blog archives

26th Jul 2011, 5:57 AM


The Problem with Real Estate Agents...

I don't like to generalize a huge group of people, and I don't assume that just because certain people belong to a certain group that they hold certain characteristics or behaviours, but there is something I've noticed about many Real Estate agents in my time as a receptionist at a real estate company.

Many of the Real Estate Agents I met were very nice people, hardworking and very friendly. They were people oriented, responsible and very smart - being a real estate agent was perfect for them as they were essentially their own bosses, were part of a customer service based industry and were handling large amounts of capitol. These same elements of the real estate industry is what appealed to many other Real Estate Agents who did not hold all qualities that I previously listed...They liked the idea of being their own boss so they could essentially do what they want and not be stuck in a routine, and they liked that they have the potential to make lots of money, and they seem to like interacting with people...however, because it's not the hardest thing in the world to become a real estate agent, this latter group are making the industry very hard to work in for other people who are more responsible and hard working (I'm not saying they're lazy and stupid, just that they aren't as hard working or responsible...and sometimes they don't use common sense...).

so here is a funny anecdote I have from my time as a real estate receptionist:

Being a real estate office, we handle the monetary transactions that occur when property is bought and sold - which includes the commission cheques for the real estate agents involved in the transaction. Usually when an office has a commision cheque for an agent that does not work in their office, they mail the cheque to the office that the agent works in. However, During the mail strike my office was unable to mail anything, so we told the agents that we had cheques for to come and pick up their cheque at our office. I have two funny stories about what this situation caused:

1. Idiots: This one real estate agent had to come to our office to pick up her commission cheque - to give you some info about her she was a young asian lady (maybe a few years older than me at most) well dressed with a canadian accent. Anyways: one night when I was working in the office, I get a call from her asking where our office is. I say "Oh, we're inside Hillcrest Mall, at the intersection of Yonge and 16th avenue."
"yeah, I'm at that intersection," she says "where's the mall?"
Now, if you've ever been to Hillcrest mall, you know its fairly big and hard to miss if you're at the intersection of Yonge and 16th ave. If you've never been to Hillcrest mall,  I'll let you know that its a big mall and if you're at any intersection surrounding it, it's hard to miss.
"The Mall is on the North-West corner of the Yonge and 16th avenue" I say, confused as to why she needs me to specify.
"Oh, you mean where the Future shop is?" she asks.
There is a Future shop at the intersection of yonge and 16th, but its in a Plaza that is right across the street from HillCrest Mall.
"No, the mall is across the street from the plaza" I clarify.
"Oh, where the scotia bank is?" she asks.
The scotia bank is inside the plaza where the Future shop is, across the street from Hillcrest mall.
"No. The Mall is across the street from the plaza." I say, getting annoyed.
"Oh, ok...wait, is it the bay?" she asks.
"Yes! The Bay is inside the mall! the big building with the Bay inside of it is Hillcrest Mall!" I say, perplexed as to how she can't recognize a mall that's sitting right in front of her. I then give her directions on how to get to my office. I tell her to go up the stairway or the elevator to the upper level (they're right beside each other and this is the only way to get to the second level of the mall) and the office will be the first thing she sees on her left - the name of our company is written in big letters right above our door. she says she'll see me soon.
"Great" I reply, excited to meet this curious character.

five minutes later, I see a young woman run past my office. Because my office is near the bathroom, I don't question why she is running.

two minutes later the woman who ran by comes back, and walks into my office looking very confused. I notice that she looks at the sign above the office door which clearly states our company's name before coming in, as if the strange markings perplex her.

She asks if this is my company's office, I assure her it is. she explains that she is a real estate agent from another office, here to pick up a commision cheque. I explain to her that I need to see some form of ID, even if its just a business card, before I can give her the cheque. She says that she doesn't have any form of ID on her, that she only brought her car keys and her phone with her. This has me taken aback - This woman has come to an office that she's never been to before, to pick up a cheque that is probably for at least $400, and it didn't occur to her that she would need to prove that the cheque was for her, that she needed some form of ID...sigh...

