Thursday, February 23, 2017

9.350 Working Downtown

Sometimes I think about how great it would be to work in downtown Toronto. I think back to my University days and remember how exciting it was to be downtown almost everyday. But then I also remember the cons: commuting, traffic, and crowds. A lot of my time was spent sitting in transit.

sometext
I should be careful what I wish for because I got a piece of that excitement last month. The company I work for participated in the Toronto Interior Design Show. For 4 days I had to commute to the Metro Convention Centre. Since it was inconvenient for me to get there and back, I opted to stay at my sister's place in Toronto. This cut my commute time significantly and made those 4 days of my life more bearable.

sometext
More bearable, you ask? Yes, it was torture. Being a part of that show was a big thorn on my side. I won't get into much detail, but I will say this, the few of us who had to go were ill-prepared. We had no formal training and we were expected to stand for the whole duration of the show. Our feet were dead by the end of each day, and the only hope that we grasped to was the countdown of each passing day.

sometext
sometext
Thank goodness my sister offered her place for me to crash in. At least I was able to look forward to her company and the exciting meals we were going to eat for dinner (she always gets to enjoy takeouts and cook delicious meals). It was literally the light at the end of the tunnel for me. The weather in Toronto for all 3 days were overcast and gloomy.

sometext
Every morning I was able to experience how crazy Union Station is. The place was swarming with people like ants in an anthill.

sometext
The first day, Thursday, was a half day for us. The event started in the evening from 7pm-11pm. We were expected to be there at 5pm to tidy up our booth. It was opening night, a party if you will, and was only open to the people in the industry. Lights were dimmed, music was blasting, drinks were in hand, and everybody was wearing super fancy clothes and having a great time- everyone but us. While other vendors were walking around visiting other booths, we were expected to stand in our booths for the whole 3 hours. Not once in any of those 3 days was I able to wander around and see the other booths (and you guys know how much I love interior design). This show was supposed to be fun, but alas, it was anything but.

sometext
Although Thursday was a short day, it felt like it lasted an eternity. There were questions my colleagues and I were asked that we didn't know the answers to. I felt so little, and it certainly didn't help that everyone looked like Miranda in Devil Wears Prada. It was by-far the worst day I've ever worked in my life (and that's including all of the days I worked in the produce factory).

sometext
Friday, was another day of torture albeit more manageable than the evening before. We had a lot of questions that day, most we were unprepared for, but we did the best we could. You have no idea how great it felt when the first full-working day was finally over. We were all exhausted.

sometext
The above picture was what my boss bought us for lunch.

sometext
sometext
sometext
sometext
I was only able to capture pictures of some of the booths around us since they were along the path to the washroom and back. I wish I was an attendee instead of a vendor.

sometext
That night, my sister ordered Mexican food, Playa Cabana Hacienda, through UberEATS.

sometext
Firstly, what a cool service. They deliver straight to your door (since she lives in a condo, they come up to your floor and right to your door). Tip is not mandatory which is great because there's no awkwardness and it's probably already included in the food prices anyway!

sometext
The food was amazing. We ordered Guaca Fresca and Chips, Braised Short Rib Taco (Trio), and Pollo Tinga Suizas. My favourite was the tacos!! The shells were crispy and the filling was so savoury!!

Saturday was more relaxed as it was open to the public and by then we knew most of the answers to the questions they would ask us. The general public asks more broader questions anyway, so it wasn't as technical as the ones the people from the industry were asking.

sometext
Our lunch for Saturday. Luckily my manager gave me the choice to attend the show on Sunday or not (since he needed me to work on Monday). Obviously I chose not to go.

sometext
Saturday evening was the night my sister and I were supposed to go out to eat at a restaurant. I was so dead from Saturday that we decided to dine in again, this time with McDonald's. If you're wondering why on earth we would choose that, it's because I would always see her eat McD's on Snapchat and I would always be jealous haha. This time I was able to join in on the fun.

sometext
Earlier that evening, I had dropped by the convenience store and bought a chocolate mousse cake to celebrate the end of that retched show. It was the biggest relief of my life.

sometext
If there was anything positive I were to take away from that show, it was that I finally knew that I wanted to be a part of something bigger. I want to one day be in a position where I had some sort of significance. For those people with their fancy clothes and drinks in hand, they were valued members of the architect/designer world. I too want to be someone in this world.

"You must be willing to do something you have never done before to get to where you have never been before." -Thomas Jefferson

No comments: