ( I worked there for over 4 years! One of the biggest mistakes of my life, amongst many more!) I became such a monster than people would go up to the office at least once a week to complain about me! I don't know how many times that was but I got in trouble once with an ugly refugee woman from Bosnia & Herzegovina and once with a Chinese supervisor! The stories would be entertaining to read but if I remember correctly I got suspended indefinitely(!) one of the times and the reason I got back was the Union!
(Photo: This funny picture, actually, resembles my former colleague! He wears proscription glasses and combs his hair almost the same fashion. I sued to sit in front of him, in his office and he bullshitted me over and over! At time the department head, whose room was the adjacent would walk in to make sure our conversation was about work, only! what a pathetic life!)

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Short Telephone Interview of Apr.

I received an e-mail from a lady, representative of a company, indicating that she wanted to have a chat with me for the position that I had applied. It's a job located in Calgary and sounded good. If it had not, I wouldn't have applied for that! I said yes and left work an hour earlier to talk to her at home which is more comfortable. It was just a short talk with basic questions and considering she didn't know much, I have no idea if it was acceptable or not but now it is Saturday and I haven't received any response from her (she was supposed to arrange a MS Teams interview with their technical guys), it probably means I'm out! 
This is really disappointing. Not only because it was a good position and close to home but also because I always pass the first stage easily! Her last question was about salary and I told her that I'd be okay with whatever the company offers and in fact I believe that'd be something to talk about at the last stage. I added that coming form Oil Sands projects I'm aware that salaries, nowadays are not to the same level. So I adjust myself. I hope she found the answer, acceptable but looks that it doesn't matter now because I haven't received any response. I think if there was something that killed the position was the fact that she asked me about Concrete Testing and Power Transmission. Of course I don't have any experience in those fields but that doesn't matter. A competent Quality Coordinator would easily handle stuff like that. Beside that it was clearly shows in my resume that I do not have any experience working on those things. So they could simply pass me through their sieve in the first stage but they didn't! 
(Photo: I was probably as happy as this guy looks during the interview since I felt I had all the convincing answers. It came out that I was dead wrong!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Difficulties of Financing a New Vehicle

It's been over a year that I have planned to get a new car and haven't been able to yet! Why? It's not that I don't have money or have a bad credit (as I'm planning to finance one). It's just the jerks which call themselves Product Advisor or Sales Associate or whatever and haven't been able to provide the service I needed or didn't actually want to provide it! 
My car is not bad but it has a number of issues and it's getting old. Its Check Engine light comes up for no reason and goes off after either a few hours or few days! The windshield has a big crack and I don't feel safe when I'm driving. I've never been good with ladies(!) and am not in a relationship now but in case I wanted to, say, take someone to a dinner or movie, this vehicle would not be a ideal choice! 
With that being said I went to a Toyota dealer, a different one from the one I wasted so much time in(!) and talked to a person from sales. I've been looking for a Prius and it's currently not available in any inventory. I was told that there's no guarantee that I get the vehicle by the time I'm promised! It is for a few following reasons:

1- Supply chain problem. The vehicle is assembled in Japan. So it's transportation would be quite challenging.

2- Production problem. There's a major problem in industry nowadays and that is the problem they have with Chips. I would assume that affect most of the today's vehicles because they all use a certain computer.

I can't think of any other issues but I told him that I would not have any problem waiting particularly now that I have a car. I would need to put $1000 as down payment and that would be it: The wait starts!
I wanted to go to a Ford dealer and talk about Mach-e which is their fully electric SUV Mustang but didn't. I studied a little bit about Mach-e and I became interested but three things held me back from going to a dealer:

1- Ford does not have a very good reputation in North America. In fact Japanese car have been proven to be less expensive and more reliable.

2- Mach-e is more expensive than Prius. The model of Prius that I have been looking for, Prius AW-e sums up at a total of $35,000 while Mach-e, the basic model would not be less than $55,000.

3- Ford is new to electric cart business while Toyota has been manufacturing its hybrid, Prius for over 10 years now. 

The only benefit Mach-e would have, If I purchased one, is the closeness and availability of parts and maintenance. Perhaps I should go and see a dealer. I would like to see what their response is.
Tesla 3 which is the least expensive of Tesla vehicles and could be seen on the roads a lot these days
The other vehicle that I have in mind and it seems a bit far-teched is Tesla 3 and I'm only mentioning here because I have read interesting things about it from media including their issue in winter, particularly Canadian winter where the temperature could go deeply down, the conditions that the vehicle becomes out of control and crashes itself, the problems with the body which make it vulnerable to issues such as water getting inside due to bad sealing or pieces not matching completely at corners due to the material selection of dies used for making them. Tesla has used some composite material to make the vehicle light and that has cause other issues. The delivery time for a Tesla 3 in Canada, according to the website is around November of this year but for that the potential buyer (either they want to lease or finance it) has to pay $250 (which is not a big deal) and then $7500, I believe upon delivery. 
Again that wouldn't be something that I consider but it is always good to be informed in case an opportunity presents itself and one could use that because this is the car that would last for years. I have bought my Corolla in September of 2009 and still works without major issues. One can imagine how many years, especially with continuous support and update, a Tesla 3 would last.
I liked the older design of Prius which looks like a wagon but I'm sure the newer model has better performance 
Tesla 3, being the most expensive of three, would cost at least $75,000, for the model I would've wanted, if I could afford(!) and that's the one with dual motor, which work best in Alberta winters(!) and there's no damn Government rebate for that, I don't know why, as long as you live in Alberta but that wouldn't be the thing which I lose my sleep over! I simply would not take such a step toward a new vehicle such as Tesla 3 unless the situation changes and I go back to a normal job and live a human being's life not a slave that I am at the moment!
(Photo, top: Ford's Mustang Mach-e has a very attractive look)