THURSDAY, Oct. 20
The on-going teacher's strike is now managing to completely muck up my life. Although I have been in solidarity with their cause (and now so are a number of other unions, causing general strikes in various areas of the province) it has now dragged on for two full weeks. I am informed by the VSB that if it doesn't end by the 27th the entire Fall night school program will be cancelled. As it is, I've been out of work for two weeks now (though last week at this time I was very sick and would have had to cancel anyhow). This means, of course, no pay. I was expecting a substantial cheque over the weekend and otherwise would have had the foresight to set some extra aside (what, I don't know, as I am constantly living on the edge and frankly I'm sick of it!)
Besides the schools being closed, I was unable to go to waterfit this week as the pools and fitness centre and library are also closed at my community centre as it's part of the school.
This weekend I'm introducing writers at the writers' conference, an assignment of great honour for me. Then I heard that tomorrow all the CUPE workers are striking in solidarity with the teachers. They claim this won't affect transit but you can bet it's bound to as I would imagine a number of the drivers won't cross picket lines. It's imperative I get out to the suburban hotel where these events are being held and I can only get there by sky-train/bus. Fortunately my friend Suzaki is also volunteering and has kindly offered to let me stay at her place tonight as she has a car and lives near the hotel.
I stopped by the bank this afternoon to collect my last $20 and discovered that I am actually overdrawn because I forgot about my apartment insurance. This was about the last straw! I was walking home feeling very despondent wondering what the hell am I going to do, penniless for the weekend (and informed we volunteers don't get supper provided as I'd thought we would). Who came bouncing along toward me but J.P. the French chef who has indeed become my Guardian Angel. He greeted me with his usual sparkling smile, hugged me and asked how I was. I moaned a bit, complained about the strike and all. He said "Oh, you need money?" and whipped out a fistful of bills, insisted I take them. It was a lot of money! I said I couldn't possibly take that much. He said to take what I needed and when I was only going to take $20 he insisted on me having more. $60! Wow! I was speechless. Said I'd pay him next week, but he said not to worry. I swear this guy has been put on earth to look over me. This is not the first time he has come to my rescue, the first being the very first time I met him, the night I had my wallet stolen. He is really a special person and a true Knight in shining armour coming to help the damsel in distress. I had wondered recently if chivalry was dead. But I can see that it really isn't!
Now, hopefully the strike will end. soon. Because if it doesn't, I'm out of work until January!