Let’s Talk About OsgoodePD – York University

Picking up where we left off from Barrieland: I Think It’s Time To Leave (Part 10).

Disclaimer: This is Part 9 in a Series. Please read the Full Disclosure Disclaimer on Part 1 before proceeding.

And then, if you haven’t read them yet, please read the previous posts before continuing to gain full context:

  1. Barrieland: The Complete Story (Part 1)
  2. Barrieland: Moving In (Part 2)
  3. Barrieland: Meet the Neighbours (Part 3)
  4. Barrieland: Ghosts, Ghouls & Other Things (Part 4)
  5. Barrieland: Home Alone (Part 5)
  6. Barrieland: Am I Losing It? (Part 6)
  7. Barrieland: Hello, I’d Like to Speak to a Medical Professional? (Part 7)
  8. Barrieland: Well Now That Doesn’t Look Right (Part 8)
  9. Barrieland: The Lost Files (Part 9)
  10. Barrieland: I Think It’s Time To Leave (Part 10)
  11. Let’s Talk About OsgoodePD – York University; You are here.

In all honesty I’m not wholly sure where to start with this story or what the best way is to explain what happened. The following events took place over the last year and I’ll provide as much detail as I can to the best of my ability. Of course, as with much of the Barrieland Saga, I wasn’t really documenting a lot of this stuff in real-time as it was happening, and by the time I got around to doing that, OsgoodePD was already manipulating my e-mails, accounts and information in such a way as to blatantly lie about their role in what I’m about to discuss.

For that reason alone is why I have decided to share this story with the rest of you.

You wouldn’t think your employer of going on 8-years would ever lie about you in this way and then mentally abuse you without explaining anything in any sort of detail while they try to find reasons to reprimand you, and then go ahead and try and use “the law” to punish you further, but that’s exactly what OsgoodePD – York University did to me, and that’s what this is all about.

One of the many views from our 26th floor at 1 Dundas West.

What is OsgoodePD?

Sounds like a police department, doesn’t it?

OsgoodePD is actually formerly known as OPD, or, Osgoode Professional Development. In short, it sits under the umbrella of York University but it is very much a stand-alone business; it’s a conference centre for new and continuing legal education and it also houses a lot of classes for other York University-related law programs.

An example of OsgoodePD’s clientele/speakers includes big Toronto name lawyers like criminal lawyer Marie Henein who got Jian Ghomeshi off of his sexual assault trial, Caroline Mulroney of the famous Canadian Mulroney family, lawyers from overseas countries who need to further their education on Canadian law in order to practice here, and new students who are fresh into law school from one of Canada’s many institutions.

Our conferences also cater to a lot of other working professionals like medical professionals (Health Law conferences), police and detectives (Search & Seizure conferences), construction workers (Construction Law conferences), music & film industry lawyers (Entertainment law conferences) and…. well I think you see where I’m going with this. We cater to pretty much any and every industry and most of these people think they are a “big deal”.

You might also be more familiar with Osgoode Hall Law School which is another part of the OsgoodePD – York University family. It’s one of Canada’s leading law schools, and due to that, OsgoodePD often does events in direct partnership with OHLS as well.

The point here is, as far as law education is concerned, OsgoodePD is like, a pretty “big deal”.

The Early Days

My battle station in Classroom B (post-renovations). I think this photo is actually from after I was promoted and OsgoodePD still had me filling in on A/V roles, but the point is, this is what our operator stations look like. That’s my coffee. Cream only!

I started working at OsgoodePD in September 2013.

I started a week before the new Operations Manager Crystal was hired, something I joked about with her often, a la, “I have seniority over you!”.

When I applied for the job at OsgoodePD, it was for a part-time Audio-Visual position and I was still living in Vaughan.

At this point in my music industry career I knew 2 things:

  1. What I was doing to get full-time employment at a reputable recording studios wasn’t working; Nobody was paying me, but I was working with tons of big name artists (Drake, Great Big Sea, and my own local band projects with the Your Way Records stuff, Seam & Aukland and so on – check my credit role, all of that is from before I turned 24 years old).
  2. I felt like maybe what I was missing was that I needed to be living downtown to be even more available to even more opportunities, plus, it was absolutely exhausting driving back and fourth from Vaughan to Mississauga and Toronto all the time and I had wanted to move out for years now anyways, so it was time.

I found the job posting online and my thought process was that if I got even a part-time job based in Toronto, it would give me the extra boost I needed to then find an apartment, and I could always pick up a second part-time job, something I did quite often at this stage in my life.

I was late to the interview by almost a full half hour, between traffic and just not knowing where to park down at Yonge-Dundas Square. Nonetheless, the two people who interviewed me, former Operations Manager Matt and Finance Manager Wendy, cut me some slack on that and offered me the job because of my experience and skillset.

Learning The Ropes

I distinctly reminder my first few shifts at OsgoodePD and it wasn’t long before I started to think that this wouldn’t be the right fit for me, but I really wanted to move to Toronto and I knew I needed the job to make that stick.

When I came in for my first shift, I was given absolutely no instruction, so I wandered back over to what was then-the Operations/IT office section and stood patiently not wanting to interrupt everyone at their desks. It took a while for anyone to acknowledge I was there and I hadn’t met anyone yet outside of Matt and Wendy, and neither of them had desks there.

Eventually someone looked up from their computer and said hi to me and asked me what I needed.

I explained I was newly hired and wasn’t sure where to go or what to do.

Again, I was hired on as an audio-visual operator, but this person told me to go to the Operations Kitchen and someone would come there to start my training.

This person I was speaking to would later introduce himself as Paul.

I was a little confused but went on over to the Operations Kitchen where I was met by… no one. For like, a while. I stood in there just looking around, but I wasn’t too fussed. I had several jobs before and having a weird first couple days at any company is normal.

I was in for an evening shift, meaning I started at 2:30PM and would work until 10:30PM that night.

Eventually I met the person “in charge” of the kitchen, Réne, who didn’t so much teach me anything so much as he just gave me a tour of the facility.

I’d be working with the night staff after all, so he didn’t need to tell me much.

I was still confused.

Audio-Visual operators serve coffee here?

A typical spread in the weeks leading up to our Covid-19 mandated closure, taken in our Central Hub.

The rest of the shift was pretty uneventful as I was working with a fella named Bobby who clearly did not need to “supervise” the part-time kitchen staff (me). He explained a bit more stuff to me, but he was mostly interested in telling me about all the benefits of working at OsgoodePD, as in the literal benefits you get through the union when you’re a full-time employee. And then he left for most of the night, disappearing to his office and only coming back as “required”.

Suffice to say, this was how my first week or two went, and I learned the most from other part and full-time staff, some of them had been there a while and almost all were associated with York University in some way. I was an outlier.

And then I finally started my audio-visual training which would keep me out of the kitchen for a few hours a night while I operated the video conferencing software for the law classes (boring, but at least it was my literal job description that I was hired on for).

What’s an Audio-Visual Operator?

So back then, being an A/V Op for the evening video conferencing classes was super straight forward.

Basically you were responsible for logging into the software at the head of the class, ensuring the instructor had access to their materials as required for their course that night, using the camera to zoom in and out of students faces & the class as a whole in order to ensure remote participants could feel integrated into the classroom, and of course, the most important part, ensuring all participants could be seen and heard at all times. This meant watching out for other glitches or potential problems, like if a remote participant had left their microphone on and their dog started barking or introduced some room noise, you as the operator would have to swiftly jump in to mute them and then let them know to mute themselves; or you’d have to keep an eye on the batteries in the mics in room, changing them if they went dead mid-class, or again, mute those microphones if in-room participants started doing things like shuffling papers on top of them.

That stuff makes it hard for anyone to learn (I’m talking about students), but especially people who are more sensitive to those types of sounds, and York U is an “equal opportunity school” or so they say.

Basically, it’s an easy job, but you have to stay alert to all of these fine details to ensure you’re offering the best experience to everyone participating, especially the instructors who at times were outright rude as hell to you if they felt you weren’t paying attention in some way. Like I said before, we attract a lot of “big deal” personnel, which is to say, people with big egos.

An example of one of these “Big Ego” types would be Poonam Puri; she teaches Corporate Governance. And by “teaches Corporate Governance” I mean she brings in other speakers to teach it for her and drinks a lot of Diet Coke while they do her job for her.

My bread and butter. Unfortunately, we don’t use more than like 3 buttons on any mixing board here. Super boring.

The other type of operating you do as an A/V at OsgoodePD is run the live-broadcasts for the conferences which are a higher priority offering; they’re more expensive, and again, since they bring in a lot of community members of high stature like cops, detectives, doctors and so on, you need to be extra on your toes.

And even the software and equipment we use is different; higher quality, so you need to learn all the differences between two-way video conferencing and one-way live broadcasting, which also includes some two-way interaction as we also allow for live-audience questions which also have a few rules, like keeping the participants off camera for very real legal reasons (they don’t sign waivers when they sign up for these conferences, but they probably should seeing as how often Operators are unable to keep them out of the shot, and then OsgoodePD goes ahead and resells this content (they call it repurposing though)).

At risk of getting too bogged down in the semantics of my job when I started there, the point is I did a lot of technical work, and I was a great audio/visual operator even though I found the job itself boring, and the big benefit to this job is you get to listen in on very real laws and regulations and learn about the world in a unique way, through the lenses of the professionals who work these critical institutions.

Suffice to say, I learned a thing or two in my “tenure”.

And then the other part of this all is that, actually as an A/V then almost 80% of your job is actually taking care of catering and beverage service whenever you’re not in the room physically operating. But that part was actually more enjoyable than you’d think because it meant you got to talk to and joke around with other staff and often times, we talked about OsgoodePD and its interesting corporate atmosphere. I learned a lot this way, too.

It’s amazing what you can learn when you just listen to people.

I held the part-time Audio/Visual job found about 7 months before they promoted me to a full-time position where I learned even more skills in IT including handling the back-catalogues, backing up the content, and offering one-on-one customer service support to both our internal staff and our external clients. This meant also learning about the legalities regarding remote-connecting to other peoples devices from afar, internet speeds, and how to rectify those types of issues to ensure they can participate in the courses and conferences in an efficient and enjoyable way.

I learn best by doing (have I told you guys how many different industries I’ve worked in since I was 14 years old? I am no one-trick pony).

Anyways, I was glad for the job I got here because at the time I was also working part-time at Guvernment/Kool Haus as a stage hand under the supervision of Tom Doyle, which meant most of my days looked like this:

8:00AM-12:00PM: Load-In a Concert
2:30PM-10:30PM: Work at OsgoodePD
10:45PM-2AM: Load-Out a Concert

Tiring, but I do well with this type of back-to-back work, and I enjoyed being part of the live concert industry, sometimes even doing load-ins for some of my personal favourite artists. And sometimes I even got to catch the end of their shows for free!

Rad.

I made about $20/hour when I started working here and my pay never went up, even when I tried to address this with Tom after I found out all the other guys got paid more than me for the same work. Typical.

Guvernment/Kool Haus has since shut down to make way for condominiums (because that’s what Toronto needs more of, apparently) but also because of all the totally illegal stuff that used to happen there, including but not limited to; excess drug use, not providing water to drugged out patrons, sex on the dance-floor, Guvernment staff members taking drunk club-goers into the staff areas to have sex with them (with their consent, right? What do you think?), and so on.

It was a really shitty place, they should have burned it to the ground but instead they demolished it safely, a wise choice as not to incur any further legal issues, I’m sure.

And then somewhere around March 2018 I was promoted once more, this time to Operations Assistant, acting as the right hand to new Operations Manager Réne (I took his old job, and he took Janice’s* (this is a fake name) when she left).

Yes, the same Réne who gave me my first tour of the facility all those years ago.

A fun fact about this change of hands, too. Before Janice left, she pulled me down to the mall to have a private, discrete chat.

At this point I had already been learning the Assistant Operations ropes while she taught Réne the Operations Management bridges.

She asked me if I was interested in Management, in such a way that I knew implied that OsgoodePD were already looking to exile Réne from his position in favour of a smart, young, blonde.

Fortunately for Réne, I told Janice I wasn’t interested.

Like I said, it was never my intention to stay here, but that had no impact on how well I did my jobs as required, even going above and beyond in many situations.

You see some pretty dope sunrises when you’re in as early as I was, of course, they never look as good in the photo as they do in person.

In this role (Assistant Operations) I had a ton of new responsibilities and I got to work my preferred shift time, 7AM-3PM, Monday-Friday. I was stoked to be on a static schedule that I really liked, and I’m good at the type of work I was now responsible for; Here’s a snippet from my resume:

Again, working side by side often with Rene, our Operations Manager, and also overseeing our new hires and Operations staff, including training them, even though that’s technically not in my job description and the Union would frown upon that.

So When Did It All Take A Turn For The Worse?

Hard to pinpoint entirely, but for me personally that all happened this year, 2021, although as I present some of my photo/video evidence and e-mail exchanges as I run through this story, it definitely started happening months earlier than I caught on to it.

Actually, I suspect things really began to turn when A) I told OsgoodePD staff about my art project Crooked Forest, and B) they began working with Minister of Education Stephen Lecce.

But before we get there let’s just talk a little bit about the Before Days, the OsgoodePD renovation project which led to me getting my Operations Assistant role, and, if we have time, a couple brief stories from my time at OsgoodePD.

Union Station on March 16th 2020. This was a quiet day.

The Before Days

When I was an A/V operator I learned a lot and got to know a lot of the staff decently well; OsgoodePD has always had a high turnover but for a little while we were doing okay on that front.

But I definitely worked with some interesting characters and I’d often talk with other staff members about this.

The People

There are a lot of lawyers at OsgoodePD who make it pretty clear they don’t care about their job and don’t take it seriously. There are a lot of these same lawyers who can’t seem to grasp simple procedure. And there are a lot of lawyers who had trouble understanding things that were easy for me as an A/V to understand, like the difference between webinars and live broadcasts, for example.

