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How I Knew When to Quit my Job

Earlier this year, I quit a job without a backup plan – now, this isn’t the first time I did it. The first time I quit a job without another job lined up was back in my first year of university which in hindsight, it wasn’t that big of a deal since I didn’t have any bills or rent to pay for. However, earlier this year, I was paying rent, in addition to student loans and credit cards, and cell phone bills. 

I was an “office administrator” earlier this year for about a month or so. Noticed the quotation marks around office administrator? Long story short, it was essentially a receptionists gig that the firm never told me about when interviewing, nor on the job description that they posted.

When I signed the agreement and arrived on my first day of work, the current receptionist was training me. I figured – hey, as an office admin, I’m sure I have to provide some back up to the receptionist and cover her breaks or if she ever took a vacation. 

It didn’t take too long to dawn on me that my “office administrator” position was essentially a glorified receptionist. I didn’t know how I felt about this after coming out of another receptionist gig at a local gym. I was tired of being “trapped” behind a desk and trying to please people so being in another receptionist role sort of gave me doubts. 

However, as the weeks progressed, I was getting more unhappy. I felt lonely at my new gig, and it’s not because I was literally on my own, but none of my colleagues took the time to chat with me and get to know me (except for one). Most of them treated me like their personal assistant, and only a handful of them took the time to make small conversation about work and the weather. I rarely got any meaningful feedback or a genuine ‘thank you’. 

To add to my loneliness, during the time I was with the company, there was a birthday one day. I was asked to make a PA announcement for everyone to head over to the kitchen for some cake… and guess what. Everyone went, but me. I wasn’t invited and nobody noticed I wasn’t there to join the party. When the singing was over and everyone got a piece of cake, one of the girls came up behind me and asked if I wanted some cake. No! I was in such an awkward position, and a shitty position to sit there and watch the birthday celebration occur without being invited. I wasn’t allowed out of my desk essentially, in case anyone calls or comes through the elevators (which didn’t happen too much). It hurts, even more, when not one employee noticed I was still at my desk and invited me over.

Similarly, there was a day when the President decided to cater lunch. As the food was laid out in the kitchen, everyone was lining up and grabbing their food. I wasn’t invited until everyone got their meals and I essentially was picking out the leftover scraps out of the containers. Since I was the last one to enter the kitchen and grab a plate of food, everyone else was done eating so once again, I was left alone.

How I Knew When to Quit my Job

When it wasn’t feeling lonely and left out, I also felt that I was being singled out. One a few occasions, the receptionist training me wore extremely unprofessional outfits to work – I’m talking crop-top hoodies with holes and leggings with a lot of piling. One day, I decided to wear a simple, fitting black hoodie. After lunch, my supervisor came up to me and said, “Umm… Claire, [President] wanted to me tell you something. He wasn’t too happy with you wearing a hoodie because it’s very, you know… unprofessional and too casual.” I apologized and nodded, noting not to wear a hoodie anymore, despite the fact that I looked more professional than the previous receptionist. 

Another incident, the previous receptionist was 15 minutes late and didn’t care. I was 5 minutes late because my bus came late and one of the senior supervisors yelled at me. He literally stood by my desk and waited for me to come in.

However, the one incident that drove me up the wall was when my supervisor came up to me and told me that from now on, I have to check in with her whenever I went to use the bathroom… which was literally in front of my desk. It was a 10-second walk and it wasn’t like I was in the bathroom texting. I was probably in and out within a minute or so.

That was the cherry on top. On top of being lonely and made to feel like a servant, I also felt unfairly singled out and babysat. This was officially worse than the gym – and I would happily take a pay cut and go back to the gym. 

I was so unhappy, and this job was making me feel depressed. I was unhappy at work and lived for the weekends. When Sunday evening rolled around, I was already dreading the work week and seeing everyone there. The feeling of being treated like shit and loneliness piled on me every Sunday evening until Friday after work. One time, I took a day off on a Wednesday and I felt so free – that one day break from all that negative emotions made me so happy. I welcomed that free day with open arms and like always, dreaded going back to work.

In the mornings, it was hard to get out of bed and go to work. All I wanted was to snooze my alarm, call in sick or not even show up. But, I needed the paychecks to pay rent and pay bills. I thought I’m a grown adult – I shouldn’t complain about my job when I’m earning decent money and working 9-5 in a trendy neighbourhood. 

