Monday, December 7, 2009

Rants on Railcars

I'm starting to develop animosity towards the railcars of Toronto.

This morning I left for work sporting a new pair of boots I bought this weekend. I never thought I'd purchase a pair of Ugg boots in my entire life, simply based on principal - but I've caved and could not be happier for it. My feet and calves are toasty and comfortable now when I walk to work. I saw a lot of girls wearing them around the city and I was able to purchase a knock off brand at a local Payless.

So, here I am, bundled and toasty-footed, walking to the corner to catch the railcar - thinking about what I would do at work today and how I was proud of myself for finally packing my own lunch - when suddenly the railcar flies by the stop without stopping. Confused, I quickly looked around for explanation. Some poor Canadian spotted me and explained that the really grumpy conductors will pass stops when they feel their car has gotten too full. I don't understand the logic - people could just as easily be exiting the railcar and you've taken away their opportunity.

After this, I stood at the stop for 15 minutes. At this point, it was 8:55 and there was no way I wasn't going to be late to work. Frustrated, I started on foot. Eventually, I made it to a corner where a railcar was approaching and I was able to hop on. I was flustered and frustrated when I finally arrived to work fifteen after.

My agitations disappeared mid morning with the arrival of the first snow flurries of the season. I heard someone comment that it looked like it was possibly snowing - that was all it took for me to rush to the front of the office where all the windows were. I stood, watching the snow fall, and immediately missed home. I heard some people call my name and laugh when they saw me already at the window - they were excited to watch me watch the snow; it's not as entertaining for them once they've seen it so many times before I suppose.

I was invited to the marketing meeting again this week; I didn't contribute much but was able to follow what everyone else was discussing. After the meeting, I returned back to envelop stuffing that I started last week - this seems like a job I'll continue for the rest of the Christmas season, and I enjoy having a task that keeps me busy and that I understand how to do.

The afternoon felt like it was going in slow motion. No one seemed to have tasks for me. The overall sense I'm getting is that the jobs people would have for me would take so much time to explain, that in the end, it would take less time if they did it themselves. I struggle with this a lot as a editor of the paper, knowing that I'd rather spend the time doing the project at hand than use that same amount of time to explain to someone else how to do it. But, this isn't productive and I'm realizing that now. At some point, you need to take the time to explain or else people aren't able to learn new skills.

The slow pace of the afternoon made me drowsy and I had to maintain a constant intake of tea to keep me awake. I ended up browsing the S + L website for some time and reading my coworkers blogs. My supervisor walked past the screen and saw what I was reading and suggested I write a blog on the site as well. I confessed to her that I already had a blog documenting my adventures in Canada, so she asked if I could also post them on the S + L website. I'll have to make some modifications, but I think it should work.

I left work a little after five. The weather was really cold and wet; the snow from the flurries earlier had already melted. As I made my way to the corner to catch the railcar, I looked up just in time to see one pass the stop, leaving me behind. I was thoroughly annoyed at this point. Yet again, I sat and waited for about 15 minutes at the stop. I finally got fed up enough with the absence of the railcar, that yet again, I began to walk on foot. I had walked maybe another 15 minutes when it started to flurry again. I looked up to the sky and smiled. At that same moment, I saw the railcar pass me out of the corner of my eye. I silently cursed the car for ruining my commute and happy-snow moment. Thankfully, however, there were two other railcars directly behind it - I guess they got backed-up from something - and I was able to catch one of them at the next corner.

I finally made it back to the convent a little after six, a full hour since I had left the office. Despite the long commute, I was happy to be inside since I was thoroughly frozen at this point. The sisters told me the bad weather is supposed to come on Wednesday. I'm not really sure if I'll be able to handle true snow weather at this point. I don't see myself being able to walk 35-40 minutes in snow, nor do I see myself being able to wait at the corner for 20 minutes in snow for the railcar. What I so see is myself - in a taxi cab.

Much love,



  1. At least maybe you can honestly tell your kids, I walked to work in snow... uphill both ways!!! Glad to hear things are going well, God Bless!

    -Jonathan S

  2. My family is going to DC for the holidays- I'm so scared about the cold! Thanks for the fake-UGGS tip. I may have to give in & pick up a pair for me as well. :)

  3. You totally should - they're really comfortable. Today was really cold, but with the shoes and gloves and my head covered, it was bearable.

  4. Toronto does sound like the Canadian New York City. Sorry your experience with the transit system is so bad, but remember it is mass transit with the emphasis on the word mass. Now that you have your toasty Ugg boots you may have to just give it up and start walking.

  5. You are absolutely right about the whole managing thing... As my boss just told me yesterday, he wants me to lead rather than manage my staff. There is a difference between managing something and leading others. It's about presenting other people with avenues to grow and become leaders themselves as opposed to merely asking them to do what you want them to do. It is REALLY hard for me to do that, but I am trying! Stay warm and safe over there! I am enjoying the blogs!

  6. Hi, I think your website is interesting very colorful. Good job! I feel helping job seekers finding their ream home jobs are a fulfilling quest. Good luck in your quest too.