Saturday, 21 April 2018

Civil Servant Job Security

(Click here to read yesterday's post so that this story makes sense)

Birth certificate, eligibility document, daughter T and I go to her new school for tour and registration.

Emerge two hours later with lots of information, excitement and long list of errands to complete.

Take a wrong turn and accidentally end up at Amy Schumer's new movie.

Turn phones off.

Emerge two hours later feeling pretty. 

Turn phones back on and have multiple messages, an insta DM  and a snapchat all from son G.

He is looking for his birth certificate.

(That's hilarious. He read my blog.)

He also needs his citizenship.

(Oh. Not joking. And clearly hasn't read it.)

He is finna (fixing to) get his SIN number (like SSN but Canadian) which he had and lost. He went to get another copy of his SIN number and the government office people said he needs his birth certificate and his citizenship even though he already registered for a SIN and it is in the government office computer. 

He came back home to get his birth certificate and citizenship and couldn't find them. I didn't answer my phone because I was laughing my head off in a suburban movieplex  in an important meeting. His stress did not de-escalate.

Potential new job calls and tells him they need his SIN by 4pm. Government office closes at 4pm. It is now 3:17.

Again, stress level not shrinking as clock ticks.

Luckily I know exactly where the documents are because I had them in my hand yesterday.

I tell him to look in gray folder on my desk.

He says it's not there.

I tell him to look in gray folder in my drawer.

He says it's not there.

G says. I just found a gray folder. The only thing in it is T's birth certificate.

That can't be possible. T's birth certificate, second copy and third extra copy are all in folder with me.

(If there's a fourth copy I don't want to know about it now).

I suggest FaceTime.

He hangs up.

Calls his girlfriend.

She says. No problem. I read your mother's blog. It says your documents are in a pink folder.

Oh hey G says. Here is my birth certificate. In a purple folder. Don't believe the blog. Mom makes everything up.

Lessons Learned:
1. You wonder why there are such long lines at government offices. Now you know.
2. Rules of Creative Non-Fiction include merging characters, timelines and locations but substituting pink for purple could actually cause a problem.
3. Turning off your phone in movies not only prevents disturbing your neighbours but actually prevents you from being disturbed as well.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Why I Love Tim Horton's

I have three kids.

All of whom have birth certificates. (Or so you would think.)

Youngest daughter T is changing schools.

Had to be accepted academically.


Had to be accepted on athletic side.


Last step.

Have to make registration appointment.


Actual last step.

Have to show up to registration appointment with birth certificate and eligibility (Quebec thing).

Go to desk. Get out folder labelled Complaints Unresolved Bayshore Important Documents.

There is my birth certificate. Marriage document. Citizenship for G who was born in US. Birth certificate for B. Birth certificate for G.

Lovely but not helpful.

Clean desk using certified archeological tools and hazmat suit. Find nothing.

Go through 37 tote bags stuffed under desk the rest of the neatly labelled folders. Nothing.

Look at work.


Give up.

Take out pen and write to do list including having to call new school and switch registration appointment because will have to re-order copy of birth certificate, which I already had to do due to losing it once before and having learned nothing have stored both copies together in file which is now missing.

Not looking forward to calling the school.

What do we do when we have a to do list ripe with items we would like to avoid?

Reach into bottom right hand filing cabinet to get Tim Horton's pod from Costco sized pod box. By the time I walk over to office kitchen, heat water, make coffee, wait till it cools enough to drink, I'll be able to call the sch- Wait, what's in that flamingo pink folder leaning against and marginally slipping under
the Tim Horton's Costco pod box?


Here it is.

First birth certificate. Copy of birth certificate. Birth certificate. Eligibility.

Morals of the Story:
1. Tim Horton's Costco pods may be cheaper than buying in-store but the value they deliver is priceless
2. To do lists are valuable but not necessarily in the ways you would think
3. Keurig coffee makers may be bad for the environment but sometimes they can save your ass

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Garbage IN, Garbage -

Get home and see that garbage has not been picked up from inside garbage can.


