I Fought The Law

eq5This morning, as my queer friend told me to do, I went to the office of Employment Insurance. Stéphane told me they could pay my English lessons. Well, this morning I went very early with all my filled forms. There were around 15 people. People like a young woman who was asking the form for the welfare. Most of them were immigrants just like me.

eq6I could see a woman who was the job provincial adviser. She saw my résumé and said it was too long; that I had to redo it. Well, that CV worked many times and maybe that woman didn’t realize we’re in an economical crisis. She didn’t understand why, despite the fact I speak 3 languages I can’t find a job. I told her my English wasn’t very good, that I failed twice an important test to grip a permanent job. She seemed not very concerned. I told her I knew the provincial government could pay my English studies. She replied “no way. You speak English and you’re written problem you can solve it taking courses at the university. I just give subventions when a person doesn’t speak a word of English”. I was a bit shocked. In fact, my plan was to go to the university and take a course, but she never asked to speak in English. She just saw my tests scores, nothing else.

She left the office and came back with the paper with an address and said “here’s an organization that can help you to improve your résumé. The paper said “Women Immigrants Center”. What a deception I got.eq2

I think the adviser had good intentions but she didn’t enquire or questioned my education, profile or the most astonish thing, my English. Of course, she didn’t speak English. Maybe that’s why she never asked me a single question.

In the afternoon I decided to do educational shopping. I know there’re two Anglo universities: Concordia and McGill. I went to the McGill College Campus. I went to its website and I didn’t understand any single link, too complicated. When I arrived I was looking for a map “in situ”. There was nothing. I was a bit lost but finally I found the right place: customer service.

The woman in the front desk was very nice and told me the language school was outside of the campus but near. I went to the place on the 11th floor. It was funny when I got there. There was a student who was in the information desk. She was speaking with a Chinese student. The girl didn’t understand what the guy was saying. She asked him many times why he wanted to take more English courses. The guy didn’t understand her question and finally the girl said “Mister, you’re English is very basic, you cannot take more courses”. The man didn’t understand and as good Asiatic guy, he smiled and with his confused face he said “thank you”.

Then, it was my turn. I asked when the English courses will start. She said “in May but you have to pass a test. You’re English seems decent, so maybe you’ll be in the intermediate group”. I just smiled when she said my English was “decent”. Once again, I was disappointed. May is too far. I decided to go to Concordia.

I took the subway and when I arrived I was tired and I didn’t want to ask when the courses will start. I preferred to go to the bookstore and ask for a good grammar book. Well, a book about memos and letters. The clerk, a woman from India gave me good references. I bought “How to write it”.

I wanted to go to Unitarian church tonight; they need people for its chorus. I felt a bit shy. I’ll go another time but I need to improve my English no matter what. This economical crisis pushes me to do crazy things.

I miss my family, I miss my dad.


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