Feb. 13th, 2017

mousme: A picture of Darth Vader, captioned My Fandom Destroys Planets. (My Fandom Destroys Planets)
 I don't want to make this the All Landlady, All the Time journal, so I promise to try keep it brief. I have been in touch with two paralegals today. The first is actually on maternity leave (she was recommended by a friend who obviously wasn't in the loop), but she gave me some good unofficial advice and then recommended a couple of other names for me to try. I have now secured the services of one of those firms, and will be having my first meeting with the paralegal on Wednesday. She wants me to come in with all paperwork and pictures of my house, so that she can see for herself that there's no damage to the house. Shockingly, she can't take my word for it. ;)

So, for now, I'm exploring options. While a huge part of me wants to just rip off the bandaid and get out of this place ASAP and just have done, already, I am coming to see that there are more reasons for me to just grit my teeth and bear it for a couple of extra months. If nothing else, moving in early spring will be easier than trying to dig out my barbecue, patio table, and a lot of gardening stuff from under 3-4 feet of frozen snow, not to mention that I have to dig my packing boxes out of the shed, which is also buried under the same 3-4 feet of frozen snow. As much as I am loath to deal with extra landlady shenanigans during that time (and shenanigans there will be, I am quite sure of it), moving in the spring would be much more convenient.

There are a few avenues open to me, all of which have some drawbacks and some advantages. We shall see what comes of the meeting with the paralegal and go from there I guess. Yes, that's the royal "we." ;) I can ask my landlady for a 

In the meantime, my job is changing categories, starting April 26th, if all goes according to plan. This was all put into motion years ago, when it was decided that Civilian Members were to be eliminated from the RCMP. So we're all being converted to the public service. I think I mentioned this in a previous post many months back, but I can't be bothered to go find it right now.

Anyway, none of the Civilian Members are happy about this, because it means we're losing a ton of the benefits we enjoyed before, including unlimited sick time, which I don't think is offered by anyone else in Canada. Instead we're going to be getting the same amount of time as the other public service employees, which is 120 hours a year. For most employees, that's the equivalent of fifteen days of sick leave. If, like me, you work 12-hour shifts, though, suddenly you find yourself with ten days of leave instead. Granted, most of us don't use that many days in a year, but every now and then it's to be expected that you *will* find yourself in need of long-term leave. Right now, what that means is that if you get seriously ill, you imply stay home and concentrate on getting better, at full salary. Once the "deeming" happens (as it's called), it becomes a lot more complicated. First, you have to burn through your sick leave, then any vacation time you have. Then you have to claim unemployment insurance (thus guaranteeing a not-insignificant interruption in your revenue while they determine if they're going to accept your application), and after, IF that goes through, your insurance kicks in after a year. Needless to say, unemployment and insurance is a lot less than your actual salary.

So if, for instance, you get cancer, you get to also worry about keeping your kids fed or a roof over your head as well as worrying about whether or not you're going to die. Before you say "But lots of people have to worry about that!" let me hasten to assure you that I know. The point is that we had a more progressive set of benefits, and we are going backward. The goal should not be to remove our benefits so that we're like everyone else, the goal should be to give everyone else the same security we have. Of course, that's not what's happening, and I can all but guarantee you that it will end up costing the government more in the long run than they are saving in the short run.

The other part of this is that, thanks to Bill C-7 and the elimination of Civilian Members, we also now have to unionize. Now, I'm generally pro-union, so this isn't terrible news, but I will confess that, having never been part of a union before, the unionization process is breaking. my. brain. We have several unions competing for our attention, and none of them appear to understand our jobs or see the whole picture or even be able to give us a straight answer to any of our questions. It's bloody well disheartening. 

I keep meaning to talk about watching The Clone Wars, or my continuing re-watch of Deep Space Nine, or any of the other shows I'm watching, but my brain is currently being consumed by anxiety about my living situation. When that's not happening, my brain is being consumed by anxiety about the entire world being a political trash fire. There is, of course, the living nightmare going on in the United States, but even Canadian politics are being depressing, with Trudeau going back on his promise of electoral reform, which was basically the platform on which he was elected. It's such a disappointment, even though I have to admit I'm not entirely surprised he's reneging on it.

Okay. I am off to find more painkillers in the hopes of making this lingering stress headache go away. I have fish in the oven for dinner, so at least healthy food is in the offing. See you on the flip side, LJ!

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