There was an extra bag of garbage leaning against the dirt brown garbage bin in a yellow plastic bag that costs ten bucks and is only available at city hall. That bag has been picked up.

But the garbage inside the can is still inside the can.

Call City Hall.

Hi. My garbage was not picked up today.


I need to have the garbage picked up because Jewish Holiday of Passover is around the corner and apart from not eating bread for a week we generate a lot of extra garbage.

Yes I know.  We will have an extra pick up on Friday because of the no-bread-eating-garbage-generating Holiday.

Excellent. But what about the garbage in the can now? I need it picked up today.

Was the garbage in the garbage can?

Yes. I just said that.

Was the garbage can closed?

Well, it couldn't close all the way because it was filled with, er, garbage.

Was the garbage sufficiently compressed?

Compressed? You mean did I push it down?

Yes. You need to push the garbage down.

Ok. Thank you.

(Go outside. Push garbage down so that lid closes.)

Call back City Hall.  I have pushed all my garbage down so now the can closes. 

Garbage is in can and can closes?  Are you sure you didn't press it down too much? If the garbage is too compressed we will not be able to pick it up. 

Complaint Tie-Ins
  1. Now that we have Composting and Recycling to deal with, Garbage does not have a right to be so particular
  2. I feel like there's a Passover/Passing Over joke to be made here but I can't get the line right
  3. The expression "it's not rocket science" shall henceforth be replaced by "it's not garbage collection"

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Canadians on Phones Not Drinking Coffee

Rainy gray weather with expectations of more snow cause thoughts to turn to piles of hot coffee.

(This may because am doing a two week detox with no access to coffee.)

Thoughts also turn to summer vacation and no time like the present to nail down annual beach vacation which includes a ferry reservation and they sell coffee on the boat.

Credit card declined.

Try again, maybe mistyped or forgot to check I ACCEPT box.


Sip mint tea. Shed tear.

Try again, use Second Credit Card.


Realize this may have happened before, tracing to Canadian Postal Codes which have letters in them and therefore are not recognized by Zip Code box.

Glance longingly at Travel Mug and call Customer Service.

Blah blah blah ferry reservation, blah blah declined, blah blah Canadian.

Oh, Hon. Customer Service says. I don't have access to those reservations yet. I will only have them on my computer as of January 30th. Till then, you can only book online.

But I can't book online. I have free healthcare.

Wish I can help ya. Maybe try typing in your Zip without the lettahs (best part of calling Massachussetts).

Try without lettahs.


Sip mint tea again. Nine more days.

Try several more things that don't work.

Call Customer Service back.

Someone else answers the phone.

Blah blah blah ferry reservation blah blah declined blah blah Canadian. Is there a way around this?

Yeah, sure Hon. I'm going to sell you a Gift Cahd, and then you're going to use the Gift Cahd to pay for the reservation. How much is your reservation?

It disappeared while I was clicking around looking for your phone numbah, I mean, number. Should I call you back?

I'll hold while you find it.

Find it, type it in, get desired reservation, pay using Gift Cahd. Check, check, check.

Thank you to Customer Service Person Two for giving me excellent Customer Service.

Maybe if I call a third time someone will pour me a coffee.

Complaint Lessons Learned:

1. Sometimes Customer Service people actually want to give excellent customer service.
2. If you don't get what you want, you can call back and try again. Chances are you will get someone else who wants to help you.
3. If you are looking online for a two week detox, try to find one that's sponsored by someone who knows what they're doing.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Pineapple Fanta Was My Favourite

Have a Google Alert set to my name. Usually this means alerts about someone named Amy who caught a large Bass in a Southern state.

(This information will become relevant in a sec. )

Land in Atlanta and first stop is diner breakfast for omelettes and spuds for farm to table poached eggs and slices of organic hydroponic free trade tomato.

