Legal Alien: A Scotsman in Montreal

 
Internet Issues

OK, so I've been at my new place for 15 days, and the internet 'broke' 12 days ago and it's taken me that long to repair it. Mainly because I've not been here, also not helped by a lack of manual and the world's worst website... seriously, for customer support it's awful: here. But I've got it going now.

I'll write more but I'm always tired on a Monday, what with starting at 7 and the alarm going off before 6 and all!



 
More news

I think I have finally moved into my new apartment - I bought all the furniture at Ikea, and moved my stuff and just got myself some bedding today. I also went grocery shopping so I think I'm pretty much established. I still need to go to the dollar store to buy little stuff, but that should be a breeze.

Ikea was a bit of an experience... got all the stuff back to the apartment, start putting up the bed.. uh-oh, they've given us 5 of one piece and 3 of another instead of 4 and 4. So get the receipt, get the number, call Ikea... wait hang on, there's no bed on here... looks like I got a free one! Nice! There were also some screws missing so I had to go to the local hardware store to pick some up, but it's not for a crucial piece so a bodge job is ok.

I start my job on Monday... I have a meeting at 745am which is going to be a shock to the system, having to get up that early... but at least I'll find out what I'll actually be doing.



 
Equip

Ok, so my room is a blank canvas so to speak... and here's my list so far of what I need:

Bed,
Mattress,
Chest of Drawers,
Bedside Table,
Desk,
Chair,
Light,
Fan,
Curtains/blinds,
Laundry hamper,

I've been looking at the ikea website, and am prob heading out there tonight... but I've been confused by the variety of mattresses on offer... any opinions out there as to whether foam or spring is better value?

I'm also thinking the bedside table and desk could be bought second hand, as they're fairly easy to transport...

Anything I'm missing?



 
Done!

OK, so I've got my own place now! The place I went to see at the end was a bit of a dive - semi-basement, in the Village (complete with transvestite hooker on the corner apparently), and the room was just a section of the living room divided by a curtain. Nope, it's gonna be the quiet, relaxed life in the rarified area of Outremont.

Now I just need to work out when to move in, and what furniture I need - a trip to Ikea may be coming up methinks! I don't really care too much about quality, since I don't know just how long I'd be staying in one place, so if it's only good for a couple of years, no worries.



 
Progress

It's all starting to come together now...

I got my job offer from my games testers - I'll be a POC (Point of Communication), which means I get 7 of my own testers under me to do my bidding. That starts on the 8th. I dunno who I'm working for, nor what game it'll be, nor what system (altho maybe PS3). I also doubt I'll be allowed to tell anyone, certainly not on this website!!

Also narrowed down where I'm going to live. There's a nice place up in Outremont, which has a very neighbourhood-y feel to it, local shops, chilled-out vibe, as opposed to downtown where things are very hectic. I'm going to look at place in about 30 mins, which is the only real challenger... it's closer to downtown, and I think is furnished, but I think it'll have to pretty special to win out over Outremont.

I've now also got my mobile phone activated... damn, it's expensive here, and this is with my own phone... just like the banks the companies screw you in service fees: 7 bucks a month just to have the contract! Are you kidding me? I'm doing you the favour! I guess in the UK competition is so much more cut-throat. Altho' if I take out a 24 month agreement, the fees get waived. I dunno, it may be worth it... just 24 months is a long time (and it's 20 bucks times number of months left as an early cancellation penalty).



 
More Updates

I know, I know. I said I'd write more often.

So, the past 2 weeks have basically been spent looking for a job... and... I think I've got one. I know I certainly had one.

I'd been pounding the concrete recently, wandering around shopping malls, handing my CVs to managers and so on, and pretty much being spectacularly unsuccesful - working in a cutting-edge electronics research lab doesn't convince many people that you can sell kitchenware. Anyway, it was all getting rather depressing, but I saw an advert on craigslist.org for video games testers and I thought, what the hell. So I wrote to the guy and got a call back the next day to set up an interview. Only problem was it seemed to be playing video games for 8hrs a day for minimum wage, and I didn't know if my sanity could take that.

In the meantime, I got a callback from dear old Canadian Tire, where after explaining to the manager that despite being massively overqualified, I would be happy working in the sports department at minimum wage, he offered me the job. I said I'd think about it and call him back today.

The reason I said today is that I had the interview for the video games tester job - a job I realised is not about testing finished games, but for finding bugs, which actually appeals more. And I'd previously learnt they were hiring 300 people, and so I reckoned there must be some sort of management structure and maybe I could get in above the lowest position.

So, I went to the hotel, was met in the lobby and then taken 'through' to the interview... I expected it to be in a suite upstairs or something, but no, it was a guy with a laptop sitting at a table in the coffee shop. He seemed cool, and we got on, and I was right, there are 2 levels above tester, and he was going to recommend me for a higher position. woohoo! So second interview here we come.

The only downside is that this position wouldn't start until May... so should I start at Canadian Tire to get money? Everyone has told me yes, but I feel bad about being so dishonest. Yes, I know they're a big corporation, hire and fire easily and so on, but I still didn't like the deception. So, I rang the manager, told him what was going on, offered to still work for 6 weeks if he wanted, he of course declined. So officially, I'm back at square 1, but am really pretty excited about this testing jig - ok, so it only lasts 6 months, but it could open a lot of doors.......



 
Swing... and a miss

Went to the bank and went to see the very nice accounts man. He didn't speak much English so I got to dust down my French for the first time in a while. Anyway, basically, he said I couldn't open an account until I had either proof of address or of employment. Which is understandable really. I thought my former account might swing things in my favour, but no luck.

However, we ended up having a nice chat, he was asking me what I was doing in Montreal, and what sort of job I was looking for, and I explained but said I was worried about my French not being good enough. He, in turn, said that my French was good and that I shouldn't worry about that stopping me, and if writing an application in French was tough, it didn't matter if I went to someone and gave them my resume and spoke to them in French. Which was nice.

Anyway, tonight I go and watch hockey at a friend's place... my first NHL hockey for a looooong time.