Real Fake Fire

I went to work as usual. I arrived at 8.15 am, as usual. I started work drinking my third coffee of the day, as usual. I say hello to my boss at 9.05 am, she’s always late, as usual. Suddenly, around 9.15, just before our morning meeting a fire alarm started…and of course, this was very unusual for me…the noise was annoying.

I thought it was a kind of exercise, I was expecting a voice on the speakers saying “This is a sound test, employees should remain at their workstations and blah, blah, blah.” But no message. People were going outside. Me? I was at my office, finishing to type an email. An old employee told me to leave and take the stairs. I was still looking at my screen when blue eyes came and said aloud something I don’t remember but by her tone I imagined she was unI happy to see me sat on my chair. I left and was heading the stairs and she said to go to closer exit…I followed because I was totally lost, as usual.

We were outside and I stood but she moved away saying our concentration point was at the opposite side. There, all the clerks’ group were talking to each other and I found the girl I was finishing to send the email I was typing on. Firefighters and fire trucks were outside the building. The responsables were wearing yellow helmets as if they were supervising a construction. I was sat feeling lost, as usual, with cold because it was windy and then, one of the managers, a francophone librarian sat beside me trying to read a book and explaining about the benefits of magnesium…well, obviously the book was about magnesium. She was saying the book was excellent…yes, and I’m Batman. That kind of literature is quite best seller for love heath carers and hate antibiotics fans. And I don’t know why she asked me about my background, my studies etc. I said I was a historian, that I worked at the National Library in Montreal and that I was reading Andre Agassi’s biography. I talked a bit what I was doing in my country, reasearch and other things. Well, she thought I’ve always been support or assistant. We were chatting for a while, she was telling me about her background, she wanted to be kindergarten school teacher, that she wanted to be a doctor but her family hadn’t money to afford it, that’s why she loved the book about magnesium, that she worked as a librarian in many cities, like Dallas, Bruxelles and many others, that her sister’s husband sold his fossil collection for almost 1$ million and that sister died by cancer, the guy married another young women and had 4 kids…she was shocked, and it was more than obvious she was still in pain, I’d say more in anger.

Finally, the fire exercise was over and the yellow helmets ordered us to came in. When we were inside it was almost 9.50 am. I asked blue eyes if we would have our meeting and she agreed. We were talking about my accomplished duties and new ones….and I don’t know why she said: “Marcelle told me you got a history degree”…yes, I said and again I explained my background. She asked me if I was applying to higher positions inside the government, I replied her saying I didn’t have that experience. And then she dropped the bomb. She said she knows a guy who works in research, and he has connections in other departments, she told me if I wanted, she could ask people around her and probably have a contract directly with the government. I was playing the cool gal in this meeting, but I admit I was surprised by her offer, at the same time I wasn’t so enthusiastic, good intentions are always filled with illusions. She gave the phone number of her contact.

I called the guy after three times falling in his voicemail, a busy manager, as usual. I talked to him about blue eyes’ conversation and he said: “Well, most of the researchers have master degree and Ph. degree…” I felt a right jab on my stomach and he added “but it doesn’t mean other people can’t do the job”. As a good functionary he told “send me an email about your interests about research”. I say yes… I don’t know, it’s just so weird but I’m very conscious about illusions…

Everything seems so strange, new and unknown for me…as usual.


Hormones Mood

It’s almost 8.10 pm, I feel sleepy like this morning, no envy to smile, I was feeling like doped at the office. I don’t know why I almost feel like 5 coffees cups aren’t enough to make easier 7.5 hours of work.

I’m feeling like a total loser. I can’t handle the financial system called IFMS, of course, I don’t have training but still, I feel totally useless, ashamed to meet blue eyes at 9.30 am…I feel I’m disappointing her…I wanted to cry today at work. I couldn’t speak to anybody. My best friend is in Montreal, he disappeared since he found her girlfriend, my German friend went back to Germany after 3 months in Quebec without saying almost nothing to me, I was useful to her because I gave her some information about migration and other things, now I guess she got what she wanted, Lima , my cat,walks around me expecting me to feed her despite I did that 3 hours ago.

Today the boss reminded me I’m finishing my contract on My 21st…her other assistant is back that day…I didn’t make good friends or contacts…all that reenforce my point of view about the Public Service and Inhuman Resources…we’re numbers, disposable, easy to replace, you’re not unique or’re a product after being “processed” in a couple of training sessions. I’m kissing my cat and she’s licking my nose…I don’t feel like training today..I wish I could cry…I should after paying my driving car license when I don’t have a car yet. And I should cry even more because today I gave all my papers to the account to make my tax report….and I paid a part of my credit card.

I’m listening Animal Kindgom’s song…I’m feeling more loser, more alone, I miss my father, I miss home…or at least some memories …no, there weren’t good memories there, I’m better here, it’s just the price is higher, freedom and independence can be heavy duties. No girlfriend, no able to socialize or to feel at least energy…no emails in my inbox…as a lesbian I’m invisible and now I don’t exist.

