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Monday, November 23, 2015

Parking Lot Woes

Not Actual Parking Lot
Ubisoft Toronto is a growing company and it's going to continue to grow.  I believe we are currently at 300+ employees and we are expected to grow to near 800.  We take up two floors of a rather large building and are expanding.  I think many people live locally so they walk or bike to work but there are still a lot that drive.  Where the heck are they going to put everyone??

Because of this parking spots are at a premium around our studio.  Our parking lot is overflowing and street parking is nearly out of the question with surrounding businesses and local residents all clamoring for space.  I've been with UbiTor since they opened and because I drive from over an hour away I was lucky enough to be given a parking spot.  Ubisoft doesn't really announce it though, there are just signs in spots that say, "Reserved for Ubisoft." So what often happens is a Ubisoft employee thinks as long as they work here the spot is up for grabs.  If that happens I've got to attempt to find a spot somewhere else if I can, then I tell the person in charge of parking, and they put a note on their car.  So far nobody gets a ticket or is towed.  However there are other businesses around us and everyone is trying to grab spots so often spots are taken by people that don't even work at Ubi and don't give a crap what spot they are in.  Even local residents take spots in the business parking lot if they can get away with it.

Today I pulled in and there was a woman in an Audi sitting in my spot, just sitting there.  I looked around for another spot but there wasn't anything.  So I told her, "I'm sorry but these are assigned spots."  She said, "Well are you an employee of Ubisoft?"  I said, "Yes." She replied, "Oh okay, I'll move."  So she wasn't even a Ubisoft employee but she wanted to make sure I was.  What the hell?

I assume without a plan this problem is just going to get worse and worse and I've never heard of a plan in the works.  I feel they should put names on the spots to avoid confusion but I think Ubi feels that looks too privileged with names on the signs and don't want people fighting over who deserves a spot more than others.  So they are trying to gives them and keep quiet about it.  I'm sure it won't explode into parking fury one day.  ;)

I really appreciate my parking space.  I'd say its one of the nicest perks Ubi has ever given me.  I just hope I don't need to get too nasty towards others to enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Residency Aquired

I finally got my Canadian residency.  It's been a long road and a considerable amount of money to get here but so glad it's over.

Much of the money was a waste with Canada requesting I acquire documents that they later never asked for.  They even asked me to get medical exams ($300 each) for my daughters that weren't even accompanying me to Canada.  Then  they asked for an US FBI background check on my oldest daughter.  I lied and told them it was in process (remember my daughter isn't moving to Canada) and then they of course never asked for it anyway.  The final thing was they asked me to get 2 photos taken of myself for the final interview.  So I went and paid to have them taken and they never asked for them.  So ridiculous.

Some of my US friends seem confused about what Canadian residency means.  They think I've denounced my US citizenship or something so let me explain.  I was allowed to work in Canada because Ubisoft paid for me to have a work visa.  The work visa allows me to work and live in Canada as long as I'm working at Ubisoft and my work visa hasn't expired.  If I leave Ubi, I have to leave the country.  My first visa was for 3 years and could be extended to 4 but that was it.  So if I was to stay in Canada I needed to apply for residency.

Residency just means I'm allowed to live in Canada kind of as a free person. I don't need to work at Ubisoft and I can get loans etc like a normal Canadian and I can live where ever I want.  I'm not a citizen of Canada.  If I want citizenship I need to apply for it which frankly after the government circus of getting residency I have zero interest in.

I'm still an American citizen, I just have been allowed to live in Canada by the Canadian government as long as I renew my residency every 5 years.

Let me give credit where credit is due.  If it was not for my girlfriend Julia I would have said fuck it and gone back to Cali in a heartbeat.  The first time I applied it was a nightmare and then Canada didn't even announce they had already filled their residency quota for that year so it was all a huge waste of time and money.  So my application was rejected and we had to do it all over again.  Rather than being welcoming the whole process felt like it was designed to keep people out.  I generally don't put up with a lot of crap so I was done.  But Julia was able to calm me down and get me through the even more insane Express Entry paperwork.  So thank you honey.