Our team would often spend a lot of our time working and re-working our internal processes to accommodate the needs of these challenged lawyers. And some of these lawyers I’m talking about had high-up positions, like the Director of CLE programming for example, which meant we were always a little frustrated but we all kept our cool about it all, knowing we were the “least important voices” of the organization.

Even our IT Manager Jason for a long time made it clear he was “above the job”, spending a considerable amount of time watching Netflix at his desk while the rest of us hustled and bustled. He’s since moved on to an even more important (read: makes more money but does less work) role at York University as the Learning Infrastructure & Resources Director, Information Technology. So weird how all these useless people get promoted all the time, isn’t it?

Another lawyer did this too, David M, who spent months and months literally spending his whole day watching movies at his desk until he was finally let go. I used to have to reach out to him repeatedly for simple responses, and then when he wasn’t answering, I’d casually walk by his office to see what movie was more important. I bet you he got a nice severance, though!

Some of our part-timers took advantage of this type of thing too, keeping busy on their phones and laptops instead of tending to their jobs. This meant other people like me and several others had to pick up their slack; for no additional pay – very frustrating.

At one point I even wrote up a “Cell Phone Policy” document and put it in the Operations Kitchen to tell staff to knock this behaviour off, but of course, the ones that read it and understood it, didn’t need to be told; the others carried on as usual. Management never helped us with this no matter how often we brought it up, which was often.

I highlight these people because it’s important for you to understand the work culture that an institution like York University allows. It’s a shitty one!

In this image, Terrance is Réne and the YUSA Union talking to me on the phone.

On Friday evenings OsgoodePD closed early, at 6PM as opposed to the 10:30PM we were open until Monday-Friday. And if all the scheduled events (where events means classes and conferences), ended early that day and we had properly restocked everything and cleaned up, staff were permitted to leave early and get paid until 6PM.

Since we were also open Saturdays, this usually gave most of our “good” staff great hustle on Fridays; When one of the best incentives for any employee is to pay them to work fast and leave early, it says a lot about the place, doesn’t it?

In order to not get sued for like, defamation or whatever, names have been altered below her to protect the guilty consciences of the people I’m about to share stories about, and to protect the innocent me who somehow got fired after putting up with these incredibly unprofessional “professionals” for so many years. So many years!

Except also, FYI York University lawyer team, you can try to sue me but I only have $1000 to my name after the literal Hell you put me through to fire me, and I’m about to use it to pay some bills so, best of luck, dipshits!

[Sept 4th EDIT: This amount is now lower].
Janice*

Only, when we were under the direction of Operations Manager Janice, we’d have to go to her first to let her know we were done and then she’d complete a walkthrough before permitting anyone to leave.

Which makes sense and I can appreciate it (I’d later do many of my own walkthroughs and in fact we all did them every night otherwise, too, without her being there), but Janice ran a “tough” nonsensical ship where, if she was in her normal combative mood, she’d take her sweet time getting around to that check, often leaving it to the final minutes of the day even if we approached her around 4PM, and often times she’d point of the most foolish things and have us re-do work that was, by all accounts, completely fine.

For example, she’d pick up random mugs off the mug-rack and request they be re-cleaned even if they definitely didn’t need it.

Or decide that 5:55PM was the appropriate time to request all of the Windex bottles be refilled.

Idle hands make…. something something.

Again, I’m sharing this to highlight the type of people who are offered positions of management here.

I was never much of a fan of Janice for this reason; to me, she was just asserting her power and the other staff and I would talk about this often. And many times, after I became full-time and it was acceptable to do so, I’d sent the part-timers home myself and handle the “walkthrough” with Janice. It’s unfair to treat staff this way, especially when almost all of them are also full-time students and many of them had second part-time jobs like I did when I started.

Janice also had a bad habit, in my opinion of getting way too “close” to staff members. She’d often ask part-timers for information about their relationships (and these are like 20 year olds) which I found strange and unsettling, but mostly I note it because it highlights her immaturity. She’d also boldly hit on the younger & better looking Program Lawyers, something I imagine made them uncomfortable because many of them, unlike Janice, were married.

When Janice was unhappy, she’d do whatever she could to make the rest of us unhappy, and often times it worked.

And she’d use her position to have people like me take care of things that weren’t in any way part of my job description, like handling the petty-cash count when I was a full-time audio/visual operator; by York University standards, I’m not supposed to be “allowed” to handle money in any way in this role.

I’d later realize she was “grooming” me for management.

But one of the the worst things this woman did?

At one point we had hired another part-time operations team member (when I say this, I mean catering help), who she introduced as Susan. We believe this to be Susan’s name for well over a year until someone was taking a peek at an e-mail that had come out and noted that they didn’t recognize one of the e-mails, and Susan piped in, “oh, that’s me”.

Part-Timer: What’s that say?

Susan: Oh, it’s my name. Mowai*

Me, mouth agape: Wait, what? Your name isn’t Susan?

Mowai: No, Susan is just the name I use sometimes since I came to Canada. (A very common practice for many immigrants).

Again it had been like, literally over a year of all of us referring to her only as Susan. I was genuinely surprised.

Someone then asked: Do you prefer to go by Susan?

Mowai: I actually hate it.

Me: So, why do you go by Susan here?

Mowai: When Janice interviewed me she had trouble pronouncing it and so she decided she’d just call me by my alternate name instead.

Me: What? She couldn’t pronounce Mowai? (Moe-Why). Is this true?

Mowai: I’m being serious.

Mowai/Susan was hard to read at times, she was pretty quiet.

I find this disturbing for several reasons and I had quickly run out of patience at this point for the way senior management treated staff at OsgoodePD. The rest of us began referring to Susan as Mowai but we didn’t take any sort of further action from there, aside from openly bringing this up to Management who brushed it off like no big deal (the white supremacy is strong with this one).

But this would be the first blatant display of disrespect that put many of us on high-alert for OsgoodePD’s uncomfortable working conditions.

My temporary office during the $3+ million dollar renovations.

Those are First Aid kits in the middle there. As Operations Assistant I also handled emergency situations like when employees got cuts & bruises from wearing stupid heels on escalators in the mall and getting their feet stuck in them (GG), students having seizures on exam nights (legit ones), speakers fainting from performance anxiety, and literal fires in the Central Hub from part-time staff’s poor food handling, and otherwise in the facility (2 fires that I was there for, not sure if there were others, not sure Management every reported ANY of these things as they are legally required to. Ministry of Labour, can you find out?).

During the renovation project, which we were told we were fortunate to have because the government/York University owed us some money for reasons I still don’t wholly understand, we were temporarily displaced to the Regus offices on Floor 25 right below us.

This is where I’d be for several months (my desk is the far right one) and this is legitimately the entire size of the room.

Réne would work right beside me.

It was quiet; there are no windows in the offices many of us were provided and we were all forced to work in these small spaces with 1 other person who, in many cases, we didn’t have a say in who we worked with.

My arrangement made sense given the scope of my job, but I still maintain that this type of arrangement is not ideal for just about anyone; too small, too quiet, too far from others. It was incredibly uncomfortable at times, especially when there just wasn’t much work to do and we had to “look busy”.

Have I mentioned how much time Réne would spend watching YouTube videos of rappers on YouTube podcasts while at work? No? Did I leave that out intentionally? Oops!

Brian*

And then there was Brian. Resident evening-catering manager for lack of a better word, but really what his position was is “Seminar Assistant“.

Brian was quick to introduce himself to new staff and begin his manipulation tactics.

Essentially, as a seminar assistant working the 2:30PM-10:30PM position almost exclusively (off on Fridays, and then in for the 8-5PM on Saturday), Brian was responsible for being the “Evening Réne”, meaning, he had to ensure safe food handling for the evening catering and ensure all the part-timers staff were keeping to their tasks and taking care of the clients/students. He was also responsible for ensuring rooms were cleaned and set-up for the next day.

But Brian preferred to delegate, even though that’s not his role.

Brian was a “master” of making it look like he was busy when he wasn’t. For example, when classes would finish at 10PM, Brian would be quick to run and grab a cart from the operations kitchen where he’d tell the rest of the part-time staff that it was time to go clean. He’d then run that cart over to the room and… disappear for the rest of the night until everything was taken care of by part-timers.

Nice guy, right?

He did this constantly and it was something I noticed about him in my earliest days of working with him. Brian liked to have authority even though his job title meant he had none.

And he’d lie about it, with the way he phrased his role to new staff members in order to manipulate them further to do his job for him.

And perhaps worst of all, he’ deliberately keep catering orders for himself, hoarding things away often for days instead of putting it out for students, or then putting out old food for students that was well past its expiry (Catering food has a very short shelf life). This stuff infuriated me and I’d fight with him about it often, even the little things, like putting out butter knives and the butter for the bread. Brian would omit these items from the catering service because he “didn’t want to clean the knives” and “who needs butter anyways” as if it were his right to make that call.

This also caused many problems for our operations staff (myself included) when students and clients would become irate with the poor spread and come complain to us about it, often in very rude manners.

And when he wasn’t blatantly lying about the above things, he was at his desk watching the hockey games on his computer, and telling part-time staff that he had “paperwork” and “emails” to tend to, even though his role requires neither.

This is Osgoode Professional Development, people! This man has been employed at OsgoodePD for something like 14 years. 14 years of this behaviour. Last I checked, he was still employed, too, AND he gets summers off, like a teacher! What a piece of shit.

Oh, and then there was that whole situation where he tried to buy the affection of one of our Asian staff members by telling her he had movie theatre coupons, even though she had a boyfriend and clearly wasn’t interested. Also… he’s married.

I digress…

Nina*

CLE director Nina is another gem in that she loves how much control she has in this institution.

Sometimes she can be very kind and considerate, but in my experience this is only to “butter people up” to take advantage of them and get what she needs. She also is part of the ever growing problem of nepotism in the OsgoodePD community, hiring on family members who don’t actually do any work and instead spend all their time talking hockey with Brian.

The CLE director generally speaking is responsible for a lot of the big decisions at OsgoodePD and as such, often times, when our entire Operations/IT staff would have to adopt new roles and procedures, it was because Queen Nina wanted to make it so.

This person still does not have any sort of firm grasp on what it means to provide a high-quality remote learning experience and this is something much of our IT staff have talked about for years, and I’ve personally repeatedly asked Management not to listen to these nonsensical people and instead use our very knowledgeable IT/Tech staff to make the decisions on content formats and offerings since we’re also the people who have to run them and handle any troubleshooting.

Work smart, not hard, and hire experts, like the ones already operating your programs, OsgoodePD.

Nina was also for some reason responsible for making many of the decisions regarding our catering service which quickly became a mess after our 3+ million dollar renovation.

For some reason, this person, who is in charge of our most important and expensive offerings (CLE conferences are all the big fancy law conferences I mentioned earlier for very real professionals like medics and cops), she decided that we could cut costs and save more money by reducing our catering.

We went from providing full-scale breakfasts, alternating from hot (pancakes, eggs, etc.) and cold breakfasts (continental), full scale lunches (same as above, hot and cold, alternating where necessary to provide the most variety for guests who would attend 5 day conferences with us), and afternoon snacks and all-day beverage service (coffee, tea, water, pop, juice), to….

Big Deal Lawyer: Is this it? A little fruit basket with some apples?

Big Deal Cop: No donuts today?

Big Deal Medic: I have a dietary restriction and this isn’t covered by what’s here.

Because… they wanted to save money.

Again this is something that anyone who has attended literally any sort of conference ever anywhere knows is commonplace; these people spend sometimes as much as $5000 for a week long conference, so yeah, I’d be a little irate too if I showed up and all I saw on the breakfast bar was:

Big Deal Supreme Court Judge: Granola Bars? Only 1 flavour, too?

As you can imagine, I, in my Operations Assistant role managing the catering during these times, had to deal with an insane amount of complaints; and that’s when these “Big Deal” people weren’t actively berating our part-time catering staff who had absolutely no say in the matter.

At times, some of these “high-class delegates” went so far as to throw garbage at black staff members. And what was done about it when this issue was brought to black management? Nothing. Just ask Moesha* about this one, although I’m certain she’s since quit this job, due to being busy with her OTHER jobs and school load from UofT (smart girl, not attending York), she’ll tell ya all about it; I’m sure she’ll never forget the experience.

My point here though: Racism is everyone’s problem, and even white-washed Black people can be guilty of this.

But don’t ask Nina to help you with any of these problems, unless she’s unhappy that there’s not enough food left for her and her staff, she’d never comment on what the delegates do. But go ahead and watch her episode of Say Yes To The Dress; this woman LOVES being the centre of attention; she showed this at OsgoodePD SEVERAL times; I never attended because shows like this are literal trash.

Budgets

Every year since I have worked at OsgoodePD and sat in the annual budget break-down discussing our wins and losses, the one thing that was consistent was that were were always breaking our revenue record, and like, by a LOT!

Even during the $3+million dollar renovation project, we smashed our record, pulling in something like a cool $9 million – all profit!

Classroom B – post-renovations. Noticeably absent: no stage riser for participants to see or for the video operator to get a clean clear shot without participants heads in the way.
Classroom E – post-renovations; a Hybrid room which we would regularly have to rearrange the furniture to accommodate a video conference course or a live-broadcast. A good concept in theory, but terrible in practice.

And we broke it again last year during the pandemic, too, $10+ million!

Rad. This doesn’t affect my measly pay in any way in when I was taking home approximately $43,000 after tax AFTER being promoted to Operations Assistant. This means I was making even LESS an an Audio/Visual Operator.

And have you guys seen the cost of rent in Toronto and the GTA lately? So most of my pay check went to my roof.

But yeah, rad, I”m stoked we made $10 million this year, again. Congrats team, you’re killin it.

And then they had the audacity to introduce the SHARP budget model, which is no doubt a Conservative Party of Canada influenced decision.

In short, the SHARP budget model is a new way of dispersing the funds the university makes, and what they do is now allocate those funds to the programs that make the most money. Cause that makes sense right? The education sectors that BRING in the most money should RETAIN and RECEIVE more money?

Does that seem counterintuitive? Because it is!

