Geez Louise, can’t a guy make a few mistakes without every Tom, Dick and Mary making out like he’s some kind of criminal?
Whoa, sorry about the blogging absence, eh, but I’ve been working hard elsewhere for even less money, if you can believe it.
Oops, I mean, hardworking. I’m hardworking for less money. Plus expenses, actually, but never mind all that because I also managed to score a part-time temporary minimum wage gig about which I think I might even be a little bit excited.
But don’t look to me for how I got it because it was a combination of random luck here and random luck there that collided randomly for a brief moment in time.
One’s confidence does take a beating during an extended bout of unemployment, doesn’t it. Seems doubly unfair that it flags when you need it most, too, but I guess I’d reached that magic “enh, what the hell” state of being that allowed me to walk into a workplace that happened to be hiring at the exact moment I happened to be walking by, and announce that, although I have no experience at all, I wouldn’t mind getting some, so yeah, I guess I’m applying for the job.
Cripes, I practically dislocated my jaw to the floor when they said, “Come back tomorrow and talk to the manager.”
As I keep saying (to cheer my haters, who have been with me ever since I first burst online to incredible fanfare, now that I really stop and think about it) I’ve never been unemployed (involuntarily) before (by the way, haters, don’t despair, it’s just part-time/temporary/minimum wage) so the past year (plus) has been one long teaching moment for me.
Oh, and just so’s you know, if I’m ever close enough to a governing politician to take my boot off in his arse for using the expression “hardworking” to refer to his employers who have jobs, as opposed to his employers who don’t, I promise not to get cheap on you and try to get another year out of them instead, ‘kay?
No, don’t thank me, you’re more than welcome. I need new boots anyway. I promise you, I will take one of my old ones off in his arse. Both, if it’s Tony Clement.
So yeah, I just saw a sign, walked in, laid on the ol’ Sooey magic, and voila! I’z a workin’ mame now.
(By the way, I don’t know who’s getting work through Ottawa’s various and sundry employment agencies, but for me it’s been a few months of a lot of razzmatazz and public transit fares to supply them with this and that bit of this and that.)
After I went back and talked to the manager I even underwent a short bout of training – already – without knowing if I’ll be paid for it, so pleased was I to be doing something completely different from the sort of work I normally do for money and all the work I’ve been doing for no money plus expenses.
Yup, what the hell, eh? Why be pinned down by education and experience when you can start over doing something you know nothing about at a minimum wage that’s $7.00 higher than when you last earned minimum wage! Besides, G-jobs through agencies (and there’s virtually no other way to get a G-job, although you can do lots of exams and interviews and maybe even end up in a pool – from which you will never be picked because unless you’re in tarsands advertising – fuhgeddabowddit) are now minimum wage, too, and given the current misery rate in the public service, why not do something that at least comes with a little fun.
That’s what my new boss said after my training session, “It’ll be fun. You’ll like it.”
Fun. Now I defy you to find a public servant who would ever in a million years use the word fun to describe her job.
Don’t stay in school, kids. Seriously, just quit. It doesn’t matter what grade you’re in, quit now before you waste another second. And don’t pay any attention to all that math gloom and doom “our kids can’t do math!” because nothing is worth anything anyway.
Cripes, and statistics are so yesterday they may as well be values and ethics in governance.
But the reason I’m blogging about my new part-time temporary minimum wage employment is because I’ve noticed that, as soon as I knew I had it, I suddenly allowed myself to have downtime.
It’s so nice to have a job again so I can have some downtime. Because that’s the thing, isn’t it; when you need or want to make money (I almost used that evil word “earn” in the context of money again, that’s how propagandized I am) but are having no luck (and it’s all about luck, no matter how hard you work at trying to get a job, so don’t strain yourself because it’s not worth it, luck will either provide or it won’t) you end up denying yourself downtime, so that all time becomes the same and wasted with worry about not making new money to replace the old money you’ve been spending to stay alive.
Indeed, last night I actually allowed myself to read a weekend Globe article (that was too long to use time reading when I was completely unemployed – I know, but I think there’s a bit of depression that comes with unemployment that puts obstacles along the logic pathways of our brain) about people who survived the explosion in Lac Megantic that killed 47 of its citizens (for all my young readers, that’s almost 1% of the town).
And then I read an article in the Ottawa Citizen about how companies like Goldman Sachs are battling young employee burnout by not letting them work around the clock 24/7, including weekends and vacations, because apparently, if they don’t make them not do this, they will, like hamsters on a wheel.
