I arrived in Ottawa last summer after receiving a transfer from my old job. Initially I was excited about the opportunity; my old boss frequently deemed me expendable and refused to promote me to the first line. But my new team - which had showed such promise - struggled to start the year. I played through injury, but it didn't help. Now, I have to decide whether I want to re-sign with this team long term. Please help.
-Afraid to Commit
Dear Afraid to Commit,
When you were drafted the hockey economy was strong. But a recent lockout has made the free agent market volatile. To succeed in today's job market you need youth and a strong, two-way game. Try being more proactive with your current team. Rather than waiting for a performance review, approach your coach and general manager and see what more you can do. By opening lines of communication, you'll start to see Ottawa as less of a job and more of a home.
For a long time I've thrived by solving my problems with my fists not my words. But lately it seems like my kind of problem solving is going out of style. Can you help me make sure I've thrown my last punch?
-Chris in Kanata
Dear Chris in Kanata,
Have you tried to overcome this issue by turning to more peaceful pursuits? Yoga is an excellent source of physical fitness, concentration, and relaxation. Downward-facing dog pose not your style? Then you should try your hand at horticulture! Get back to nature by planting sunflower seeds and watch them grow all summer. Take on the challenges of maintaining a rose bush! Pruning makes the heart grow fonder! Trade in your fisticuffs for a green thumb!
I've had an up and down year. I signed a new contract with a significant raise and had great possession numbers when I hit the ice. But I couldn't seem to get on my coach's good side. I was a healthy scratch time and again. What do I have to do to get back out on the ice?
-Patty Press Box
Dear Patty Press Box,
You deserve better. You deserve to be loved and appreciated for the player you are, not the player management sees. Stay true to the course you have set; either your coach will come around and give you more ice time or you will have to start thinking about changing positions.
I'm a 36-year-old man who's a 17-year veteran of patrolling the thin blue line. In two years I'm due to retire. Recently, I've given some thought to my retirement planning. I now own a successful brew pub by a giant Ikea but am thinking about expanding my operations. But is it a safe investment?
-Pucks, Beers, and RRSPs
Dear Pucks, Beers, and RRSPs,
While there's no sense chastising you for not starting your retirement planning earlier, you should give yourself a pat on the back for enthusiastically embracing your next career. The restaurant industry is notoriously fickle but if you've managed to succeed next to an Ikea restaurant and its discount meatballs, you must be doing something right. However, expansion is tricky and a lot of work, you should consider retiring from the blue line earlier to focus on your burgeoning brewing career.
I'm up for a promotion at work. I'm young, successful, and would relish the role of team leader. The only problem? Both of the men to previously hold the title left town abruptly. Does the ‘C' stand for ‘curse'?
Dear Karl Flow,
Don't be defined by the past failures of others! You're young and successful, now is the time to take this risk! Athletes have their superstitions, but someone has to wear the ‘C'. If you think you're up to the challenge, then you are! Go for it!
I'm just a fisherman from Nova Scotia but I work as the bench boss of an NHL team. I have a distinct look with prominent facial hair. Because of my whiskers I've been the butt of jokes and an object of scorn. Worst of all, recently a man who closely resembles me has taken to sitting behind me at games. There are even whispers that he's a better coach. How do I rid myself of the parody?
-Paulrus Behind the Bench
Dear Paulrus Behind the Bench,
No one deserves to be belittled for who they are. Embrace this resemblance as a tribute, not parody. Have confidence in your abilities behind the bench. Your detractors latch on to your physical appearance because your performance provides no material for critique.
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