This means that liberal arts programs like, literally Art, Music, Theatre and Language Arts, (Parlez-vous français? Non, car il n’y a pas de financement) get LESS money now than they ever did before; Just read about the Conservative Party platform and how they continue to reduce funding in the Arts & Culture sectors across the board and you’ll understand completely why I believe York University is masquerading as a Liberal university when it is in fact, more like a Private Conservative College.

But don’t take my word for it, ask the Executive Director Vicky about the SHARP budget model.

Getting into work and being super inspired.

Vicky*

Speaking of Vicky, let’s tell you a little about her. And I mean that when I say a little; this woman is the head honcho of OsgoodePD which was something I, as a woman, was happy to see when I first joined the team.

But then I quickly realized that this woman makes zero effort to get to know her staff and associates if they are not one of the “more important” higher management people, or if they’re not someone who can do something for her. She is what I’ve referred to as before as a “Type Double-A” work personality.

My best example of the type of person this woman is, is that in my last few months at OsgoodePD I had an interaction with one of our part-time staff members that I still think about to this day which I’ll get to shortly.

As I mentioned earlier a lot of my role involved training and supervising new staff even though technically, by Union standards, that should have never been the case. But I enjoyed it and in my opinion was pretty good at teaching the new part-timers the ropes, even going so far as to create procedure documents and placing them in the Operations Kitchen so that new staff members could read them at their leisure if they were for whatever reason uncomfortable receiving verbal instruction (many are). These write ups were so detailed and accurate that when part-timer Moesha started her first 7AM-3PM shift, she had already completed all of the opening duties by 7:20AM without any instruction from me, and she did it flawlessly.

When I asked her how, she explained she used my write-ups. Thanks Moesha, you were a great woman to work with!

Side note, Moesha is also incredibly artistically talented, designing custom tote bags in her spare time. In fact a lot of our great part-timers were very talented, including Jasmine (crafting puppets and similar things, she made some mini-donuts for me one time that were cute as hell; I commissioned them) and Alexy (this girl is just an all-around gem, but my favourite part about her were her personal stories).

At one point when we really needed A/V staff, I encouraged Alexy to apply for the role. It pays a bit more, and since A/V works so closely with Operations, she already knew half the job. Plus, she had prior experience working sound for theatre (like I said, a lot of our part-timers were very artistically inclined) so she was a perfect fit; Everybody loved her, and she worked her ass off every day she came in.

When Alexy then decided that she would take my advice, she went straight to then-IT Manager Jason with her resume. And Jason asked her if she gone to school for A/V work, and she hadn’t (but again, HAD the experience required), so Jason told her she couldn’t even apply. He didn’t even interview her.

When Alexy told me this I was pissed off. I knew she was more than qualified; a literal monkey could operate our video conferences and live broadcasts, it’s VERY easy to learn even with NO experience and Alexy is smart as hell; Source: I had NO experience in live broadcasting prior to getting hired for the same role.

But I’m white, and Alexy is black.

I went to Jason, annoyed. “I thought we needed A/V people?”

Jason: We do.

Me: So why wont you hire Alexy?

Jason: She doesn’t meet the requirments.

Me: Jason, she’s worked theatre.

Jason brushed me off, heading to a busy super important management meeting, and never hired Alexy.

But back to that other story.

Gnome* and Krystofar*

One of our part-time A/V staff was very difficult to work with, lets call him, Gnome*. When he was first brought on he was very stand-offish and always acted like he was “too good” for the role.

When other part-timers asked him about his life and where he went to school, as normal people would do when getting to know someone new they’d be working with, Gnome remarked, “I went to a private school”. And when the staff asked him, “which one,” Gnome remarked, “You wouldn’t know it”.

Wow, you’re so cool Gnome, attending private school is such a like, total achievement, man. Your parents pay for it, you know that right?

There is nothing cool about private school, in fact normally when I find out someone has attended one and it wasn’t on the basis of a scholorship, you just immediately get the sense that this person gets away with a lot and gets catered to by their family. I’m not saying that’s true in Gnome’s case but, what would you make of the above interaction?

“You wouldn’t know it, I’m smart and rich, and you’re all poor, even though we all work at OsgoodePD”.

That’s how it reads to me (make of that what you will).

In any case our interactions with Gnome never got any better, he would take off and avoid his catering-related duties because he was “A/V” and that meant he didn’t have to apparently, even though the rest of us all knew we did and explained this as such.

But of course, somewhere along the way head IT management started to agree with the A/V staff and never encouraged them to help us, (where “us” is the other A/V who would help and our Operations team) instead saying that they had to focus on IT/operating…. even when they were starting at 2:30PM and this meant no A/V was required until at least 6PM.

Sounds super fair, right IT Manager?

Super fair.

And then there was Krystofer.

Krys was a young kid when he joined our team, early 20’s (that’s young to me), and he was from a small town in Southestern Ontario, near Belleville, sort of.

It was clear to me when I first met him that Krys was very shy and had trouble focusing on simple tasks and remembering basic things.

I’m not saying he is in anyway slow, but I am saying that it was very apparent to me that he had trouble keeping up with the required workload.

At this time, I was in no way involved in the A/V training side of things, but I would get told a lot about it from other part-time staff members, and because of my prior multi-year experience in the field, I was pretty aware of how this type of training should go.

I didn’t get to know Krys much when I first met him; I was trying to keep more to my desk because I felt like, even then, my manager Réne was getting annoyed with me spending so much “time in the kitchen” and thought I needed to be doing more paperwork that just didn’t exist. (This reads like reverse office-sexism, because it is).

To be clear, the reason I spent so much time in the kitchen, well there are a few reasons:

  1. As the Operations Assistant I am the main contact for out catering team, and we were having significant issues with catering at this time.
  2. I worked in tandem with our Operations staff ensuring all the facilities needs were met; and as we often had new staff members, I wanted to make sure everyone was participating in the workload – often times, the same core people would be left with all of the work and I find this unfair to them.
  3. I wanted to make sure I was always available to them when they needed me, like when they were being berated by lawyers attending our conferences.
  4. We had an issue with students coming on site off-class hours to get free food they were not entitled to; our part-timers were largely uncomfortable policing this, but I was not, often standing in the Central Hub for the duration of the lunch hour to ensure there were no issues.
  5. The blatant racism that was going on towards our black staff members specifically troubled me greatly, and the time I spent in the Operations Kitchen is where they all felt safest talking to me about it while I tried to figure out how to help. Management was useless in this department.
  6. It in no way impacted my ability to complete my other duties as required, hence my flawless track record.
  7. Most of the newer staff were just really fun to talk to, it made the day go by faster.

When I’d be in the kitchen for the reasons mentioned above, the part-timers would talk a lot of shit about Krys, for lack of a better way of putting it. I found this troubling.

The A/V staff were annoyed he didn’t know how to do anything and were often completing his job for him. The Operations staff were annoyed he wouldn’t help in the kitchen.

I began catching Krys as he came in for shifts and asking him if he needed any help learning what to do, re-explaining what was expected of him, because, again, since he was hired on as A/V I hadn’t actually done any training with him myself. I even spoke to management about this, specifically his IT Manager Paul, but even Paul had considered this boy a lost cause, saying to me explicitly that it wasn’t worth trying to train him, and instead they were running out his 4 month contract.

I find this quite sad.

I did my best to help Krys where I could but I wasn’t able to make any headway with him, but he had begun opening up to me more in the weeks leading up to us all being sent to work from home.

I distinctly remember 1 conversation with him in particular.

Krys: Do you know what’s going to happen with all the COVID stuff?

Me: What do you mean?

Krys: Like with our jobs?

Me: Are you worried you’re going to lose your job?

Krys: Well, like no, but —

He was. I knew why.

Me: There’s a lot we don’t know about COVID right now Krys, they’re (management, and the world at large at this stage) all still figuring it out.

Krys said something again that implied he was indeed very worried he’d lose his job.

Me: I wouldn’t worry about it Krys, you’re not going to lose your job.

I knew I lied to him as soon as the words escaped me mouth. I knew they wanted to end his contract and it was approaching the end date fast.

When I’d later check the staff schedule when we switched to Remote-Work, I knew it was true. Krys was off the schedule.

Periodically I still wonder how he’s doing, if he had to move back to his small Ontario town with no real prospects. I hope he’s doing okay.

Wasn’t this something to do with Vicky?

Oh yeah.

So, on another date entirely from the above, I had another interaction with Krys.

He was having another one of his off-days where he wasn’t contributing to the team, and I was having an off-day for other reasons; distracted or just generally annoyed with the world.

I came down on him a little more sternly on this day, saying that he really needed to try and focus, try to work harder, read the procedure pages if he’s ever not sure what to do.

Krys didn’t make eye-contact with me often and today was no exception. I knew he felt bad about it. I felt bad for coming down on him but in my head at the time I was trying to help because I knew about all the other conversations that were going on behind his back about him.

He left the Operations Kitchen that day after a quiet “okay” and I’d later find out something else.

Back at my desk, working away on my important e-mails and paperwork, I was approached by Vicky.

She had a smile on her face, she wanted to chat and tell me something. This was out of character for Vicky, again, she didn’t speak often one-on-one with me, and in fact most of our interactions up until this point happened as a result of her coming into the Operations kitchen to get some of the leftover food, like most of our senior staff.

I don’t think Vicky is a bad person at all, in fact I think she’s very smart and the reason I suspect she doesn’t talk much to our staff is because she trusts us all to do our jobs and do them well (have I mentioned our wicked revenue?) but I learned something about her on this day.

She told me she was just walking around the facility and she overheard Gnome and Krystofer and they were talking about me.

Gnome hated me (I think he hated everyone) and Krys was no doubt a little upset given our talk.

They were actually talking some shit about me, and Vicky told me one of the comments they made in their childish ramblings was something to the effect of: “Wow, all hail the almighty JJ!”

These are guys in their early 20’s, so I know they have an issue with any woman older than them coming “down on them in this way”.

I was immediately embarrassed, I knew I had obviously handled the conversation with Krys poorly.

I even started to respond with an: Uh Oh.

Thinking she was about to in some way reprimand me.

But Vicky seemed… elated about this? She was proud of me, she even said to me: Good job!

Good job? For… making this kid so upset he went ahead and started talking shit about me? I didn’t feel like I had done a good job at all, in fact I immediately wanted to apologize to him; Instead I spent the next few weeks thinking about what I said, how I said it, and how I could better approach it next time. I didn’t have more context about the interaction than that so it was difficult to know where to start.

There would never be a next time of course, due to COVID-19.

And suddenly I was even more disturbed with the OsgoodePD corporate culture. Surely Vicky can’t think this is the right way to speak to staff?

A Little About The Reno

Most of our staff had absolutely no say in the renovation project, and anytime we asked about it we were told that they either couldn’t tell us about it, or that they themselves (where they in this instance is anyone from management), only had so much say in the decisions, too. So it was hard to pin point who to blame when we realized the renovation was a complete gong show.

There was one meeting that I remember very well though, because again, I was a little annoyed with management and although I’d all but given up on being a part of this project in my then-full time A/V role, I did have a bit of a problem with one of the proposals they had pushed through for the staff kitchen.

Tear it all down! It was a full-scale reno. Super noisy for anyone above or below us, for sure.

One day management sat us all into the old Classroom D, one of our smaller video-conferencing suites, to provide us a bit of an update on what was going on and, for the very first time, get some feedback from operators about some decisions (final decisions) they were making regarding things like where to place the operator cart in each room (even though, they had already made several other final decisions at this point that made this meeting a mute-point).

But this was a cool addition, the new Media Production Suite where my colleague would work on podcasts for the programs. It wasn’t the most ideal space for this work (small cramped, odd corners, poor acoustics) but it’s amazing what you can accomplish in a little room with the right gear and a smart technician.

As we sat in the classroom and listened to the updates, many people piped in a couple times with their own comments but these largely fell on deaf management ears.

At one point, Janice remarked something to the effect of: Because of the space constraints in our brand new renovation in which we are deciding the room measurements, we can’t fit a staff kitchen anymore, so nobody will have a staff kitchen.

She then ran off quickly into the next item of the list in which I audibly interrupted her: Excuse me, can we go back a second? What do you mean, there wont be any sort of staff room or staff kitchen?

In our old space, we had not 1 but 2 kitchens. 1 for staff, and 1 for the Operations team and all of our catering deliveries and storage.

Janice remarked cooly: Well no, we don’t need one.

Me: But where you expect people to eat or where can they go to take a break?

None of the other management were contributing to this very public conversation in which all of our A/V team was present.

Janice: We figure people can eat at their desks or go down to the mall (since many of the rich lawyers do this; we sit above the Eaton Centre).

Me: I really think this is an important one to reconsider. People need a space separate from their desks where they can take a meaningful break and eat at. It doesn’t even have to be big.

I feel very strongly about this having worked at so many different companies where break rooms are not appropriately accounted for, and as an Audio/Visual operator I was already interrupted very regularly on my normal shift at my desk and I for-saw this being a huge issue. Even then, the kitchen we were taking about only catered to the full-timers; we had part-timers, too.

Plus, have I mentioned this was a $3+million dollar renovation in which we completely took down all the ceilings and flooring? If ever there were a time to get a build right, it was now.

And, they had already shown us the blue prints of our new Operations Kitchen which all our part-time staff would be using and where they’re all effectively forced to remain in throughout their entire shift unless required on the floor, and they hadn’t accounted for any desk space for them to eat at in there either, or to put the catering dishes for that matter.

Some of the new office spaces being put together.

In any case, we moved on with Janice saying basically, “it might not happen but we’ll mark it down” – they did in fact end up having a small staff kitchen; perhaps the only smart decision they made in the entire renovation.

That view, though.

St. Jude*

There was one guy who worked in our office that, for literally years after I began working at OPD, nobody knew what his job function was.

Like, no one.

And even when you’d ask him about it, he was vague and couldn’t really explain it.

But he was smart, good at creating small craft-y things and sometimes had some pretty interesting random facts to share, so he was relatively harmless.

But for real, what does this guy do?