Diner packed which means we chose well and people not necessarily being served in the order in which their call was received in order of arrival.

Servers wearing t-shirts that say on the back "Relax...It's Just Eggs."

How Perfect Is That.

Day Three in Atlanta give talk about how to deal with complaints. Mention in talk that not every complaint resolution has to be complicated and that sometimes we need to "Relax...It's Just Eggs."

Day Four in Atlanta more fun was had as an example go to World of Coke and drink all kinds of sugary drinks including an Asian soda that tastes like veggies very fresh glasses of water.

Ok, Amy, so are people in Atlanta named Amy? Are they catching fish?

Probably and probably but didn't meet any of either.

Did the World of Coke have a fish flavour?

Mercifully no.

So where are we going here?

(Trust me.)

Home a few weeks when Google Alert blinks with Amy Fish and guess what. It's me.

Turns out someone at the talk was writing a story and I had no idea.

Click here to read it and see the photo of me in uniform.

Lessons Learned:
1. Be careful what you say in a talk because there might be someone quoting you and you don't even realize it.
2. Yes I was fishing in a Southern state but not in the traditional sense of the word.

Monday, 27 November 2017

There Was No Bundt Cake Either

Husband's work friend's life partner goes for ultrasound.


Doctor writes gender of twins on papers and puts in envelope.

Seals it.

Husband tells me, gender(s) will be revealed at Spare-No-Expense His &Hers Team Pink or Team Blue Baby Shower in November.

OMG. I hope we get invited to that. It will be like reality television. But, like, real.

I hope they have a bundt cake.

(Be careful what you wish for.)

Shower day fraught with competing events that land us in elegant reception hall around 3pm, having missed the first buffet at 1:30pm but arriving just in time for sit down dinner. Pasta, green salad, steak, veal, wine, champagne, flower centrepieces, photo booth, fantastic DJ.

Gender has not yet been revealed.

In between courses people play games like how quickly can you hang laundry on the line while carrying two babies and a cel phone.

No indication yet as to gender of babies.

Pink and blue balloons, pink and blue tablecloths, flowers, gifts and stunning display of all the communal gifts purchased with communal cash that would not look out of place in a royal nursery, except that the royal nursery probably already knows what gender babies are and is governing itself accordingly.

Open bar.

Espresso bar.

Plates of cake passed around with fresh berries.

Three hours have elapsed.

Candy bar now open. Doughnuts, jellies, marshmallows, cupcakes, cake pops, sprinkled pretzels and baby themed cookies.

All in pink and blue.

We have been here for close to four hours. Husband passed restless three espressos ago.

We have to stay. I plead. We have invested so much into this. We need to know whether these are boys or girls or both.

Two giant black balloons at the Head Table contain what I first thought were the slips of paper but then Husband pointed out deduced that must mini balloons inside, colour coded for Team Pink or Team Blue.

DJ starts talking.

This is it.

We are going to find out now.

I clasp Husband's hand just as DJ offers his announcement:

Sweet table now open. 
Spaghetti, sausage, pizza, giant bowls of fruit, more cake, pastries, mousse (pink and blue), macarons (pink and blue).

Listen. Husband says. The sun has set. It's almost 7pm. I can not stay in this room for one more second. We will have to find out another time whether work friend (that you have met barely twice) and his life partner (to whom you have just been introduced) are having boys girls or both.  You will need to get over this.

Complaint Lessons Learned
  1. The idea that pink is for girls and blue is for boys may be outdated, offensive and politically incorrect, but it really makes for a beautiful party. 
  2. Going to a gender reveal shower and leaving before the gender is revealed is an unsatisfying experience no matter how many pink and blue cake pops they throw at you. 
  3. Letting people choose their own genders may not be a bad idea especially if it keeps baby showers to a two hour limit.
  4. If either of these babies decides to change their genders and reveal them at a shower when they grow up I hope the food is half as good.