I won't bore you with the details but I manage to prove that the cheque is for her, and am able to sign it over to her. During this process, My cell phone which was sitting on the desk started to vibrate, I ignored it as I didn't want to be reading text messages in front of her. She at me at the sound of the vibrating phone and asked me "Was that my phone or yours?"

her phone was in her hand.

the other result of the Mail Strike was lazy agents.

While working at the office one afternoon I got a call from a real estate agent from another office who said that we had a comission cheque for her. I confirmed this and she asked how we were going to give it to her.  I informed  her that because the postal service was on strike we wouldn't be mailing it to her office as we usually do, but that she would have to come to our office to pick it up. She said that she lived in Toronto (Our office is located in Richmond Hill) and her office was located in Toronto as well and started to complain about how much it would cost her to drive up to our office. "What, so I'm supposed to drive all the way to your office, then all the way back to my office?" she said quite bluntly at one point. Let me clarify again: Commision cheques for real estate agents are rarely made out for less than $100. She asked me how much it would cost her in gas. I responded that since I don't have a car, I don't know how much it would cost. She said she estimated it would cost about five or ten dollars. As she continued to talk and complain, she made it clear that she felt it was a great inconvenience for her to pay for her own gas and drive ALLLLL the way up to Richmond Hill from Toronto to pick up her cheque (which again, would be for at least $100). She asked me if there were any other way for us to get the cheque to her. I told her that we could put it in the mail, but the cheque would probably expire before it got to her. She repeatedly asked me, without listening to my replies, to try to find some other way to have the cheque sent to her. Finally I said "ok, I'll ask my boss" and ended the conversation that was causing me increasing bewilderment at her attitude. the next time I saw my boss I brought up the phone call and asked him if there was anything to be done. He asked who the agent was and I told him her name. He immediately and very firmly said "NO! She causes us too much problem!" which satisfied me just fine.

so, if you want to be a real estate agent, this is a heads up as to what your "competition" will be...

26th Jul 2011, 5:29 AM


What's going on

OK folks, deep apologies for the late and lackluster comics of late. I'm kind of going through a crazy time and having trouble focusing on my creative projects.

I got a new job at a very well known coffee and espresso shop in toronto inside the Toronto General Hospital and really really like it there. I was hesitant to go back to working for a large corporation, but they actually treat their employees really really well (paying above minimum wage, good hours, flexible scheduling, discounts, opportunities to take home various products for ridiculously cheap) and everyone at the particular store I work at is very very friendly and supportive - I've only been there like a week, but I've really come to love working there.

Being a receptionist was a cushy job - sitting in a comfy office chair for 5 hour intervals, answering the phone and other small tasks - but it got boring fast, and I find boredom insufferable. there were lots of annoying but humourous situations, which i plan to write about later on. most of all, I missed interacting with people the way I did when I used to work at coffee shops and espresso bars. In the office, I was usually alone and if someone came into the office it was usually a real estate agent who either came in to work, to meet with their clients, or they were really, really creepy. I missed having regular customers who I could chat with a little bit, like I had at my previous jobs. Also, my office is located inside a mall and I HATE MALLS. I am so sick of the top 40 hits playing on a loop and hearing little brats have tantrums. the worst part was my office was between the elevator and staircaise to the upper level of the mall and the bathroom, so people were constantly walking by. if they weren't loud and incredibly disruptful (80% of my job was talking over the phone and often I couldn't hear anything because of obnoxious people outside my office who didn't have the common sense to be quiet when right outside of an office) they were just annoying - as they walked by they would peer into the open doorway my boss insists on and stare at me like I was some sort of circus attraction. also, malls make me feel like I'm claustrophobic [even though I'm fine with small spaces] - I don't do well with crowds, loud people, annoying music, and recycled air.