Some employees have actually died working around the clock for companies like Goldman Sachs, and they weren’t even real employees, they were just interns, some of them not even paid. Imagine. Highly educated young people voluntarily working themselves to death for little or no pay in hopes of a continued life of such servitude to making money that their employers have to actually force them to take some downtime.
Of course, being psychopaths, they’re not doing it because they care about the health and well being of their employees, they’re doing it because not caring about the health and well being of their employees costs them money. Their employees aren’t sister and brother human beings to them, they’re resources. In fact, even government refers to potential hires through the agencies I’m signed on with as resources, “the resource will be required to perform such and such duties”.
I mean, really, it’s absurd, isn’t it? So many young people unable to find jobs, other young people working themselves to death – and for no remuneration!
Math? Fuhgeddabowddit, kids. History, that’s where it’s at. Or, at least, that’s where we seem to be headed.
When we lived in one of our in between places I had a friend whose baby was abnormal. I don’t know what the condition was, but she didn’t look like other babies. She was abnormally large.
And it’s incredible how alike all babies look until one comes along that looks different.
Over the couple of years we were there, her difference became more pronounced, not less, as she grew abnormally larger. She was watchful, but she wasn’t meeting any of the other usual milestones and was especially silent. One day when I walked in to playgroup I noticed her mother had propped her in a standing position against the wall.
She was wearing the biggest bonnet I’d ever see and brought to mind a lone sunflower in a garden of begonias, marigolds, and pansies.
I wondered where her mother could have bought the bonnet, but then realized she must have sewn it herself. She was a Suzie homemaker type.
Even while I thought this, her giant child was sliding down the wall sideways, her stare not wavering, no sound, until she was pretty much horizontal. When my friend finally noticed she “tsktsked and cluckclucked” and then propped her back up again.
I say that like it was nothing but it looked to be quite an effort and when she returned to the mother circle she exclaimed, “Soon she’s going to be too heavy even for me!”
The rest of us smiled as if it was totally normal to have a toddler almost as big as yourself but she was already telling us about a problem she and her husband were having with their house, which was very old, and how her husband was so busy working on other people’s houses that he didn’t have time for their own.
“He’s never home anymore! Always on call!”
I felt bad for him but then thought maybe he’s one of those simple souls who can soldier through whatever life throws at him.
It was awkward, but she seemed determined to carry on as if everything was ticketyboo, chastising (in a cajoling way) her giant baby for lack of effort, until eventually she was walking, although in a way that just emphasized her difference, tick (one side), tock (the other), slowly but surely making her way to the toy box while the other toddlers tumbled about the room around her.
We had a few playdates at her house. I think she liked having me and my two girls over because we made it a group. Also, my firstborn was a somewhat sedentary sort who liked watching television and never really took to play, while my second was a player, very active. Once, during a freakishly cold stretch when we couldn’t go outside (for very long, at least, because I had a routine that I stuck to like glue and going outside every day – no matter what – was part of the routine), she tried to climb the living room curtains. I caught her in the act but she was trying to retrieve a Barbie she’d stuck in the pleat so it wasn’t her first time up to the ceiling.
In my head, she was always playing quietly, happy and content, but a visiting friend once took a few pictures and in later years when I described her as having been an easy child, she took a particularly revealing one out of her purse and I suddenly remembered how she would sometimes attach herself to my leg and scream and cry until she was red in the face.
Anyway, on our playdates my first and her only would sit and watch a movie, hers sort of slumped sideways, mostly silently because my first was a long time talking and when she finally did she reserved her conversation for important matters, usually to do with the environment, but sometimes more serious even than disappearing frogs and the unlikely survival of earth’s large mammals.
Once, before playgroup, she was taking a long time to get ready and finally I asked what the matter was and she looked at me, a tear rolling down her cheek, “You’re going to die and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
It’s really kind of ironic because she grew up to become a pop culture aficionado. People who say other people don’t change must not be paying very close attention, or else they don’t have kids, because they do change. The child who was once attached to my leg doesn’t even live in the same city as me now.
On the playdate, that daughter busied herself playing with the odd new and different toy that went otherwise unused, while I chatted to my friend about this and that. I was always a little more political than other mothers at home, I thought, and she fascinated me because she was what I think of as a stereotype of a stereotype. She baked and sewed and did crafts. Once she came right out and said, “I’m the girl and he’s the boy. I like doing girl things and he likes doing boy things. That’s normal, isn’t it?”
She was talking about her marriage.