I’m on my knees…I got oceans of tears cannot not drain, cannot cry out, I feeling like a squirrel ready to cross the road…always choose the wrong moment to cross when all cars are running…I haven’t hug anybody for real…I haven’t had human touch in years…I think was the wrong moment to read Andre Agassi’s biography and watch that movie “I killed my mother”.

My birthday is coming soon, and that day I got an assistants meeting and in the afternoon a training session plus another activity at the library…. I want to give up everything, I want to be on my bed for hours…looking at the roof, crying…and I’m feeling so numb…

Tuesday, tomorrow second day…I’m scared to disappoint everybody again…

Mojito Night

And again, like an old litany, I went to the Pride Public Service party. I was expecting to go with my transsexual friend Michelle but she wrote on my Facebook saying she was sick. I was a bit shocked but I said to myself  “I must be social, I must be social, I must be social”. So I left the office after a weird day that I didn’t work so much and I didn’t want to either. I was a bit mad because I hate going to those places and look like a total idiot.

When I arrived, the chubby organizer, Sarah, was there already holding her beer. Despite the noise I could understand she was having a promotion, she works at the same Department that my ex-bitch does. We talked a bit an as usual she left holding her second beer, moving around like a drunken fly. After that, the black girl who once replied my Kijiji add of friendship showed up. Of course I didn’t say anything to her since she never reply me back when I said I didn’t have a job at the time we started to talk. Strange sensation to be discriminate by a black. Well, as I was saying, the sensation of being alone in the middle of a bar was growing. I said to the barman, dressed in black: “mojito please”..the guy was a Mexican called Jerónimo…nice and cool. He prepared the most bitter drink I ever tasted…I paid $6.90…before that he gave a glass of water…because I didn’t dare to ask …I was doubting…$6.90? I could buy 18kg of litter for Lima!!!

The drink wasn’t so strong, he added something I guess sweet first, some mint leaves, ice, crashed everything, add cheap rhum…at this point when I saw the quantity of alcohol I saying on my head “enough, enough, stop it” and finally he added soda. A young girl besides me asked for a drink and I started to talk to her…nothing much and she left to see her friends in another table. Again alone…suddenly, an older woman started to talk to me for breaking the ice. Other women came around her and she began to be the center of the universe saying “…when I was living in Los Angeles..” ohhhh crap. Again I was alone, feeling totally uncomfortable. A little voice inside my head said “stay, wait, stay”. There were like 20 minutes or even more I was sat on my chair looking to everybody without being able to socialize.

I was feeling embarrassed, holding and prying for my Mojito never desapears..after long and endless minutes…Aida came. Aida was a friend or acquaintance of my trannie friend. She recognized and she was with somebody nice and beautiful…her girlfriend. Two lipsticks smiling everybody. It was a relief to see her. She, as me, we dream to work at the Government. She’s a psychologist and her girlfriend a lawyer who works at Foreign Affairs Department…yes, big money. We were talking all the time, they sat next to me and they asked for something to eat. Aida’s girlfriend was sat next to me …I don’t remember her name. Her father is Ukrainian and Aida was born in Bosnia. They have been together for 5 years now, they bought a house and blah, blah, blah. I had an interesting conversation with her, about how is to be gay in Latin America. The funny thing is she worked at Justice Canada time ago. She told me there they’re conservative, people felt uncomfortable when during a party she brought her girlfriend. She said at Foreigner Affairs people are very cool. It was so nice to talk with female with brains…doesn’t happen to me very often.

When they were just to leave, Guita, a girl from Immigration, who I met at the Speed Dating said hi to me. When Aida’s girlfriend left she hugged me, I felt a bit weird, it’s been such a long time since somebody touches me. She smiled all the time, they seem to be a healthy couple, with love and respect. When they left Guita came so close to me…I was feeling a bit uncomfortable. She is beautiful, with long straight hair and …I don’t know, she has the “I don’t know what” that makes you feel interested in. Guita said “I remember your story, you came here because your ex from Chile” , I just laughed and I said…”Peru”…after she said ” and your name is?” , I showed my security card and she said..”Oh yes, awesome”. I said everything I remembered about her. She was surprised…and she became closer and closer to me. Of course she had drunken to beat the shyness. She told she was dating a girl from who was on a table with the young girl I said hi before. “She is massotherapist, she is so sweeeeeeet, I’ve been dating her for a week”…I said “well, congrats for the combo, you must be doing some therapy with her”…she laughed. She invited to another event Pool Night, I told her I sucked and she said “Fuck off, come, I’ll be there. When I said bye to her she hugged me too.

I left the bar saying bye to Jerónimo the barman, crossing the small corridor without looking the young girl…it wasn’t so bad…Before living I said to Guita “I don’t think I’ll meet the love of my life in a kind of event like this” and she “I think yes”…


A Looking-Back-Summary

When I went for the interview for this job,at  the library, I felt a strange sensation…like I was watching a kind of summarizing of my working life.