We’d all talk about it, talk around it, ask him occasionally, but it’d be years before he started contributing to the Operations/IT team in any sort of meaningful way, and even that was debatable depending on who you’d ask.

And I was always a little weirded out about him, because in the initial years where I didn’t talk to him at all, the rumours about him were that, as he was in the midst of a divorce and had put his eyes towards a young blonde lawyer-to-be who worked with the ITAW* team, he could be a little uh, for lack of a better word, creepy.

Her words, not mine.

But also, another reason St. Jude is important (and Jude is actually Bernard; I’m hilarious this way). He finally got tasked with a real thing this year when the Ministry of Education began working with OsgoodePD.

These are some of the worst titles I’ve ever seen for programming. Bernard is smart, but not in this way.

My name is right there, dude, first of all. I don’t know why it’s so hard for these lawyers to spell names correctly.

Bernard sat behind me at OsgoodePD and often sent me messages if he thought I was feeling “down” so he’s in some ways, quite perceptive.

The reason I mention him is because, on the chance that my OsgoodePD troubles in any way releate to Stephen Lecce, I will literally never stop talking about this. For those of you who don’t know, Stephen Lecce is the Minister of Education in Ontario and he has no basis being it; he is a private school boy who doesn’t know shit about education. He’s also the MP for Vaughan-King and he sucks at that, too.

Anyone else?

We’ll spare them the embarrassment. You’re welcome, team.

Tanya Truffles*

Blue Copper*

Dunst*

JP Squared*

The Allman Brother*

Just A Little CF Mini-Story

Whoever maintains Cadillac Fairview isn’t much better than us. This is in the basement where you have to go for deliveries or to toss garbage. They could’ve just repainted or fixed the elevator button, instead they sharpied the instructions. People who have never been here before (many, many delivery people) find this confusing.

A Bit More On Those $3 Million Dollar Reno’s

Central Hub.

There is a lot I can say about how badly this executive team screwed up this renovation project with stupid designs and just generally speaking absolutely poor decision making, but I’ll try to keep this part brief since the real story, or “scandal” as YUSA President Moon Night* would say, is what’s to come after we begin working remotely from home due to COVID19.

Central Hub

First let’s talk a little bit about the Central Hub, one of my greatest annoyances as the Operations Assistant/Catering Person.

First of all the counters (of which there are 3 main areas) weren’t any sort of depth that could reasonably hold our standard catering dishes, which they really should have known since we’ve been using the same caterers for a while and catering dishes are pretty standardized across the city of Toronto.

Previously we actually served food way differently; we used to have 1 centralized area (2 big long L shaped tables and 1 big beverage area across from it, which means there were actually like 7 tables total put together just to give you a sense of size), and then we also had 2 catering set-ups in our 2 largest rooms and on our busy days we’d be using all 3 at once.

We went from that, to 1 localized Central Hub with like no real usable space. This was problematic.

The water cooler would later be replaced because they thought it was a total eye sore, and instead we had added in a filtered water spout that was slow as sin on the adjacent counter you see there. Like, the slowest tap on the planet to the point where most people just wouldn’t bother using it at all.

The pop fridge was a minor nuisance, being at the bottom and all, many lawyer-types don’t enjoy having to bend all the way down the the ground and retrieve a beverage (they have like, a lot of work to do, you guys!). Also, for some reason, Operations Manager thought it was necessary to lock this pop fridge every night. Seriously, a pop fridge, in a conference centre for rich lawyers.

Just think about that for a second, and again, take your eyes to all the TV’s and Computers and Audio/Video equipment in our facility.

A pop fridge. With a lock. Every night.

Safety first, folks!

Staff would misplace the keys often creating FURTHER problems.

Rich Dumb Lawyer: I NEED MY POP TO LEARN LAW!

Anyways.

That weird hook bench you see at the right of the counter? It was a jagged “J” shape and for a while had no upholstery. We had to caution-tape it off because of the way it’s situated, people would constantly round the countertop corners and bump into it, spilling their coffee and food everywhere. This would happen when it was upholstered too, but the grey lining helped those with poor eye sight see it better. In any case, it is the stupidest bench I have ever seen in a communal eating space in my entire existence; awkwardly sized, shaped, and cutting into corners that otherwise could have been used for real tables and chairs, like you know, human beings use.

There were more drawers and cabinets than we knew what to do with based on our otherwise limited supplies and none of them were outfitted with things that would be useful, like inserts for cutlery for example; as a result all of the serving utensils would fly around the drawers every time they were opened, and clients and staff members alike would constantly get their hands on things they shouldn’t have been touching (contact tracing anyone?).

We’re also a conference centre that has 5 rooms that can all be in use at one time, with our largest room alone holding 102 participants (which was also a super bad call, it used to hold 114 comfortably before the “improvements”) and the amount of seating in the Central Hub, due to the poor choice in tables and chairs, was only about 40 people.

5 Rooms: 1 holding 102 alone. 1 holding about 38. 1 holding about 44. 2 holding about 24. Plus all of our staff (lets call it 30). And some extra phone and meeting rooms. And then faculty for conferences who may or may not be there all day.

You do the math, I’m not a finance lawyer.

And then all those stupid colourful things you see hanging off the wall? Pretty to look at, sure, but again, taking up otherwise valuable walking space, and guests on site would accidentally hit these with their elbows thereby knocking the coffee or food in their hands to the floor.

And the floor? So uneven, man. They had lips everywhere where the carpet meets the tile which mean it was hard to roll the carts we use to collect dishes/replenish food and beverages, creating even more spills and frustrating the part-time staff who had to deal with it every day.

Where all this weird orange colouring is, there’d be a couple other tables set for 4. That counter to the right is where we’d serve beverages. And take a look now at the counter in the middle with that random panel sticking out beyond it? Like, why, OsgoodePD? Why? Useless flair that in no way contributes to the guest experience.

But check out the rad TV’s everywhere now which all displayed the exactly same information. Every like 10 feet, a reminder where classes were held in this circular tower building. Super useful. We also had 2 by the elevators! It’s so rad to have so much excess money for new tech, you guys, just ask the IT department.

And now please take a second to note the lighting fixtures.

They chose lighting for “mood” instead of practicality, which was frustrating to no end because they didn’t even place them in such a way that they lined up with the counter tops to enhance the looks of the food and beverage bars (or granola bar basket and coffee carafe’s).

I know it sounds like I’m being petty but I’ve been working in customer service since I was 14 years old and it baffles me that such highly educated personnel could make such pathetically sad and useless decisions based on aesthetic only instead of truly offering a great guest experience.

But that’s just like, my opinion man. And all our part-time operations members opinions who had to deal with this mess.

Deficiencies. Deficiencies everywhere!

And then when it was all said and done and we had finished the renovation and were moved back up from the 25th floor onto the 26th…. holy crap the list of deficiencies that went around for the next few months would make your head spin!

Caution: This is glass. Please stop walking directly into it.

Also way to make all your staff feel like literal fish in aquarium bowls with this clever design!

Another casualty of a student/faculty member/delgate walking into something poorly designed.

And that’s before stuff started breaking from casual usage. Before they realized the counter tops all needed to be resealed because they were peeling. Before they realized the counter tops they chose (white) got stained so badly with coffee that we (me and the part time operations staff) couldn’t get the coffee stains out.

White counters aren’t a bad call if you choose the right material but I guess we couldn’t afford that after buying 18 new TV’s or whatever.

Check out my new desk though. It can raise AND lower!

Real talk, these desks were probably the only other smart decision these people made, so that you could stand like I preferred to, or change it to sit-down when you were feeling a little tired of had to eat your lunch at your desk like I forever did (small staff kitchen, man, so small!).

I kept mine tidy, like you’re supposed to. This was my neighbours desk though:

Never knew what you were gonna find in here. Perhaps snakes because there was so much old food and beverage left in here constantly (see all those McDonalds cups? Always there. Gross, man).
Another view of it. You’d think with all the time he spent watching hockey here he could at least tidy up. Way to go Brian*.
Hoteling Station and Staff Lockers, Cool!

So in the initial reno, in this tiny hallway that connects our IT/Operations department to the “other side” of Program Lawyers/Receptionists and so on, they put these lockers.

Except, if you were sitting at these hoteling stations as they called them (because we didn’t have enough office space for existing staff now due to the egregious size of the Central Hub with no usable space and the new meeting rooms they put in to look super lawyer fancy) and then opened a locker, you were now blocking the entire pathway. Not exactly AODA-friendly, OsgoodePD!

So they ended up moving the lockers down the hall onto the “other” side where you see those filing cabinets; Sorry for whoever’s desk were over there, but they didn’t think this decision through, either! And then I think many of those filing cabinets imposed upon some other desks or were then moved up to York U main campus in a basement office, where many of our “other” staff were sent, too.

Great decision making all around, great way to build team morale, stuffing people into a basement, ask Lyle* how he feels about it, or any of the finance team.

Another view of Operations/IT. I was the far left desk, beside the IT work bench, and that doorway there was the staff kitchen, so now you have a sense of its size. It had a small table with about 3-4 chairs that took up most of the middle space, and a bar counter with 2 stools facing the rad view of the city; the most important part of this kitchen was that it housed the staff Coffee maker which I took great pride in ensuring was fully stocked with everyone’s favourites, including my own.

At some point they added some acoustic paneling to this office because the reverberation was off the chain and it sounded awful for real. With the IT department, people are constantly on the phones, so you can imagine how that sounded before the paneling was put in. Obnoxiously loud.

And with all that money spent on all this slick new furniture, you’d think they’d better up our security measures, too, but nope you’d be wrong about the one, too.

Some guy.

For example, this guy, who donned a backpack much like many of our students wear, and some gloves for some reason, to wander about our offices and do… what exactly, I’m not sure, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what this one looks like, does it?

For the record, not a student, not a faculty member, not here at any time that would make sense for someone to make this mistake. In fact, he was put up on the screen by our IT Manager who wanted to show people that he caught this fella on camera; a warning.


And Then COVID-19 Struck Torontoland

Union Station Go Train Terminal on March 16th, 2020. Quiet. Eerily so.

After moving to King City in June 2019, I’d begin taking the Go Train from King to Union and then walking up to Yonge-Dundas from there every single day.

A typical morning for me starting at 4AM; get up, walk the dog, shower and then leave to walk to the train station by 5:20/5:30AM to catch the 5:50AM train to Union.

This would get me to work for about 6:40AM/6:45AM every day after walking from Union. The train to get me home left the station at 3:40PM every day, so I could take my time walking back to union after work ended every day at 3:00PM.

And by the time I walked in the door for Dakota’s dinner and post-work walk, it would be about 5:40PM every day.

Which is to say, Monday-Friday’s were long days for me; I’d go to bed around 9:00PM to feel refreshed enough for the next day.

It sucked extra hard in the winter because King City doesn’t plow the sidewalks at 5AM, or like, in most cases they just don’t play them at all at any time of day. All good though, we had to get to work!

It was a lot rougher than when I lived in Davisville and could bike to work every day in 20-25minutes flat, every day, but I took this in stride, always keeping in the back of my mind that one day I’d get a new job and build the life for myself I always wanted.

The global pandemic Covid-19 really accelerated things for me in many ways, and for a while it was a really welcomed change.

In the last week of us being in the downtown offices, things were escalating overseas with how other countries were handling the pandemic, so a few of us would spend a good part of the day talking about COVID-19 and wondering when our employer was finally going to say enough was enough and have us transition to work from home, especially since so many of our jobs were so easily adaptable to that change (and in many cases, as I mentioned due to the lack of desk spaces, many of the rich lawyers types were already comfortably working from their fancy paid-for houses).

On Friday March 13th we finally got news that we’d all be working from home, but it wasn’t for the logical reason we expected (the virus getting more dangerous worldwide as the news had been discussing for months now), it was because one of our employees had been exposed to it; her mother, to be clear, who she lived with… and then she had come into work, exposing the whole building to it (elevators, big tower).

In any case we didn’t ask too many questions, and on Monday March 16th I came back in to retrieve my laptop, because management hadn’t been clear about how long we’d be working from home and as it turned out, I needed mine immediately. Thanks OsgoodePD management for keeping on top of this global pandemic so well!


Remote-Work Life

So once we started working from home, the transition was a little slower than I expected. Because the priority was to move any in-person programming into online-only iterations, I had my hands mostly tied as far as what I could do personally (again, read my resume, most of my duties had to deal with in-person stuff, and until we finalized a new schedule, I couldn’t go ahead and make all sorts of changes to our Event Pro Management Software, which I later did, and it was a beautiful sight if you aren’t colour-blind).

But, there was enough, to keep me busy a couple hours a day sort of thing and management made it clear it was okay that we were all in limbo and waiting for more instruction, because they were too.

York University was SO slow on this whole thing, guys. Like, insanely slow.

And by the time the “dust had settled” so to speak, I had realized my new routine working from home was pretty rad. It didn’t take me long to make all the changes I needed to on our Event software, and there was only a little bit of work every day to keep that updated. Otherwise, I was mostly waiting for e-mails and further instruction from other colleagues and my manager, and every time I asked my manager if there was more I could do he pretty much said their wasn’t and that the stuff he was dealing with was basically over my scope as far as my job description was considered.

Which, is fine by me, but it was pretty clear to me all summer that he seemed in over his head, but I wasn’t about to make him feel like he “needed” me, if you get what I mean. I just made sure he knew I was available, which I always was for my scheduled shift.

In fact most of the time, because I’m such an early-bird and was used to waking up at 4AM prior to this, I had a lot of my work done before 7AM (not including emails that would slowly trickle in on random days and at random times).

It had seemed to me a lot of the Program Lawyers had adopted their own new schedules, often sending emails along late at night (8-11PM for some of them), but I maintained my 7AM-3PM because I revel in routine and that’s how I keep myself accountable.

But when I didn’t have work to do, I knew I needed something else to fill the void.

Introducing for the First Time: CF! (Not to be confused with Cadillac Fairview, the building and security team at the Eaton Centre who I frequently dealt with).

And that’s when I really started putting the Crooked Forest project into high gear, spending much of my days thinking about the best way to proceed with a new one-woman-band knowing that everything would have to take place on a virtual realm due to the pandemic. An exciting challenge for a musical nerd like me.

But this project never got in the way of my work, in fact, I didn’t even release anything for this project (not including a couple random covers I posted) until July 30th, 2020 because I wanted to give it all ample thought, as much as someone who at times lacks focus like I do (I drift in and out; if you’re not sure what I mean, read my blogs, tweets, Instagram posts and so on).

I’m including this one just for fun. I am forever watching everything, you guys, and I have been silent for so many years!

And I didn’t even really tell anybody from my work about it for a very long time, careful not to step on those tricky work-life-balance-running-shoes.

But then I realized that this project was very much a part of me, an important part, and I felt like I had important things to say that surely a liberal law school like OsgoodePD would understand and appreciate; the subject matter of my music includes mental health awareness, suicide prevention, alcohol and drug addiction and recovery, social issues that were very front of mind during all of this like Black Lives Matter and Me Too, and so on.


My old CF barracks, and the first time I introduced this project to my family and friends. That little piggy bank used to belong to my Grandmother Janina, one of the only items I have that she gave me (the other being a Gold cross necklace and that Kermit Unpigged album).

So eventually I told the team about it in one of our rare Zoom meetings while also being careful to tell them: the opinions represented in my music are my own, and this is an art project.

Both true statements, but I know how these legal jugheads think about “free speech” given all my time working with them.

But again, since it never impacted my work and I was very careful of that, I never expected to run into any issues with continuing my art while also working full-time for OsgoodePD.

Free Training? Cool!

In fact, I started to go what I felt was a bit “above” what many of my colleagues do. When I’d see free webinars or conferences come through the e-mail chain that talked about these same issues, I jumped on them to sign-up to the ones that I felt would be beneficial both to me as an employee but also as an artist and a general human being trying to keep on my toes about what else was happening in the world.

These courses included subjects like: Anti-Racism in the Workplace, Virtual Events in the Post-Pandemic World, a webinar on COVID-19 and how it manifests in the body, and so on.

Important stuff, and some of these had really useful information, others, less so.

But there were a couple things I was noticing as I was taking these courses, and other York University staff members would remark the same in the interactive Zoom calls we had:

  1. Management was almost never present for these.
  2. Management never responded to staff concerns, or when they did, they never acted on them to correct issues staff were facing.
  3. My own team had all but abandoned me, in that, we rarely if ever had any meetings, so I quickly felt like I had absolutely no idea what was going on with my colleagues (I expressed this multiple times, too). The most management had done was start a Microsoft Teams group chat which nobody felt comfortable using, because most of us were people who prefer to speak to each other in person, face to face, as we always had before; and when they started doing the odd little virtual Zoom meet-up, it contained way too many staff members, so you felt like you couldn’t actually contribute and you still had no idea what was happening in anybody else’s lives.

In short, OsgoodePD and York University was failing its staff members during the global pandemic hard, and it couldn’t be more apparent.

But I took this in stride.

I was enjoying working on my music, I felt like I was getting great at playing guitar and often surprised myself with the production of my songs given how little equipment I was using to create them; I was proud of my work for the first time in… ever? Like ever, for real. I was feeling super confident.


Crooked Forest – “Blister”

I open my mouth and
my teeth turn on my tongue
and now I’m bleeding
straight from my gums
It’s a war of words
and I‘m losing
Have we begun?

Keep those lips pressed,
I’ll be the fool
Cause If I’ve lost you already,
I’ve got nothing left to lose

And now they’re falling faster than my thoughts can run
Tied down, held captive by my own desperation
Choking on definitions of words heard but never learned
A knee takes my neck under the guise of honest work

And now I’m breaking down and I’m breaking out
A million little blisters formed with every touch
Seeping through my skin to the floor I’m crawling on
Burning holes around my knees
You’re fucking killing me

For the sake of wasting time
Let’s amuse the thought
This is going to end poorly for one if not both of us
And if we never make amends
There’s always a quiet path
So we can rest our heavy heads knowing we gave it all we had

Did we give it all we had?

Blister – Crooked Forest (February 15 2021). The “Roots” album was a special project where I released 10 songs, some were over 10+ years old, and some new, and some, a hybrid of lyrics bridging the young CF to the new CF. “A knee takes my neck under the guise of honest work” refers to the George Floyd story where he was killed after a police officer kneeled on his neck. I recorded this album in my childhood bedroom in December 2020/January 2021 after separating from my husband. What can I say, I wasn’t feeling very “Merry” this time of year.

And then the whole craziness with my own COVID-19 scare happened at the same time as I had begun the separation and divorce proceedings from my husband; both things I told my manager about at the time, despite not really wanting to (we weren’t close like that at all, in fact I always felt like he spoke to me too much like a “manager” and not like a friend. Instead I’d talk a little bit to my colleagues Shawn and Paul, but again, limited, both because I didn’t want to bug them because I knew they were much busier than I was, and because it was a pretty personal and sensitive topic).

And I told my manager, too, when I wanted to take a week off in September 2020 to spend some time up north (I booked a trip to Sauble Beach and Tobermory because I’d never been there before; booked 5 days, but only stayed 3, because I had an awful experience that made me too uncomfortable to stay, I’ll share that another day if I feel up to it), and I told my manager again when I was moving back in with my parents in October. I didn’t take time off for this, didn’t need it (moved in multiple car trips off-work hours).

Each time I told him these things he expressed he was sorry to hear it and that he was there if I needed anything, but there wasn’t anything I needed, I was just trying to keep him in the loop. Again, work just wasn’t very busy, and given the nature of my Crooked Forest project (which is ultimately about telling honest stories about my life and experiences) I was doing my best to practice this “in real life” too, and get more comfortable with speaking to others about these experiences, because many of them are challenging to talk about.

I was, in many ways, putting some of the training I received through those York U webinars to use. For example in one of the interactive Zoom calls, many staff members while participating would get very emotional when talking about their experiences, the racism they’ve experienced and so on, to the point where often even just as a listener you could feel yourself getting choked up, too. In many ways though, that Zoom call was my favourite one; real people sharing real stories, showing real emotion; like what I tried to do with my Pol Roger cover back in July 2020.

It’s so rare these days that I could almost cry about it right now, and I’m being serious, it really was that moving to be a part of that. I even considered joining the newly created Equity & Diversity team, but ultimately decided not to because I felt like I didn’t want to take on too much with everything else I was dealing with, and also because I felt like I still had a lot to learn about these issues before I joined any sort of team promoting them. It’s one thing to promote ideas in your music, it’s another to be part of a University-operated team focused on creating real change within the University (and again, I worked for OsgoodePD, not York U per say, so I was already an odd one out in these meetings).

But again, the one thing we all remarked in that Zoom call was that there was no management present, so we all felt hopeless and a little lost about how to correct these issues “from the ground up”.

Moon Night was there for this one, and the moderators even called on him to speak when we expressed this, so I was disturbed when I’d later have an interaction with Moon Night while I lived in Barrie which showed me, this guy doesn’t give a single damn about these staff members, and he was the YUSA Union President. Then you wonder how systemic issues exist in our “liberal” Canadian society.

Testing… testing… is this thing on?

Fast-Forward to Spring 2021

Sometime in early 2021, a coworker of mine began sending me some e-mail updates; e-mails that I definitely should have been a part of but for some reason was suddenly ommited from the list.

In some cases, this was an error of his, not noticing that I was part of yet another e-mail forwarding system, so some of these I was receiving just fine. Nonetheless, I thanked him and never tried to sway him from not sending me these when he came across them, you know, just in case I missed something for real, which I later would realize I was.

Shoutout to Shawno, the unsung hero in my own personal YUSA-Union Battle-War-Galaxica and one of my only allies in this entire YorkU/OsgoodePD/Barrieland Saga.

Back in our old office space, we have whiteboards in front of my desk that I’d draw on often, and at one point we started playing “SHAWNO” the office bingo game. Shawn is wicked at his job as a media tech, but he can be super forgetful about his personal items. Most days, he’d say bye as he left the office only to come back in seconds later and we’d say, “What did you forget this time, Shawn?”. And then we’d tick off our Shawno cards with the item. The rule with Shawno was that it was the game that didn’t end until someone won. So if you weren’t in the office when he came back for his water bottle, you might find yourself behind in the game. No one ever won, unfortunately. I blame the way we laid out the Shawno card.

Let’s get straight to why the YUSA Union Prez Moon Night sucks.

An e-mail from Moon Night sent after 9PM EST.

This e-mail was sent to me after Sonny called me at 8PM on a Tuesday evening on my personal cell phone, something that I have previously requested he not do because I don’t believe the university, anyone from the university, should be calling me on my personal cell-phone off work hours, or on it at all frankly. We have many apps we use for video/audio calls and he should have been using any one of those, during my scheduled shift of 7AM-3PM. I also should have been provided a work cellphone given how much of my job required me to use my own phone, but that’s neither her nor there (except it is, because Rene had one when he was in the same role, but I wasn’t offered one).

Now, you might be noticing I haven’t redacted Moon Night’s full name here, and it’s because I’ve already released all of this information publicly anyways so I’m doing this is just to prove a point. I could have kept all of these names in “code” and redacted them, but then these people might not have to be accountable for the actions, and that’s unacceptable.

When Sonny called me on this night, he began with little context as to why he was calling. Again, at 8PM EST (did you guys known YUSA Union members get paid overtime for YUSA union duties like this phone call?).

He expressed to me he had seen some things on social media and then switched his phone to Speaker Phone (something that is VERY obvious to someone like me who uses phones regularly, especially as an IT person), and I even asked him if he had done so but he lied and said no.

He then began to laugh hysterically at me on the phone, to which I asked him, “Are you laughing at me Sonny? I thought you were calling to in some way help me?”

And he continued to laugh. And then he taunted me, saying, “Jaimee, have you read the scandal about York U right now, it’s all over the internet”. I looked this up later (I expressed on the phone that I had not seen any scandal and I had no idea what he was inferring), and the “scandal” I found was only about a student complaining that faculty at York University didn’t take his/her requests seriously when they needed more time for an exam, or something of that nature. Something I believed entirely but again, didn’t understand what point Sonny was trying to make here.

This phone call did not last long and I am still baffled as to what the point was entirely.

Previously when I had reached out to Sonny with complaints about our workplace (OsgoodePD), specifically, the fact that at OsgoodePD we never close, even when there is an incredible snowstorm; In this e-mail, I even stated, almost verbatim, “We, here at OsgoodePD are starting to feel like lost souls, because York University does not pay us any attention”.

Sonny did not even bother to respond to me, further proving my point. He did however reply to an e-mail from my colleague May, who is the person who encouraged me to reach out to Sonny to get more voices onto this issue, but I guess he just didn’t have time for me.

Between that and this phone call, and then this follow-up e-mail in which he appears to continue to taunt me, it is clear that Sonny is “out of sorts”. I was respectful to Sonny as much as anyone could have been and I’m still deeply disturbed by the fact that this person is a Union President. If it were up to me, he’d be fired immediately.

Additionally, lets quickly talk about the “Employee Assistance” line he mentions here, because it’ll come up again.

This website reads like a cult, but that’s just my opinion. It alleges that it offers staff resources, but here’s my problem with this:

1) All of the things I just mentioned about the way Sonny has spoken to me, and

2) This is the very first time this “employee assistance” program was ever mentioned to me, an employee of going on 8 years. If they really cared about employees and if this website and “assistance line” was a truly useful resource for York U members, they’d tell employees about it on their first day of hire when they go through orientation. Instead, at orientation they spend an egregious amount of time talking about York U’s stunning history – and again, I worked at OsgoodePD, so as if I gave a single shit about that. There should really be a separate orientation for OsgoodePD members specifically, but what do I know.

Now let’s talk for a second about how remarkably slow York U is at getting around to things. As I’ve stated before, we began working from home officially on March 16th, 2020. Now check out this e-mail from a head honcho who passed around this FIRST update about the Transitional Work From Home Agreement dated… June 15th 2021.

That they issued on JUNE 14th 2021.

Shout out to Haiyan; She’s a newer staff member so I don’t have many gripes with her (just look how polite she is!). We barely ever spoke or saw each other, and e-mails from her were sparse due to her role.

Actually let me also just share one nice anecdote about Haiyan; when she was hired on, she took the time to do one-on-one meetings with all staff members, even though she knew she wouldn’t be working closely with many of us. In those one-on-ones, she asked us about our lives at OsgoodePD, our roles, what we liked, and where we wanted to go from there, and most importantly, she made sure to tell us all she was available if we ever wanted to talk about anything or get some professional advice; a class act from the get-go.

But again…. how many days is it between June 14th 2021 and March 16th 2020? Can someone do the math?

These are highly educated working professionals, folks. And we were already working from home! Does anyone know what transitional means?

This comes up again later, but you can read it now. This is Rene sending me the same info Sonny already provided, 2 days later; I guess they weren’t coordinating information with each other. I wonder if Sonny did this to save his own ass; Smart, if true.

A Word On York U Offered Webinars

I signed up for this and then got this confirmation about a week later… take a look at the time it was sent at.

As I had mentioned before I had taken quite an interest in many of the free conferences and webinars that came through the York U e-mail chain, and I was very interested in attending this one.

Except, they sent this information along at 8:11PM EST on June 11th, for a conference starting at 9:30AM EST on June 12th. Pretty pathetic scheduling if you ask me. Comparatively, we keep registration open pretty late for our own conferences, but I had signed up for this bad boy at least a week in advance. And since this was going to my work e-mail, how would I ever have seen it in time since it was sent at 8PM on a Friday night?

Sonny, can you field this one? Hope you were in attendance, dude.

Let’s Talk About Unnecessary E-Mails & Dumb PL’s

Okay, I’ll do my best to explain this one to those of you who don’t work at OsgoodePD, because this one is pretty hyper-specific to an event we host annually.

And introducing my nemesis, Gail.

