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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fiction #29: Catriona Wright


I didn’t quit. I resigned. Quitting is for hormonal teenagers who have difficulty with authority and I am a twenty-five-year-old woman in possession of a B.Com from McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Studies.

Skills: My technical savoir-faire and interpersonal acumen provide the ideal compliment to my Creative Disposition and Self-Motivation.

Why did I resign? Because there weren’t enough opportunities for professional development. My boss didn’t even need to read the entire three-page resignation letter I handed over to him. He knew this day was coming, that he couldn’t keep me there forever; I have a degree from McGill, I had my eye on bigger things—no offense to the others in the office who will probably be there for years to come. It was a 100% positive and professional exchange: mutual expressions of goodwill were made, I handed over my nametag, and we shook hands.

Work Experience: Data Entry Information Management Agent (September 2009—February 2010). I inputed large amounts of data into a database. Accuracy of data was paramount whether numerical or linguistic or other (i.e. photographic, graphical, etc.). Employed analytic tools to analyze the data and ensure that accuracy complied with Data Protocol and Standards Regulation as devised by the Data Auditing Department.


It’s strictly temporary. I’m only working this catering job until I can discover where my true calling lies. I am a creative person with a loving heart and a strong work ethic who believes in results. My career must align with my innermost passions or, I know myself, I just won’t feel fulfilled and if I don’t feel personally fulfilled I will not be able to fulfill a life partner or fulfill my children and that is not the way my life is going to happen.

Volunteer Experience: Event Coordinator and Social Media Technician for Breast Cancer Society (September 2004—March 2005). Organized a formal ball for the Breast Cancer Society in order to raise funds for the organization because philanthropy is close to my heart and it is our duty as concerned citizens. Updated the Facebook site, designed the invitations, and brainstormed with my student colleagues to come up with an appropriate theme (cleavage).


I opted not to return to my catering job after working at an Arts Fundraiser where I ran into a former professor from McGill, who I approached, balancing a plate of miniature eggrolls and dipping sauce, with the intention of sneaking a little networking into the evening—I am an adept multi-tasker. The professor did not, however, recognize me and actually ignored me entirely after taking two eggrolls off the tray. When at last his companion left and he turned to me, I thought he was going to speak and perhaps offer me a job lead, but instead he asked for a napkin. There weren’t any on the plate, so I seized the opportunity and offered him my vest to wipe his hands on, which he did. And then I asked him if he thought he could act as a reference, which he did not.

Awards: Employee of the Week for West Island Catering (April 2010)

I lost touch with most of McGill friends. Occasionally I get emails from my former roommate, Maria (though, come to think of it, she still hasn’t responded to my last one). She’s teaching English in Japan. Every time I think about the opportunity cost, I am overwhelmed with sadness, because who will hire her when she eventually returns? Karaoke isn’t exactly a transferable skill.

Are you able to work well in a team and alone? Yes, friends are important, especially as stress relief, but I am rich in Inner Resources, most notably Resiliency and Initiative, and I participate in many selfcare activities, like bikini waxes, so I am prepared to meet the challenges of today’s working world. Yes, with a team. Yes, alone.

My job right now is looking for a job. I take this search seriously. I have written hundreds of personalized cover letters, have changed the font on my resume from Times New Roman to Verdana to Garamond, depending on my perceived perceptions of the recipient. I am a creative person and I work on that kind of wavelength, the detail-oriented one where every single decision needs to be made with care and conscientiousness, because if I have one major fault, it is perfectionism.

In the mean time I have offered to take care of my sister’s children, Rose and Emily, who are three and five respectively. Family is important and a strong stable base for anyone with ambitions and you should never forget them, ever. My sister, who is a grade 10 Biology Teacher, is insisting on paying me, which is nice, but unnecessary. And in fact I wish she wouldn’t because she is paying me the awkward sum of fourteen dollars an hour, which is obviously excessive for a babysitter and yet is not actually very much if she sincerely believes I am in financial duress, which I am not because I am fiscally responsible and also I have a credit card with a high limit. I am putting my sister’s money toward printing, paper and postage costs and I intend to buy presents for the kids as soon as I secure appropriate employment which will happen momentarily because I am a worthy person and thus far in life I have passed all the signposts to success, such as a getting into a good school (McGill), so there is no reason to believe that I am now off-course in any permanent or meaningful way.


What special talents can you bring to the organization? One day I am sitting in a waiting area with several other applicants. As I look around the room, I realize that I am the youngest person there. Ordinarily I do not even notice that kind of thing because age is just a number, but then one woman asks another if she has any children, just small talk, and this look of disappointment crosses the other woman’s face, and she doesn’t even try to suppress it or anything, she just lets it expand over her entire face. “Trying” she says without elaborating and explaining about fertility treatments or acupuncture or special diets. Just “trying.”

And that’s when I understood that what I can offer is not more experience, but less. My youth is the ultimate leverage.

Seeking Would-be Parents for Exciting Opportunity!
DATE: 31-DEC-10

McGill graduate seeks driven sperm and receptive egg to house in her womb for nine months. Sperm and Egg producers must be generous, possess excellent oral and written communication skills, and be able to prioritize the surrogate’s wellbeing above all else.

Both parents must provide a cover letter detailing why the surrogate should consider them, four references, and a CV.

Only qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview.


Just imagine! I’ll be the one asking the questions now. I’ll be the one deciding. And once I find the right candidates and my belly begins to swell, my life will finally be fulfilled. People will eye me in restaurants to make sure I don’t order wine. They’ll offer me their seats on the bus. People will stop me on the street to feel my belly for kicks or to predict the sex based on whether I’m carrying low or high.

I will finally stop being ignored.


Catriona Wright has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in various publications, such as The Dalhousie Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Room, and The New Quarterly.


  1. I love it. The languages are circulating in a way that feels true.

  2. LOL! Good stuff!

    For a moment there I forgot where I was and thought this was a real-world blog. Then I went to *ahem* "apply for the job" and realized my mistake.