A bientot to the 416

So I’ve made a REDICULOUS decision and taken a job in Ottawa for a year.
I said it.
I’m leaving Toronto to go to Ottawa for a year.
My contract at York ended last week, and I’ve been busy trying to figure out what to do with my life. As it ends up unemployment rules big time, but I’m told it isn’t a sustainable life plan. I’ve been doing lots of yoga, and balcony gardening, and hanging out with friends. But there’s no librarian-ing in my daily coming’s and going’s, so what good is that???

So, to Ottawa I go. The job is going to rule big-time. I’m a Management Librarian at the University of Ottawa’s business school (recall: this is my job at York, plus French. And a delightful downtown campus. And a canal. This is why it’s going to rule big time). I’m very excited to start, and I think it’s going to be absolutely wonderful professional experience. And already having a year’s experience under my belt makes all the difference. I know what I’m going to work on in terms of subject specialization (Oh hai financial data! I’ve been ignoring you for the last year, but it’s time we went out on a date and got to know each other), teaching (and the general insanity that accompanies September and October), where I want to contribute to committee work, and where I want to focus on my research. It’s amazing how professional experience makes you better at your job! Crazy, eh??

The rediculous part of all of this is:

1) I’ve turned into a huge Toronto jerk over the last three years, and Toronto jerks never leave Toronto, unless it’s to go to the cottage. I will have to watch my tongue in Ottawa, and not start any statements with, “Oh really? You don’t have that here? Because in Toronto….”.
I love Ottawa lots too. It’s a beautiful town, with lots of patios and bike paths and good friends of mine — I just don’t want to alienate the locals.

2) Listening to me speak French hurts my ears. I used to rock the French language in a big way. Quebeckers used to ask me what part of Quebec I was from. I was the REAL DEAL. But that was ten years ago, and now it sounds like I’m just mangling the language every time I open my mouth. I’m going to work hard over the next year to rectify this, because I have to teach instructional workshops in French! Oh mon dieu. My interview was half in French, and I could literally feel the sweat dripping down my back as I was answering those questions. I’m hoping this will better better with time, because being extremely sweaty for year is not appealling to me, or my wardrobe.

3) I’m taking on two rents. It’s like I have a pied-a-terre in Ottawa, without the income bracket or executive position that justifies a pied-a-terre. I wonder how my future boss would feel about me sleeping in my office for the year… ? I could shower at the athletic centre…

As I get more used to the idea of moving, I’m getting more excited at the prospect of getting started with work, and getting to know a new group of (likely fabulous) co-workers, faculty, and students. Is it weird to call your future employee ahead of time and ask which committees have openings? Yes? M’kay, just checking.


24 responses to “A bientot to the 416

  1. Hey…. congrats on the new gig Meaghan. Knew you’d land on your feet. Sounds like a wise decision. I was a nomad for 4.5 years pursuing my librarianly dreams and did manage to get back to the 416 at the end of my travels (albeit closer to the 905) so it’s more than possible if you want it. And the side bonus? Horizons, expanded. Jerkiness, reduced.

    • Thanks Lisa. Yeah, it might be good to get some perspective from outside the Centre of the World. Thanks for commenting! Feel free to spread the work at York 🙂

  2. Amazing news! Congrats on landing something exciting! I love Ottawa too and I am sure it will be a great experience for you. All the best out there 😀

    • Thanks Laura, and thanks for commenting! I’m looking forward to summer evenings on a patio somewhere. Not so much looking forward to the winter… 🙂

  3. Congrats on the job Meghan! Ottawa’s lucky to have you.

  4. Congrats, indeed! Look me up if you ever venture up the road to Montreal. 🙂

  5. Hey Congrats! And French – yikes! Good luck – I’m sure you’ll be wonderful.

  6. Jacqueline


  7. Sophie Bury

    Yeah Meghan! That’s fabulous news. They are lucky to have you! Winterlude is really fun there – ice sculptures, snow sculptures and beaver tails. I’ve been a few times. And gotta love the architecture and quiet majesty of Ottawa, I say. Jennifer Dekker is there too – she used to be at Frost and she’s lovely. I will mention to her that you’ll be there. All the very best! Sophie

    • Thanks so much Sophie. I did my undergraduate work there and have very fond memories of Ottawa (and not-so-fond memories of the cold weather — yeck). I’ve been told to find Jennifer once I get there, and I’ll be sure to do so! Thanks for your comment.

  8. Bill let me know that you got a job,
    and gave me a link to the blog post.

    That’s terrific news!

    All the best on this new venture.
    Skate on the Rideau Canal for me!
    Go Senators!

    – David.

  9. zackosborne

    That’ll be rad. And besides, your French will only improve with practice, right??
    I am going to look you up when I’m in the area this summer; (remember how my cottage is outside Gatineau?). I would REALLY love a library tour, for real!

  10. Wendy Newman

    Good news for you and for Ottawa U! You must look up my friend Alexandra Yarrow, a recent graduate (but not U of T) and dynamic and friendly leader in the Ottawa library community – works for Ottawa PL and is involved in Ottawa CASLIS and other associations. I am confident you will enjoy the Ottawa library community in addition to the other assets and opportunities of that city. Hey, you may never want to return to the Centre of the Universe! So great to hear your voice on the teleconference – thank you for yet another contribution!

  11. Wow, congratulation Meghan. Bill Denton passed on this news to me, and I’m so excited for you. I wish you all the best, and I’m sure the staff will enjoy working with you there as much as we Bronfman staff enjoyed having you worked with us.

  12. Yessssss, I have converted another one!! 😉

    I got your email, we’ll talk!

  13. hooray! I am looking forward to having another friend in Ottawa, and anticipate an upturn in my social life. Let me know if you need any help with the move, etc.

  14. Wendy Reynolds

    When/if you get a chance, toddle over to the law library and introduce yourself to Nathalie Leonard. She’s been at the U of O for a few years now. I worked with her many years ago at the Federal Court. She’s super nice, and may be a useful connection for you. Best of luck, enjoy Ottawa! (I think I’m a little jealous – Ottawa in the summertime is a great life. Ottawa in the winter, not so much).

    • Thanks Wendy — I’ll be sure to find out! It’s nice to have lunch dates 🙂 I’ll definitely enjoy Ottawa. Until November. Then all bets are off. Hehe.

  15. welcome to the 613…i’d like to echo previous comments on how lucky UO is to have you. looking forward to meeting soon…

    • Thanks Jennifer! I’m glad I have such a warm welcome awaiting me! Everyone at York has asked me to say hello to you! We should definitely do lunch once I’m settled in.