Suzy Snapper
Friday, March 30, 2007
Breaking Up is hard to do
This week has been very challenging to say the least.

Most relationships that end are less messy than it's been at work in these past few days. Then again, when you break up with someone, you'd don't often give them two weeks notice.

I gave my notice on Monday. It has not gone over well. The one girl I speak to on a regular basis there has been grilled to the extreme about my reasoning, yet they have yet to formally ask me. Forget formally, ask at all! After C. was pulled in on Monday, I went down to speak to the big boss to explain my position and tell him I did not appreciate my colleagues being questioned regarding my business. Apparently though, he did not have time. I was brushed off. He wouldn't close the door to his office so I felt uneasy about speaking openly, and within a minute, I was told he didn't have time to speak to me.

Queue a few days, with escalating tension as we go along. Today got so severe I had to take a moment before I stormed out. I do want to leave on good terms but this is getting so ridiculous and immature, I seriously don't know that I can. There are sideways comments, papers chucked on my desk, interrogations over events long buried and finished.

At the moment, I don't know what to do. My last official day is April 5. I don't see how this can continue as it is but I don't know what my legal stance is. If I leave prior to my notice being complete, does that put me in any jeopardy? I will have to find answers to that by Monday.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Fixing What's Broke
I promised a big announcement today, and well, I made one.

I am leaving my present company and going to a fabulous new company. Stronger compensation package and much more stable environment. I will begin on April 16 at the new location in downtown Vancouver.

To say these last few months have been a challenge would be a vast understatement. I constantly debate with myself what I should and should not say, especially since finding out my senior boss found my old blog and have been very sensitive of everything I've written on this one ever since.

There are so many fundamentally wrong situations at this current place. The cracks below the surface are varied and deep. As I got more and more into the company's inner workings, the more I realized it was in rough shape. I found that the gossip mill was so entrenched that it worked it's way all the way into executive meetings. That mere thoughts of trespasses actually made it to the executive table and were discussed in depth.

Inappropriate behaviour from open insults to boorish acts are common place. There is no recourse. There is no trust.

When my Dad had his bypass last October, they were good to me. They gave me a leave of absence, so I felt some sort of misguided loyalty. But as the months went by and my misgivings grew, my health began to suffer. The toxic environment took away my ability to sleep, to eat properly, to see things clearly. I was always on alert for the next attack and there have been many. I have lost nearly 20 lbs just since January, and this has not been a diet. Nothing helps you lose weight better than thinking you're about to be publicly humiliated at every turn. I had started to lose faith in question my own intelligence.

I knew I needed to make a change, but had hoped to give myself a full year. However, during my recent trip to New York, when I had not one bout of headache or stomach upset, I realized it had become time.

When I returned, I began looking in earnest. It didn't take long. I had a 60% callback rate on my resume reminded me that I had no reason to question my ability. My old boss was fabulous. Even though we hadn't spoken in a year, he was quick to help where he could and again gave me that much needed confidence boost.

I interviewed three times last week with a large engineering firm for a procurement role. It felt good and although will require me to take the bus rather than drive, it is an exceptional company to work for. I'm excited again about my future and what I can do. And it doesn't hurt that the extra salary will allow me to afford a few new things.

Today I went in with my resignation letter. I knew it wouldn't be taken with joy, but at the same time I did expect some level of respect. Imagine my surprise when the senior boss had no time to speak to me directly, but did have time to call two coworkers in to ask why I was leaving. They also balked at the fact I was taking a week between positions. Excessive, I was told. None of their business, I replied.

It just solidified my position. There is a better place out there for me. A new environment to thrive in. Somewhere where I don't have to continually look over my shoulder.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
A new leaf
I will have a big announcement on Monday. Because I have strong superstitions, I can't quite say anything until it's official but there's been a pretty major development since my return from my holidays.

It's a happy announcement and once the decision was made, I slept like a baby last night.

It doesn't involve anything romantic though. There's some interesting development there too but I'm still in that phase of not wanting to say to much, lest I jinx. It's happened too many times.

Meanwhile, in family news, please keep my Uncle in your thoughts and prayers. He's an 84 year old WWII vet who's currently in hospital with serious lung problems. He was taken into hospital about 10 days ago and the family was told that it was only a matter of time. However, my Uncle has proved them wrong. Tough in mind and body, he fought strongly and they were able to remove the respirator. Unfortunately, for the days following, he experienced a strong flashback to his days overseas. Taking a swing at a nurse that he thought was the enemy when he heard the screams of schoolchildren trapped in a burning, bombed building in England and was being restrained from helping, we saw an insight into what he would have lived through during the War. He has never spoken of his battles but we knew there were unspeakable horrors. The positive of this all, is that he has now regained his consciousness and is wanting to talk. In great detail, actually, about his experiences. For a family historian such as myself, I am honoured that he has asked me to come to his bedside to take notes.