Eventually, as much as I tried to push past the negativity and tried to psych myself up that this is a job and I need it, one day, I cracked. I woke up and looked at the clock. I knew I was going to be late if I didn’t get ready now. Instead, I looked at the clock and continued to look at the clock. I had no motivation to go to work. I dreaded it so much, I wanted to cry. I snoozed and eventually turned off my phone and went back to sleep.

I woke up and continued to keep my phone off for the rest of the day. When the workday was over, I turned it back on. My mum left me a message saying my work called her and asked where I was. Dan told me that he got a call from my supervisor. I felt so ashamed, I didn’t tell them that I pulled a no-show. I told my mom not to worry about it and when Dan came home, I told him how I felt about the company and my job, and he supported me quitting. 

I left my phone off for about a week and didn’t bother playing any of the voicemails they left me. Yes, I no-showed this job and didn’t officially quit and I didn’t feel guilty about. I felt so much anger at how they treated me, I felt like they deserved to stress and scramble to find someone. I felt no remorse leaving the job the way that I did. 

I knew I couldn’t continue at this job any longer when the idea of going to work made me want to cry and stay in bed. Sure, work is work, but it shouldn’t make you feel as bad as making you cry and feel like shit. Even my first job at Dairy Queen wasn’t even this bad! 

I get that we all have bad days at work and can sometimes dread coming to work, but I think it’s mentally and physically unhealthy to dread to the point where it upsets you to tears. This wasn’t your “the weekend is coming to an end” dread – this was more like, “I have to endure another week of being bullied” dread. I essentially felt bullied at this workplace. 


I got lucky and shortly after, I landed an interview with my current employer and accepted the offer. I’m in a much more happier work environment where I’m respected and liked. I hang out with my colleagues outside of work and can throw banters around. I’m not stuck behind my desk nor have strict bathroom rules. I can have my lunch wherever and whenever I want and leave the office whenever I want as well. I’ve never felt left out or singled out by any employees here. 

I told Dan the other day that the thought of moving to Australia and quitting my current job makes me upset. That’s how much I genuinely enjoy working at my company! Every Sunday evening and Monday morning, I look forward to work and don’t even mind coming to work. I’ve never contemplated lying and calling in sick. 

My advice to anyone that’s genuinely unhappy, and even possibly bullied, at work: quit.

When you’re pushed to tears, fear to go to work, and literally have to drag yourself out of bed on a daily basis, chances are, that job isn’t for you. Bullying isn’t just among teenagers – it’s also common in the workplace as well. It’s harder said than done, but if you plan financially, and really committ to a job search, the end results would be worth it.  Mental and physical happiness at work is so important when work is essentially your second home and family.

Our 1 Year Anniversary

It’s crazy to think that it’s only been a year ago that Dan and I first started dating. The days following up to our anniversary, a lot of our mutual friends and acquaintances can’t believe it’s already been a year. We all felt that it was just yesterday when we were making plans to hang out and being all shy around each other. 

I mean, that’s a good thing, right? It’s a good thing that after one year – 365 days – together, it still feels fresh and fun.

Our 1st Anniversary

Last weekend, we celebrated our one year together. On Saturday evening, we exchanged our gifts to each other. Dan gifted me this beautiful polar-bear-fishing snow globe that plays music when you wind it up. He also folded me this origami firework in response to the society “rules” of 1st anniversary gift being something paper based.

Speaking of which, do any of you guys know of that wedding anniversary gifting rules? It’s the first I ever heard of it when Dan told me why he made me a firework origami.

My gift was something I got back in August because it was on sale (lol). You may have seen it around Instagram or Facebook, but I essentially I got him a LoveBook. The book contained about 60 pages of things I love about him πŸ™‚ (Review coming soon!).

Christmas Snow Globe

Anniversary LoveBook

Anniversary LoveBook

On the day of our actual anniversary, we kicked off the date with McDonald’s breakfast. We live a block away from a McDonald’s but it’s something we normally get as a treat, especially breakfast.

Its nice to be able to stuff your face with greasy breakfast with someone you love dearly and not feel judged, haha.

McDonald's breakfast

After a late breakfast, we headed over to Metrotown to catch the new Justice League movie. I loved Wonder Woman so much, I was excited to see Gal Gadot in action again… she’s just so gorgeous and talented! Overall, the movie was about a 7/10. We both felt that it lacked a very strong villain character and story line – but other than that, the characters and actors were great. I loved this Barry Allen/The Flash much more than the CW’s The Flash currently airing on TV.

