As many of you know, I have left CBC Radio 3 and got a position as a Software Consultant with Thoughtworks Calgary. Considering that I have lived my entire life in the lower mainland of BC this is a big change. Not only am I leaving behind many friends and family, a beautiful city, and a great job, I’m also leaving behind my golf membership gasp. At least with the Internet, it’s easy to remain in touch and this blog is one of the many ways I’ll be keeping in touch.
How It All Started
Sometime in August I saw a job posting from Thoughtworks on the Stackoverflow jobs board. I’ve met with many people from Thoughtworks at conferences and read many of their blogs. These people are inspiring and were the main reason I dusted off the old CV. Although I’m not sure how you dust off something that’s writting in XHTML.
Many months went by and I did not hear from them, so I just shrugged it off and kept trucking along at Radio 3. It wasn’t until I was near the final stages of releasing the latest and greatest version of the CBC Radio 3 website (kudos to everyone I worked with on it!), where I get a phone call from an HR person at Thoughtworks. I was at work at the time and it was hard to hold back the excitement. Little did I know how much effort the application process takes.
I won’t go into too many details about the Thoughtworks interview process as there are already numerous posts out their describing essentially the same thing I went though. I do, however, want to thank all of those involved for making it such a positive experience. They really test your metal and I feel that getting hired is an accomplishment in itself. I also have to give a big thank you to Suzi Edwards who lead the whole process; she is a delight to speak with, has great taste in music, and made me feel comfortable every step of the way.
After about a month and half of the hiring process I finally find out I’m hired early December. This gave me approximately 3 weeks to find a place in Calgary, coordinate with movers, and transport myself to Calgary. Not only that, I had to provide my notice to CBC Radio 3 which was probably the most bittersweet task of my life.
In my heart I was absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity, but I know it’s hard for those I know and love to have the same feeling about it as I do. I learned how much Radio 3 meant to me and it hit me that I’m leaving behind far more than I initially thought. They gave me a send off of epic proportions and for that I’m so grateful. Not only that, but to also have spent the majority of my twenties among such great people.
For some reason the entire move went without a hitch. The movers were awesome, the place I found is great, and my car made it there with no issues. I’ve been told I live a charmed life and I’m really starting to believe that now.
I left for Calgary shortly after Christmas and decided to drive my car there. The main reason is because I had so much time, and that I thought driving was a better transition than hopping on a plane. It felt more like a real move, rather than just a hop on a flying bus and magically arriving in an hour to another time zone.
It was the first time I’ve driven through the rockies in the winter time and the beauty was just astounding. The second day of driving after Golden, I went from the tight embrace of the mountains and the trees to gentle rolling hills, then the prairie. That’s when it really hit me that I’m not going back to Vancouver (well, I am, but you know what I mean). It dawned on me that this is a one way trip and that I’m staying in this big skied land for some time.
Since things seem to always go my way, Rocky (the mover) called me and said the he could arrive with the truck an hour after I arrive. This is a full day ahead of schedule which meant I would have my own bed to sleep on right away. When I enter my new home I loved it immediately.
Many people have been wanting pictures so here they are:
The entrance is a really long hallway. It actually works out really well as a place to store my bike, and put many other miscalenous items.
The living room is my favourite room in the place. It’s got a really big window facing the street. The dining room is probably going to be a lot of wasted space. The only things I have in there are: the jukebox, kitchen table and chairs, plus a bunch of boxes for recycling materials.
In the office I have a couple book shelves and my desk. The empty part of the room is where some sort of futon will go so guests can stay over. I actually like my like office area. Once I get it a bit more organized I can see myself being quite productive in there.
The kitchen is still a work in progress. It’s not all hooked up yet so I won’t be cooking for at least another week. What I love about the room is the pantry and the large south facing window. A lot of natural light gets in there. Outside the window is the patio. I also have some input on how the kitchen gets completed so I would love to hear any ideas from anyone out there.
My two least favourite rooms are the bedroom and bathroom. The bedroom is a massive room but with only the one window. All I have in there right now is my bed and dresser. I could do without the dresser because the room comes with two large closets as well. I guess with all that space I can wake up straight into some yoga poses!
The bathroom is extremely small and is also not quite complete. One of the things I took for granted at my last home was the large bathroom and the laundry room. I’m already missing those things right now.
So that’s my new place. It’s probably way too much space for me right now, but maybe with a couple pieces of furniture and some wall pieces it will have a bit more personality in the rooms where it’s lacking. It’s nice not having the feeling of living in a shoebox at least.
So far adjusting to Calgary has been way easier than expected. The coldest it’s been so far has been -26C and it really didn’t bother me. I went out with my normal jacket and a t-shirt and felt fine. Gloves and a toque were definitely needed, but when only walking a few blocks the cold doesn’t really hit you. The one thing that has struck me about this city is that they barely have a recycling program. My building doesn’t have any recycling service, just a dumpster where people put everything in (that includes cardboard, food waste, can, bottles, and paper). The Shaw guy that hooked up my Internet laughed when I said I look forward to a paperless society when he asked if I wanted a bill in the post or in e-mail. He said “you know you’re in Calgary, right?”. He was from Toronto and also learned recycling from an early age. The good thing is the superintendant here, Frank, is on the same page and we’re going to start a little in building recycling program.
That’s my little summary of the last few weeks. Tomorrow is my first day at Thoughtworks and the itinerary states that I don’t need to be in til 11am! I’ve still set my alarm to 7am because I need to get out of this vacation mode I’m on right now. That’s it for now, please comment with any furniture ideas that come to mind.