I started my job at Stanley’s last Thursday and so far have been enjoying it. I work with a good bunch of people, in a truly beautiful and unique location and I’m slowly but surely adapting to my new role. The restaurant is part of the Daniel Hospitality Group who own several bars and restaurants in Vancouver and have been voted one of BC’s top hospitality employers to work for. So far so good. However, I must admit the hours are a bit of a concern. During the interview I was told the current hours of operation are 11.00 to 16.00; therefore, I assumed, 5 hours a day, 5 days week – which with the added bonus of tips, would be enough to cover living costs with some beer money left over. In reality, I’m lucky if I’m getting 3 hours a day at the moment, and if it’s raining, I simply lose my shift! Things are set to pick up in July and August when the restaurant busies up and extends it’s opening hours, but in the meantime I’m facing a bit of a dilemma – especially with Junuary on the way! (We’ve been told that the month of June is often referred to as Junuary by Vancouverites as the weather can pretty unpredictable and usually rains a lot).
We’ve been a bit quiet on the old blog front recently; our last post was a week ago! I honestly do not know where the time has gone. The truth is that we haven’t really had all that much to report on. After our exciting full-on first week in Vancouver, much of second has been spent trying to acclimatize to everyday life.
Since our last post we’ve started doing a bit of job and apartment hunting on Craigslist.
I myself had read about a job fair being held at Forever 21 on Robson Street before leaving so thought I’d pop along as they were offering open interviews. As often trying to get a foot in the door and a chance to be seen for interview is the hardest part, I thought this would be a good opportunity and give me a good shot at a job. I did my research into the company (not that there’s a lot to say about Forever 21), chose something appropriate to wear and went along with my resume feeling pretty prepared.
However, I quickly had the wind knocked out of me, it was not at all like what I had been expecting. When I arrived there I noticed a sign in the window advertising the job fair but with no indication of where to go. Inside there was around 50+ people who all looked as lost and confused as I did. Eventually one of the managers turned up and explained that we’d each have to fill in an application form and then form a line (right down the middle of the shop) where we’d be taken in groups of four at a time for interview. Cue the dash for application forms! There was literally people everywhere, vying for any available flat surface to write on, getting in the way of customers, and being general nuisances. Is it just me or would it have been too sensible to have made these available in advance online? As if I hadn’t been put off enough by this chaos, we were then brought forward for the group interviews being held on the shop floor, in full view of customers. I have experienced a group interview situation before when applying for Primark but this just seemed totally unprofessional. To top it all off we were asked stupid questions (that I can only assume have been devised by some HR/marketing grad) like “If you had to compare Forever 21 to a fast food chain, which would it be and why?” Needless to say, the interview didn’t go well…
It’s been a very long time coming – some of you probably thought it was never going to happen (and to be honest, it did feel that way at times) – but at last, on Tuesday 9th April 2013, we landed at Vancouver International Airport! The ten hour flight passed surprisingly quickly. While Thom has experienced several long haul flights, this was my very first venture outside of Europe so wasn’t sure how I’d cope with such a long journey in a confined space. We flew with Air Transat, a Canadian carrier who offer flights at comparatively cheap rates, and we certainly couldn’t complain about the service. They were constantly up and down the plane with complimentary (non-alcoholic) drinks and even the food wasn’t bad. The only complaint was the moron sat in front of Thom who had his chair reclined the whole way (even during the meal) and also managed to wake me up after trying very hard to get some shut eye.