Archive for February, 2016


Results Tomorrow

Tomorrow I get the results of that MRI I had last week.

I shouldn’t be nervous about it because my headache has generally been better in the last three weeks than it was in January. It’s not gone, but the duration and intensity of the more severe periods has decreased somewhat, which is a positive sign.

But of course I’m still nervous. Wouldn’t be myself if I wasn’t.

The most likely result is that the MRI was completely unremarkable. Obviously that’s the preferred result. It means that the headache will still have no known cause and no clear treatment, but that’s far better than any of the alternatives.

Here’s hoping I have nothing to report tomorrow.

Reservations

I’ve got a job offer.

Given how long I’ve been waiting for this, you’d think I’d be ecstatic. But I’m not.

I have reservations, and I think I have to set them down to stop them from swirling chaotically around in my head.

The first thing preventing me from jumping for joy is how I got the job. After I submitted that first memo, the response I received was, in essence, “You missed the issue. Try again.” That was pretty frustrating because I’d put absolutely everything into that memo. Every last trick I had. There was just no way I could improve upon it.

Fortunately, the other applicant received the same email. And fortunately, after discovering her identity, I also discovered that she withdrew her application rather than jump through even more hoops for this employer. I couldn’t fault her.

What bugs me is that even though she withdrew her application on Friday, I wasn’t given an offer until Tuesday, despite being the only remaining candidate at that point. Even then, it wasn’t until I called the firm to ask about the status of my application that I was told that I would be made an offer. Something about that just doesn’t sit well with me. It makes me wonder about the type of person I’d be working for.

My second reservation is that the offer says that I’m required to have access to a vehicle. This was never mentioned before. I don’t have a car, and I can’t afford a car. If this requirement is absolutely necessary, that’s going to be a problem.

Reservation #3 is the start date. I could start in mid-May, but that would mean any post-exam travelling would be limited to three weeks instead of the five weeks I was hoping for, and late April might be a tricky time to be heading overseas. It would also mean having to move apartments during my employment instead of before.

Fourth reservation: Vacation time. There’s no provision for vacation time listed in the employment offer. Zero weeks of vacation time over 10 months would be rough.

And my final reservation is sort of an all encompassing one: this isn’t the job I wanted.

When I started this process, I wanted to find a job in downtown Toronto that would pay me enough to live comfortably in the city. This is a far cry from that.

Perhaps it’s unreasonable for me to hope to hit a home run right out of school, but it wasn’t unrealistic. I had my chances.

Instead it kind of feels like winning a bronze medal. It’s an accomplishment, but it’s not the accomplishment I was looking for.

 

Closer

Life can happen pretty quickly. Two days ago I had a job interview, and yesterday I was informed that I’m one of two finalists for the position. In order to decide, we were given a research project in 24 hours – better memo gets the job.

Now that’s some crazy pressure. A research memo on 24 hours’ notice is hard enough on its own, but adding in the battle-to-the-death element made it exponentially more difficult. I don’t think I’ve ever had to do a writing assignment with the knowledge that someone on the other end was trying to one-up me. I was constantly thinking “Well that’s probably good enough… but what if the other person does that?

I pulled out every last stop, and the result was the best memo I could have produced on 24 hours’ notice. If whoever the other applicant is managed to top it, they’ve earned the position.

So, I think I’ve got a chance here.

Here’s the thing though: The job is in Kingston, and could start as early as May.

There are both positives and negatives here.

On the positive side, it would give me the independence that I want. No parents telling me where to be and when to be there. But then on the negative side it would also leave me in isolation. Unlike downtown Toronto where I have friends, Kingston next year is going to be completely devoid of familiar faces. Every single person I’m friends with in this city will be leaving by the end of May, and so I’d be embarking on this 10 month journey alone. Doubtless I’d get along with my coworkers, but I’d have to find something to do to stop myself from going crazy every evening.

Another thing is that it would completely eliminate all possibility of travelling in July as I’ve been planning to do for a while. Instead I’d have to see about travelling from the time my exams finish in April until the job starts in May, but that’s a complicated time to be going overseas for a few reasons, and it may not be possible at all.

On a financial level, it would mean having to spend close to half of my income on rent, which would suck. The job would pay me enough to get by and save a small amount of money, but I certainly wouldn’t come out of the ten month period with a substantial savings account. Conversely, if I took a job in Woodbridge I wouldn’t be paying rent, and so I would be able to save a significant portion of every paycheque. But then that wouldn’t be financial independence, would it? If I take the job in Kingston, I’d be standing on my own two feet for the first time, not worrying about needing a bailout from my parents. I would probably move to a cheaper apartment in order to give myself an extra few hundred dollars per month, but even if I didn’t I’d have enough money to pay the bills, feed myself, and occasionally purchase non-essential items.

Now, I don’t want to think too much about this because right now it’s not even an option. I might be offered the position, but I might not be. If I am offered it though, I think I’ll accept it.

Stay tuned folks, my time in Kingston may not be ending just yet. I should know by the end of today or tomorrow at the latest.