People say when you are about or just near to die you see your life like a movie before your eyes in just seconds. I had the sensation…but I wasn’t dying…well, I was dying to have that job because of the salary and the possibility to continue to develop my emaciated financial skills. The library was shinny despite it’s in a basement. Well illuminated, with wooden furniture. I cannot describe the sensation I had that very first time. I saw the front desk  with apparently a librarian an a techinitian…it was like being at the National Library of Québec, my very first job in Montreal, Canada…but posh…not as the immigrant clerk.

I saw lawyers doing research…just like me when I worked doing research for  sociologists, historians, my ex bitch and myself. I remember looking into 18th century dictionaries looking for old definitions, doing research at National Archives, doing paleography, at searching for notaries’ papers.

I saw several clerks, most of them students, picking books up from the tables…just like I used to do at the library on ground-floor, some others pushing the bookcart or classifying books etc. The same clerks work at the mail room, I worked once in a place like that in downtown…on the back of the mailroom, technician’s cubicles are installed…all of them with computers and always with the librarian software on, it looks like DOS of the 80’s, not friendly and boring to death. I remember at the library clerks dreamt on being techinitians…the main privilege is not classifying books and not doing customer service…in Montreal, doing customer service is a way to pay for all your sins, there are such  crazy clients out there.

I noticed, like at the National Library, there’s a division, support and librarians, who are coincidently the mini bosses and because I’m the Director’s assistant I don’t belong the library support. It’s a bit difficult to reach them, well, also I’m always writing e-mails and helping or trying to help the Director or with my neighbour trying to pay incredible invoices.

Now I’m on the other side, the side I never thought or imagine to be. Before leaving that day after my interview, I got the strange sensation this summarize of my working life was a sort of prelude to a new beginning. Nothing is casual…sometimes I think this is my last contract. It’s just weird how I feel.

In a library environment is also known women are majority…my neighbour and a gay guy are the only males around, so, if women are majority that means there’re lesbians somewhere…I’m the only one…and as you must know, lesbians are invisible…

Deep Blue Eyes

Every morning I got a meeting with those deep blue eyes that coincidently are my manager’s eyes, who’s the Library’s Director.

If you think of stereotype of a librarian…old woman, granny look, white hair and old fashioned…you’re right. She’s like that but cute. Since I’m working as her assistant (more like handicapped assistant) she was training me, well, just the first week. After that, a real whirlpool of tasks and duties went to me like a tsunami after an earthquake. In fact, there was an earthquake: the end of the Fiscal Year 2009-10, a big financial movement that I never saw before. In my ignorance, or innocence, I was expecting to be in the bench helping somebody else. I realized later I was acting as a senior assistance, when all my working life I’ve been a clerk or big clerk.

At 9:30 am, every morning, if she doesn’t have a meeting, I meet her in her office. Mine’s is bigger than hers because I got more cabinets with incomprehensible files: contracts, invoices, agreements, finances etc etc etc.  Our walls are painted in yellow or kind dark cream-colored. Our desks are in wood and our screens share the same wall, just we can’t see each other for that wall, but if you look both offices from the entrance they look like an architectural ying-yang. She has a door, I don’t, her desk has a space to her left and me to my right, the telephones are back to back on the wall, we have cabinets behind us and so on.

It’s has been 4 weeks I meet those blue eyes…they try to enquire what all managers ask to or look for in all assistants’ eyes: trustworthy, or at least true eyes. As a latin girl, I’m quite transparent with my emotions and my eyes are too talkative. I noticed she never blinks when she talks to me, when she tries to show me what to do in finance, with invoices, asking to generate reports for the Library’s branches…I’m so close to her in those meetings that I can see her eyes are looking for true and are expecting results…I can see her wrinkles…her white and grey hair…her red cheeks…her smile can shines that face…but most of the time she’s tired and doesn’t eat at 12 am like her agenda orders.

When I met her in that interview I remember the way she shook my hand, strong and firmly…me too, I did the same, I think we liked. She had long hair and after 1 week of being working there she got it cut…and she looks so hot now…well, if she combines the right clothes of course.  I don’t understand why a woman, so beautiful, with potential fashion dresses like law old school librarian…well, she’s from the old school. She prefers dark clothes…Justice Department can be very straight about the code conduct…that means people must love black. But I got an allergy to that especially in Winter.

Her hair and eyes are so lightning that  her dark navy blue clothes look even darker. I wish I could give her more fashion tips…she’s beautiful…and I got a weakness for blue color…but my favorite is green I guess.

I like her smile, I like when she plays the fool and when she asks me about Human Resources annoying procedures, that of course, I don’t have any answers. I wish I could her more with those bloody softwares, I wish I could impress her…but I’m invisible.

If I were a boy….if, but if, and only I were…but I’m not…sometimes I wonder if her husband knows how well she manages the Library. Honestly, I think he’s lucky but I don’t know about her.

I’m very proud to work with a Director who doesn’t play with her Blackberry.