I didn’t know what to say because I didn’t know what I thought anymore. I just knew that when I went to work parties with my husband I had nothing to say about my current life that was of interest to anyone, but if I mentioned my past work life, suddenly everyone was curious. I was at home for my own reasons and it still bugs me when my Conservative friend goes on about how I was at home because I wanted to be. It wasn’t that kind of choice, it was a different kind of choice.
It was hard being of no interest to anyone, so I envied her perspective, and especially that she didn’t care about being of interest to anyone, but then her giant baby would loom into view and I’d feel bad about everything, how shitty life is for some people, all why why why, and I’d get bogged down. I had trouble leaving other people’s lives with them and always took home bits and pieces.
“Make dinner” was a version of “snap out of it”, I think now.
One day, I was at another friend’s house for a playdate. She had a third friend over as well, new to me but not to the mother circle at playgroup, and our kids were all in the playroom where we eventually ended up, too, because they were toddlers and we were of the helicopter parent generation. This friend’s marriage imploded a year later, it’s quite a story. She was Conservative, very traditional, but she’d been a business woman before being a homemaker and put her husband through school, so she was a different kind of traditional.
Ball-busting traditional, I’d say. She and her husband were middle-school sweethearts. I’d describe their break-up as epic.
Anyway, she’d made muffins and I was eating one (I really don’t like muffins because to me they’re neither/nor) when I noticed little bits of mold on the bottoms after the paper was peeled off.
“I think these might be a bit, uh, moldy. On the bottoms.”
“No, that’s not possible. I just made them yesterday.”
But her other friend said, “They must have been warm when you put them away and the mold grew under the paper overnight.”
She took hers to the kitchen and tossed it in the garbage. K., my friend, was embarrassed but laughing and threw the rest of them in, too. I was just as glad because, like I say – muffins. Then she scrambled for something else for us to eat but I was happy with just coffee and her friend was, too, so finally she relaxed and we were talking about kids and husbands and then I mentioned having been at my other friend’s place the other day.
She was having to make do with a bucket as a toilet because her husband still hadn’t got around to doing their bathroom.
K. looked at her other friend and then back at me, concerned.
“There’s no husband, she’s a single mom. Haven’t you noticed how she acts like everything’s normal with her baby, when it’s so obvious that it’s not? She has a social worker now, I think. She looks after the baby and everything but she’s totally nuts.”
Later, I phoned my friend, the one who’d taken the pictures, and told her about it. We’d worked together at the caucus and she reminded me of the time I saw a strange man lurking about in the hall, so I reported him to my boss. He went out in the hall to check, giggling about how brave he was, but then immediately back-tracked, “Actually, he’s one of our members.” Then, “He’s not often in his office but, yeah, just, next time you see him hanging around like that, um, just ignore him. Go around the other way. He can be a little unpredictable.”
Anyway, we relived the old days as we often did and I came up with “kookoobananasville” to describe the caucus and she thought that was really inspired – kookoobananasville – and took to applying it to all sorts of people and situations. You could be kookoobananasville yourself or you could be living in kookoobananasville because of those around you. It was always reassuring to talk to her about the stuff going on in my mother-at-home world because she had zero respect for the old workplace.
In other words, she made me feel like I was making good choices, at least while we were on the phone talking, and I didn’t feel so much like I was missing out on everything.
And kookoobananasville is truly inspired, isn’t it?
That was apparently Jackie’s response when it was suggested to her that she clean up (JFK’s blood, hair and brain tissue was splattered all over her pink suit) for Lyndon Bowles Johnson’s swearing in immediately after the assassination of her husband.
But, of course, who’s the “they” she means?
Jackie O. Woman of mystery. I remember reading a piece about her in an old magazine someone had at a cottage. It was by a friend of hers and it talked about how passive aggressive Jackie was around Onassis. According to the friend, Onassis was mad that Jackie wasn’t being the queen of style with him that she’d been with JFK. Instead, she’d taken to wearing house dresses and kerchiefs, and staring off into the distance, smoking (I may be making up the smoking part).
So he’d badger and bully her, trying to make her jealous, by going on about how stylish so-and-so in their group looked compared to the slattern Jackie had become.
“Yes, she looks lovely”, or somesuch, Jackie would reply, smiling sadly at the beauty of another woman her new husband was using to snap her out of it.
It was years ago I read the piece but it was the most interesting one I’ve ever read about anybody connected to the Kennedys. We’re so aware of depression these days it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to be the Kennedy woman – by marriage – the tie suddenly severed by unimaginable violence.
