Friday, October 28, 2011

I am still alive.

Josie Triceratops! Grrr!
So, life has been kind of busy & overwhelming lately! My internet presence has suffered (some things just had to go!) so I am behind on reading my favourite blogs (and therefor behind on what's going on with a lot of my friends. Sorry guys! Still love you!), updating this blog, my Facebook page, my Etsy shop!! Which I really want to get new items into if I can get some decent photos taken. I also am behind on making new jewelry for Dream, and for the holidays (and and and). SIGH. Oh well. I am slowly trying to get back into doing these things and hope to get to some semblance of "caught up" soon.

This week has brought some upsetting news. Some of you caught my tweet a few days ago about being really angry and frustrated. That was in regards to my position at the PHSA. I still (STILL) haven't been paid for the two days I worked at the beginning of August, and still hadn't been able to get a hold of my boss or someone in payroll.  So, I finally got in touch with someone in payroll at the beginning of the week. She tried to tell me that I needed my boss to send in the hours, but I explained that I had tried contacting her by phone and e-mail about 6 or 7 times so far on the issue and hadn't heard back from her. I was transferred to someone else in payroll. Do you know what she told me? I have been terminated and my file would have to be re-opened to deal with the issue and I should try someone in HR. Yes, I had been fired and no-one had told me. I have no idea how long I have not had that job. Maybe when I was stressing about whether I should take the pet supply store job or not (because of my PHSA position) it was a moot point because I'd been fired! I have no idea! I was a bit infuriated. This lady has not only not submitted my hours so that I can't be paid, and ignored my phone calls and e-mails, but also fired me for some nebulous, unknown reason, and not felt the need to inform me. So I talked to someone in HR and she said that it still has to be my boss who submits my hours and explains to me why I've been "terminated." She sent an e-mail to my boss and her co-worker and copied me on it explaining this and guess what?? I still haven't heard from her. It's not that I'm heart-broken about not having that job anymore. I've had hardly any work there and obviously it's given me way more stress than is normal for four days of work, haha. It was almost a bit of a relief because the decision of what to do about that position was made for me. It's just that I worry about what she put down as the reason for my dismissal if I were to want to apply to a real job (ie. not casual) within the PHSA at some point. Ok. That's that. Time for a new topic before I pull my hair out.

Amidst all this RA nonsense and job stuff, Ben and I found time to go to the bank and get pre-approved for a mortgage (say what?) and to talk to a realtor and we saw a few townhouses last night! Crazy talk! Unfortunately our realtor sort of squashed some of my hopes & dreams. Apparently there is no such thing as a townhouse with no pet restrictions. So even though I've felt so good about squirreling away all this money, and trying to grow it, and even though we're looking at moving a bit further away than we'd like, to a neighbourhood that is not at the top of our wishlist (etc.) we can still not afford all that much! And even though we are looking to -buy- our own place, with no-one above or below us, with our own yard (I mean come on! It is it's own house, it just happens to be right beside another one!) we still can't do what we want in it. I was really upset. We really wanted to adopt an older big dog, and maybe a cat, but MJ, our realtor, said that she's never seen a strata that allows more than 2 furry pets, and of course all townhouses are strata. So I'm kind of struggling with that right now. We obviously want to buy a place that we'll want to stay in for awhile, like at least 5-10 years (because who wants to move a lot, and moving when you own is reeeaaally expensive!) and so for that time frame we'll be constrained on the pet thing. Our realtor knew it was a big deal to us and was sort of suggesting we could try to get away with another pet, but I know I would feel really stressed about it and I don't want to feel that way about my own home, you know? Always worrying someone might see/make a complaint. And then what happens if someone does? I would never consider giving up one of my pups, and it's not like we could "just" move into a new townhouse because they all have those rules. Sigh.

Ok. I got that all off my chest. I think that's that for now. I have errands to run before work today :) I will try to share some FUN things here soon :) We are looking at some more places on Saturday in a neighbourhood I feel more excited about then the one we were in last night so wish us luck!


Brittany at Pro-Soup Propaganda said...

I cannot BELIEVE you were fired! WTF!!! GAH! I'm so, so sorry you are having to deal with this. What the crap, I mean, REALLY. I am so, so glad you are not working here any more and have a different job. They are obviously not good people to work for. Bleh. I'm making a scrunchie "yuck" face in real life right this second.

Bummer to hear about the townhouse, too! I didn't realize you had to follow certain rules when you lived in them. :o/ Yeah, you don't want the stress of having to hide another pet. When we had our cat Jeff we basically "snuck" him into the apartment and during the time we had him it was definitely stressful every time maintenance or someone had to come do something in here. Do you have any options other than a townhouse?

