Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Rafflesia by any name stinks as a corpse

As the saying goes, "A rose by any name smells as sweet."

IMHO, the reverse is true. "A Rafflesia by any name stinks as a corpse."

Poverty exists in Canada. Click here for information from Canada Without Poverty. The cut-off is not known officially as the "Poverty Line" but "Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO)". Click here for the official definition of LICO from Statistics Canada. Or click here for the actual statistics -- ACCOUNTABLE, OPEN and TRANSPARENT for all to see.

Unlike a little red dot with officials who deny the existence of poverty, Canada makes no pretense that poverty exists in this first world nation.

Quote Chan Chun Sing (see online news article below), "other developed ones such as New Zealand and Canada also do not subscribe to official poverty lines."

Canada does not have a SINGLE official poverty line. This is because the reality is that the cost of living varies greatly from province-to-province, from community-to-community. Instead Canada defines a range of LICOs that "vary by family size and by size of community".

So what is the Singapore minister trying to say? Your guess is as good as mine. But as the adage goes, "The first step to solving a problem is to recognize that a problem exists." Thereafter, it is often useful to have a method to gauge/measure the success/effectiveness of a solution/policy -- regardless if the measure is called "Poverty Line" or "Low-Income Cut-Off".

[Extracted from The Straits Times - Singapolitics on 24-Oct-2013.]
Posted on Oct 23, 2013 5:03 PM Updated: Oct 23, 2013 5:03 PM

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Boyfriend-brand lunchbox

I brought boyfriend-brand lunchbox to work yesterday. It was leftover casserole from last Saturday's brunch cooked and packed by DD, specially for me.

[21-Oct-2013 Boyfriend-brand casserole lunchbox]

It is not the first time that DD had cooked and packed lunchbox for me. We often joked that since he posted photos of his exquisite food in the online dating website where we met, our "deal" was that he would cook, cuddle and pamper me for the rest of our lives. So far, DD has lived up to his end of the deal, he would either cook (DD really enjoys cooking) or we'll eat out (often we split the bill, but sometimes we treat each other). [In fact, my vegetable curry and rendang dishes for Thanksgiving were the first time that DD tried my cooking.]

For last Sunday's brunch, I was too lazy to head out. Thus, DD cooked the macaroni while I cooked the assam soup with ingredients to go with the macaroni. Happily, DD commented that the shrimps were nicely cooked by me (i.e. tender and juicy). [Note: I did not eat the shrimps given that I'm mostly vegetarian.]

I teased DD that our deal still holds, notwithstanding the compliments. He joked in return that he need to speak to his lawyers to re-negotiate for better terms. Funny thing is, DD really enjoys cooking, cuddling and pampering me. It is so refreshing to be totally pampered by a man. *Feeling blessed*

[20-Oct-2013 Boyfriend-brand home-made gourmet crackers]

Late Sunday afternoon, DD got inspired and made his own gourmet crackers. They were delicious! What a man!


Click here for boyfriend-brand dinner.

Goodbye family nighmares?

On Sunday night / Monday morning, I had 2 "interesting" dreams involving my family members.


Firstly, I dreamt of my mother. It was a street-side stores setting, like a "pasar malam in Singapore" except that it was daytime. She was shopping for a round-cut clear colourless semi-precious crystals/stone and I was accompanying her. The stall-holder casually took out her bag of crystals and showed it at a short distance to my mom. Mom pointed to a particular round/brillant-cut that looked really shiny like a diamond from the distant. However when the stall-holder passed that crystal into my mom's hand, it did not look as shiny as before, in fact it looked a little clouded on one-side, covering half the table surface. Mom seems disappointed but she did not want to admit it verbally. Thus, I told her, "Let's think about it. I can buy you another one from elsewhere."

The above dream is very interesting to me. Not because I am interested in sparkly diamonds -- the only diamond that I currently have is from an old flame. The above is very interesting to me because it marks the first time in years that my dreams featuring my mother is not a nightmare. Click here and here (see my comments on StorytellERdoc's blog) for examples. In fact, I cannot even recall the last time my mother appeared in a dream that did not turn into a nightmare. As far as I can recall, "a dream with mother = a nightmares" has been the case even before coming to Canada in 2010.