Rob Lowe, in a movie about Kennedy in which he plays the lead, claims JFK and Jackie had just recently got their marriage on track again.
In JFK’s death now she’s Jackie, not Jackie O. That would be tacky, wouldn’t it: Tacky Jackie-O.
I was talking to my mother yesterday about all the coverage of the assassination. She remembers watching it on tv, said something about having moved it (the tv) into the den after my father died.
The den was where he moved his practice after he became too sick to go to the office and before my mother and his doctor were able to convince him to go into hospital. He never came home, and in fact died way off in Toronto at Princess Margaret, my uncle says of a morphine overdose deliberately administered by medical staff.
I remember he used to phone us Sunday night and we’d line up and each take a turn talking to him (except my younger sister who was a baby). My grandmother, not the one who lived with us later, the other one, his mother, was behind me in line and I hung up the phone after my turn, thinking I’d done the right thing. That would only have happened the one time I remember lining up, I’m sure, but I remember it as if my grandmother never got to talk to her son again.
Kids don’t have perspective.
The night he died I remember my older sister crying. She was in bed with my mother, where I wanted to be, and when I showed up as I so often did (“I had a bad dream, can I sleep with you?) I was sent back to my room.
“Why is S. crying?”
“Your father died last night. Go back to bed.”
But I’d unbonded or forgotten about him by then and just had my long hair in pigtails that my mother said he liked to pretend to pull. We have pictures of him playing with us, roughhousing, on the floor. When they knew he was dying my parents decided to take lots of pictures so we’d have them to remember him by. Also, he was a very good amateur photographer and had invested in a fair bit of equipment. It was a hobby he took up during the war. He photographed fellow soldiers during their downtime.
When I was getting married my brother sent me a picture he’d had framed of my mother and father in early days, my grandmother visible in the background. It’s an outside shot and he’s in a tee-shirt. I’d only ever seen pictures of him in dress clothes and I was shocked by how narrow his shoulders were.
It was an emotional moment because my brother had sent the present to my workplace at Queen’s Park. Everyone was checking out the picture which was taken in the late 40s but mostly because I resemble my mother and she’s wearing short shorts and sitting on a fence. I wore short skirts in those days, although I don’t have her legs for it, and people thought it was funny.
Like mother, like daughter, they thought. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. I’m not like the missing parent either. Anyone who has kids should be able to recognize that they’re more like their peers than they are like their parents, but people want to believe what isn’t true, don’t they.
It’s nostalgia, I think.
Although I do have a hang-up about noise and my ex once accused me of using a glass to hear noise from the next apartment to be upset about. We were living in Toronto then and when I told my mother about it she thought it was so funny.
“I thought you were all me but when I hear that story I remember your father, and we were living right around the corner from where you are now, and he was going to school. He swore he couldn’t concentrate, had to go to the library, because of all the noise coming from next door. I said, ‘I can’t hear anything!’ And he said, ‘Shh, be quiet.’ And we waited until finally he heard something. ‘See?! Hear that?! They’re making noise!’ And I said, ‘Maybe you should stop listening so hard!’ I didn’t hear anything. I think he imagined it.”
My older sister remembers him waving from the back seat of the taxi. I had the derby he was wearing but one of my kids lost it at a halloween party, I believe. I’m not sure. A lot of “my stuff” is in the house I once lived in with my ex. I had a plaid tie, too, that was his, but my mother gave away the rest of his clothes.
She has said he was a bit of a clothes horse. But so is my mother and I wonder if she was actually the one outfitting him. She was years doing that with us, swearing by the look of success as the key to it. That and a degree.
If I had a nickel for every time she said, “Just get the piece of paper”, I’d be rich.
The items I’ve left behind don’t mean much to me because I don’t remember him that way. I have a snapshot in my head of my mother showing him a snowsuit she bought me, but he was in their bed, the one I would sleep in so often after he died.
It seems to me he was on my mother’s side of it, though. Maybe she switched later, although it doesn’t seem like something she’d do.
Another memory is of him in his plaid housecoat sitting at the breakfast room table. I think there are other people visiting but they’re dressed.
The day of his funeral I ran up and down the back lane like the town crier telling people my father died. I don’t remember being sad about it and I don’t think I was. I’d forgotten about him by then.
I don’t know the actual date of his death even now because, well, what does it really matter? It was some time in June, 1963. I got a bit of chronology out of my mother yesterday, but she had our ages mixed up, too, so I don’t know how reliable she is anymore on those sorts of details. So I asked her about her reaction when JFK was assassinated.