So one of the events we host at OsgoodePD is the annual ITAW conference. I’ve worked a few different parts of this conference since signing on in 2013 and it’s always a funny one to me given how easy it is to run but how complicated these fancy lawyers make it all out to be.

I won’t get into what it is, existing staff know it’s a big gong show. But I do want to highlight this e-mail and a couple that followed it.

Up until this point of coordinating the conference remotely, I was completely left out of the conversation. Many staff members at OsgoodePD have a “Martyr Complex” and prefer to take on most things themselves, for reasons I’ll never understand – and these people tend to be management, but it applies to some others, too, like Tanya and Dunst.

In this instance, Réne had already coordinated everything with the catering team, already had the quote, had been otherwise coordinating with Gail with some regularity, and then asked me to do this follow-up question about confirming attendees and addresses.

Simple stuff. Sure thing, boss.

Most of our faculty are recurring too, year after year, so most of these addresses should have been in the system, but noentheless.

Réne had also mentioned something to me about awards but he didn’t provide much detail, so I requested that information from Gail in my initial e-mail.

At this same time, Réne had reached out to the caterer, which is why I then had to send a follow-up email the next day.

Again, just hilarious to me that an organization that pulls in as much coin as OsgoodePD does had the gull to fuss about this delivery fee, which, FYI, was a pretty standard fee for a catering company and again, this was a global pandemic, and we had some prettttty specific requests on this order.

I wouldn’t normally “press someone” so quick, but it was a new question for additional information I had not yet requested.

And as a general rule, I’d always tell people I was available basically every day until 2:30PM; my shift ends at 3PM but I try to avoid logging unnecessary overtime.

I’d worked with Gail often in the office and, since this was a recurring annual event, this is all pretty straightforward stuff.

My e-mails at OsgoodePD were always polite and as to the point as I could be while keeping it in my normal semi-casual tone because I’m not a corporate shill.

Her response.

Pretty straight forward stuff, but you can see how these fancy lawyers make simple stuff complicated. “Somehow, we need to find a way to ensre that the correct award goes to the right person”. A tough one, can we do it?! We can!

Generally speaking when Gail saw me in person she’d call me JJ like most other people did, given that it’s my initials and easier for people to say than “Jaimee” (more tough stuff, I know! Right Mowai?).

But I need to highlight that too because during these last few weeks at Osgoode in particular, Gail, or “GG” kept actually referring to me in e-mails as Janique, which is a totally different person who works in the Marketing department in a totally unrelated database role.

And another thing I wanna tell you guys about Gail. This woman thinks she’s the most important thing to grace the OsgoodePD halls. We have pass cards for access to our office, but every day Gail was in the office, repeatedly throughout the day, she’d come and knock on the door and have someone open it for her. I’d later start making very clear comments to her about this: “Forgot your pass card again, yeah?” “You know people have to work in here, yeah?” “Carrying too many things again, Gail?” What a self-righteous bitch. Does anyone know how annoying it is for staff to have to interrupt what they’re doing multiple times a day to open doors for rich lawyers who can’t be assed to carry a pass card? VERY ANNOYING.

I talked about this regularly on my Twitter feed, completely fed up that these lawyers who had worked for me for near 8 years couldn’t even get my name right and behaved this way. Repeatedly she did this, and then OsgoodePD manipulated and deleted the e-mails that prove this. But you guys know that stuff is traceable right? Just like the staff memo you recalled after I called you out on not giving enough funding to Black Lives Matter related initiatives; the memo Paul Wye lied to me about on the phone that day, after telling me a room full of people were allegedly concerned about me without telling me what that meant, or what people he referred, or why he was even calling me at all on my personal cell phone? The phone call where he ended it by saying I had “given him a lot to think about”. Do you remember this Paul? I wonder if he recorded it, and if that fact makes him look better or worse for it.

And a note on that; at one point in the last in-person year at OsgoodePD prior to COVID, that big shot CLE director was trying to get us in the Operations/IT team to start wearing name badges. Why, might you ask? Because the Program Lawyers, like Steven McBillson* who Janice fancied something awful, couldn’t remember our staff members names.

Again, we’re a SMALL team, and to me, this is a blatant showcase of disrespect from these big shot lawyer types. If you can’t remember 8 peoples’ names who you see almost every day, it’s YOU that’s the problem, not them. Maybe he has trouble telling black people apart, because I’ve never seen him get my name wrong or any of the other white staff.

But that’s like neither here nor there, I guess.

But also, does anyone know if Gail Geronimo is related to Andrew Geronimo, the guy who sexually assaulted me that I talked about this the Record 3 blog post? It would certainly explain why she suddenly started harassing me, unless she’s just a drunk cunt.

Such a drunk cunt that she doesn’t even know what her own annual programs are about.

A typical e-mail from Shawno about Gail.
A typical polite explanation from me about her courses.

And that’s another thing these idiot lawyers do that overcomplicated things. They go to the staff members that’ll do their favours for them, like Paul, to talk about scheduling for programming, instead of coming to someone like me, in charge of scheduling the programming.

Gee, I wonder why they’d do that if not entirely for their own selfish benefits.

A Word on The Progressive Nature of ITAW

But let’s talk about 1 other ITAW thing, and before I do that I’ll actually explain a bit about what this specific conference does.

ITAW is an annual conference that attracts/permits about 115-130 lawyers or so, if memeory serves. These lawyers are then on site for 1 week learning how to speak in front of judges and jurys and defend clients.

As an A/V Operator this meant I was responsible for filming these speeches (opening and closing statements) and watching their “proceedings” including cross-questioning witnesses, and other fun legal stuff you see on Law & Order, Suits or whatever your preferred legal program is.

And for a lot of these lawyers it’s their first time doing it, so they have a lot to learn in a very short amount of time and it doesn’t take long to pick out who the “stars of the class” are. Most people are very nervous given any kind of presentation in front of a group and lawyers are no different here.

It’s important training and the faculty on board are often the same recurring members as I mentioned before; in my opinion this is the first thing ITAW gets wrong, they use the same “big shot lawyers” every single year. Which means they’re teaching the same habits they’ve ingrained in themselves to years of new lawyers. Think about that and how it much affects the systemic legal issues this country faces every day.

And the other thing they re-use in ITAW? The exact same 2 case-studys. I know these case’s so well, I could argue them myself in court. One involved a possible suicide, the other a theft at a liquor store.

Super progressive! Maybe let’s try mixing it up a little next year guys!

This conference has been going on like this for something like 40 years, I shit you not.

But they did make 1 change last year, to show how progressive and “with the times” OsgoodePD and Osgoode Hall Law School and York University are: they changed the names in the case studies to make them androgynous in some way.

Meaning, instead of the case being about “Ms. Aberdeen” and “Mr. Sorbera”, they changed them to be about like, just “Aberdeen” and just, “Sorbera” removing the he/she from the equation to better include LGBTQ+ peoples.

Wow, great work CLE Director & crew! They’re the ones who made that big time tough call. OsgoodePD also started doing this on their Zoom calls, adding pronouns beside their names. In solidarity, right?

And those gift baskets I was pulling quotes for? To send to the rich as hell faculty members. And what were they sending them, you might be wondering? A special delivery of a tiny box of cheese and crackers and a bottle of wine as a thank-you for once again contributing to one of OsgoodePD’s most important conferences. To which I remarked loudly on Twitter: Do you really think these big shot lawyers give a single fuck about this delivery or your cheap wine? They don’t.

No further questions, Your Dishonour.

In any case, let’s get to some of the more important stuff.

What’s An 11.01?

I took all these screenshots in later July well after they were sent, so let me explain why I underlined the top “We couldn’t find this meeting in the calendar”.

By this point there had already been:

  1. Repeated instances of OsgoodePD leaving me off of emails I should have been a part of
  2. Repeated instances of staff members calling me by names that weren’t my own (Janique, Frankie)
  3. Those rude as hell calls from YUSA President Sonny Day
  4. That random and obscure phone call from YUSA Member Wanda when I went up to my cottage in July when I was escaping the threats I was receiving in Barrieland (Remember Barrieland?)
  5. Repeated instances of Program Lawyers making my job difficult by not adhering to very basic operating procedures
  6. Clear evidence of Rene trying to replace me with a staff member who shares me same name (If I haven’t shared that part yet, the short story is that Rene requested I take vacation, and then in the same week, when I decided I would, he then asked me to train “Other J” on my role and responsibilities. Make of that what you will, but to me that’s a clear tactic organizations use to replace their employees in a way that benefits them, limiting the amount of training Rene would have to give this person).

So what’s an 11.01? The simple answer I had at the time was… wait, they never told me. I had no idea what an 11.01 meeting was and you can see it’s clearly not explained here. But I accepted the meeting invite, because it seemed to me they wanted to talk about the twitter posts on my Crooked_Forest page. My art project.

Obviously management was super busy at this time.

And YUSA can argue all they want that this information is in our very stupid and long and redundant YUSA Union Book, but I had recently moved and didn’t have access to most of my belongings, so I couldn’t even look this up.

And in this email they explain that Wanda would be my representative, and my complaint here, which I expressed to them, is that: I have no idea who Wanda is. If I am able to have someone on “my side” as a Union rep, I should reallly have some sort of say as to who that person is.

And for reasons which I’ll explain a little further (and have briefly spoken about already) I didn’t trust Wanda worth a damn. Would you? After she called me on my personal cell phone on a Sunday from an unknown Aurora number? After she began e-mailing me to my personal e-mail account without warning?

And then there’s that whole “Couldn’t find this meeting in the calendar”.

As I said, I took these screen grabs and several videos after I moved out of Barrieland, and when I pulled open my work laptop one day, what I noticed in my mailbox was that… OsgoodePD was not only altering my calendar and deleting meetings apparently (That’s why that’s there!) but also deleting my e-mails, and deleting all those e-mails where Gail calls me Janique. Cleaning house. Remotely without asking me if they could access my machine.

This was the 3rd or 4th meeting e-mail; I quit on this day after being sick of the way this management handled this entire “proceeding”.

Gee, I wonder why they’d be doing that? Systematically too, clearing all the e-mails that incriminated them and leaving the ones that don’t?

Again, I have videos of this too, and it’s all over my Twitter page. Suck my c**t, OsgoodePD. I could post them here for you, or you can go scroll for them, since you have so much fucking time on your hands.

Or are you all asleep at the wheel again?

Only after we already had some 11.01’s did Wanda find it appropriate to schedule a “11.01 Prep” with me. Thanks Wanda, this would have been useful WEEKS AGO!

Which led to a 1-day suspensions which, they told me about so late that it was sort of irrelevant. Except for the fact that you can “grieve” these things if you do them with enough days notice, but Wanda barely gave me any heads up on that, so by the time I knew it, I was already serving my suspended day. Thanks YUSA! Way to stay on top of things for York U employees who you’re supposed to be protecting from, exactly this type of thing.

And I’ll try to explain this part.

I don’t have a copy right now of the e-mail where they finally explained what they were reprimanding me for in these 11.01’s (I swear all of these people must be on drugs or else they’re just as dumb and useless as a box of rusty nails), and when I refer to Point #3, what they said was that I was tweeting on work hours, and I was kind enough to help them fix the language in this, stating, “Going forward, perhaps they should state that “Tweets should not be SCHEDULED during work hours” because that’s something you can do with ALL forms of social media, and something I definitely do utilize. This means at times they may have been reprimanding me for tweets I scheduled in my off-personal time, and do you think they’re allowed to make that stipulation? Internet privacy and labour lawyers, can you field this one?

Yeah, I’ve been talking about this all for a WHILE, you guys.

Like I said, they’re so fucking stupid, you guys.

In a prior life, sitting in and operating the “Privacy and Information Management in Healthcare Conference
Just gonna throw my sick-days count in here for good measure, they never paid me out for these. Because they forced me into quitting, they continue to profit off my labour.

But enough about that for now.

Another one! You bastards!

And a lot of this REALLY hit me out of left field because as recently as June 6th, I had a meeting with my manager Rene.

You remember we were both there, right, dude? Just because you deleted it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

And at this one on one we had what I felt was a “good chat”, one that was long overdue, frankly.

One where I expressed to Rene I’d be revamping Event Pro once more to better accommodate our dumb as shit lawyers, but only after consulting our IT team again since they actually use it more.

One where he expressed he would send me my job description so that I could begin a process that’s for changing my job description to more properly suit my job role which had changed significantly; it’s called a Significant Change Order, and it’s quite a lengthy process because you have to plead your case about your job in order to get more money; more money in which I definitely deserved, and Rene himself agreed with me that the job itself was so outdated. In fact, he was going to do one himself, but then he got promoted to Manager so who gives a shit, right buddy? Remember this conversation? I sure as hell do.

Pardon me, I guess I’m starting to sound a little “out of sorts” remembering all of these very critical details that you probably forgot about because you clearly don’t give a single shit about your staff.

Oh ya, and then when he said he’d send me that description? He never did! And I can’t proceed with that document until I have it, so thanks a lot dude, you’re a real class act York U asshole.

It was shortly after this one on one (and his subsequent one on one with the other Jamie) that he made it very clear he wanted to replace me instead of help me do this significant change.

Gee, I wonder why this pathetic institution would want to hoard more money.

Did I mention last year we made over $10 Million Dollars in profit? PROFIT!

Did I mention also yet that institutions like York University also receive government funding?

An organization that makes $10 Million dollars a year and pays its assistant management 52,000/year (before tax) receives government funding.

Let that sink in for a second.

Do you think they need it?

Do you think it could be put to better use in the city of Toronto? A question I’ll be penning to Prime Minister Trudeau in due time, assuming he wins this upcoming election.

I never attended this one because the whole “Working With the Brand” thing freaked me out; a lot of these types of webinars read VERY strangely to me when you check out the content info.

I’m highlighting this one because again, they were deleting stuff, but also because this “Diane” person was also responsible for taking notes during my 11.01 meetings and she otherwise never said 2 words to me. Just kind of interesting that she also works for a part of YUSA called “Working With the Brand” which again, just reads kinda culty to me.

That’s my personal opinion, make of it what you will given the scope of everything I’ve been sharing.

