In crafting my unbucket list, I considered some of the things I’ve tried before and wouldn’t want to try again, or things that just didn’t sound appealing to me at all. But I didn’t consider putting things on my unbucket list because I’m prohibited from doing them.
Our (renewed) work permits arrived in the mail on Thursday, putting an end to a tense two-week period during which we were living in Canada illegally. (Not really, we had the paperwork to prove all our documentation ducks were in a row, but absent the actual piece of paper in the passport, one never knows……)
We’ve only dabbled in being illegal aliens once before and purely by accident. We were living in London many moons ago – completely legitimately, I should add – and then we were crazy and had a child there. And, though we were diligent in getting the aforementioned child an American passport, it didn’t occur to us that we also had to get him some sort of British visa.
I mean, he was a newborn. What was he going to do? Get a job? Steal benefits from his legal counterparts?
So one day, a few weeks before we returned to the land of the free and the fat-free, we took the Eurostar to Paris for the day. And, ten hours later, when we tried to board our train back to London, the customs agents were all ‘this is an illegal alien!’ Incroyable! And they made us sit and wait for twenty minutes while they determined the fate of a three month old boy with three tufts of hair. Eventually they let us get on the train with a stern warning to get the proper documentation tout de suite. Which, I’ll confess, we didn’t do since we were leaving within a matter of days.
But this was supposed to be about Canadaland and my newly issued work permit.
I took the permit out of its brown envelope and stared at the piece of paper; a mixture of dull curiosity and obligation. I’m not sure what exactly I was looking for, but I immediately noticed a set of conditions that had not been included in work permits past.
“Not valid for employment in businesses related to the sex trade such as strip clubs, massage parlours or escort services.”
The rebellious, you-can’t-tell-me-what-to-do part of me was slightly outraged. Why, on this, my third work permit in five years, were they suddenly prohibiting me from working as a stripper or an escort? The only plausible* scenario I could think of was they’d processed my permit, realized I’m turning 40 this year and, with visions of hundreds of Canadians with burned out retinas (my eyes, my eyyyyyes!), immediately put the kibosh on this about-to-be-40, mother-of-three working anywhere near such venues.
Though I can’t imagine there’s a huge demand for people in my age bracket to work at strip clubs (although maybe you’d get a lot of pity-tips?), the rebellious side of me felt a little put out that Canada was essentially banning me from exploring all of my career options.
Because they’d also quashed my (non-existent) dream of operating a dayhome:
“Not authorized to work in childcare…..”
So now it’s back to the proverbial drawing board, as I revisit my ‘what are you going to do with your life’ conundrum.
*Admittedly, this might not be the only plausible scenario.