Well, its my 364th day on “The Island”, and for those who have never read my blog, or even know who I am, it means I have spent 364 days living outside my native Ontario, on Montreal Island Quebec. That’s right 1 day short of a year. On January 2nd, 2012, I left my brothers apartment in Cornwall Ontario and made the huge leap to move myself to a whole new city and province. The very odd thing is, is how this all came about…

It all started about 2 years ago, I was working for Davis + Henderson (Formerly Resolve) as an Real Time Analyst when half the team got lynched during the take over. My good friend Ziad was the first to go, I was second. But that’s a long story best left for another day. None the less, I spent the next year or so on EI (employment Insurance) and had to move out to Alexandria Ontario with a few friends of mine to save money, as EI doesn’t exactly pay top dollar. It is at this point that my friend Ziad called me up to help him with a programming project, and since I had nothing better to do, I was able to work full-time on the project… that was until EI ran out.

Once my EI Ran out, I made yet another move; to Cornwall. I got a job in the Customer Service industry as trying to find a job in my field in Ontario without being fully Bilingual (English and French) is not easy. The only real job you could get that didn’t start you off at part-time minimum wage was also the most stressful. Dealing with customers is not a job for light-hearted. Sadly enough though, 4 months into the contract, the contract closed, leaving over 400 people jobless in a small town… Its hard enough not being able to get a job when you do not speak french, but try competing with 400 others in the same boat…

Luckily enough I found an “at home job”, in customer service yet again. This time it lasted about 4 weeks till I realized I had developed Stress Induced Anxiety… Oh yeah, just lovely, I had one of the most stressful jobs in the world, and I developed Anxiety due to it. So there went that job. So now we are approaching the end of 2011, ~400 people in my town are looking for jobs, and I don’t speak french fluently enough to compete.

And again, along came my friend Ziad, who now runs a UPS Store in Dorval QC, who said “Why don’t you move here and work for me?”. The Irony… I can’t find a job in Ontario because I don’t speak French, but I managed to get into Quebec, and work for 10 1/2 months at a store in Quebec, and still can’t speak french that fluently… And to top it off, now I work at an Anglophone library in Westmount QC, a job in my field of training to boot.

Lets not get too far a head of ourselves, When i moved to Quebec after being offered the job at the UPS Store, I moved here with nothing more than a suite case of cloths and my computer, with hopes and dreams of getting myself established. For the first 6 months I stayed in a boarding home 30 minutes walking distance to work at $360/mth, but back then I was barely making $700/mth, Minimum wage, part-time. But it was enough to survive. In June my friend, and at the time, Boss wanted to move to Dorval as it was taking up a lot of time traveling across the island from where he had lived in Laval. We decided to get an apartment together just down the street from the store, we moved in Canada Day (July 1st), I went from a 30 minute walk to a 5 minute walk from work. Things were starting to look up. I had gotten a bit of a raise, but still not enough to have money in the bank sort of speak. So I started to look for a second job in October, part-time, so I could still help Ziad out at the store. A little over a month ago (early November), I came across my present job, a fluke of sorts. I found the job on the same date it was set to expire. And within 2 days I had the job. Now I am a Manager at the Atwater Library and Computer Centre making close to double what i was at the store, in my field, and not knowing much French… In Quebec… Seriously, I couldn’t get a job in Ontario without being able to speak fluent French, but I can get a good job in Quebec that’s 100% English… The logic escapes me…

So 2012 has been a hell of year on the Island, I managed to get to my goals of getting myself established. I now have my feet back on the ground and running. If things continue this way 2013 will be even better.

With all that said, and the review of this past year complete, I wish all my readers, friends, family, and acquaintances, a Happy New Year and may 2013 bring you more joy and happiness than years gone by. To Good Health and Prosperity.

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