“Oh well, it was startling.”
“But not sad?”
“No. I didn’t feel sad about it. Your father died.”
I don’t believe people were affected the way they claim to have been by the assassination of JFK. I think their reaction has been made up over the years, just more American myth-making, millions and millions of people dining out on the story of where they were when Kennedy was shot.
And “who really killed JFK” still reverberates around the world even after Jackie, the world’s most famous fashion plate, wore his blood, hair, and brain tissue to witness the swearing in of the next American president.
Oh my, you’re up early. I guess you’re having trouble sleeping, too, knowing that people with top secret access to information are more than willing to lie (can we say “lie” yet?) to the police in order to prevent their workplace activities from coming to light.
I’d say fire them all but I’m not their boss, I’m just the sucker who pays their salaries while they call me, you, whoever doesn’t care for the running of government like a business when the business model appears to be based on fraud (can we say “fraud” yet?) nasty names and disappear (can we say “disappear” yet?) our money.
The cover of Macleans apparently boasts a list of the most important people in Canada with said list being headed up by Stephen Harper as #1.
Except to hear Stephen Harper tell it, Nigel Wright is way more important than he is. Cripes, how many times have we heard him say that Nigel Wright acted alone that whole time he, Stephen Harper, (or “this Prime Minister” as he’s taken to referring to himself now) was kept in the dark about everything going on in his own office?
Sorry, Macleans: Your ranking gets a #fail from Sooey Says. Nigel Wright is clearly, obviously, the most important person in Canada.
Although Stephen Harper does blink a lot every time he says, “Nigel Wright acted alone”, doesn’t he, so perhaps he’s just being his reportedly (by long gone Tom Flanagan) modest policy wonk not interested in money or travel self.
Hey, and where’s Rob Ford on the list, eh? Cripes, the guy has his own nation!
C”mon Macleans, get with Harper Canada, please.
P.S. Maybe put that honest guy who quit on the list next year. Or maybe one of the top ten on this year’s list could step down and he could go in his (did any broads make the top ten, by the way?) spot.
Must be able to lie a lot.
Uh oh, maybe the PMO is keeping Stephen Harper in the dark about everything Rob Ford so he’ll have plausible deniability should the Ford brothers unleash their promised War on Toronto.
He doesn’t watch Canadian news, you know. He told us that when he first became Prime Minister.
“I watched the last several elections in the United States very closely. I tend to watch mainly American news because I don’t like to watch Canadian news and hear what Allan (Gregg, a pollster and CBC pundit who was in the audience) and everybody else is saying about me, so my hobby is to watch politics elsewhere.”
I’m not clear otherwise on why we haven’t heard a peep out of Dear Leader on Fordmania currently starring on the Conservative Party’s in-house media, Sun News Network.
Is it me? Or are the Ford brothers getting their own show on SNN just in time to be boring? Maybe Kory Teneckye will have them do it in blackface to refresh the buzz.
But seriously, pretty telling that the Conservative Party operatives in the PMO equate Rob Ford’s pathological lying about everything with Justin Trudeau’s candid honesty about smoking pot – like millions of other ordinary hard working Canadian taxpaying family members have – eh? I mean, good one, boys and girls. That’s why we pay you the big bucks, I guess.
Might I suggest your next attack ad: “Conservatives rool, everybody else drools!”
But before I continue, just another brain fart about Rob “I’m not a rat” Ford. Why would he dare Toronto police to arrest him the way he did when he must have known that they had been tailing him for months and would have witnessed all kinds of criminal activity.
“Arrest me!” he dared, in front of the cameras, looking for all the world like he knew they couldn’t.
Also, he privatized garbage collection, and I don’t know, but if you’re like me, you think private garbage collection first, mafia second.
No wait, the other way around, mafia first, private garbage collection second.
Do we know that the Fords ever left their teenaged drug dealing gang, by the way? I mean, isn’t it possible that it’s still operating, ever expanding into other areas of organized crime? A labeling business? Really? Does it comes with a garage? Anybody outside the business ever seen inside the boxes in the storeroom?
Ugh, I just read today in an article by Kady O’Malley that Jason Kenney is rolling in dough raised in Toronto for his Calgary riding, most of it coming from Chinese immigrants. No wonder he went on a “one is too many” crusade against letting the Roma in to Canada, no money in it for him.
The above backs up my theory that poor refugees are preferable to rich immigrants 100% of the time, by the way. You’re welcome.