Is the dream a sign of things to come? I don't know. Still, one less nightmare is a good thing, I guess.


Secondly, I dreamt of my 2 sisters. We were physically adults in the dream but behaving like children. We were all in our shared bedroom at my parents' home. There was a pile of masak-masak (children's toys) on the floor. Some of these were toys of miniature food items, except that in the dream these miniatures were edible. I was sorting through the toys, putting the food items aside, and eating/trying some of them (including some miniature sushi). My elder sister was sorting through the toys with me too, except that she did not eat any of the stuff. 

Then my younger sister entered the room, having just returned from her latest tour. She passed us a plastic bag of more miniature food items toys (souvenirs from her trip). Then she told us that she was too tired to join us and slept on the bed instead. I opened the plastic bag and took out what looked like individually-packed chocolate-like snacks and tried one. I found it delicious. Thus I quickly opened another one, pushed it in front of my elder sister's face and insisted that she tried it, telling her that, "It is delicious, too good to be missed". My elder sister hesitated initially, but then popped it into her mouth after my insistence. Somehow my younger sister was awake (on the bed) and saw us sharing, enjoying and complimenting about her snacks, and she grinned happily.

It is nice to feel the warmth of sisterly love, even though it is just a dream and that in reality we are really miles and miles apart (halfway round the world).


All the same, happily those dreams were pleasant and I did not wake DD up from his sleep this time round.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Migrating via Student Visa - Part 3

DECLARATION and DISCLAIMER: The following is my personal opinion. I am not any way qualified to give education and/or migration advice to anyone, and thus any content from me shall be construed as a sharing of personal opinion, not advice. I do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided by me. Under no circumstances will I or anyone related to this content be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from any reliance on the information or other content posted or linked by me.

This post will cover some odds-and-ends relevant to the issue of migrating via Student Visa. See links to previous posts on this series at the footnotes.

1. Popular sources of information on Canadian university rankings

Those interested in pursuing education in Canadian universities can check out the various popular sources of information on Canadian university rankings.

The Maclean's university ranking website is a well-known and popular source of information for Canadian high-school students heading to universities here. However, its university ranking is not without controversy. That said, it also publishes university rankings done by others, seen from a Canadian perspective. Thus, it is a useful website to read consolidated information related to Canadian universities. E.g. The 2013 Shanghai Jiao Tong University [上海交通大学] (China) annual Academic Ranking of World Universities is reported by Maclean's here.

[15-Aug-2013 Maclean's report of SJTU's Annual Ranking of World Universities]

The Globe and Mail (a well-established newspaper in Canada that was ever unsuccessfully sued by one old-man in a little red dot) reports on Education in Canada. E.g. 23-Oct-2012 Canadian University Report 2013: Student satisfaction survey results.

Of course, one can hardly forget the world-famous Time's World University Rankings.

2. Consider the option to transfer university

My understanding from speaking with the locals is that the 1st year of undergraduate studies here is usually a broad-based education (i.e. course credits from various fields). In order to sign up for these courses from such a wide variety of fields, it is not uncommon that one ends up having to do extra courses/certifications prior to entering the university in order to meet the course pre-requisites.

I have met students from China who do some preparatory courses (e.g. 1 year of studies) at, e.g. SFU, in order to gain admission to undergraduate courses in their target universities.
  • For a guide on your transfer options in B.C., Canada, check out
  • As mentioned previously in Part 1, to search on your post-secondary education options in B.C., Canada, check out
  • Finally, to understand more about post-secondary admissions and transfers in B.C., Canada, check out (BC Council on Admissions & Transfers). The BCCAT runs both Education Planner and BC Transfer Guide websites.
3. Consider the weather and economy of the region/city

