Tuesday September 01 , 2015

Today’s Word in Politics: “Technical”

Hey! Welcome to our “technical” recession, sister and brother Canadians!


Laid off good job 3 years ago and working part-time minimum wage retail now.


Don’t Mind Me

Just realized this morning that I saw at least two North American mayors on the news last week talking about the devastating economic effects of climate change on their big cities.

And I was explaining to my daughter about the other exponential factor in tarsands development, the one that is chronically overlooked, which is that we’re cutting down one of the earth’s most effective carbon sponges to do it.

There’s always pressure at the store to buy something from the new collection. It’s not necessarily from management, in fact it often isn’t, it’s from co-workers who are genuinely excited about the clothes. But I have enough outfits, thanks. I was explaining why that is to my co-worker last night and she was like, “Hey yeah. I have enough outfits, too.”

She looked a little down about it but also kind of relieved because the new collection isn’t very inspired. Of course, why would it be. Clothes are so ubiquitous that I can go to the thrift shop in my neighbourhood and outfit myself in better quality for a fraction of what I’d pay retail.

Yup. Only two of us working in the store last night. You just figure anybody coming in is a thief and let her at it. It bothers me but there’s nothing whichever conglomerate owns the store today wants done about it, obvs.

Everything comes from China wrapped in plastic which is then thrown out, you know. Everything. Anyway, I can’t quit until I finish my book, so I’d better get writing!

Thanks for listening. You’re the best.


Back to the Future

Department of Wow: Apparently the Gap plans to stop being as shitty an employer as it is now by ceasing its practice of pretending to hire sales staff and then using them as an on-call only service.


Feeding the Beast that Bites

Regardless of what the numbers add up to, and the ensuing political spin, a lot of us have been living in the new normal for a few years now.

The political and pundit class has no idea, really, of how it is. They react to each other, not reality.

We don’t even track unemployment, just people lucky enough to be able to cash out their employment insurance before they enter our part-time minimum wage retail reality world.

It’s ironic, but well-deserved, too.

After all, we voted ourselves into this mess. When politicians backed by millionaire businessmen told us, forget being citizens of the world, you want cheap crap from abroad, we couldn’t have agreed more.

So think global (how can I not, knowing there are millions of refugees desperate for life anywhere) act local: should I go in to work today or is it time to stop feeding the beast that bites.



What Would YOU Do With A Cheque for $90 Grand?

Sitting on my backyard patio this morning reading the Saturday Globe & Mail, an article about Salvadorean parents having to send their children on dangerous journeys through Central America to hopefully better lives as unwelcome squatters in the United States.

Now I’m reading about the people termed migrants, who are, of course, refugees, found suffocated in an abandoned truck in Hungary.

The other night, I was watching The National and a Syrian refugee, a tired young man who could have been from Ottawa, so familiar did he sound and seem to me, said of the backlash there: “None of us wants to stay in Hungary, believe me.”

In a way, my reaction to this humanitarian crisis reminds me of my reaction to watching oil gush out from the earth, where it’s supposed to be, and into the Gulf of Mexico, where it isn’t. I feel helpless, defeated, depressed. I said to the young man on the tv, “I believe you. I know people who’ve lived in Hungary.”

This morning I deleted a couple of comments I made on a Sun columnist’s Facebook page. I like his stuff but I just can’t stand Canadian vox populi anymore. I’d happily trade every Conservative in Canada for just that one young man about whom I know nothing except what he said, “None of us wants to stay in Hungary, believe me.”

By the way, I think I spotted an actor from a Conservative Party ad in “Trainwreck”.

Fitting if it’s him.

Speaking of assholes, millionaire asshole, John Snobelen, was preaching to Sun “folks” about what a joke it is that the Duffy trial is over a cheque for only $90 grand.

I think the NDP should have a contest asking Canadians what they would do with a cheque for $90 grand.


“Dancing Queen”

So I saw “Trainwreck” last night with my Beau. He had a gift credit card for $30 and then on the dog walk he found $20 so we went for dinner first. It was kind of a do it yourself affair and I imagine a lot of patrons create a dog’s breakfast dinner but we both liked ours.

