A year ago today was a workday for me: part-time Art Bank Technician with the Government of New Brunswick’s Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport. I picked up a rental van at Budget with “my” work-required corporate AmEx card, loaded it, and went to Maryville Place.
My supervisor phoned my gnb-issued cell phone to request a meeting in late morning. I went not knowing what to expect. Unexpectedly, I was given notice that my contact was being terminated effective that day, 18 months to the day of when I started work there. They expected me to continue working through the afternoon, to refuel and return the rented van; to clear my personal possessions out of the office cubicle; and to return the government’s belongings (including keys, DOT fuel cards, work orders, and my security/ID/building access card) that afternoon—trusting that I would do the honourable thing rather than abandon everything and simply walk away.
While I had previously been wondering just how long I would have continued in that job with its long hours driving winter roads—risking my life for government-owned New Brunswick artists’ artworks—I had not expected abrupt termination.
Several months earlier I had made application to UNB’s School of Graduate Studies and the Faculty of Education for the MEd program I am currently in. On March 24, 2009 I did not know the status on my application. I wondered whether I had sufficient work hours to be eligible for Employment Insurance? I wondered whether I should immediately look for another part-time or full-time job? I wondered if I could ramp up Broken Jaw Press, meet the due 15 April provincial publishers’ grant application deadline, and aim to apply in the autumn for reentry to the Canada Council for the Arts publisher programs?
A week later, on April Fool’s Day, I received my Certificate of Acceptance from UNB. Without the part-time government job, I wondered if I could consider attending UNB full-time?
Six days later my life was again turned upside down as I was made homeless, sidetracked, and intensely preoccupied by the fallout from a fire that destroyed the apartment building where I had lived for almost 11 years.
What would I do?
What … is Authoethnography?