In between my social and photographic adventures, regular life still happened. Why bother writing about regular life? Partly to give a more balanced view on my adventures. Partly because some interesting stuff still happens in regular life.
Adventures in bureaucracy continued. I did finally get my health card at about the same time I got a cheque from BC MSP. Seems that Quebec canceled my BC insurance when I applied in Quebec, so I was effectively without insurance for about a month. Good thing I didn’t get sick. It’s taking longer than expected to sell my car, so I had to change my car insurance. Car insurance is MUCH less expensive in Quebec. I think gas is about the same – currently $1.34 – $1.44 per litre, depending on the day.
One of our benefits at work is in-house language lessons. The lessons are 90 minutes twice a week over lunch. I was put in the beginners French group, but I’m very happy I’m not a complete beginner. We had one guy from the UK in our group who didn’t speak a word of French. Poor guy – he was completely lost and gave up after two lessons. The French I learned in high school is quickly coming back, but I still haven’t found the confidence to have even simple conversations outside of the class. Our HR technician gave me a good piece of advice: practice my French with friends (or strangers) over a few drinks. I may try that at some point. In one meeting I unintentionally said a number (vingt-quatre) in French, and everyone got excited that I said something in French. To give some context, meetings typically go back and forth between English and French, but a lot of software development vocabulary is in English with “er” (pronounced “ay”) at the end. For example, to check in code (into Perforce) is “checkiner le code” in French. My team has been kindly adding French vocabulary and phrases to my white board. It recently got a summer addition: les gougounes.
Speaking of work, our big move the last Friday in May was impressive… and chaotic. It was the biggest move ever done. We moved pretty much everyone on the 6th floor – about 100 people – in under an hour. It was kind of like July 1 – the day when most of Montreal moves. I was moving out of my office while equipment was being moved in. Everyone was helping everyone else. IT and facilities did a great job making sure we had the connections and power we needed. We’re in an old building that has “character”. The real test was the following Monday morning when my entire team turned on their computers, build machines and Devkits. No brown outs, but our air conditioning was definitely being challenged. In addition to the move, IT even managed to get the computer set up for our new employee starting Monday. Not bad for a relatively small company.
The rest of work is… work. I can’t really say anything specific. The experience has similar elements from all the companies I’ve worked at before. It’s a bit like deja vu that way. The major difference is that my team has over 30 people. I only have one project manager and I have lead developers instead of team managers. As a result, I’m very busy dealing with the day-to-day. It’s going to take awhile to coach the team to where they need to be so I can spend more time on what I should be working on.
After over three months of no communication, I got an email from the ex last week with a bit of an update. I won’t get into any detail, but I learned something from my less-than-positive reaction. It’s a good thing.
So, that has been my life outside of my more exciting adventures. Just like everyone else, it’s not just about exploring a new city and a bunch of social outings. Other stuff happens, too.