We’d do regular meetings on Monday, just Rene, Bobby, Jamie and I. These were mostly for no reason.

Highlighting this one to show that yup, we did have meetings some times. Meetings in which Rene was often late, so late that I’d have to message him privately to see if he would even be attending them at all.

And then we mostly talked about nothing much, or I’d share stories like about the Gypsy Moth Caterpillar infestation I was facing at the time. Good times, guys!

And we had a daily OPS/IT Meeting scheduled well before COVID19, but these meetings never took place. Ever.

Super Professional Development Centre of you, guys!

On the JHSC

I sent this same e-mail (more or less, because I add personal touches) to both Jamie and Bobby after Rene asked me to scout for new JHSC members).

Before we began working remotely from home on March 16th 2020, Rene and I had formed the OsgoodePD JHSC team; something mandatory by the Ministry of Labour in Ontario under Ontario Labour Laws & Regulations, and they’re pretty strict about stuff.

The training was a little hokey, you complete it over 2 days in-person with a licensed trainer. But anyway, so Rene and I did that and then we were the only JHSC members.

In short, JHSC stands for Joint Health & Safety, so it made sense that he and I were the two on board for this. And depending on the size of your organization, you might only need 2 members, as was the case with us.

Also, I was not mandated to take on this role; I volunteered willingly knowing it was better for me to have this extra knowledge because of my role and because it would help me “move up” in my career all in due time.

And like I said there are a lot of rules about this kind of thing, so even though it’s voluntary, once you have a JHSC, you do need to do certain things, like regular checks of the facility and reporting on the state and condition of it, handling WSIB (Work Safety Inspections) and so on.

Rene was always like, “too busy” to get around to this stuff, even though I’d bring it up to him repeatedly (we were supposed to and had agreed to do the inspections together). And he’d cancel a lot of these meetings too with our JHSC rep Tomorr (super nice dude, but I suspect he got annoyed with how often Rene would neglect his JHSC responsibilities).

Like, SO OFTEN you guys! Ask Tomorr! He’s a super nice dude.

And then when we began working from home, it was even worse. According to the Ministry, even though there was a Global pandemic, because we still had SOME staff members working at the 1 Dundas office, we still needed to do these checks regularly.

But we weren’t doing them at all, guys! At all!

Again I would repeatedly remind Rene of them, but he wouldn’t budge on how busy he was. And even when it came to crafting the agenda for these meetings, I quickly began taking this on myself, and being the designated “Meeting Minutes” keeper, and being the one who submitted these notes as required to the JHSC committee who then post them online so that all staff can be kept in the loop. I am GOOD at tasks like this guys, and again, I did all of this willingly and voluntarily, but I can’t do a workplace inspection from home.

And at one point, Rene, Tomorr and I had a meeting about this. And for one of the first times in a while, Rene was on my side about 1 specific issue: I didn’t feel it was safe nor practical to have me, commute by bus and subway from then-Vaughan or King City down to 1 Dundas West for a workplace inspection that could be completed by Rene who was regularly on site. Comparatively, I was NEVER on site during this time, because my job didn’t require it, his did.

We reached an understanding with Tomorr who agreed Rene could handle the inspections; and we even suggested and agreed that Rene could easily call me via VideoCall while doing the inspections and I could participate remotely that way.

Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!

Rene of course never called me at all for these and I’m willing to bet he wasn’t doing them, until I personally recruited Jamie to stand in for me for these inspections; she lived downtown, and was about to return to some on-site work when we began doing in-person classes again in January 2021 as required for HER Seminar Assistant role.

Some More “Cancelled Meetings”

Here’s something else I’d be responsible for in my role.

If we cant find the meeting in the calendar, did it happen? What’s this e-mail for?

Whenever we’d hire new staff, I’d also book a meeting with them, or be assigned one, to walk them through how to use the Event Pro Management Software via the Event Pro Connect Online Portal.

I’m pretty thorough. I even designed a comprehensive SOP (standard operating procedure) document, including pictures with several screen grabs, explaining to staff how to book their own meetings, which I’d then later verify and confirm for them after ensuring it was okay to proceed with that event.

This is how all our PL’s (Program Lawyers) booked their programs, using the online portal. It’s very easy but it has some glitches. I’m just highlighting this again to tell you guys about how rad I was at my job. You’d have to ask OsgoodePD for a copy of my wicked SOP document; it even had a table of contents for quick navigating around the Word Document!

Like I said, thorough. Like a thorough-bread stallion.

And then there was stuff like this.

The CLE team passes hands over on programs constantly, and they then completely neglect to update the Operations/IT team on changes. And I’d send e-mails like this out regularly, but most of the time they go unresponded too, and then the CLE team comes down on me/us for not keeping the system updated.

Someone check the water over there, I think all the PL’s are wasted.

A Note on ZOOM

Also, FYI to anyone who’s going through something similar (catching your employer deleting your calendar and e-mails), in the case of ZOOM calls, ZOOM requires if you need a copy of the video that you give them the Meeting ID and as much information as possible about the platforms and Operating Systems you used them on. I know this because I reached out to ZOOM very quickly when I noticed how illegal the stuff my former law-school employer was doin and they very quickly provided me with the info. Thanks ZOOM!

On Union Release Procedure

As I said, I’d taken an interest in some of the free courses offered, and did my best to follow all the “due process” for such things. Here are the types of back and fourth e-mails I’d have to sit through with my Manager who could’ve easily just hopped on a call with me instead, or like, read the York U e-mail that went out about it.

I’m just saying, there are way more efficient ways to do this type of thing. But these managers are SO busy you guys they can’t even complete scheduling with any sort of decent notice.

Sunday night work schedule announcements? Cool! Thanks Paul!

But he’s like, so polite you guys. Because he’s previously been reprimanded for things like using anti-LGBTQ+ slurs on our LGBTQ+ employees. That hand slapping must’ve hurt! How much is YOUR salary, Paul?

Speaking on that, here is one of the other training courses I took that management wasn’t present for:

Maybe you should take it, Management, you pricks.
This one got cancelled for some reason, anyone at York U want to field why? Needed more anti-racism-teaching training or?

Seriously That’s Not My Name Part 2

It’s Jaimee, not Frankie.

You know what’s funny about this one?

May 11th.

I initially ignored it, having already been fed up with Gail Geronimo referring to me as Janique repeatedly, and then when Emoline reached out, I explained that I didn’t answer this because my name is not Frankie. I did this in such. away that Rene would also see it, because Rene is also supposed to be monitoring the Room Rentals e-mail account, and he hadn’t said anything.

My response.

Do you wanna know where I’d later hear the name Frankie?

Apparently Frankie is the name of Jamie’s dog (the girl my Manager was grooming to replace me). Seriously, she told me in a Zoom call, her and her girlfriend had gotten a dog, a rescue, and named it Frankie.

So I guess I’m a dog, eh, Emoline Fox?

And that’s not how it’s spelled either, dumb dumb. It’s literally in the contact list and my signature of our prior e-mails! Can’t take the time to learn names, can we?

Also, who the fuck is Emoline Fox? No one ever explained this person to me.

Carrying on.

Days Off Request & Cross-Training

As I mentioned, in some of our Zoom meetings Rene was actively pushing for me to take time off. And then the following exchange happened when I did:

Polite, courteous, respectful.

Sure, no problem, boss man!

Do employers not understand how this type of e-mail reads to staff? It reads as though you’re replacing them. Again, there was absolutely not enough work going on that would designate my-needing to train Jamie, although I would have been happy to do it at literally any time since I was so fucking bored doing nothing and Jamie and I, I thought, we friends on some level, but the timing of this is bullshit, again, especially given the very personal things I had been telling my manager at the time.

And Who Else Do I Need To Train?

How long has this woman worked here? Victoria are you reading this shit?

This woman has worked here far longer than me, you’d think she’d know when our programs are permitted to start by now. Of course, as always, I was kind to her nonsensical idiocy, though.

Let’s share some more e-mails from her!

Make of those what you will; I no longer work here and therefor no longer give a single fuck, if that hasn’t been made clear yet.

But for real, CLE director, learn how to write a goddamn e-mail, you twat.

And what’s this?

Somewhere along the way, staff also began recalling e-mails to me. Something that was in no way shape or form communicated to me as a new action we were permitted to do. But of course, this is a fancy pants Program Lawyer, so he gets to play by different rules.

Who’s this?

In my role I was responsible for viewing and responding to two e-mail accounts; my own, and roomrentals.

I’m highlighting this e-mail for you because this is just a sampling of the type of e-mail requests I’d get at times. But specifically, this one was interesting because it came from Rabab.

Rabab was a reasonably new hire who I’d confirm the courses for when they first began (they work at main campus) but somewhere along the way, I noticed they never responded to my e-mails back to them when I had questions or needed to clarify information.

At some point I mentioned this to another new staff member who handles the same courses, a Lisa S (seriously).

And her name.. is Lisa Stammsonite. That’s multi-faceted reference for you comedy nerds.

When Lisa got back to me she replied something to the effect of: Rabab never responds to e-mails and we don’t know what they’re doing, so just go ahead and pass everything along to me.

I later tweeted about this, calling Rabab “Carol” to protect their identity for potentially LGBTQ+ related reasons, because again it showed to me the very toxic work culture OsgoodePD had vehemently adopted: This staff member had gone MIA and nobody seemed to give a shit or check in on them in any way.

Hope you’re doing okay, Rabab!

Some Illegal Behaviour; Hey Labour Ministry of Ontario Are You on Vacation?

Errors popping up as I try to grab more e-mail evidence.

I mentioned somewhere in the Barrieland Saga that somewhere along the way, many of the issues I was experiences at work and specifically with my work laptop led me to make decisions about how to handle Barrie, too.

And what I mean specifically is, it was apparent to me that I either had developed a virus somehow, or that people were remote-logging into my machine without my permission. Couple this with the fact that I knew with certainty people were entering my apartment without my consent, and you can see why I started documenting certain things wherever possible.

For the record, Bobby/Brian, it should read “Where Are We Going” … sorry, I’m a stickler for detail.

When I went to log into my OsgoodePD e-mail after removing myself from Barrie, OsgoodePD had also already barred me from my YORKU account, including HR Self Serve (Where I can accept my payroll information and employment information required for a Civil Lawsuit against this piece of shit company) and they did this BEFORE my last paycheck was due to come out. And it got worse, dudes!

I video’d about this process above on Twitter, too, showing you that I could not log in to my account at all, but fortunately I was able to access my Microsoft Outlook Offline and grab all these screenshots and videos I then immediately shared to Twitter in real time, because they were clearly actively working to keep me out of my machine at this time. This was mid-July.

And like, does anyone know if a company can legally remove your access to HR Self Serve before your last paycheck? Before they send you any formal writing about your termination? Anyone? And even if they could, what benefit to them would it be other than to…. use that time to delete e-mails from my personal account and cover their own stupid asses in preparation for a lawsuit, which is evidence tampering.

And my computer was becoming wicked slow, guys. Like, virus-slow. Or just remote-user slow. Something I’m very familiar with since part of my role as an A/V/IT Pleb I had to remote in to clients computers, but you need explicit permission to do this and nobody had asked me for permission to do so.

I brought this up to Paul but he tried to brush me off to Yu-Tin. And I didn’t reach out to Yu-Tin because in my experience this guy arguably gives the least fucks about his job, even going so far as to basically saying so repeatedly in person (he has rental properties so he makes more than enough money), when he’s even in the office, because he and Bobby take off to browse the mall literally all the time, leaving people like Tiffany to handle their workload without the paycheck. But perhaps you guys have made an arrangement now with her, too? Seems you’re prioritizing hiring asians lately? Not that she doesn’t deserve it, she’s paid her dues.

But how much parental leave did this guy Yu-Tin (Blue Copper) get to take off in 2019, OsgoodePD? Like, 7 months was it? Seems fair!

There were 2 tabs open. 2.

A Word on York U HR & Pension & Benefits Office

These people are idiots for a slew of reasons. Here’s some examples.

E-mail 1: Requesting Address Update as I had moved out of King City at this time.
E-mail 2: Passing the Buck!
E-Mail 3; Me explaining that I already DID that and that’s why I was e-mailing them.

Like I said, York U is full of absolute idiots who will waste all of your time and then force your hand to quit because they’re that fucking stupid.

Speaking of that, let’s talk about our final days!

This e-mail was sent to me after OsgoodePD was harassing me off-work hours; also, is this really the appropriate approach for a manager to ask a staff member if they’ve resigned? After seeing something on Social Media which they have not confirmed was in any way written by me, or, as it often was by this person, misinterpreted by them?

And I knew they were reading my Twitter. See the above e-mail.

And at the same time as those e-mails and the subsequent 11.01 meetings, I was trying to work with my manager about my work from home agreement and getting what felt like, nowhere fast.

By ways of introducing this segment since I don’t have a screenshot, York U had sent a mach form to staff sometime just before this which was a short form where they wanted you to indicate if you wanted to continue working from home.

I commented in a meeting to my manager that I selected all 5 days even though I knew this was unlikely, because based on the limited information the university provided, my understanding was that by submitting literally even just 1 day as wanting to continue to work from home meant that they’d follow up with a meeting to discuss your options.

But that’s not exactly what happened.

This was after several repeated follow-ups seeking this information from Rene and it was already clear to me that they were trying to get me to quit, so I challenged this.

Here’s me now “not giving a fuck” and challenging this while I dealt with my unsafe living situation.

We really do conduct conferences outside of Ontario (in Alberta AND British Columbia, where I wanted to head).

They never gave me an opportunity to express how this would be very-much do-able.

But before I get into that, here’s some sampling of other events I was able to effectively source, manage and run in some way in a remote-setting.

The Annual Search & Seizure Law Conference in British Columbia under Program Lawyer Mary Park.

The much newer but Annual Construction Law West Conference in Alberta under Program Lawyer Alexandra Karacsony.

All from Ontario, Canada. This meant I was getting quotes, sourcing event spaces, arranging catering… all from Ontario for these events. Without ever stepping foot in the other provinces. Wow! What talent!

