Getting to and from work was an adventure as it dictated me using the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) which, during October, necessitated standing outside and waiting for the appropriate bus in clothes that were suitable for the climate!
Getting dressed for warmth in October was not a problem, except that my money was being depleted very fast however, using the TTC became a challenge. On a cold October morning, and with the buses operating at capacity during rush hour, it was often standing room only for me!
The passengers were naturally producing a lot of heat given the layers of clothing being worn and, having a lot of heat on one side of a window, and very cold air on the other side, dictated the inside of the glass was always coated in condensation. You could not see through it and, if you were standing (like me), you could not easily reach over to wipe the window which posed the question “Does anybody know where we are?” This was complicated by the fact that traveling to and from work was in the dark.
I must have asked so many people at different times “Are we anywhere near the Sheppard subway station yet?” or “Can somebody tell me when we are at Don Mills and Steeles?” However, everybody was generally helpful and I do not recall ever missing my stop!
While all this was going on, I was sending out resumes to everybody who was looking to fill a vacancy in the field of purchasing, and ran into my first disappointment. So many companies simply did not acknowledge receiving the resume. From my perspective, regardless of perceived suitability, it is basic courtesy to at least acknowledge receipt of an interest in working. Sadly not so in Canada, and I learned later that most companies will only contact an individual if an interview is being considered.
After a few weeks, I did get a request from the City of Mississauga to go there for an interview for a Buying position. The City of Mississauga is considerably West of Toronto, and I was living North of Toronto so another adventure in public transit was imminent. I had to get bus to a subway station; take the subway to the West end of the subway line, and then get a Mississauga Transit bus.
I remember that ride so well because, although it was mostly uneventful, the arrival at my destination surprised me. All I knew was that I needed to get off at the Square One shopping mall, and the driver said that he would let me know when we were there. It was snowing that day and, as the driver was telling me that the next stop would be Square One, all I could see out of the bus windows (and through the snow) were open fields. As the bus approached Square One, I was surprised by its size. It was a two-level shopping complex seemingly in the shape of a hexagon (possibly more sides) in the middle of a field!
I remember recounting the story later with the question “Who on earth would build a large shopping mall in the middle of a field?”
I found the building I needed and proceeded to have my interview. The interview went quite well from my perspective and, as I left, I asked how long they felt it would be before a decision would be made. They said about a week!
Now it was time to retrace my steps back through Mississauga Transit, and the TTC’s system in order to get home!
Note: The City of Mississauga was a relatively new City and was a consolidation of a number of growing villages. The location of the Square One shopping mall was dictated by a long term plan of what the city would eventually look like. It was intended that Square One would eventually become the city centre.