In May and June of 2001, I worked at a multimedia design company called Filament Communications, located on the top floor of this York Street building. What was originally supposed to be a four-week internship turned into an additional two-week contract position. Three employees were laid off before I left, and the company disbanded shortly afterward.
After I graduated from college, I thought I’d be set for life employment wise. My parents are both long-term career people. At 21, I assumed that was how things worked. The part of me conditioned to crave stability has been shocked to learn that the rest of me is entirely resistant to a career. Losing my job at Filament was the first in a line of lessons in toughening up, of recognizing the fragility of very big things.
I remember when Rideau Street was alien. The first commute into downtown, noticing large ads hanging on the buildings across from the NAC. Cold mornings and posters for a Scratching Post gig at a club called Zaphod Beeblebrox. Sorting out the bus system and buying a copy of “Generation X” I spotted in the window of the Book Market on Dalhousie.
I talked a bit about my headspace while working at Filament in a piece I wrote about Gary Burns’ “waydowntown,” a film I read about in a newspaper while sitting at the Second Cup at the corner of Dalhousie and Rideau on a lunch break. I went back and had a latte today, catching up on a column in the Ottawa Citizen about Andy Warhol and pop art.