Please check out the weather and economy of the region/city where you plan to study before making a decision. You don't have to travel to Canada to do so, but at least do some online research (e.g. Google, Wikipedia, region's tourist information, etc). In a country as big as Canada, it can be "too hot" in one city and "too much snow" in another on the same day. Understanding of the local economy will also help the potential students to consider what skills they may need (i.e. training, certification, and/or preparation) to help them clinch part-time work near their schools.
Note: When looking for a job B.C., Canada, employers will typically ask for "2 Canadian work reference". Therefore, it is important to have regular (e.g. once weekly) part-time work and/or volunteer assignments while studying so that one can get one's managers' and/or volunteer co-ordinators' references* to support one's job application after graduation. *That is, get their names, contact numbers (cell/mobile and work number), and their consent/agreement to be your reference.
In B.C., you will need certain certifications even for the "blue collar" jobs. E.g. Waiters need "Food Safe Level 1 Certification" and perhaps also "Serving It Right" (for premises that serves alcohol). E.g. Even volunteers at summer camps may need a current CPR Level C Certification from an approved B.C. authority.

Good luck on your student/migration journey!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Seasonal Jobs - Metro Vancouver

For the new immigrants (e.g. Permanent Residents, Officially-sanctioned Refugees), October is a perfect month for job hunt. This is the time when major retail stores gear-up their seasonal staffing to cope with the expected year-end retail peak. Many will hold walk-in interviews for new seasonal hires and are willing to consider those without "Canadian qualifications" and/or "Canadian references". Of course, many of these jobs would fall into the "minimum wage" category, but IMHO it is a good first step to break that Catch-22 of "no Canadian work reference, and therefore no job offers" and "one has never worked in Canada before, and therefore does not have any Canadian work reference".

Here are some ways to hunt for seasonal jobs in Metro Vancouver.

1. Search job-sites online. For example:
2. Search career websites of popular large retail chains
  • Real Canadian Superstore
  • Canadian Tire
  • London Drugs
  • Sears
  • Hudson's Bay (a.k.a. "The Bay")
  • HomeSense / Winners
  • Best Buy / Future Shop
  • Old Navy / Gap
  • Toys R Us
  • Michaels (Arts & crafts chain)
  • Chapters / Indigo
3. Walk around malls and/or shopping districts
For shops actively looking to hire, one may see "We're hiring" signs displayed on their windows. These are often displayed discretely at the bottom of display window, just next to the entrance); but sometimes they are displayed boldly right on the entrances.
[19-Oct-2013 Michaels - W Broadway, Vancouver]

[19-Oct-2013 Toys R Us - W Broadway, Vancouver]

Good luck to all job seekers!

    落叶归根 - Falling leaves return to the roots

    Lovely beautiful coloured leaves line the autumn streets here.

    [19-Oct-2013 Autumn leaves along W Broadway, Vancouver]

    It brings to mind an old Chinese saying, “落叶归根” [literary: "falling leaves return to the roots"]. My late-paternal grandfather who left China in his early-teens (at age 13, if I recall correctly) believed in it. As a child, I recognized that deep-felt longing in his eyes whenever he talked about his growing years (albeit the harsh life of a farmer-boy). When I was young, I never understood how/why an old man would long to return to (or at least be finally buried at) a place that he had left decades ago -- a society that in all probability has changed beyond recognition. After all, grandpa was born during the final years of the Qing Dynasty. By the time a visit back to his hometown was feasible both financially and politically, China had undergone tremendous upheaval and became a totally different society under Deng Xiaoping.

    Thus, some years before his death, grandpa finally made that longed-for trip back to his hometown (I think this is the place). As far as I gathered from my parents who went with him, grandpa did not make much comments during the trip. But I saw a change in his eyes when he returned -- he no longer had that longing in his eyes, he no longer question about the possibility of returning his ashes to China. My only guess is that the trip broke any romantic memories/notions he had of the place he'd left decades ago. Grandpa passed away in Singapore and his ashes remain in Singapore, together with many of his descendants.


    I have not returned to Singapore since leaving 3 years ago. Initially, it just didn't seem practical to spend money on a trip back when cash-flow was (and still is) tight while I try to settle into my host country.

    Now I wonder about it. There is still a part of me that wants to return to "Singapore" (i.e. the one made from figments of my memories), but I know full well that "that Singapore" may not be today's Singapore. I wonder if a trip back would be the "dream-breaker" that my grandfather had experienced. After all, Singapore is known to be ever-changing, ever developing at a relentlessly rapid pace.

