24 May 2008

I am a Canadian Assistant, eh!

I live in Ottawa our nation’s capital. I don’t live in an igloo or take a dogsled to work and I don’t ski in July. I live about ‘10 clicks’ from work and take an OC Transpo bus to get there. Up here OC stands for the County of Ottawa-Carleton, not Orange County.

The first thing most people do in the morning is get a ‘double-double’ coffee and donut at Tim Horton’s, or more affectionately known as ‘Timmy’s’. We can pay for it with a ‘Twoonie’ or two ‘Loonies’. Our troops in Afghanistan have a Timmy’s on their base to make them feel at home.

I am doubly blessed with not only having a Canadian accent ‘eh’, but I also have an Ottawa Valley twang. At work however I am a professional and don’t answer the phones with ‘G’day’ or say ‘see ya’ when I say goodbye.

I try to keep my desk ‘organized’ and ‘co-ordinate’ my boss’s day. Sometimes my boss can cause a big ‘kerfuffle’ with stressful deadlines and we all go running to ‘get er done’.

I write Canadian English and when I type the letter ‘z’, I pronounce it ‘zed’. I requisition ‘cheques’ when I need to pay an invoice and I spell labor "L A B O U R". I try to keep myself professional and younger looking by ‘colouring’ my hair when the ‘grey’ starts showing. I celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the second Monday in October, not in November.

If I go to a restaurant for breakfast, I have a choice between white or ‘brown’ toast and when I am finished eating I ask for the ‘bill’. I go to the 'washroom' when nature calls and when I take time off work I say I am ‘on vacation’.

I go out for lunch with the girls at the office and I work across the street from the ‘lads’ on Parliament Hill, where we have a Prime Minister, not a President. Because I work so close to the 'Hill', I have a front row seat to see and hear all the protesters when they come visitin’. Hey, one time the farmers all drove to town and parked their tractors out front and honked their horns all at the same time. Now, that got the politicians’ attention eh? When the boys from the Valley come callin’, well all I can say is, “We sure know how to ‘giv’er’ up here”.

I will still be watching hockey in June and wondering when a Canadian team will finally win the Stanley Cup and bring it home to Canada where it belongs.

I am looking forward to celebrating Canada Day on July 1st, not July 4th.


For more on the Canadian way with words click here.


THE FIC said...

Hilarious! Love it...

I'll have to write a DC equivalent!

Go Detroit Red Wings!.. just because I can't stand Crosby (sorry!)

Denise said...

Thanks Patricia, for setting a few things straight! I live in Calgary, but I don't wear a cowboy hat (except for 10 days each year, during the Calgary Stampede).

Most of my clients and subscribers are American, though, so I use American English when I write to them.

Patricia Robb said...

At first I considered whether I should write American English because I noticed many of my readers were from the States, but then decided to go with what I knew best. Plus, I'm kind of proud of the way 'we' write things.

Of course, being a virtual assistant you would have to write the language of your clients.

I enjoy your blog Denise. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the virtual assistant.

P.S. I lived in Fort McMurray, Alberta, for a few years and have been to Calgary many times. Beautiful country out there...

Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia:

I first read this in your book, "Laughing All the Way to Work". I am only half-way through the book, but I was looking at the back for your contact information and came across this little blog.

When I received the book (on a Friday), I took it home for the weekend and could barely put it down.

I love the simplicity and the way you "tell it like it is". I have been in the administrative field for almost 40 years and I am a secretary at heart and always will be. I must say, I have learned a few things already, but can definitely relate to about 98 per cent of your book so far.

Thank you so much and I intend to come back to your blog often.


Patricia Robb said...

Thank you Patty, I am glad you are enjoying it.