As his daughter said to me yesterday, "We are so lucky that we have never had to experience what my Mom (who was a First Aid nurse) and Dad lived through. "

More on Monday!
Saturday, March 17, 2007
New York, New York
What a trip! It's hard to know where to begin except to say we had a fantastic time. We arrived at Penn Station to a cold, windy city and began a whirlwind visit to the city. So much to see and even though we were going strong 14 hours a day, we only scratched the surface.

The first night, we got dressed up and walked to the theatre to see Chicago. It was VERY cold and wearing a dress in subzero temperature has it's challenges, but we wanted to make a true evening of it. The anticipation while we got ready for the evening made it even more special. The play? Phenomenal! Bebe Neuwith played a fantastic Roxie.

The next day, we took a trip up to Ground Zero (which will be the subject of a second post) and then up to Central Park, the Guggenheim, and the MOMA. In the afternoon, we met up with Devon. She took us through a great little tour of the area and it was a true highlight to meet her!

We took a trip on the Staten Island Ferry at sunset. A great view of the city as it made it's transition from daylight to night. It was cold, but well worth the trip.

Strawberry Fields. We did a tour with a group called 'New York Party Shuttle' and I would highly recommend it to anyone who visits the city. A 5-1/2 hour tour, with some walking gave us a unique perspective we wouldn't have had otherwise.

Our hotel was just around the corner from Times Square. It's hard not to look like a tourist when presented with so much to look at. Billboards unbelievably large, lights in the most strange places, and SO many people.

Apparently a staple of Time Square, this busker attracts quite a crowd in Times Square. I couldn't help but wonder what was keeping him warm in freezing temperatures!

My favourite picture. Taken from the Staten Island Ferry. You can't help but feel impressed by this statue. She truly does have grace.

We left very early on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, we encountered the one and only nasty New Yorker in our shuttle driver. He felt we didn't tip appropriately and berated us as we left the shuttle. 'Go home and never come back!', he screamed. He didn't damper the trip though and I only wish we'd kept a receipt so I would know the name of the company to advise them of their employee in need of an attitude adjustment.
I came back to uncertain times. Not much I can say yet but there will be some changes coming soon in my life. Some good, some very good and some a little scary but as they say 'As one door closes, another opens'.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
DC has been a blast so far, but busy and COLD!

The eternal flame on JFK's grave was impressive but the walk through the cemetary not so much. At subzero temperatures with a biting wind, it was hard to spend too much time paying our respect to the fallen heroes.

The Puffy shirt AND Mr. Rogers jacket in the same display as Carrie Bradshaw's laptop? Now THAT would be an interesting episode!

Just outside our hotel. It is a much more impressive building in person than it is on television, and that's saying something.

As we took these pics in from of the White House, we were ushered over to the other side of the street by security. Out of the side gates, the blacked-window SUV's came through at a high rate of speed. Did we see G-Dub? Checking out these pics and noticing the sharpshooters on the roof after, I think we might just have done so.

Tomorrow is up to New York. Let's just hope I can find a decent jacket beforehand. The vest is just not cutting it.

Friday, March 02, 2007
Have you?
I saw this on Ki's blog and thought it was very interesting. The accomplishments (or otherwise) are bolded if completed.

1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with dolphins
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said "I love you" and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights (I VERY much want to do this!)
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa (went there and would have climbed it if it wasn't closed, so I'm bolding it.;-))
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day (try not to after being in the Southern US for any length of time!)
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River (ok,not Snake River but a river all the same!)
82. Been on television news programs as an expert
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Eaten fugu (pufferfish)
89. Had a one-night stand
90. Gone to Thailand
91. Bought a house
92. Been in a combat zone
93. Buried one/both of your parents
94. Been on a cruise ship
95. Spoken more than one language fluently
96. Performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show
97. Raised children
98. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery (not nearly as exciting as it sounds though!)
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds (45.5 kilograms)
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Ridden a bike
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions (no, but I've PLANNED them all!)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

If you do one of these, leave a comment and let me know. I'd be interested to read!

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer trapped in a corporate buyer's body. Steel shopping by day, and freeflowing prose by night. One day I hope to have the nights become my days, but am intimidated by the sheer amount of people who share my dream. So I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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