Love youuuu!! Sorry to hear your stinky news. :o(

Stina G said...

Thanks!! Yeah, totally. Like, did she fire me because I got RA and couldn't work for a while there? Cause I know it sucked, but really. I'm not sure that's allowed, haha. And she was so nce about it at the time! SO weird. And who like secretly fires someone?? Especially at a government job???

I don't think we have much in the way of options other than a townhouse. MJ said the only option would probably be a duplex, and I am 99% sure we can't afford one unless we move out to timbucktoo. So to speak.

Love you tooo. Wish I could take time off & come visit. I would love a break from REAL LIFE right now, and I miss you!

Sarah said...

Stina, there is a way around the pet troubles! (This is going to be long, ranty bad.) If you get into a building/development before the Strata has set rules than your # of pets will be grandfathered in. So, new deveopments without strata rules are what to look for. You get three dogs and a cat in there before the rules are on the books and you should be golden. Same with if you have renters beforehand or whatever. Golden.

Now on to the topic of buying in Vancouver. Jeff and I looked into this too a couple of years ago and you konw what? It just became too stressful and depressing, so we gave up. Not out of disappointment, more out of the 100% legit feeling that it was not worth it. I mean, I love Vancouver, but we are seriously getting ripped off here (and for what, I ask most days). I also think the owning thing is a little bit propaganda-ish. Right now I like being able to move when I don't like my neighbours or neighbourhood, when I get a new job, when I want to have a dishwasher, you know, without selling my apartment. Or paying a realtor.

Also, because of Vancouver's ridiculous housing market any purchase is actually going to be a DOWNGRADE from what we're able to rent. $1500/month might get us a whole floor in a house (we're moving in November into just such a situation) but $1500/month in mortgage is literally not going to happen unless I have a 40 year mortgage on a 525 sq. ft. Rip off!

Anyway, those are my thoughts on all of this. I hope you guys find a stellar place that will let you have a veritable zoo of animals, but if you don't, don't get down on yourself. This is a city made for compromisers, whether we like it or not. :/ (And I kinda like it...)

End rant.

mestiza said...

Hi Stina! Pia here :) That is so sucky about the job situation. You can always take it up a notch and go through the government employee relations, fill out a form where you demand your pay or someone will be after this case. I had to do that at one place I worked at because they refused to pay my training. As soon as I went in and gave them this letter, they paid me right away. It's the law.

Another thing, they can get in HUGE shite for terminating you without just cause. You're legally not allowed to just 'terminate' someone like that. Big no-no. I feel for you, that totally blows, but depending on how angry you are, you can definitely do something about it, and I'd say you should. I'm getting angry just writing this hahaha.

Stina G said...

Thanks!! I think you're right and we're probably going to have to compromise for now. But I will keep the new building thing in mind for the future, I never would have known!
And I totally agree. The cost of living in or around Vancouver is crap. No-one can afford anything, it's kind of absurd. We want to own for a number of reason (not dealing with a landlord, feeling more settled, paying ourselves somewhat rather than a landlord) but I totally get your take on it. I find it incredibly frustrating. Anyhow. I'm glad you've got something that works for you guys :)

Thank you!! I have a couple resources to look into now if I still have problems after this week. I really appreciate it! The whole thing's pretty ridiculous. Unfortunately I don't think I can do much about being fired. I looked into it and it looks like they can fire w/o notice etc if you're employed on a "casual" basis like I was. I think it's crap & probably wasn't done for any "valid" reason, but I don't think there's much to be done about it :( Thanks for fuming with me though, haha.

Sarah said...

Yeah, I'd say if you're casual then they can probably let you go for whatever reason. Also if it's in the first 3 months of employment, too, right? Anyway, good luck, Stina! And don't forget, while you're paying yourself mortgage (agreed, that type of investment is excellent) you're also paying a lot of other people things like realtor fees, property taxes, appliance repair, etc. I'm not sure it's always as straight forward as it looks on paper. Just being a nay-sayer, though. If I could buy a place without the cost ruining my life I totally would!

Happy Halloween!!!

Stina G said...

Yup, it's crap but she can get away with it easy. Oh well. Onto other, better things!

I know, there's a lot of extras. We're trying to figure out a good balance between what we want vs comfortable payments etc. BAH. Wish things were easy! Haha.

Have a great night! Watch for spooks! Our girls are barking up a storm at the door (kids), fireworks... Wheee!