As the old song from ACDC, 1977 “Hell ain’t a Bad Place to Be,” goes, just deal with it, and so as long as I accept everything around me, then I can move forward, and that is what I did. With more tragedy, I mustered myself and kept going, which was probably the stupidest thing I could have done (with from what has gone on, and the current state that I am in), as I am sure most people would have dealt with my situation a lot differently. I had two major vehicle malfunctions in a row. On top of that, errors with my work scheduling that left me with a week long period of no hours, then a weekend double shift, stacked one after the other.
What would a walk in the country side be like without seeing corn fields! A shot of a corn field on 88Ave (River Road) in Fort Langley, BC, along the route of my 60 minute walk to work, and back home. Photo August 23, 2014.
The result of all of these events has led me to not having a working vehicle, and it could be this way for the next couple of weeks to come, maybe even longer. So the question I had to ask myself back on Thursday night was, “how do I get to work”? The problem, or major obstacle, is I live several kilometres from the nearest public but stop. Without dwelling on it, I just packed up my backpack with my work items, and started walking, hoping that I somehow will make it to work, and on time. The drive that made me do, rather than just phone in, is quite simply that I am still in my probation period. Here in Canada, an employer can let you go during the first 90 day period if they feel you are not the right fit. This is quite legal here. Regardless, I did not want to miss any work–simply because I need the cash. So I started walking.
The walking time from where I live to the nearest bus stop, at my best speed, is 55 minutes. I have not measured the distance out yet, but it is good walk, but a long one. My feet are killing me, I should point out. I am wearing a very bad of runners that were not designed for long walks, but when you are in the situation that I am in, you just boot-up, and go.
I have very little to say about Translink, and the public transit system. Simply put, what I can say about is that some of the bus drivers that I have met are top notch, and awesome, at what they do. As for the system, including its timetable, routes and weekly scheduling, I rate them as terribly inefficient, and not very working class friendly. Most industrial parks and business centres here in Langley Township either have none, or very inadequate transit service. For example, where I work there are many bus routes that pass by within a block, but none that cater to night-shift workers. My commute, including walking times, are two hours each way, and Sunday morning I had a three-and-a-half hours commute back home. And on top of that, I wait at work for an hour because the bus schedule stops two hours before my shift starts, and when I am off, I wait until 8:00am for the first bus back to Fort Langley-so an hour, or two, wait there.
A roadside grave marker along 88th Avenue (Just outside of Fort Langley, BC) of a man who was killed here 5 years ago working as a flag-person. See: “British Columbia Flaggers Death Leads to Anger – Work Comp Roundup” March 29, 2011.
My secret weapon of dealing with the waiting at the bus stop is my e-reader. If you need to kill time, a good book is the answer. Time moves at a huge rate for me when reading. And, best of all, people generally leave you alone when you are nose deep reading. Rather then packing paper-back novels around, this e-reader that only cost me $20.00 does the trick. I currently have 30 novels loaded into it. Right now, I am re-reading “Nineteen Eighty-Four” (George Orwell, 1949) as I continue to re-read some of the books I read when I was younger. So I have a great reading list with me at all times on my e-reader which is perfect for waiting for a bus to come. I just have to remember to charge up battery each day, even though a charge lasts almost eight hours.
My brakes went. I was coming home from work last Thursday when I noticed the “Check Engine” and “Brake” lights blinking on and off. I stopped to have a look under the hood, but I could not see anything wrong. It was not until I walked around to the back that I noticed a trail of what seemed like water along the road-it was brake fluid. My neighbour was kind enough to tow me the rest of the way with his tractor. I have to wait until Monday to see what I can do.
My work is going terrible too. First, a four week spell of no time scheduled. Second, now loaded with work, double bookings, one day off between weeks, then last minute hours added on top of that. Lastly, the next foreseeable weeks that have been posted on my job schedule, only have 16 hours (two-days per week) for the following two weeks starting in September. This is not good if am to survive financially in the long run.
So I “bit the bullet,” and just started walking. I made it to and from work, and completed this week. I have the next three days figure out what to do with my “brakes” problem. Many do not believe me that I walked from Glen Valley to Fort Langley, and did eight hours of work, then walked back home. I can say I did it–six times in three days! Oh well–shit happens–when you’re in Hell.