Tuesday, 17 January 2012

And There's the Knife...

We got some interesting news yesterday - I say "interesting" and what I really mean is shocking and extremely disheartening - the Region has pulled the contract from our employer so they are no longer running the buses for the Newmarket/Aurora area. In short, we no longer have jobs.

I'm sure there are many people out there who think that this is the least that we deserve, for having the nerve to stand up for ourselves and tell our employer that they no longer get to treat us like crap and that we deserve to make more money for the very real responsibilities that we have when doing our jobs. There is the rumour that we will still have a job with whichever company it is that gets the new contract from the Region, but honestly, talk about getting stomped on. Not only will we not get the raise we were looking for, but will almost certainly take a pay cut, and those of us who have stuck around for a while will lose our seniority and (the only thing we really have that we value) our vacation weeks. I've been with this company since August 1998 and as such am entitled to four weeks a year - with the new company, I'm sure it will be back down to two. Benefits will probably be downgraded, and we'll all be back to split shifts. For me this is more of a dilemma, as I've had to give up my apartment in Newmarket and move an hour away, in with my guy, so with the potential reduced wages, split shifts and the fact that it's a two hour/day commute (and a quarter tank of gas), it's going to be something for me to really think about and decide if it will be cost effective for me to accept the job.

Of course there is also the fact that we're going to be vilified by the passengers for ages, again for having the nerve to go out on strike. They'll happily gloat over the reduction in circumstances and before you think that I'm just not giving people the credit they deserve, trust me. I've been driving in this town for over nine years, and you do not get the people who are happy with the service saying anything. You get insulted and abused by the ones who are nasty and unhappy with the slightest of things - and this is not the slightest of things. We've been out for almost three months and a lot of people are (understandably) pissed off. I don't begrudge them their feelings, but I know the kind of crap the drivers will have to deal with when service resumes and it won't be pretty. If someone is so petty as to call in a complaint that I apparently "rolled my eyes" at her (behind my sunglasses, no less - she must have some pretty sweet x-ray vision going on there), then you can just imagine how it's going to go when service resumes.

I'm still pretty down about this - I truly didn't think it would come to this, and our union leaders assured us that this wouldn't happen as well, so it really came as a surprise. What's even worse at the moment is that our union president is not returning any phone calls, and has not issued any kind of statement to the membership or called an emergency meeting to tell us what the hell is going on and what our options are. Nothing like being left twisting in the wind.

In the meantime, I have managed to get my apartment almost completely emptied of random stuff, with the assistance of a couple of my friends from work. The only thing left to do besides moving the furniture (that's this coming weekend) and cleaning (next week) is to take down the closet fixture, fill the holes and paint over them. I've already  done that for pretty much all the other holes in the walls, so that shouldn't take long.

There's still a whole lot of stuff I have here that I haven't unpacked - I got lazy last week and haven't even finished unpacking the car completely yet. I'll work on that the rest of this week, and then somehow we need to figure out what to do in the front room. We have nowhere to put the stuff that's coming in as yet, so it's a bit of a quandary. I'm sure we'll figure it out, but it's still some more stress.

To have some happy news for once, I've finally managed to photograph a good chunk of my yarn stash and am in the process of cataloging it on Ravelry. I'll put some yarn up here, too, so you can share my happy.

My first Wollmeise yarn! :-) It's a gorgeous semi solid purple. I bought it in a destash from another Ravelry member, and it came in today. The picture is actually pretty representative of the true colour, too. Go me!

Another gorgeous yarn from GothSocks on her Laudanum Lache base, which is my favourite - merino/cashmere/nylon. It's super soft and squishy and I'm thinking will make an awesomely comfy pair of socks.

I'll feature some more yarns in the next post, as my wrist is getting a bit sore from all the work I'm doing tonight (still doing the upload to Ravelry, too).


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