Also, I just helped my new boyfriend move from keele and steeles to bathurst and bloor - such a nicer area to live! I'm looking for an apartment in the same area because it's super convenient. 10 minute subway ride from where I work, a short walk to many great restaurants, grocery stores, pubs, parks, book stores and one of my favourite places to get frozen yogurt. Also, I'm hoping to go to U of T for grad school so living in the Annex would be great.

the new boyfriend and I are going to Montreal for a few days this upcoming week, to hopefully see Tim Minchin perform live! we weren't able to get tickets ahead of time, but we're still going to try. Tim Minchin is one of my favourite entertainers out there and if you've never seen his performances, you should check him out (plenty of videos on youtube) because he's hilarious and very talented!

so hopefully I'll have moved to a nice little starter-apartment in toronto by september (as long as I have my own bedroom, I'm not too picky about anything else). I will try to kick my ass into gear about producing better comics and keeping to my deadline, but things may be crazy for me for the next few weeks.

Just thought I'd write another blog, since people might actually be reading them, and let you know what's going on with me, since if you're looking through my website, you probably care lol.


13th May 2011, 10:20 PM


Just Wondering...

Has anyone else noticed how talking tapers off after sexual activity? and I'm not just talking about the wham-bam-thank-ya-m'am kind where talking afterwards isn't expected anyways.

When dating someone, the first couple dates (or however long until you finally cut to the chase) are usually spent talking, getting to know one another in some way. You try to talk about all sorts of things; family, friends, school, work, religion, personal goals, pets, travel, etc. You get comfortable with each other, or at least create the illusion that you're comfortable with each other.

Then you have sex, or fool around, or participate in some sort of sexual activity.

And suddenly, talking isn't the same anymore. I've found that the more you talk before you engage in sexual activity, the easier it is to go back to that level of communication, and even gives you the chance to rise above to a higher level of communication - But it isn't the same as it was before. However, when you don't talk much before doing the deed, the harder or less like it is that you'll talk afterwards, especially the way you talked before. Its not impossible for you to stay in communication with this person, or to have a relationship with them afterwards, I'm just saying it's not as likely, in my opinion.

Now what I'm wondering, from this observation, is it just because we're no longer trying to impress the person in question, and therefore don't bother wooing them with our words? or is it because we've reach a new level of being comfortable with them that talking constantly isn't necessary and we don't need to babble like we did before to fill the silence.

Does conversation die down because its no longer required? or because one of or both of the involved parties can't be bothered? And Why is it different than before?

This is where feelings get involved, I would speculate: If you had feelings for the person before the sexual encounter and the feelings remain afterwards, how does that affect your continued communication with them; do you keep talking with that person because you want to continue to impress them, or because you just like talking to them, or do you not put as much effort into conversation as you did before because what's the point? you already know they return your feelings so you just settle down into this comfortable state.

If you didn't have feelings for the person before the sexual encounter, and continue to not have feelings for them afterwards, do you bother to keep up their impression of you? or do you not bother talking to them because what's the point? you got what you wanted and now settle down into this state that is comfortable for you.

There are lots of other variations - like if you didnt have feelings before, but afterwards you did. Or you did before but then afterwards you didn't. Or if you can't tell and you're totally confused - which all lead to the scenario: do you want to keep talking to them, and why? and does it ever go back to that level of communication that you had before? if so, is it better or worse?

To break it down further, it depends on personality. For example: If a person had low self esteem, they're more likely to try to keep up other people's impressions of them. If a person had high self esteem, they are more likely to not care what another person feels about them. However, there are a variety of different personality variables that would affect how a person treats their sexual partnet after sexual activity, so it gets kind of messy to figure out why they do what they do after they've done what they did.

So the question remains: Why does sex change the way you communicate? Why does the way you talk to someone after sex differ from the way you talked to them before sex? is it because something has been lost between the two of just as something else has been gained? is that it? the dynamics between the two of you have changed so now the conversation changes too, no matter how you try to act as though what happened wasn't a big deal.

The way communication changes after sexual activity isn't always bad, but it is usually different (at least from what i've experienced).

you can email me your thoughts, opinions, etc at

15th Apr 2011, 11:58 PM


I hope people read this

OK, so you probably noticed the lack of new comics this week, and especially the lack of comics being posted on time. I am experiencing technical difficulties.

My laptop has put up with a lot of abuse (being dropped, having stuff spilled on it, being hit, and such) and is once again showing signs of it. At first it was just slow and would freeze a few times a day, then it wouldn't let me open photo shop. Then it wouldn't let me open iTunes. Then it said that there was no audio. Then it wouldn't play any video or flash. It would freeze every few minutes and would take FOREVER (think of dial-up speed) to load a webpage. Now it won't open a web browser, let me chat on msn or even connect to the internet. In the eyes of a university Student, this laptop is USELESS.

