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).
Blog posts are like buses… apparently.
Today was Ilona’s first day at work and as I had a day off I decided it was time to finally make it the whole way round the sea wall of Stanley Park. After the usual leisurely morning spent having breakfast and video calling the family, I packed Ilona off to work and set off on a solo adventure to Stanley Park. As the walk around the wall is around 10km, I decided to catch the bus to the start point.
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 have officially moved out of the hostel and into our own studio apartment. Initially we had been searching for flats in the downtown area, but after a couple of viewings we decided to cast our net further to see what other areas had to offer. We arranged to see a studio apartment on Tuesday in South Granville, which is ten minute bus ride from downtown. Before we even arrived at the viewing we already had a good feeling about the place, as the advert suggested that it would tick all our boxes. For a start, the apartment was cheaper than the others we had viewed, whilst also appearing from the pictures to be larger. Furthermore, the price included all taxes, utilities, internet and cable.
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…