(james benedict brown) on the road

The last chance I’ll have to make a stand

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 3 November, 2005

Many of you will have been reading here, following my trials and tribulations of life in Montréal. Many of you will also know the absolute low points I’ve been through, discovering that despite everyone’s compliments and promises of an easy ride, I just could not find work. Being unemployed is bad – we all know that… but discovering that everything you’ve tried to do so far is worth nothing in your new circumstances, and that the career path you’ve chosen has turned into a sudden dead end… well, it was one of the most soul destroying things I’ve experienced.

So after five or six weeks or constant rejections and shrugged shoulders, I gave in. The need for cash made me take stock, and go for second best. A really not bad job in marketing with four weeks paid training and a great team of attentive and friendly staff. Principally in English, it would get me going and bring in plenty of cash.

But the more time I spent with this firm, the more I discovered about their marketing practices. Not the practices I had to employ, but the practices I had to explain and defend to cheated customers. The more I discovered about the total lack of faith in the company – not just amognst my colleagues but also my trainers. They didn’t show it, but it was funny how certain answers to certain questions were always phrased.

Of the nine people who went through orientation, by week three of training, it was just me and one other left. Everyone else just walked. It wasn’t for them. And today, the penultimate man walked. Unlike some of my colleagues, I don’t have a family to support, and thank god I don’t have huge rent bills to pay. In a few years it could all be very different. I see a time when my conscience won’t be able to overrule my bank balance. But right now, I still have only myself to answer for. I admit fallibility. Maybe I was conned, maybe I was naïve, but I can tell you for sure, if I’d known what I know now when I applied for the job, I sure as hell wouldn’t have started.

So, I’m taking a huge risk. A massive-girnormous-vast-f***-me-that’s-enormous risk.

But I’m going back out there, and I’m not taking any of that ‘bilingué parfait seuelement’. I’m going to speak the French I can and I’m going to speak it well. I’m going to learn more, listen more and speak more. If I don’t challenge myself now, I never will.


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6 Responses

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  1. ulli said, on 3 November, 2005 at 11:04

    Yes, man! you can do it!

    I feel really energised (is that a word?) by what you write. Never suffer or act against your beliefs as long as there is a way out. And there is. There are plenty. Hey, we’re in Montreal after all!

  2. James said, on 3 November, 2005 at 12:03

    Using my English, I would write ‘energised’.

    Unfortunately in American English it’s ‘energized’.

    Either way, it feels damn good… hope that post didn’t sound too depressed. If anything, I’m spoiling for a fight. Viva Montréal…


  3. Anonymous said, on 3 November, 2005 at 13:30

    Hi James,
    is this coming thru
    i’m such an embarassment

  4. Anonymous said, on 3 November, 2005 at 13:32

    Yay it worked, although I am anonymous, no not a wierd stalker – just when you thought things were getting interesting, it’s Charlie from Sheffield, currently hailing from Belgium. It’s been good to hear how things are going for you. Sounds quite similar to here, minus the unemployment, but the learning French, the crazy metro stations, tick, tick.
    love and hugs to both of you, keep smiling

  5. tcharlött said, on 5 November, 2005 at 08:46

    Beware, all these advertisez marketing jobs are the same, don’t even think of trying another one. Please start drawing full time now.

  6. James said, on 5 November, 2005 at 10:52

    Worry not, I haven’t stopped drawing… I’m just worried about supporting my career as an aspiring cartoonist :) Sam (yep, that’s his name now) has gone through many faces today… I think his eyes are the bits that bother me the most :)

    *j* x–>

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