I seeked help from the top experts I could find (my boyfriend, my ex-boyfriend, and a guy who reads the webcomic) the general thought is that it's a hardware problem, in retaliation to all the abuse. The Boyfriend lent me his spare laptop to use until I get this sorted and the Ex Boyfriend offered to put his spare hard-drive into the broken laptop to see if that makes a difference - in which case I'd only have to buy a new hard drive, not a new laptop (which is what I'm considering since I go through this almost every 6 months).

Now, what does this mean for the webcomic, and for you? Well it means hand-drawn comics for a little while until I can get my shit sorted. And most likely the comics will be a bit sloppy (just trying to be realistic guys) because the laptop the Boyfriend lent me has linux and I'm too frustrated with technology to bother to learn how to do anything on it other than use the internet.

Hopefully, shit will be sorted soon and I can go back to using photoshop for comics since I really enjoyed making that last comic.

I will post a comic this upcoming Tuesday, however I'm not sure if I'll be posting more than one to make up for not posting one this week.

Please bear with me as I go through this Difficult time.

1st Feb 2011, 7:13 AM


I don't expect you to read all of this

I’m walking home and thinking of my twin brother. My mom is worried that he’s going to kill himself. I don’t really think he would do such a thing, but I keep thinking about how terrible it would be if I were wrong. What if he really did? What if my twin killed himself? I don’t know how I feel about this, I really don’t. When my Mom first came to talk to me about it I just chalked it up to her usual hysterical attitude, but it made me realize how little I know my brother now.

I mean, he’s just always been There. It’s not like with other siblings where you pass each other by in different times of your life, where they could teach you something about an experience you haven’t had yet. With other types of siblings, they can teach you techniques to trick your parents, or what to do when you’re alone with a boy. A twin is just There. You go through life at the same pace, each meeting similar obstacles at the similar times. Even with a fraternal twin like mine, He wasn’t able to teach me much. I already knew that boys were ridiculous, He proved it. He didn’t let me in on some big secret to the brother hood of boys; give me an advantage above other girls. At least, I don’t think so. I don’t think we had a special bond either. Not in a twin way, or even a sibling way.

It feels like we’ve spent most of our lives trying to get away from each other, at least I sure have. My father always said that I am a single child, who happened to have a brother born on the same day as me; I’ve always been an independent person. My brother, he’d say, is a twin through and through. Throughout our childhood, we couldn’t escape from each other. We went to a small school where everybody knew each other. I was always “N’s Sister” and he was always “Serena’s Brother”. Even when our family moved, our friends would usually be shared between us. It drove me nuts. He drove me nuts. And we always seemed to be part of the same group, even if one of us tried to expand our horizons; we’d be sucked back in, like binary stars in rotation. Most of my memories up to the age of 16, involve my brother:  A mutual friend flirting with me while my brother watched TV beside us, Birthday parties that we shared, having to sleep in his bed while he had the chicken pox, and I still didn’t get it. Even Birthday cheques from our Aunt Chucky (to Nathaniel and Serena, to the payment of $25). We had to share everything. Our first job was delivering papers – together. Its cold out and the tips of my ears are starting to freeze. I shove my hands into my pockets and pick up my pace.

He was always there. Family trips, playground games, sleep over parties, birthday parties, we even shared our religious initiation into adulthood – our mom had us have a b’nai mitzvah whereas other kids had the entire spectacle to themselves. I was late to my pre-prom party because my mom had to drive my brother to his and we only had one car. Even in high school where it was big enough for me to avoid him the whole day after getting off the bus, it would still catch up to me: “Aren’t you N’s Sister?” and I would begrudgingly say yes. What else could I say? The time I tried to say “No, I’m Serena” they got confused. It’s normal for twins who grow up together to try to separate themselves as much as possible, assert their independence from their sibling. That’s why you will often see sets of identical twins who dress and behave as opposite as they can from their sibling. But with my brother and I, it felt like a see-saw. If I did well in school, he did poorly (and vice versa). If he had a great job, I had either a shitty one or none at all. When I moved out of our home and went to university, he stayed at home and played the drums in the basement. I turn right down a side street; a new song starts on my personal music player.

