Friday, September 2, 2011

Where We Live and Why We Might Have to Move...Again.

Here’s the thing.

We live in a country not our own, but it feels more our own than our country of birth. If you are a reader of our blog, and have actually read some of our life stories (which we need to complete yet) then you probably have figured out where we live. We're still not saying though...just because it's risky.

We have lived here, in this country, for seven years (come December of 2011). We went to school here on a study permit for three and half years, we stayed here on a work permit and opened a catering company which we’ll write about sometime in the future, then we worked at our last job, which we’ve written quite a bit about, and now this new job…a job we love, despite the physical pain it puts us through…we do enjoy it.

The work permit is the problem we are facing now, it is a type they started offering graduates of this countries Universities and Colleges the same year we graduated. This permit is not extendable on its own, which means we need a new work permit…and as far as we have been told by the Immigration Department a few weeks back.

This is also the reason we were very anxious to get a new job, because you can’t get a work permit without a job offer, and since we already live here what is better than a job offer for being eligible for a work permit than already having a job?

So we’ve been working on the paperwork, and talking with our boss about the paperwork they are requesting from his end, because the employer has to justify your hiring over that of a citizen of this country.
We’ve talked to Immigration in person and they said there needs to be a certain form filled out (something like a job market survey); our employer talked on the phone with them this afternoon too, and was told it’s not just a form; it’s an application for permission from the government to hire a non-citizen.

He seemed pretty put out that he was going to have to spend his time filling out the paperwork, and didn’t understand why they didn’t have to do this with the last foreign employee they hired, who hailed from China (this is a big place, our place of work…there are people working from all over the world). The paperwork is six pages long.

“This thing is longer than my mortgage application was”, our employer said, after he printed it off.
And we laughed it off because we had already heard the bad news we are about to share, and we were forced into a switch so we didn’t cry in front of our new boss; a couple of us DO NOT take bad news gracefully…

So what’s the big deal?

The permit expires in one month, which means in ONE MONTH we are here as a visitor, no longer able to work…so we’re going to be unemployed…AGAIN. Of course we can stay here, in this, the first place we’ve ever felt was our home…but we won’t be living in a building, we’ll be living in a box. And winter is coming, so that’s not so cool. And we are so tired of moving, we just moved into this apartment last October, and we love this apartment (we have had nearly 30 physical addresses in at least 6 states and 1 non-state).

The woman on the phone from Immigration basically told our boss this afternoon that if he had not posted the job listing in at least two places, which they require proof of, then the application WILL be denied. So, because he decided to use the government job board website to post the job listing, and didn’t post it in the local paper (which nobody reads) or on Kijiji, or some shit, we’re going to be denied our permit. (75% chance of denial, as far as we can tell)

For the first time we have a good paying job, and despite the pain we were willing to stick with it and work on some alternative pain reliever methods…and we had budgeted so that by the end of January 2012 we would have all of our debt paid off, as long as our only excess expense were a few bottles of wine a week (a bottle of what we drink regularly costs less than $12 after taxes). We gave up smoking in January, and we gave up marijuana a couple of month later (between the two we were spending over $600 a month on things we smoked) for a plethora of reasons, and we really don’t eat out, or much. Debt makes us nervous. Very, very, nervous. If you have read the stories of Us (THE CHAPTERS OF FRANK/HOW WE CAME TO BE US/ADDRESSING WE) then you probably know why from at least one of the stories.

More importantly, if this permit is denied we’re moving back to the United States by the end of the year, something we really don’t want to do…so we are probably going to be looking for a job in the United States…and we are willing to move just about anywhere. (New York and California are preferred though...maybe Chicago).

The economic state and employment outlook of the United States is really…making us feel we’re jumping from the fire into the flame…and all we want is to be in the pan. And we don’t know if we can even apply for unemployment there until we find a job, having been living “abroad” for seven years.

How much bullshit do we have to put up with? Really. It’s not as bad as it could be we suppose…we just have a “severe” mental illness, some of us suffer from depression and eating disorders, we have soon to be debilitating back pain* from that fucking car accident and we are basically unemployable.

We write though, and we paint. And if it wasn’t for those two things we’d be dead today.

At least we have our wonderful boyfriend, who is much too far away… (he iss selling all of his belongings to try to raise money to come to us as fast as possible)…

…And our family, who we called on tonight. We don’t ask for help. We never really have, but tonight I decided to tell them what we need. And we might need help. That’s what family is for, right? *sigh*
The Facebook message we sent to The Father, The Mother and The Brothers...a first.
~ Frank et al

…mostly Frank…everyone is freaking the fuck out right now. Emmie really wanted to spend some time out tonight…she, Ivy and Cassandra had what they thought was a very successful day at work. Emmie is pretty good at staying on task, and great in the kitchen because burns don’t bother her as much as the rest of us, and we burn ourselves a lot.

*was also told by the boss this afternoon that we move too slowly in our job position, he is thinking of moving us to a different department…one we don’t want to move to. Of course we didn’t tell him about out back pain or anything. We’re still on probation, must’nt give them a reason to find fault in us…we have two and a half more months left of that, if we make it past the work permit bullshit.

- Is that all coherent? Does that make sense? We've had a fucking week from hell...we're going to drink a whole shit load of wine -

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