15 November 2007

snapshots from the work life of Brouhaha

Unfortunately, I do have to work to support my craft habits. Perhaps seeing my work environs will give further insight into the colourful and crazed mind of KB (as I am known at the workplace).

First things first... The other morning, I donned my fancy Pirates of the Caribbean costume and staggered out the door at 7:45. By 8:35 I was at my desk, hard at work. Please note that there are no photos of me working as the nature of my high end legal work is highly confidential (that's one reason, anyway... sounds good though, doesn't it?)

By about 10... well, maybe 9:30, it's time for the first smoke of the workday:
I look almost normal, don't I? Wait, check out the back view:
A tail!!

And what's protruding from the tail? Can you see it? No? Here's a close up:
(Evil Kristina must be on the prowl again. Luckily it's two days before PAYDAY... so no cash to blow at the LYS.)

Back to my desk and more high-level legal intellectual reading:Er...wrong photo:
That's better. Here are other examples of the intellectually stimulating material pervading my office:

... and some more legal insights:

Not to mention the usual incisive commentary on the modern workplace:And, of course, like any good lawyer, I'm always prepared for that emergency call which will send me flying to court on an urgent matter or to consult with the Ministry of Housing on high level policy issues (even though in this past five years I've not been to "big court" once except to heckle... er, support other colleagues - and am still awaiting that elusive invite from the Minister):

... and of course the requisite lawyer's briefcase:

... and, of course, the appropriate muted garb for the boygirl dressed for success:

(latest acquisition from the vintage shop up the street with the "cheap" rack in front - $5!!! although I'm not sure it isn't meant to be casualwear:

I can't even spell "suburbia"! I've never lived in a suburb... should I return it?... I don't know what to DOOOOOOO...)

Looks like I need to be taking another look at this, displayed prominently next to my computer monitor:

I acquired this needlepoint kit at Michaels' at the height of burnout from my regular gig, Lawyer of Last Resort at the Landlord/Tenant Board. I had to be very careful not to bring it there with me once it was finished, lest this kind of behaviour ensue:

TENANT FACING EVICTION: I've got cockroaches, mice and black mould. Sure, I owe three months of rent but that's only because I can't afford to live anywhere in the city when I only earn minimum wage... plus I have 5 kids and it's winter.

EVIL KB: (picks up the needlepoint and hold it in front of her face, pointing at it).
Or, worse, this:

TENANT WHO CAN'T EVEN SPELL "EVICTION", PAYS MORE THAN 3/4 OF MY SALARY IN RENT AND DEMANDS FREE LEGAL ADVICE: I have just one question. The swimming pool in my apartment building is two degrees too cold... I've been taking the temperature daily after my mani-pedi, and it is never at the proper level... I have written several letters to the landlord and called my councillor's office and the MPP who is a close personal friend of my husband and the landlord does nothing... so when you fill in my T2 tenants' rights form to sue my landlord, how do I ask for more than the maximum of $10,000 as a rebate?

EVIL KB: (who has just finished meeting with 8 tenants to whom she had to communicate the advice "It's time to move" and who is thinking "when your rent is $2,700 a month and you have a high-powered husband, why are you still renting anyway?!?, and who is trying desperately not to rip out her hair): Um... the Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to award you more than the statutory maximum, and moreover...

: (interrupting) So, I should be going to Superior Court then? I don't want to do that because then I'd have to pay filing fees.

EVIL KB: Well, I don't know that there is a lot of legal merit to your complaint...

RICH TENANT: (interrupting again) Of course there is... I have this on authority from two real lawyers, who work on Bay Street...

EVIL KB: (who is now thinking "Well, then, why don't you retain one of them and let them charge you $10,000 for your bogus high-end whiner complaint which will get you nothing, and stop bothering me?": Let me finish. Since there is no by-law or statute regulating what temperature swimming pools should be kept at...

RICH TENANT: Yes, there is - it says 80 fahrenheit. Mine is 78.

EVIL KB: (who knows that no by-law has said anything in Fahrenheit in Canada since at least 1977). Where did you see that written down? (hauling out the by-law book) Here - why don't you point it out to me?

RICH TENANT: well... er... I didn't look at the by-law per se - I must have seen it in a case I found on the internet.

EVIL KB: (who is thinking "Oh, so I spent $30,000 and 4 1/2 years for nothing qualifying as a lawyer. You know how to be a lawyer after 10 minutes surfing the internet!!!! Man, am I a jackass or what???") What was the name of the case?

RICH TENANT: Now you listen here!!! My taxes pay your salary (EVIL KB thinks: "oh really? well, when I see your signature on my paycheque, then you can make unreasonable demands of me, OK?" and then starts plotting her next move on the computer backgammon game beckoning from her screen)... the landlord doesn't care, you don't care, no one cares, no one pays attention to the middle classes, people on welfare get all the breaks...

EVIL KB: (picks up the needlepoint and hold it in front of her face, pointing at it, then smashes it over rich tenant's head).
So, good thing I didn't take it to work. And a very good thing that I'm in a little research gig for a while... !

But back to that. Since I am there replacing other people on leaves, I have to move offices every time that I change "identities", as it were. This has meant three inter-office relocations in ten months. Not a big deal, but I've stopped unpacking:

Mind you, at four months in this particular space, I've lived here longer than I had in a couple of apartments. And, come to think of it, it is probably bigger than five or six of the apartments I've lived it!! Swank!!

And, in common with all of the apartments I've lived in (I think 16 at last count - since I moved here in 1991), I keep a small stash:
So all in all, I'm very happy and very lucky at my current workplace. I even have my own fancy nameplate:

(She even looks like me, doesn't she? I love clipart!! Other proof of this undying passion is this tribute to Emma Goldman, which was part of yesterday's entertainment for the co-workers.)

And finally, the requisite hyphenated canadian content:

I keep this hanging in every office I work at (even when I was a Lawyer of Last Resort sometimes moving locations once a week!) as a reminder of my more humble origins (on my mother's side - this is her grandfather's landed immigrant certificate from 1927) and so I don't become too big-headed as a result of my vaunted status as a professional...

...and of course the requisite greek good-luck symbol (which also creeps me out and keeps me from spending too much slack time on the 'net at work!)

Happy Ides of November! (aka the holiday known in the Brouhaha lexicon as PAYDAY, where I pay homage to the craft gods by hitting either the LYS or the art shop... or both!)