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013

    Thanksgiving, DTES & the future

    Yesterday DD & I hosted Thanksgiving at his place. Coincidentally, DD's friends to our party (like DD) were all Canadian-born whereas my friends (like myself) were all immigrants. There was a period when the Canadians hung out with themselves at the couch, while the immigrants gathered around the dining table. Thankfully, with good food and alcohol, and some not-so-shy folks, the groups of friends mingled.

    I was really tired out (and a little stressed by the large group of a dozen) at the end of the day. A little disappointed that I was too tired to enjoy couple-time with DD after the guests left. Still, I'm glad to have friends, some of whom I can count on in good times and bad.


    Today while on a bus travelling along DTES (Vancouver Downtown East Side), I overheard this Cantonese conversation between 2 elderly folks who were at the bus-stop.

    [Man having checked out the bus-schedule on the bus-stop/pole, walked over to join the woman sitting at the bus-stop.]

    Woman [Squinting her eyes]: What's the next bus coming?

    Man: [Bus-number]

    Woman: Oh, maybe we should take this bus instead.

    Man: [Indiscernible reply]

    Both man and woman quickly joined the queue and boarded the bus that I was on.


    Suddenly the above scene made me wonder about the numerous elderly Chinese who live alone in DTES (i.e. a poor-folks residential area). [Note: The Cantonese-speaking couple above may or may not be immigrants, given that Chinese do have a long history in Canada.] I wonder how many chose to immigrate to Canada of their own volition, and how many had expected that they would be aging alone in a foreign land. [Note: Being surrounded by one's family and close friends in one's golden years is a treasured ideal for the typical ethnic Chinese].

    I reckoned that between me and the elderly couple is only a chronological difference of a few decades. Given how drastically my life had changed within a decade, I wonder what life will hold for me in my "golden" years. 10 years ago, if you had asked me to imagine living life in Canada and making a living as a nurse, I would have laughed my head off. Impossible! Yet, here I am. Throw in a few more decades, I believe my life can turn either way, or even go on a roundabout.

    I guess, I can only wonder. After all, as the Chinese saying goes, “谋事在人,成事在天” [Literary "Planning lies with Mankind, but success depends on the Heavens", a.k.a. "Man proposes, God disposes"].

    Sunday, October 06, 2013

    Migrating via Student Visa - Part 2

    DECLARATION and DISCLAIMER: The following is my personal opinion. I am not any way qualified to give education and/or migration advice to anyone, and thus any content from me shall be construed as a sharing of personal opinion, not advice. I do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided by me. Under no circumstances will I or anyone related to this content be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from any reliance on the information or other content posted or linked by me.

    This post will cover some "Factors to consider when selecting an education programme for the purpose of immigration".

    Note: I am not going to cover common student concerns such as financing your studies, choosing a school with the right cultural fit, etc. These I will leave to the readers to do their own research. This section focuses on specific considerations relating to the eventual goal of immigration.

    1. Check the CIC requirements for PGWPP and CEC

    Some graduates who apply to stay in Canada after graduation do so under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) CEC (Canadian Experience Class) visa. Note: PGWPP is only a temporary work visa. It does not give the visa holder Permanent Residency status.
    IMPORTANT NOTE: It is only after gaining "at least 12 months of full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada" that the PGWPP visa holder can apply for Permanent Residency under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) visa.
    For details on eligibility, please check the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) website for "Determine your eligibility — Work after graduation". See below for a paraphrased summary of the requirements. Note: ALL requirements must be met, i.e. AND, not OR situation.
    • Have a valid study permit when you apply for the work permit.
    • Completed full-time studies of at least 8 months. IMPORTANT NOTE: If your studies is less than 2 years but more than 8 months, then you'll only get a work permit for a period no longer than your study period. E.g. If your studies is for 9 months, your work permit (in the best case) will only be for 9 months; and IMHO that sucks because the processing time for Permanent Residence applications for the Canadian Experience Class within Canada is around 9 months to 1 year for 80% of the cases to be processed in the best situation. Sometimes it can be worse due to un-forseen circumstances. E.g. CIC workers going on strike from 11-Jun-2013 to 07-Oct-2013. Thus, if you can, please aim for 2 years or more program, so that you can get a 3 year work permit. [Note: This suggested approach is also shared by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 5:53:00 PM in my previous blog post on this series.]
    • Post-secondary programme from a public-institution, OR a private institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as a public institution, OR a private institution for a program of study leading to a degree recognized by the province. Therefore, it is important that if you go for a program from a private institution, you shall check with the relevant provincial ministry on whether that specific program is eligible for migration application BEFORE you commit to the program. [Click here for the Ministry of Advanced Education, BC.] Plus, you'll have to take the risk that a program that was previously recognized may be dropped from the "recognized list" when you personally complete the program. In short, if you want to minimize your risk, I suggest sticking with the publicly funded institutions.
    • Apply for your work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (for example, a transcript or an official letter) from your institution indicating that you have met the requirements for completing your academic program.
    • Other conditions apply. Please click here for details.
      2. Check CIC for other ways to immigrate with your skills

