In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Good Bye to All That

It's taken most of the year, but my New Year's Resolution to get out of the grocery store and into a better job, has finally born fruit.

I had come to the realization that the grocery store had no future for me for the past two years. If I was a 20-something I could hang in with the low wages and wait for an opportunity to become a sales rep or management at a bigger store. But the Boss was already paying me as much as he could, which isn't much. And I need to start being able to set some money aside for silly things like a new roof and a pension plan.

I had been sort of kinda looking for other work and networking with the sales reps, but in January I decided to get serious and set a goal of seeking out and applying to at least one job per week. I changed my focus to include local manufacturers that didn't hire through temp agencies. Started getting some interviews. Which even though they all resulted in rejections I took as a good sign that at least people were hiring again and that I was doing an effective job with my resume and cover letter.

Now I just needed to not screw up the interview.

I had one interview with my old employer, where I was told the job was mine to refuse. But it was 15 months without benefits, straight afternoons (with little chance of getting off) and a good chance of a lay-off in 8 months anyway. No thanks.

Another company I thought would've been great but I messed up the interview. Got some good feedback from the HR person though.

Right after I heard back from that job prospect I found a job for a large bearing plant here in town, so I applied and got asked for an interview the next day. I had applied for an opening in Quality Assurance but she called and asked if I'd be interested in Production. Sure. No harm in seeing what they offer. Starting at $15/hr (which is $2 more than I'm making now) and benefits start after the first month (which is very cool). I said I'd like to be able to give 2 weeks notice. I didn't get a job offer. After a month I got an email saying they had filled all their immediate positions but would I like to stay on file for something in the future?

Indeed, yes I would.

This week, my youngest who had also been working at the grocery store, started a new job. So I no longer felt the need to worry about how I would leave things for her and changed my availability to immediate. A job offer was waiting for me in my email when I got home the next day asking if I could start on Monday.

I've accepted and just told the Boss. He was quite understanding.

I will miss the nice customers, not being dirty and my co-workers. I also rather liked running my little kingdom in the Dairy aisle.

I won't miss the bitchy customers, the 1000kg skids with no power jack and working weekends and holidays. 

So now that I won't feel I have to spend my free time seeking out a job, maybe I can concentrate on painting and the store. I also noticed that I was much more creative when I was in the factory, so maybe I can get some of that back again too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

In which Lt. Rabbitman gets his Mess Kit...

My long time friend and Commanding Officer, Chris, got a set of Mess Dress last year off Kajiji (a Canadian items for sale/bartering website) and got enthused about putting me into Mess Kit for this year's Mess Dinner season. He found some but they were either too expensive for my limited funds or the tailoring would be too expensive.

My other friend, Don Perrin, has been retired from the Canadian army for a few years now and had no use for his, so together they conspired to get me into some formal attire. Don donated his old Mess uniform and Chris paid to have it re-tailored. Don was in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, so the epaulets, collar dogs and buttons needed changing, plus the shoulders on the jacket needed to be brought in a lot!

I just got it back from the tailor's on Friday and decided to try it on today, even though it needs to be pressed. I'm trying to look suitably Victorian.

But since Don is a bigger fellow, it has lots of room for me to grow sideways! Fortunately I won't be promoted before the Army switches over to the traditional crowns and pips for officers rank next year so it should only need to go back to the tailors once.

Cue the music:

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Hi chaps
I haven't been ignoring you. I've just been stupidly busy.
This past month I've been on my Intermediate Officer's Training Course, to get me ready to take on a more senior leadership position in the cadet corps. Three weekends of fun, professional development, power points and lectures at the Regional Cadet Instruction School at sunny CFB Borden.With this course and filling the Training Officer slot I'll be promotable to Captain in another year.
It's been highly enjoyable going to Borden, learning more stuff and meeting more fellow CIC officers, even if it has eaten up my days off and the quarters and meal arrangements were less commodious than on previous courses. Better than the lean-to and ration packs on my field craft course though!
Our new quarters were, I'm sure, state of the art in 1956, but having to walk down the hall to use the toilet in the middle of the night wasn't so great. Plus we're no longer attached to the Officer's Mess, so the 10 minute walk in the cold to get to the wet mess on our off evening was unpleasant in inclement weather. It did take me past the Worthington Tank Museum and I got to pat a Centurion Mk V on the fender, which was pretty cool.
Our school building is in an old hanger off in the technical end of the base, so I drive by the various engineering trade schools which have all kinds of interesting things displayed out front or in one instance, tucked in a yard under a tarp was a Sherman ARV and beside it a Ferret armoured car.
I've also been pursuing employment opportunities and have even gotten a few interviews, which I'm taking as a sign that things are looking better in Stratford.
I haven't however, touched a brush since September and only got one game in during October. The Mad Padre came over with the new Lardy rules Chain of Command on his tablet and we gave them a go with his 1/72nd scale figures. We each took a platoon and fought over a crossroads with a couple of ruined houses. I like the way the dice worked to create interesting decision points and combat was pretty straightforward. Without having purchased or read the rules yet (I'm waiting until I get the hard copy in stock in the store) I'm already pondering how to do Canadian operations in the Panjwai...
So I'm hoping this month, once I get a few other things out of the way, to have a few more gaming and painting bench posts.
Stand by.