Introduction

This essay was written by me, Brandon Nolet, in the context that I’m currently working as a contractor with my health centre organization. I realize that I’m in a position of privilege and if you’re sensitive to that, I advise you to refrain from continuing on this post.

Present-day

Since July of last year I’ve been working with a health centre organization (known hereout as “the organization) here in Montreal. What you need to know is that there are multiple physical sites lain across the city, many, many computers to support, and that we’re in the public sector.

Benefits

There aren’t many. Thankfully I still have some sort of health insurance from the agency that I’m working for (that contracts me to the organization). My colleagues get 2 weeks of vacation per every 6 months and 10 sick days. I get 2 weeks of vacation after a year and only 5 sick days per year.

That being said, I get other benefits from working at the organization in the form of material compensation. For example, I got a used X230 laptop with a backlit keyboard for personal use. There are other benefits that if you contact me personally, I can let you know about. I feel like writing them here might jeopardize my position.

Instability

This is probably the biggest problem working as a contractor. When I was hired, I was hired until May 30th on contract with the organization. This was great at the time because it meant that I had a job for almost a year in a decently-paying job that I had a lot of interest in.

In March, my contract was extended by a month. Now it’s towards the end of June and my contract is about to be extended another month. I didn’t know this until about three days ago. Three days ago, I thought I would be out of a job after the 30th of June.

All this extension business has made me feel so unstable and made me feel like I can’t make any plans for the future. I have goals and ideas and dreams that I want to act on, but all of those things have some sort of dependence on whether I have a job or not. All these things depend on where in the city I’ll be working, where I’ll be living, what kind of salary I’ll have. All these things are sort of interdependent as well.

All this extension business has a purpose, however.

Getting Hired

Since I was hired on contract for the organization my boss has been on a mission to get me hired. If any one of you reading has ever worked in a public institution, let alone one with more than 2 physical sites, you’d know that there is lots of red tape that surrounds a process like “getting someone hired.”

Given that, you must also take into account that I don’t explicitly have the qualifications listed as required for the position I’d be working as (technician). That requirement is a full Quebec college diploma rather than the “attestation of college studies” that I have. This is akin to a trade-school degree in the USA I think.

Conclusion

I’ve been stressing over this stuff for the past few months and that’s on top of stressing to find a place to live for the end of August. Admittedly the finding a place to live is a little less pressing, but it’s a worry nonetheless.

Hopefully by the end of July I’ll be considered a full-time employee of my organization.