If you guys haven’t seen it yet, definitely check it out in theaters! But, if you’re not down to spend the money, I don’t blame you… it’s something that I wouldn’t mind skipping and waiting for it to come on Netflix or something if I knew what the movie was like.

Justice League Movie Ticket

After the movies, we headed downstairs to Build-a-Bear. Yup, Build-a-Bear! Even I was surprised that Dan agreed to Build-a-Bear! We decided to build each other’s bear as a gift.

I built him a nice tuxedo cat stuffed animal because Dan loooooooooves cats and Dan got me the Beast from Beauty and the Beast because it had such a dumb-looking face, haha.

Build-a-Bear

To end our one year, we went back to one of our favourite restaurants, Memphis Blues. It’s basically BBQ and it’s so, so delicious! Officially the best fries and chicken wings out there.

Memphis Blues

I had a great one year anniversary with someone I love dearly. I’m so happy to experience this day with Dan and wouldn’t have wanted to spend it any other way! I’ve always thought it was about fancy steak dinners and hotel reservations, but I’m so happy with the low key stuffed animals and good food.

I can’t wait for many more years with this boy, and I’m also low key extremely happy to rub our anniversary into the faces of those who thought we wouldn’t make it, for no good valid reasons, haha. I mean, if you’re going to tell me “I thought you guys wouldn’t last” at least provide some logical reasons to back it up… *eye roll*.

Happy anniversary, Dan! I love you always πŸ™‚

We’re Moving to Australia!

This brings me back to a few years ago when I announced my move to New Zealand after graduation.

Well… in case you haven’t noticed, I graduated… and I’m in still Vancouver. Which, I no longer regret because if I moved after graduation, I wouldn’t have met Dan, and I’d rather much choose to stay in Vancouver and take a chance in love than to move across the world to run away from personal issues. In addition, I also didn’t feel comfortable moving across the world with student loans on my back… I wanted to tackle as much as I can of it before moving on.

But, after some discussions and thoughts, Dan and I agreed on one thing…

We’re moving to Australia!

We’re aiming to arrive in October 2018 or sometime before 2019. We’ve been blessed to meet some awesome travellers during our time in Vancouver and that did nothing but motivate us, even more, to look into moving abroad. We figured, it’s a lifetime opportunity, and we’re both in the right place and the right time to take advantage of it before we settle down with more responsibilities.

I was born and raised in Vancouver, and Dan was born on Vancouver Island but has been in the city for quite some years already. We’re both tired of the city and its lifestyle. We both agreed that we don’t want to be in Vancouver for the long term, or settle down in Vancouver. We talked about moving elsewhere but couldn’t decide where in Canada and we figured – hey, why not to Australia and New Zealand? We’ve heard nothing but great experiences about those countries. We’re aiming to do Australia for a year and then another working holiday visa to New Zealand.

We're moving to Australia!

I know what you’re probably thinking… “Claire, you’ve said you moving to New Zealand back in 2015… but you never did” but this time around, I can feel it’s different. We’re looking into the visa process already. We’re cutting down our spendings and saving for the required minimum amount of $5,000 AUD to enter the country. I’m no longer scared about my student loans. Just earlier today, I said, “I guess we’re not going to renew our Costco card next year, right?” in which Dan responded, “I don’t think we’ll even be here to renew it anymore…”. There were many similar conversations. It’s surreal to know that 2018 really is going to be my last year in Vancouver for a few years.

I’m really excited. I’ve delayed my move to New Zealand and I don’t regret it. I’m extremely excited to share this opportunity and experience with Dan. I’m getting nervous just thinking about this but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do for so long, I think if it never happens, I’ll just move myself.

Regardless, our plan of action is to move to Australia before 2019 and we’re using all of 2018 to prep.

Stay tuned for our next big adventures!

I’m 24!

It’s weird to consider myself “mid-20s” now. I have officially left the early 20s category and I miss it already.

Last Friday was my birthday. My manager gave me the day off and Dan insisted on making it my birthday (long) weekend… Who am I to complain tho?

But, in all seriousness, I’ve never had someone put so much thought and effort into my birthday and spoil me with thoughtful gifts. Each gift he gave me throughout the day was tied to something we’ve both shared or little remarks I’ve made here and there throughout the relationship.

