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  • Day214

    Time to work and save money

    April 15, 2018 in Canada ⋅ 🌨 0 °C

    Finally it's time for a new blog entry... It's going to be a long one ;) and while I'm writing it's snowing outside in april... Welcome to Canada!🙈

    When I was back home for christmas I applied for jobs online in the Greater Toronto Area. Just before leaving to Boston I got a reply from a temporary agency for a packaging position in a pharmaceutical company in Burlington. The temporary agency is located in Hamilton so I looked for a place to stay for a couple of days to go in the office to complete my application. I stood with Lauren and Devin a great couple in their nice appartment. They are going on a trip to South East Asia and doing Work & Travel in Australia afterwards.
    My account manager from the agency aranged me a training at the pharmaceutical company for the next week. So I had to find a new place to stay in Burlington for the next days. I stood with Tracey and Mac another wonderful and helpful couple.
    But my biggest luck just happened afterwards when I arrived at Tom' s place the second available couchsurferhost in Burlington. He just retired and got his own house with 4 bedrooms. We came along really well from the first minute and I told him about my plan to work in Burlington for a couple of months. So he offered me to stay longer right away. I just had to chip in for utilities and help with cooking and cleaning. Regarding the room prices in Burlington it was the best that could happen to me and my plan to safe money. I can't tell often enough how grateful I am for Tom' s hospitality and generosity! :) I ended up staying 3 month with him.
    There was also Kei a japanese guy living with us. I had a fantastic time with them chatting about our travel experiences (Tom had many interesting stories to tell) and other stuff, sharing meals and a beautiful trip to Niagara falls Tom, my friend Tina and I did.
    Almost every day there are buses going to the casino for 15$ including a buffet lunch. Mostly there were just grey-headed on the bus going for gambling at the casino. But we used the offer to visit the falls at a beautiful sunny day. ;)
    For Easter we had a delicious dinner. Tom cooked ham, potatoes and broccoli and for dessert I baked a carrot cake. We also played scrabble and had a few drinks - such a fun night :)

    Now a bit more to my work experience in Canada. I started end of january at a pharmaceutical company producing hot lemon relief as a line packager. I ended up working a few weeks continental shift means 12hr roatating days or nights. The good thing about it you just had to work 3 days a week for getting payed 40hrs and had 4 breaks. Time went fast, so not too bad at all and you were switching positions every 15min. One day the woman who was training us told me I would be a good line inspector when I pointed out a mistake to her on the documentation sheet she was filling out. She recommend to drop in my resume to the QA Officer cause he was looking for someone right now. So I applied for it and the interview and test went pretty well. After a few weeks the QA Manager got back to me and offered me the position. The week after I was trained and the next week I was already on my own doing the quality control on the line. But unfortunately after two weeks I got a call from my agency after my shift on wednesday telling me that I shouldn't return to my next shift cause the company got financial issues and can't pay their pay checks. I heard before from a coworker that the investor, a billionaire, got killed in december with his wife in their house in Toronto. Unluckily the visit from a potential new investor the friday before came too late and the company went bankrupt.
    I applied for new jobs right away and was lucky to start with a new temporary agency at an automotive company the coming sunday on night shift. There I did small parts manufacturing on different machines for four weeks.
    I also tried working in a buffet restaurant. But it wasn't that kind of work I'd liked to do and it wouldn't work out with my shifts at the pharmaceutical company anyway.

    Many people at work ask me why I do this kind of job and didn't work as a pharmacist where I could earn much more money. Well there were mostly two main reasons. First of all it would take a while to get my canadian license as a pharmacist including taking courses, writing exams and spending a lot of money. In fact I wouldn't stay in the country it was no option for me.
    Second reason was I wanted to use this gap year to try some jobs I probably wouldn't do back home as well as getting some work experience in positions my future employees may will have to get a better understanding of their possible concerns.

    The work life here seems quite different to me. All information are just about my experience in Ontario. It differs in each province.
    At first there is no real work-life-balance at all if you're not working for the government. You get just 10 days vacation and two sick days a year per law and the minium wage just went up to 14$/hr in january. Most time you get payed weekly or every other one. In general there are two different kind of working conditions either you work full time or on contract which gives you a certain time of work without any vacation or sick days at all. So at the places I've worked for I've met many people they're working just for living and not seldom they have to take a second job or do overtime which is mostly payed 1.5 times.
    That's why I really appreciate the way it is back home. At last two fun facts I've recognized:
    1. Nearly every second one comes in the shift with a coffee to go from Tim Hortans or Mc Donalds. The line up at the drive thru in the morning was amazing when I drove past by bus.
    2. Many people are wearing sweatpants or leggins at work especially on night shift ^^ and obviously at school too at least fridays like I just saw it.

    On Family Day weekend in february I rent a car together with Richard a german guy I met in one of the Facebook groups and we drove up to Bruce Peninsula NP for the weekend. The first day we did a walk to one of the water falls in Owen Sound and the next day we did a beautiful hike in the nationalpark. We were really lucky with the weather it just stopped raining when we stepped out of the car and it wasn't too cold at all for mid february. Cyprus lake was totally frozen and the edge of lake Huron, too. This nationalpark is mostly popular in summer time known for it's turquoise water but it was still beautiful in winter and less crowded.

    End of february Philip my host of my first homestay and his wife Louise invited us (Tina and Yasaman) to a Mandarin Restaurant in North York where we enjoyed a buffet dinner together. It was so good to see Philip again and getzing introduced to his wife and daughter Kathrin. We spent a fun night together :) Earlier the day we three girls visited the ice sculpture festival in Toronto but it was so warm and sunny that they were already melting and falling apart except of the big castle.

    Now it's mid april and we just got snow again... I can't wait for spring and start the next round travelling! :D
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