Thursday, January 30, 2014

My beef with Bell

Time to leave the country and of course I'm one of those suckers who's stuck in that 3 year Bell cellphone contract with limitless clauses. I have an iPhone 4, the price was modestly reduced by signing a 3 year contract (way back when).

First things first, this iPhone is locked to Bell, in order to unlock it and make it available to run on on a  European SIM cart I would have to pay the cancellation fee to cancel my current contract 300$ + Canadian dollars and a 50$ fee to have it unlocked so it can be used overseas.

I decided instead to buy a used unlocked iPhone 4 (I like that model) on eBay for 300$ and sell mine to my dad along with the contract. To my surprise Bell told me that when I signed the contract I signed up for mandatory Internet usage (because it is a smartphone) so I "had" to have an Internet bundle which goes for around 55$/month. Obviously I had the caller ID and voicemail added for 12$/month (which is stupid because these are the most important features which everybody wants!)

= 75,71$/month (approximately)

The only thing I could do to reduce my cellphone plan was to remove the caller ID and the voicemail and save that 12$/month. My contract ends on the 4th of May 2014, so I asked them to cancel my contract on the 4th of May, that way my dad can benefit from choosing whichever provide he sees fit.

Bell's "Mohamed", told me that I should call 30 days before the end of my contract to cancel. Unfortunately Mohamed, I won't be in the country at that time, could you put a note on my file to terminate my contract on May 4th? You already know the date right? No? Oh, the earliest I can terminate my contract without any penalty is 60 days before the end? Still not going to be in the country at that time...

The only reasonable solution was to put my dad's name on the account so he could call in 60-30 days before the end of the contract and "negotiate"  his termination or renewal of the contract which involves loyalty (bullshit) points.

In the hope that everyone will forget to call ahead of time and make it a pain in the ass to simply "NOT RENEW" a contract which has technically ended, Bell is shit!

I'm moving to Germany where I'll be paying around 20$ CAN per month for the same service.

PS: Maybe Mohamed has two "m"s sorry bro you've been nice and helpful.

Monday, January 27, 2014

My last week in Canada

Empty my office - CHECK

Work and travel visa - CHECK
One way ticket to Munich - CHECK

One last ride on the Rideau Canal - CHECK

5 days left to wonder how my life is going to change over the weekend. I'm leaving my very comfortable job on Friday to fly to my new home for a year, Munich. I've had about a month to plan where to store my bed and other things I won't bring. I'm sure I made some friends happy leaving them responsible for my music collection and instruments.

I'm bringing my "Goldie" with me. I would have to pay 100$ for an extra checked bag but I got a nice on-board size suitcase as a gift for my birthday! In which the rest of my life will be crammed for a few hours. :-\

I'm landing in Munich on Saturday and have Sunday to rest but Monday is already the new routine kicking in and I'm starting my new job at Ciao!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

About Reddit

For those of you who already know about reddit and its up vote system you might find this post a little bland. If you're new to reddit you probably spent a few nights catching up on missed memes and redundant inside jokes that are exclusive to specific subreddits. Well I guess I'm the type of person who made it through the junk and managed to filter my way through the "funny", the "AnimalAdvice" and the "Gentlemanboners" to eventually get myself a job abroad.

I like to teach myself and learn thing on my own. By trying, exploring and occasionally failing, I managed to be very efficient in finding the answer to almost anything. Now, what happens when I can't find the answer... well I tell myself I'm certainly not the only one asking myself that question, usually a little google search or a well placed post on reddit will get the necessary players involved to get the information I need.

When I planned on moving to Munich I wasn't lining up a job, I was going there to immerse myself in Deutsch courses and do some volunteer work to setup a network until I can speak enough German to be considered for employment. 

I had already registered for Deutsch courses at the Deutsch Akademie and changed my location on linkedin to Munich so I would get emails about job opportunities.

But surfing at the right place and the right time brought me straight to that reddit post. One week later I had an interview. I was told I would hear from the human resources department after the holidays. To my surprise I was sent a job offer by email, I quickly accepted and offered to visit my new workplace and meet my new team in person.

It's a great feeling to be offered a job in a country that isn't yours. I haven't set a foot out the door yet and I've managed to setup a modest employment for at least the first six months abroad. To all redditors, I know some of you have been lurking and avoided making a profile but reddit can also lead you to a great network of like-minded people and maybe a future job.