Yay for January and the end of holidays

It’s been very quiet over the holidays and I was hoping to hear from a recruiter today, since this is the first full week that people are back in their offices and getting down to work since the extended Christmas holidays. But it’s 4pm and I thought today might pass without any job leads. Until now. The agent who placed me at my last contract called. The same company I was working at on that contract has a one-year contract coming up for a writer at the same pay rate. That would be very cool, though a little surreal.

I know they use Framemaker and XML, though, so I’d better brush up on things a little this week.


Monday bus strike news

I saw on the news last night that the union will vote on the latest proposal on Thursday. Nothing like leaving it until the last minute (they were given until Friday to vote). And of course they’re being urged to turn it down.

Snippets of news articles from today as Day 27 dawns. (The papers keep saying it’s day 26, but it isn’t…day 26 ended at midnight on Sunday.) We’re officially past the length of the 1996 strike, which lasted 24 days.

Report on Business: Union on express bus to self-destruction (by Gwyn Morgan) This is my favourite opinion piece of the strike so far, I think.

At a time when many private sector workers face pay reductions or job losses, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279 rejected a package that offers a 7-per-cent raise over three years, a $2,000 “productivity bonus” and enhanced rights to “bank” more sick days. The union’s stated reason for holding out is proposed limitations on workers’ ability to set their own schedules. Private sector managers must be astounded to hear that something so basic to ensuring the best customer service for each dollar spent would have ever been handed over to a union in the first place.

Metro: When trust in transit breaks down

There’s understandable annoyance towards the city, which is perceived as showing a distinct lack of urgency in finding a solution. However, Internet forums and the guerrilla Centretown poster campaigns show the bus drivers are taking the brunt of public anger. I certainly wouldn’t relish being a driver working those first few post-strike shifts. I’ve never underestimated how seriously this strike affects Ottawa’s citizens, but the level of vitriol is often excessive. No less than 98 per cent of union members voted for this strike. That’s not, as has been suggested, the vote of a small minority of troublemakers.

(Hmmm, I thought it was 98% of voters who voted for the strike, not 98% of the 2,300 members?)

Barnes and Noble, how I love thee

Let me count the ways:

  1. You take Paypal.
  2. You actually have recently-published items in stock, unlike Amazon.ca.
  3. Your shipping is pretty cheap for us foreigner types, cheaper than Betterworld.com if someone is buying several books, cheaper than Amazon.com, way cheaper than Amazon.ca Marketplace.
  4. You take Paypal.
  5. You process orders incredibly quickly.
  6. Shipped orders arrive incredibly quickly.
  7. Have I mentioned that you take Paypal?