We even shared a fancy dessert. We basically spent triple the $20 but that’s okay, we’re not really poor, we just don’t make any money.

And we have $8 left on the gift credit card for another half movie.

Normally I want to get my money’s worth at the movies by seeing something that I couldn’t watch at home on Netflix, which Stephen Harper isn’t going to tax, but I wanted to see “Trainwreck” because of all the hype.

I was curious.

And I found myself quite shocked that anyone in 2015 would be shocked by anything in “Trainwreck”.

Because there is nothing shocking in “Trainwreck”.

And Amy’s character isn’t a trainwreck, either.

I was sitting in the theatre, tense with anticipation of horribleness about to befall her and everyone involved with her – any second now – because of all the hype, and-

Seriously, am I the only woman in her mid-50s who remembers the 80s?


Sales Facts

“My Book! My Book!” is morphing almost into a play there’s so much dialogue in it, but I thought during the election campaign, which has ceased being fun now that the Duffy trial is suspended until November, I’d toss out this little gem for any visiting politicos to ponder and pass along.

Fact: Prices are up on the fall collection – substantially.

Fact: Quality/variety of collection is down – not substantially, but noticeably.

Fact: Sales were down from August of last year – substantially. (New sales are way down – customers wait it out for sales.)

Fact: Shifts are being canceled based on a new wage costs vs sales profits formula.

Fact: All current middle-aged staff are getting fewer hours.

Fact: New young hires are coming.

Interestingly, the current staff getting fewer hours include two former full-time employees with exemplary sales records both past and present who actually buy and wear the clothes being sold.

I’ve been boycotting the clothes since the dress I bought at the end of last summer started pilling at the beginning of this.


Lipstick on a Sooey

I don’t know that anyone has commented on this so I thought I might. I couldn’t help but notice the other night on The National that Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta, who was briefly featured, wasn’t wearing any make-up – or didn’t appear to be wearing any make-up, anyway.

It was striking, how noticeable it was, too.

I wear lipstick (ugh, just typing “lipstick” is weird) to work, when I go out anywhere, but maybe I’ll stop. It would upset the store manager, but, oh wait, it would upset the store manager.

Okay. No more lipstick. I’ll show you, I’ll show you all.

Although you may have trouble seeing me if I’m not wearing lipstick.


Why Duffy’s Trial Matters

Gee, I’m not a REAL backroom girl or political pundit, but I’d say Duffy’s trial matters because his lawyer has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that we can’t trust the men who run our country to tell the truth even when they’re under oath.

And we can’t trust their boss (if Stephen Harper even is their boss) to tell the truth whether he’s standing in the House of Commons or in front of the country’s media.

And rather than tell the truth, the men who run our country have been willing to completely humiliate themselves in court and/or shred their reputations and credibility in public by continuing to lie to the media.

Over a Senator’s expense claims?

It’s always about the cover-up and this one has spiraled into a 5-star shit show.



Why Canada?

The top story on The National last night was “The Markets! The Markets!” – of course – because stocks were down and Stephen Harper didn’t suggest, as he did in 2008, that now is a great buying opportunity.

And it is, isn’t it, so that much he knows about economics, I guess.

Did we ever get the straight skinny on why he told Laureen to sell, though, when he was telling Canadians to buy?

It’s possible, I suppose, that he wanted to impoverish her so that she couldn’t run away, although she appears to be traveling quite willingly with him.

And campaigning. Cripes, she’s more visible than he is this go ’round.

Well maybe she needs him to win again and make her money back for her.

Anyway, it’s fun not giving a shit about the stock market. A depression? Bring it. Don’t care. Maybe it’ll kick start a new economy and we won’t live like idiots anymore.

Speaking of depression, could Syrians be any worse off do than they are now? I can’t imagine what a nightmare their lives are. And yet I read a piece in the Globe and Mail just the other day about what a problem migrants are for Europe, you know, because everybody’s a migrant now, not a refugee.

I’m just not clear on why we’re not doing anything to help them. Or anybody. As if Canada isn’t a part of the world anymore.