Hi. I’m Vanessa. I’m 32 years old. Don’t worry: Age isn’t contagious. I’m the one in white in the picture of the girls on this site. Just a regular dress up day on Whyte Ave. I also frequently don ball gowns and watch television. It’s just how I roll.

I’m currently Communications Student at MacEwan University in the beautiful city of Edmonton, AB. I spent the previous seven years of my life pre-University as a Health and Safety Manager for a heavy equipment rental company in the land of Oil and Money: Fort McMurray, AB. Through the experience I learned several things;

1. How to roll like a big boy: Fort McMurray is a town dominated by males. I am, by no means, the “I am woman hear me roar” type of gal, but I am big on anyone making their presence, knowledge and experience known respectfully, politely and effectively, especially in a land where women are few and far between and, of those very few, even less hold positions as a department head for Safety. But it was always important for me to remember that you don’t make friends by being a mean cow, so everything I do I do with a smile.
I am also a HUGE advocate for women taking on roles that have been in the past viewed as “for men only”. Anything you can do, I can do better.
2. Let’s face it: Safety is boring. I was constantly seeking ways to make safety interesting for people. If you check out the ‘Vanessa’s Tips for a Safe Day’ section of my blog you’ll see attempts that I made via company publications to make safety something that we can all identify with… and not put us to sleep trying. This creativity taught me that a message is more effective if it is delivered in a way that makes us laugh or appeals to us and so, with everything I write, I try to incorporate humor… and respect for the thoughts and feelings of others.
3. I hate steel-toed boots. And hard hats. I am a fashionista/hoarder (amazingly those two usually go hand-in-hand. Check out posted pics of my walk-in closet (aka. bedroom converted into a makeshift closet) and my posts on fashion-hunting for more proof) so neither of these bode well with my outfits. However, a true fashionista will make every accessory work. It’s a fine-tuned skill.
4. Thinking fast: more than just a clever way to win an argument with your partner. When you work in safety, especially in the oil sands where everything is big, dangerous and should have been done yesterday, you need to be quick on your feet, thoughts and words. You won’t always have the time to check your manual for what to do. That being said, the best course of action if you are faced with a scenario to which you don’t know the solution? Say “I don’t know” and fins out. Ask questions. Do your research. And always, always follow up.
5. Be political. Just like the albeit crude saying “just like an a*shole: everyone’s got one”, the same goes for opinions, beliefs, thought constructs and perspectives. You don’t catch flies with vinegar and you don’t show respect for others by tuning them out and shoving your opinions down their gullets. Some people just want someone to listen. That’s all they need. So listen. When you need to stand your ground to defend a position your audience will be more susceptible to hearing you out if you have granted them the same honor.

Moving on: I two dogs named Capone and Yubbie and a husband named Kevin. We were happily raising a family of sea monkeys that I bought in a candy store for him because he loves Archie comics, but they all died. They did live for almost a year however, and produced many a baby. All of which had eyes. I don’t know much about sea monkeys (expect that they don’t look anything like they do in the Archie comics. Not even the crowns. I was looking forward to seeing them naked with nothing but a crown. Not that I’m a sea monkaphile or anything. It just looked cute. And crowns are great accessories when worn correctly. The dogs are still ok though. We now conisder ourselves to be parents, so when people ask us ‘So, when will you start having kids?” (often asked to newly weds like us) we can now say ‘We have brought life into this world’. Eyes were a pretty big step, we think.

We think great parents.

Lastly, I grew up in perhaps one of the best known towns in the world. Although I will, later in my blogging career, write about it for now I will leave you with a hint: It has a head. Literally and figuratively. And said head may be made of plastic or other corrosive materials. Oh, and you wouldn’t place it in your airline carry-on luggage unless you’re a voyeur or hoping to be embarrassed to your roots in security. Stumped? Then keep on reading my blogs!



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