      Check CIC website for the Federal Skilled Workers Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. In case you cannot qualify for CEC, it is wise to have done an education programme leading to skills that are wanted under either of the above schemes.

      The only catch is that the list of skills wanted and the quota of visas allowed for each skill changes from year-to-year. Thus, it is a risk that you'll have to calculate. E.g. Nursing was dropped from the wanted skills list in May-2013, despite having been there for the longest time ever.

      Currently (as of today 06-Oct-2013), FSWP is applicable for the following job codes.
      0211   Engineering managers
      1112   Financial and investment analysts (Cap reached)
      2113   Geoscientists and oceanographers
      2131   Civil engineers
      2132   Mechanical engineers
      2134   Chemical engineers
      2143   Mining engineers
      2145   Petroleum engineers
      2144   Geological engineers
      2146   Aerospace engineers
      2147   Computer engineers (except software engineers/designers) (Cap reached)
      2154   Land surveyors
      2174   Computer programmers and interactive media developers (Cap reached)
      2243   Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
      2263   Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
      3141   Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
      3142   Physiotherapists
      3143   Occupational Therapists
      3211   Medical laboratory technologists
      3212   Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants
      3214   Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
      3215   Medical Radiation Technologists
      3216   Medical Sonographers
      3217   Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists
      Currently (as of today 06-Oct-2013), FSTP is applicable for the following job codes.
      Group A – Jobs with sub-caps of 100 applications each (and their corresponding 2011 NOC code)
      7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
      7204 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
      7205 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
      7271 Carpenters
      7301 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
      7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
      8211 Supervisors, logging and forestry
      8221 Supervisors, mining and quarrying
      8222 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling services
      8241 Logging machinery operators
      8252 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
      9211 Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
      9212 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
      9214 Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing
      9231 Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing
      9241 Power engineers and power systems operators
      9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators
      Group B – no sub-caps (2011 NOC code)
      7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
      7233 Sheet metal workers
      7235 Structural metal and plate work fabricators and fitters
      7236 Ironworkers
      7237 Welders and related machine operators
      7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)
      7242 Industrial electricians
      7243 Power system electricians
      7244 Electrical power line and cable workers
      7245 Telecommunications line and cable workers
      7246 Telecommunications installation and repair workers
      7251 Plumbers
      7252 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
      7253 Gas fitters
      7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
      7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
      7313 Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
      7314 Railway carmen/women
      7315 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
      7318 Elevator constructors and mechanics
      7371 Crane operators
      7372 Drillers and blasters - surface, mining, quarrying and construction
      7373 Water well drillers
      8231 Underground production and development miners
      8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
      9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators
      Pay attention to the job codes (a.k.a. NOC codes) above. We will touch on it in the next section.