Sure we don’t hate each other, but like anyone else you randomly get stuck with for life, we fought. The more we saw each other, the more we fought. When I was living in dorm my brother and I barely fought when I came home to visit. A car whizzes by me and I realize that it was less than a foot away from me. What if I had accidentally stumbled or reached my arm out at the last minute?

And now my mom is worried about my brother killing himself. He’s been going through a tough time, escalated by the death of a friend. My mom worries that with his recent behaviour he might attempt suicide. I’ve barely been home the last three years, and when I am I am self-centered and only noticed things that have changed. I don’t think my brother would commit suicide, at least I don’t think so. My mom asked me to go down to the basement – N’s Territory – and see if there’s anything he could hurt himself with. “I don’t know what to look for” she says “things have changed since I was your age; I don’t think I’d notice the same things as you”. I agree but think what the hell would I be able to find? I barely go down there. I mistakenly tell her “y’know, if someone really wanted to, they’d find a way”.

But, Seriously, What would happen if my brother killed himself? Would I even cry? I don’t know. I remember crying when my guinea pig died, but being fine an hour later. I wasn’t upset when I found out my Grandfather had died – I only saw the man three times in my whole life - yet I broke down crying at his funeral, not even knowing why I was crying. I don’t see myself crying if N died, but It’d feel wrong not to. My mother would definitely cry, it would devastate her. Would she go nuts? Would she keep his room a shrine to her lost boy, messy floor and all? Would she refuse to talk about him, shutting down? Would she become depressed, as is rumoured to run in her side of the family? As I walk the sleek black street my mind races through these scenarios. My brother’s room would clearly go to my little brother, now six years old. Would he sleep there though? He always falls asleep on the couch, like its his personal safety blanket. I would claim my brother’s Xbox—As soon as I think this I mentally slap myself at the thought: you can’t think like that.

I meant he pretty much ran away from home yesterday – yelling at our mom and storming out the door. “I don’t need you, I don’t need my drum set, I don’t need this”. My mom had, in a moment of anger, told my brother that maybe he should go live with our father. I later explained to her why we hate it when she says that, feeling like the remains of her marriage to my father, now that she has a second husband and 2 other children. I rarely feel resentment towards the new additions to our family, but I know my brother has difficulty with it. My Mom was a nervous wreck all night, asking me – again – if I thought N would kill himself. I honestly didn’t know – we weren’t thrown together like we used to be. I rarely saw him and when we did we usually ended up arguing. I don’t know who his friends are anymore; I don’t know where he would go. Today my father told me N had contacted him, a surprise since he hasn’t willingly talked to my father in three months. I have continued to go to work, talk with my boyfriend, read my school books, but I keep feeling a tugging, like I shouldn’t be continuing on as usual. Now that I’ve written it out, I’ve realized my brother and I do have a bond. It’s been there all along, I just never really noticed it because it’s always been there. Other siblings have it develop and grow, but not twins. It’s hard to really see something that’s been there your whole life. I usually just brushed off stories my mom had told me - how when my brother and I were toddlers my parents would seperate us, me in a room with dad and N in a room with mom. She told me Dad would tickle me, and N would laugh, and vice versa. When my brother and I were 10 my brother went to Hawaii with our Grandmother and at night my mom would hear me shouting at my brother in my sleep. "You were sleep-fighting with your brother" she told me. It feels weird not to have him home, to have him ignoring my calls and text messages. He's always been there.

What would I do at the funeral? What would I say as his friends came up to tell me that I have their sympathy? Would I cry? Would I sadly say “thank you” and wait for it to be over?  Would I just keep going to work, or would I have to take a whole week off to sit Shiva? Would my mom demand we do that? What could I do if she did want to sit Shiva?  If nothing else, I would be pissed at my brother if he killed himself for leaving such a mess behind – for leaving me. I turned right onto my street, thinking about my brother. Thinking about me in regards to my brother.