Immigrants come to this glorious and seductive island city on the St. Lawrence with big dreams and old suitcases but all-too-often end up in hellish oppression, pushing broom, trying to cope on a paltry income.
Those immigrants - and I'm not talking about those who moved here because they were offered excellent jobs - are faced with a system rigged against their big dreams of success.
While native Montrealers might be perfectly courteous towards you, they don't want you as their child's boss ordering them to scrub harder.
The deck is stacked but you could still beat the house with some crafty approaches.
Here are my tips on how to overcome the odds and rise to your level.
1-Be enthusiastic about being here. Immigrants often think that they need to be discreet and modest. But you're missing a chance to score points. Show some flamboyant enthusiasm about this city. Build a ridiculously over-exuberant 30 second speech that excites people about your narrative. For example: "I saw Montreal on TV as a kid and immediately said I wanted to be there. I read books about Mayor Drapeau and Pierre Trudeau and the Olympics and Expo and the Canadiens and was determined to move here and I love it. All I need now is that dream job to really contribute."
2- Don't fight the power. Many immigrants are suspicious of authority because there's a lot of douchebaggery atop the pyramid back home. So you see immigrants at the rental board and small claims court fighting for tiny ridiculous victories, Don't fight the power, impress the power, engage, inquire, befriend. Don't side-eye your landlord, ask him how he created such an empire and how you can do the same.
3- Don't be ghetto, don't be a sell-out. Immigrants need to find a balance between how much time they'll spend with fellow ex-pats and native Canadians. Your countrymen will provide comfort and possibly open doors to good gigs. Canadian-born Canadians can also be a pathway to the top but not if you bond so much that others see you as a sell out.
4- Travel in dynamic circles. Your time is limited. You can't join every club and social circle, so you'll have to spot the fastest ponies. There are plenty of wealthy, successful and upstanding people who are kind and generous but they are ultimately time-sucks because they're not involved in any exciting projects and don't have it in their minds to help you. Find a new crowd if those around you are bringing you down.
5-Be noble about your origins. You need to talk lovingly and specifically about how you are from a noble civilization that has, in turn, infused you with greatness. But don't go on about the old country all day either.
6-Figure out the job market. Have a good look at where the best jobs that you can do can be found are and follow that path and yes move to Alberta if required. You can always return to Montreal when you bank a few dollars in a less-romantic burg.