      3. Check your future employment prospects

      Working in Canada is a federal government funded website that lists job requirements, earnings, outlook, for each area of Canada. There are many ways to use the website; some suggestions below.
      • "Explore Careers by Occupation" helps you to discover the education and/or training requirements to enter a specific occupation/job-code (NOC code). See previous section for examples of jobs with shortage of qualified workers.
      • "Explore Careers by Education Program".
      • "Job Market Trends" for each specific area of Canada. 
        1. AB = Alberta
        2. BC = British Columbia
        3. MB = Manitoba
        4. NB = New Brunswick
        5. NL = Newfoundland
        6. NS = Nova Scotia
        7. NT = Northern Territories
        8. NU = Nunavut
        9. ON = Ontario
        10. PE = Prince Edward Island
        11. QC = Quebec
        12. SK = Saskatchewan
        13. YT = Yukon Territories
      That's all for Part 2 for now. Please feel free to drop your comments, feedback and ask further questions in the Comments section below.

      Footnote: See Part 1 here. See Part 3 here.

      Friday, October 04, 2013

      3 years in Canada

      Today marks my 3rd year of landing in Canada

      I was chatting with my landlord after work. He remarked that I have made significant achievements (click herehere and here for examples), in establishing myself in Canada, in 3 years as a result of my hard-work. I noted to him that I was lucky because I've met other migrants who have not successfully established themselves in Metro Vancouver (B.C., Canada) despite having been here longer and having obtained Canadian citizenship. Indeed I've met people who are here more than 5 years, and even more than a decade, who still have not successfully obtained stable income.
      Note: To be honest, by the typical materialistic Singaporean approach to measuring "significant achievements", I have achieved nothing of significance. Let's take a look at the 5C's for example: Limited cash, a credit card with a mid-range 4-figure credit limit (nothing eye-popping), no car (not even a valid BC driving licence), no condominium (still renting a room in a shared house), a career that is only just starting and currently part-time hours (still thinking about which specific area of specialization to work towards). Nothing to boast about. But that said, I am happy to count my blessings for 比上不足,比下有余。 [Literary: "Comparing with the superior leads to insufficiency, comparing with the inferior leads to excess". Meaning: "do not compare with others, for there will always be those better or worse off than oneself".]
      My landlord replied that most immigrants to Canada who work hard, like myself, will be able to establish ourselves within that timeframe. Canada is a 正常社会 ["normal society"] where hard-work would be rewarded, unlike China where the hardworking ones will be bullied even more by society e.g. 能者多劳 [i.e. the capable will find themselves deluged with work]. I remarked that Singapore is similar to China in recent years.

      3 years... decisions to be made...

      Thursday, October 03, 2013

      GNIE: Staying in touch

      Recently some of my GNIE classmates contacted me to stay-in-touch. It is always nice to hear how my peers are doing, giving encouragement and supporting each other on our nursing journey. 
      • Kudos to the few who have obtained full-time lines (i.e. unionized positions) with the health authorities. Their hard-work and persistence (in job applications) have paid-off.
      • Some have casual positions with the health authorities, which I believe would eventually help them to secure permanent full/part-time positions with perseverance. 
      • A few have joined me in Paediatric Home Health Nursing -- getting regular part-time pay.
      • Most have regular part-time or full-time hours with private acute care (e.g. surgery position) or private residential care.
      • A few are juggling several casual and/or agency jobs.
      • A few I've not heard from and/or are still looking for jobs.
      All said, I am glad to hear of my GNIE peers getting jobs and that some are climbing the corporate hierarchy and/or union seniority. Examples of nursing job market challenges that I've heard of include the following.
      • I have heard from some LPN colleagues of other nurses (notably LPNs) who graduated in January 2013 and have yet to land their first nursing job 8 months later (in September 2013).
      • I have also met and heard from other colleagues of nurses with some years of experience who lost their "unionized jobs" because of the union agreement with the health authorities to re-structure the work-hours -- thus they got "bumped off" from their previous jobs as "more senior" unionized nurses took over their jobs. Note: That's the disadvantage of "union jobs" -- your job is not really secure unless you have maximized your union seniority, which takes about 10 years of full-time work. Check out the url below for the article titled "Not Qualified"
      At the end of my evening shift today, I count my blessings that I am getting around 90 hours of work this month -- not quite full-time, but enough to live on (for I lead a simple lifestyle). At my peak, I was working 175 hours in August-2013 between several jobs, so it is nice to have a slower pace to catch my breath and reflect on my career directions.