Saturday, May 10, 2008

Back on the Rails

Well, it was bound to happen. After six-plus months of unemployment, I'm making my first trip to Winnipeg in 2008 tomorrow. I'm going as an SSA (Senior Service Attendant, which is jargon for entry-level monkey), which means that I could be working in the sleeping cars, I could be working in the coaches or the coach takeout, but I'll probably, due to my pathetically low seniority number (336), be waiting tables in the dining car. This is my least favourite train job and the one I have the least experience doing (I haven't worked a waiter shift since spring 2005), so I'm not looking forward to five days of it in the least.

But tomorrow, I'm bidding for a regular assignment that starts late May-early June. Unless I'm outbid by someone senior to me, I'll be doing the same job as last summer, working as "Activity Coordinator" in the dome car. If I'm outbid, it's going to be a long summer. But for some reason, not too many of the senior people qualified for Activity Coordinator like the job. Which works for me.

Met up for lunch with Stuart Ross this afternoon. First time we'd met in person. Had a very enjoyable bull session at Cafe Rhizome. I gave him his Jailbreaks contributor copies and we traded books. I'm looking forward to digging into his new book Dead Cars in Managua, edited by my old prof and pal Jason Camlot, and listening to the CD An Orphan's Song, Ben Walker's musical adaptations of Stuart's poems.

I'll be in Winnipeg overnight on Tuesday, then back in Vancouver on Friday. Choo. Choo.

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