Weird how it wasn’t in any way worth discussing when it was flipped!

And here’s the thing, I can genuinely do most of my job remotely as I had been doing just fine since March 16th 2020, and my manager KNEW this.

And as for how to handle things that are on-site, while I was remote? My suggestion was going to be that we up the pay of our seminar assistants and give the a bit more responsibility, since their current scope of their job is pretty lackluster and they would both want to remain in Ontario anyways; and THEIR job requires them on site already. It was a win-win, but York University is fucking stupid, guys.

I even used our main campus partnership as a further example of this ability to work remotely on events.

Wow! Check it out! An event organized from Toronto that took place in York Region! Wow! Look at that! And then I went on-site for it, because it’s a “bigger deal” to make sure set-up was good day of, like I very well could have and would have loved to do for Construction Law & Search & Seizure; and like I was going to recommend I do once I moved to British Columbia, returning to Ontario periodically for the “more important events” – you know, like a real Event Coordinator does! Wow!

But no, tell me again how it’s impossible to do my job remotely, OsgoodePD. I’m waiting.

And here’s his response.

It also took an INSANELY long time for him to “gather this information” increasing job uncertainty stress for me in my already uncomfortable living situation. I bet it’s because he was talking shit about me with upper management, but you’d have to ask them about that.

And again, I’m a little annoyed by stupid questions at this point, like my asking “will there be a follow up” – hey dingus, remember how we were going to revise my role, after you sent me my job description as required for it, which you never did, and how we were discussing the whole “return to campus” thing which I expressed I was nervous about, having to transit from Barrie, Ontario?

The incompetency of this place is truly astounding.

My reply.

Again, I took it all in stride, trying to follow the “due process” of this idiotic law school.

Except here, where I was getting rightly fed up with it all.

Here were some more of the initial e-mails, to show you how long I was waiting for him to tell me I couldn’t work outside Ontario, which is also important because at this same time, I had spoken to Paul who told me he worked with Adam to have him return to B.C, so I knew they had the information readily available. That’s also why I CC’d Paul on this e-mail chain.

“I’ll be in touch” sure you will.
Takin’ it in stride while the tenants above me did… well, they were making a lot of noise.

And since I was also in a series of 11.01 meetings, I looped in Wanda, who then reached out to me via my personal e-mail for some reason.

Just trying to keep everyone involved in the convo because clearly no one wanted to help me.
Thanks for nothing Wanda.

And all the while, I continued to do my job as required.

It’s an old one but I have several examples of this.

The PL’s aren’t updating things? I’m shocked, Rene, shocked I tell you!

And Then We Got Invited To A Party – I LOVE Parties!

To. be clear, again, a lot of this stuff was already all over social media so I don’t really give a fuck about redacting anything now.

But let’s talk about that “Last Day” for Adam.

Because previously when I asked Paul what happened to Adam, he told me that he arranged for Adam to be able to continue working remotely from B.C, where he’s from (Adam was with us in Toronto a few years), and when I asked Paul when that change occurred, he told me it happened back in April 2021.

And then when I attended this virtual party, on the Friday before I attended the RVH hospital in Barrie, after I was having a reaction to what I suspected was someone drugging me in my own home, I asked Adam privately when he returned to B.C. And what did he say? September 2020.

So who was lying about this one?

At this point, it was impossible to tell.

Also, let me just also note here that Adam, our resident programmer, spent most of his time at OsgoodePD not doing much of anything at all and getting paid way more than me to do it (source: Adam was able to afford to live in Toronto not far from the office; Rent is expensive guys). Of course, I’m not saying this is Adam’s fault, management is THIS bad at decision making that he spent literally at one point almost a full year sitting on his hands while they decided things for the forms he was creating like what to name the Categories. Ask him about it though, he’s the “computer wiz”, I’ve only been creating websites since I was 12 years old, but Adam has formal training of some sort.

And even when after it was all “said and done” and I was reaching out for my employment information, after OsgoodePD barred me from my account prematurely, they STILL refused to give me it!

We’ve had a series of emails from my personal account by this point, hence my “tone”.
Me looking for my records since I couldn’t access anything on HR Self Serve.

I sent him this back:

And told him to take his time reading it.
I’m not fucking around dude, what you’ve done is incredibly illegal and I will in fact take it to court once I have put together all the required documents.

Trust NO ONE at OsgoodePD, they’re all scum as far as I’m concerned.

Except these 3 (and even then… seriously trust no one).

The Three Muskateers

Because I knew my time at OsgoodePD was clearly coming to an end and I knew I needed to move out of Barrie ASAP, I made a point to e-mail 3 specific people.

The first is Shawno. He’s the Media Technician at OsgoodePD, and someone I consider a friend. We’d talk often first thing in the morning about all the ridiculous things OsgoodePD staff did, so I wanted to loop him in, mostly to make him aware of wha they were doing to me, because I suspected he’d be next on the chopping block.

Shawno has more than 1 kid, but I left out the other one in this and there’s a reason for it.

Because at this time I suspected someone was remote-entering my laptop, I knew it was likely they were reading this e-mail, or could at some point.

And since I suspected it was possible that was the people above me, who I suspected were abusing their little girl, I didn’t want them to know my friend had one.

Shawno responded promptly but I won’t post that here, because fuck you York U, that’s why.

I’d sit in for Shawno often so he could get the right lighting for his shoots and try to help him with Pro Tools stuff whenever possible, though I wasn’t actively using it at the time. I’m a team player.

The second was Alexandra Karacsony, but I don’t have a screen grab of it, so I’ll just explain why I e-mailed her.

In the early stages of my working relationship with Alexandra, we got off a bit on the wrong foot. Alexandra cares a lot about her programs and is one of the only PL’s to do her job truly effectively. When I was an A/V, I was operating one of her broadcasts one day when she interrupted me in what I felt was too loudly, making comments about my work.

It is very distracting to do this to an A/V Operator, and I didn’t feel she had “the right” to comment on my technical skills that day; this is a responsibility of Shawno who checks the broadcast from the office and will message you if something is amiss, or come in to tell you quietly. My point being, our A/V crew runs a slick tight ship and most PL’s don’t understand what we do, so again, I reacted a little poorly on this day, effectively shoo-ing her away from my cart and saying it wasn’t the right time for her suggestions.

Alex later approached me about this at a better time, and we resolved this. I knew I reacted poorly, and she seemed to understand where I was coming from; all was well again.

But again, Alex has a unique personality but it wouldn’t be until knowing her for several months that I realized for all the little things that she did that myself and others found a little annoying, she was actually a lot like me; a perfectionist who knew how to connect with people.

On one of our brief ZOOM meeting calls during COVID, Alex was the only person to take a minute to thank me for my hard work. And she’s not even management! I thanked her back for the same.

And when I got into my role as Operations Assistant, she became one of my favourite PL’s; she is THOROUGH and I LOVE this about her e-mails.

Sometimes TOO thorough, but I’ll never complain about that ever again after what I went through with all of the others.

My other reasoning for e-mailing her was I feared she’d also be next on the chopping block, given some of the many conversations I’d overheard about her, just like Krystofer.

There are a couple other reasons I e-mailed Alexandra to say farewell, but I’ll save that for another time (did I mention she ran the Construction Law conference? I did. My memory is sharp AF, guys. I have a series of complaints about the state of the apartment I was living in as it relates to the laws and regulations surrounding rental units; these are all over twitter already, too, you slowpokes).

The third person I e-mailed was Mary Park and she’s a key player for me here and I’ll do my best to explain.

It’s like I KNEW they were fucking with my e-mails, guys!

I’ll let ya in on a little secret: Mary Park runs all the law conferences that are geared towards police and detectives specifically.

And Search & Seizure is all about the laws and regulations surrounding…. well, searching and seizing equipment from people. And they talk A LOT about it in the digital scope (cell phones, laptops…)

Like I said, key player.

Or, silent partner.

Or, none of those things, I just want to talk about why I included her, okay?

Here’s a sample e-mail between Mary & I discussing her program, “Drafting & Reviewing Search Warrants”

As I’ve said and keep saying, as an A/V Operator for OsgoodePD I was fortunate that the job role allowed me to sit in on so many conferences and get paid to be there. And the one’s that had the most of my attention, well there were a couple.

Drafting & Reviewing Search Warrants and the Search & Seizure conferences are both programs done by Mary Park, who no doubt understand entirely why she was the “Third Muskateer” I e-mailed in my last days at OsgoodePD.

These conferences are geared towards police & detective and other professionals who work closely with these departments; They discuss laws and regulations as they pertain to things like obtaining a legal warrant, how to draft them (literally), and things like, if and when it’s lawful to obtain a cellphone or laptop from someone.

The short answer to a lot of this stuff is, it’s insanely complicated and no, not really; it’s hard to get justifiable cause for these things.

The laws and regulations in particular as they pertain to digital mediums and internet privacy have been for a long time, severely undervalued in the Canadian law society. As such, many cases go unsolved, or “perpetrators” un-convicted for crimes, because of a lack of evidence or a lack of a legal way to awfully obtain that evidence.

As a kid I was a big fan of shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (it’s the best one, the only one worth watching if you ask me, both because the acting is A+ and just the way they talk about stories you’d also hear about in pop culture), amongst other law programming (I like stuff like The First 48), so I find a lot of this stuff on a personal level very interesting.

And also because, having been born in the 90’s, I was living through a lot of the changes in the world as they pertained to introducing cell-phones and the internet and computers; I remember Y2K, do you?

The media for weeks leading up to the Year 2000 (Y2K) were spreading misinformation that, as soon as clocks struck midnight (with no regard for time zones), all of the computers in the world were going to basically blow up.

This meant they were saying things like airplanes would be falling from the sky, TV’s disconnected, and so on.

I was 9 years old at the time, but even I knew this made no fundamental sense.

And sure enough, when midnight struck that year, nothing happened and the world went on as normal.

Anyway, back to Mary.

I have her response to me so I’ll share that now:

Thanks Mary, you da best.

I genuinely meant it (and mean it) when I say these are my favourite conferences. Even as I transitioned into my role as Operations Assistant, I wanted to keep up with them, but felt it was like, wrong of me to watch them for some reason (because I wasn’t paying for them, even though I maintained access to the content online and would sometimes help the A/V /IT Team keep an eye on webcast streams; supplementary roles that I didn’t get paid any extra for).

So when I started to realize what OsgoodePD was doing to me, I knew if push came to shove I’d want to give Mary a heads up on everything. At bare minimum, she might be able to provide me in the right direction as far as who to speak to about suspecting my employer (and, uh, hers) was unlawfully deleting my e-mails, leaving me off of things, entering my laptop remotely without my consent, and other fun things that I know, from her conferences, the Law needs up catch up with.

So I started bcc’ing her on my e-mail exchanges with OsgoodePD.

Oops, did I do that on purpose, Rene? I did!

And I knew my cellphone was compromised, too. Because one day I pulled it open to find that someone was literally crafting an e-mail from my device without my fingers on the keypad. Now THAT is freaky to see, guys! I have several screenshots of this but they’ve all been pulled remotely from my MacBook Pro somehow, again – this KEEPS happening!

[Update: August 27; 6:12PM – found the screenshots! I have several digital backups guys, so whoever is doing this, you’d be wise to stop]

Screenshots of someone drafting some sort of nonsensical email from my phone about Muskoka for some reason.

When I caught this happening on my phone, I took screenshots. In retrospect I should have tried to take a video recording of my screen, but I’m not someone that uses those functions often so I didn’t think about it, and acting so quickly the first thing that popped into my head was just to squeeze the 2 buttons on my iPhone to grab these pics. And then the typing stopped. And besides, even if I had a video, you wouldn’t be able to tell it wasn’t me typing from that; but one thing is certain, I did not and would not have been drafting this e-mail, so someone was in my phone for sure.

In the meantime, here is when York U finally provided me with information regarding the new Remote-Work agreement, sending me a contract on… July 9th?

But isn’t this the day I was fired?

You’d think, after all the shit they’d put me through, Rene would at least have the decency to schedule a meeting with me to go over this agreement which stated I’d be due to be back in the office as early as August 1st, 2021.

This was without confirming if I had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Which meant it would be super unsafe of me to go into work without it, again, commuting from at the time, Barrie Ontario, by public transit, to Toronto, Ontario.

So, I got fed up. Called it what it was: mental abuse of an employee, by their manager.

Fuck you, CF style.

The thing is, I had already, on the verge of tears in our last 11.01 meeting, with my camera off for that very reason, still in disbelief that these people were treating me in this way, and still dealing with the unsafe living situation I was in in Barrie (which, I’ll remind readers, I was being actively threatened, had suspected child abuse and called out the tenants above me on it, knew people were entering my apartment without my consent, had suspected I’d been drugged and gone to the hospital for this just a couple weeks prior and had THAT whole experience, and suspected my dog had been drugged too, was receiving harassing phone calls and texts from all over the place, and threatening voicemails, and was also still going through otherwise “everyday” struggles like divorce, all of which management was made aware of) when they decided to do this to me, an otherwise exemplary employee of going on 8 years who had seen 2 promotions and was previously asked if I was interested in management.

And then, it continued from there!

It got worse, I’m serious, guys.

And I know this post is now insanely long, so I’ll pick this one back up in the final entry for the Barrieland Saga where I’ll explain to you what was wrong about them asking for the equipment back, how they did it, what I did in return, how they continued to scrub my e-mails to try and save their asses, how they still owe me money whether they believe they do or not, and how they blatantly refused to give me my employment records, making it impossible for me to file a civil lawsuit when it would have been most appropriate to do so: immediately, and the fall-out from Pensions & Benefits that left me without an option to even continue my Sun Life insurance.

All in a global pandemic.

And at the same time, how I moved myself out of my apartment, safely, but then had the gut wrenching experience of having to say goodbye in person to the two kids I was trying to protect but ran out of options and abandoned them there instead.

Rad views though, guys, I miss it, totally.

Continue reading with Barrieland: Moving Out (Part 12) the final instalment.

6 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About OsgoodePD – York University

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