To kick off my birthday long weekend, my colleagues at work decorated my desk and celebrated with a very yummy ice cream cake. Unfortunately, we had some construction guys working right above my desk on the 19th so I wasn’t able to fully enjoy my decorated desk until Monday.

After work, Dan and I also went to check out a local haunted house that was about ten minutes away from us. They’ve been operating for 18 years and this was their last year. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain (what’s new in Vancouver?) and we were standing in line for 45 minutes and barely moved in line. It was set to open at 7:30 pm and we arrived just on time, only to discover they were running late and opened at 8 pm. By then, they were letting only very small group of people in, and they won’t let another group in until the previous group finished the entire house… so you can imagine how long it can take just to get into the house. We ended up bailing because we were soaking wet and been outside in a line up for 45 minutes already… we really didn’t want to wait an hour just to move a few inches.

On Friday evening, Dan took me out to Cirque du Soleil and caught their Kurios show… and let me just tell you… it was AMAZING! This was my first ever Cirque show so I’m a little biased but this is Dan’s second Cirque show and he said it was much better than the first one he saw years ago. I absolutely loved how it was incorporated with humour, a storyline, and just the beautiful and amazing acrobatic performances. I’ve never seen anything like that before and it was just… beautiful and amazing! Very inspiring to watch these performs perform, and it’s so beautiful to see how they shine and live for the applause! He also took me out The Keg for a fancy steak dinner – I wish I was more adventurous with food because I got a plain steak while Dan’s dish was just tasty AF!

Over the weekend, we went out to Nanaimo, BC., but being on the west coast meant it was raining… again. Heavy rain. Our original plans for ruined so we ended up going to the Aquatic Center for a gym session and a soak the hot tub, followed by a trip to Woodgrove and picked up a few things from the mall.

Oh, on an exciting personal note – I drove for the first time in Nanaimo! It was extremely dark and raining but overall wasn’t too bad. I get nervous when I’m in an unfamilar place but I felt I did fairly well.

Heading back to the island means seeing the lovely, beautiful and chatty Alice again! I’m normally not a fan of cats because I’m afraid they’ll dig their claws in me for no reason, but Alice is just sooooo beautiful and chatty! She’s the only cat in this world that I get along with (for now).

That night, we also watched The Conjuring 2. If you don’t know, The Conjuring is was the scariest movie I’ve ever seen but The Conjuring 2? Oh man, I was in tears. It was so scary and right now, I still get creeped out by dark corners or shadows because my mind automatically thinks of the nun from that movie.

And, all good things must come to an end…

Sunday was greeted with very delicious chocolate pancakes for breakfast before catching th ferry back home. Nanaimo is such a peaceful, quiet and beautiful place that it makes it a nice place to getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. Of course, the two times I’ve been in Nanaimo, it’s been pissing rain so I still haven’t seen much of it but I’m hoping the third time is a charm and I’m greeted with sunshine on the island!

Downloaded an app that simulates a pretty accurate polaroid!

 

Spring on Park Avenue

One of the gifts Dan got me was this beautiful 1000 pieces puzzle titled Spring on Park Avenue. We started it on Sunday evening and made very good progress thus far – almost half the puzzle is done!

All in all, my birthday long weekend was truly a blessing and by far, the best birthday ever. I’ve never had a partner that put so much care and attention on my special day. He went above and beyond to make my day as magical as ever and I absolutely loved every minute of it, and so grateful to have someone like Dan in my life!

So, cheers to my 24th year on Earth! I wonder what comes of this year….

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Friendsgiving 2017

Last week was Thanksgiving (in Canada) so… happy belated Thanksgiving!

This year was Dan’s and I’s first Thanksgiving together (which means we’re almost celebrating one year soon!). We travelled out to Surrey to visit our mutual friends and the gracious hosts of the Thanksgiving dinner.

Since my family doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, and Dan’s family is on the islands still, and a lot of our friends’ family is scattered across Canada as well, we decided to have Friendsgiving!

Our hosts, Alex and Chris had a beautiful Friendsgiving set up for us. They had the turkey in the oven, appies out on the table, drinks flowing, and even a makeshift photo booth!

Before we went over, I had one shoot to do for a fashion blogger.

By the time I got home, Dan was busy cooking all the veggies we were assigned to bring to the potluck-style feast… I helped peel a few carrots πŸ˜›

Fast forward to arrive at our destination and being greeted with a bunch of food and great people! Dinner started shortly after we arrived and it was sooooo delicious! It was a great idea to have a potluck because it showcases everyone’s different style of cooking and flavours. A few of my favourite dishes was the ham, mashed potatoes, and this uber amazing salad.

After dinner, we killed a lot of time with the makeshift photo booth. It was a very simple idea of just gold cloths hung up and a basket of props next to it.

I dated Daniella for a few minutes.

It was definitely one the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had in my life. There were fun games (did I mention a life-size Jenga?!), great food, awesome people, and generally a very good vibe!

It’s insane that I’ve almost known these people for a year and I’m so happy they’ve accepted me and welcomed me into their group of friends. I love the fact that I could hang out with anyone of these guys without having Dan along with me as well, and have separate conversations and all.

I feel like every Thanksgiving speech is the same, where we’re all thankful for the most common things in life… which is not to say, I don’t appreciate it. I’m very thankful for a family, a roof over my head, health, and clothes to keep me warm. But I’m also very thankful for the newfound friends, my wonderful relationship with Dan, and my manager for taking a chance on me and giving me my first HR opportunity with a wonderful company!

I don’t want to brag, but I feel like I’m very blessed in my life, and I’m happy where I am. I can’t wait to see how my adventures fold out but for the most part, I am definitely enjoying the ride!

What are a few things you’re thankful for this year?

A Day at the PNE

The Fair at the PNE is an annual fair that is opened during the last few weeks of August and September. It’s also tied to Playland, Vancouver’s amusement park that opens a few months earlier than The Fair.

(Fun fact: while writing this entry, I found a trivia fact about Playland. It’s the oldest amusement park in Canada…. oldest!)

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday (insane that Canada is that young, eh?), visitors pay only $1.50 to enter the park if they’re wearing red and/or have a maple leaf. Dan wore his only red t-shirt and I have a maple leaf tattoo.

After years of not attending, coming back to The Fair and Playland brought back a lot of memories, mostly from my youth. The rides, the foods, the venues – all reminded me of my childhood days when my Dad would bring my brother and I to Playland and we’ll just hit all the rides while my Dad waited patiently or lined up in other rides for us.

We decided that we only wanted to check out a few rides, mainly the classic wooden rollercoaster and a few other casual rides. We opted not to buy the general pass for all the rides because we weren’t in the mood for majority of the rides, and to my disappointment, Playland decided to get rid a lot of rides so the amusement park downsized quite a lot.

Just about to ride the wooden rollercoaster, the oldest rollercoaster in Canada!

 

The last time I was on the rollercoaster was when I was a kid with my brother. The steepest drop nearly flung me out of the seat and I was gripping on for my life. It was enjoyable, nonetheless, but it really scared me to the point where I was cool to skip the ride for the next few times. That day was the first time I rode on the rollercoaster since my childhood. 

The drop was just a reminder of my childhood fear. I was gipping on the bar like my life depending on it – I flew off the seat but wasn’t as high off the seat as when I was a kid. Dan was acting cool and taunting me but eventually took his arm off me and gripped the bar as well. 

Aside from the wooden rollercoaster, we also rode the Musical Express (which is my favourite ride), and some kiddie swing ride.

Dan trying to win me a stuffed animal πŸ˜›

During our time at the Fair, we also checked out the market place where I got the comfiest leggings a woman can ever wear… more on that later, though. 

We caught the SuperDogs show and the RCMP Musical Ride. I didn’t take much footage of it, and I sort of wish I did so I can share it with you guys… but, basically, SuperDogs was the cutest thing ever – just a show of talented dogs doing obstacle courses. There was this one dog that eventually called it quits and just stole one of the wooden sticks and ran off stage from the owner. 

The RCMP Musical Ride was a performance by the RCMP on their horses. They’ll perform amazing choreography while riding their horses. 

There was also a farm in The Fair as well and we caught a selfie with the cutest goat! They had a pig race going on around the time we stopped by as well. This farmer trained a pig to act and perform like a dog – playing fetch, kisses, and calling it by its name… very cool to see!

So, happy Monday and have a great week! I miss the fun of Playland and The Fair already (although, my wallet wasn’t too keen on that day)…