Just say no to rich immigrants before we end up with Prime Minister Kenney.
I threw up in my mouth a little bit typing that.
Anyway, there was another piece by Andrew Coyne today, this one in the Calgary Herald, lamenting the demise of Canadian civilization under the Conservative Party of Canada. He focuses on the current epidemic of lying by federal governing politicians in this one.
How can you tell Stephen Harper is lying? His lips are moving.
I know, I know, but omigawd, the blinking, too, and the stammering. And those poor pathetic MPs behind him just sitting there with guns to their heads not daring to say a contrary word.
Hey, wait a minute! They don’t have guns to their heads!
But that reminds me of a hilarious bit on an old Mercer Report I caught the other day. It’s the “caption this picture” segment and there’s a photo of Mulroney looking surprised/disappointed, and the caption is, “Aw, you said there’d be a bag of money here!”
Hard to believe we could come back from a Prime Minister picking up an envelope full of cash from a German national in a Montreal hotel room. But we did, didn’t we.
Remember certain media back in the day going after Stevie Cameron for letting us in on that little bit of extracurricular politicking?
I believe The Old Monster’s first venture once retired was to head up an oil company in Kazakhstan.
I know, I know, he kept us out of Iraq. But Geez Louise, oil? Kazakhstan? What, garbage collection too mobbed up already to get a foot in the trash bin?
That reminds me, Jaclyn Dawe, 35, missing since February.
For you, my Conservative friend, I googled Nick Kouvalis and Manning Centre and got him on tape bragging about how he got Rob Ford elected. Have a listen, you’ll like it because, like you, he doesn’t care, either, as long as his boys and girls are the ones who get to unload the public purse into private wallets.
It’s like Olivia Chow says, “They’re playing politics with people’s lives”.
You’re people, too, I know. And Jack Layton liked a little massage on the side. Who knows, maybe he even crossed towels with Vic Toews in the odd bath house.
You didn’t know that about Vic Toews? Well, I don’t, either, for sure, but rumour is he liked to visit the bath house. A lot.
But no, they’re not all the same. To say politicians are all the same is just an excuse that re-elects the dirtbags we have now. And they are dirtbags. Look at Peter Mackay’s suit, if you don’t believe me. He’s dressing like Al Capone now.
They are not all the same and politics matters. When you say they’re all the same you’re playing a game and although you think you’ve won, we’ve all lost, even Stephen Harper. He’s losing because he’s doing the wrong thing at the worst possible time to be doing the wrong thing. And I’m not even talking about all the lying.
But you can’t tell some people anything because they know it all.
Before I was laid off I phoned a union honcho to see if there was anything he could do for me. I’d been in the position for three years, which would normally mean the government was obliged to switch me from term to indeterminate status.
Indeterminate status is the holy grail of government employment, which is second to the magic decoder ring of getting three BBBs in French grammar, oral, and written comprehension.
Alas, the policy is a departmental one and can easily be tossed aside like so much red tape, and instead of becoming indeterminate at the end of three years, I was laid off.
“Sorry, honey – I got bigger fish to fry.” Those were his exact words, and before I could waste his time trying to get a meaningless platitude out of him, at least, he hung up.
Did I mention that term employees pay union dues?
It wasn’t a huge deal to me, to be honest. I appreciate the job now more than I did then, isn’t that how it always goes, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. But no regrets. It knocked a chip off my shoulder, having that job, it was where I learned that it doesn’t matter what job you have in the government, it’s a job in the government.
You can take that to mean what you want. You can even expand it to a job’s a job. I have. I’d prefer to not work in the government now that it pays minimum wage. Much better to work almost anywhere else for minimum wage.
Back when I worked for the NDP caucus at Queen’s Park I asked at a unit meeting why we didn’t have wage parity as a sign of solidarity for the word processors (of which I was one of two).
Ha! You’d think I’d suggested a ban on beards, so roundly defeated was my suggestion. Really, a more elitist workplace you wouldn’t in a million years come across. There were a chosen few purebred socialist researchers, none of them current, of course, because everyone good came before the bad, which was my time, and certain members whose credentials were unimpeachable, however uninterested they seemed in the working conditions of lowly word processors.
Poverty activists were popular, especially if they had British accents, because no one knows Canadian poverty like a British immigrant.
Okay, that was snarky, but it also brings to mind the recently deceased Peter Kormos (dislike) and union honchos addressing CUPE workers with carpel tunnel syndrome (mostly female cashiers from government building cafeterias) in their navy blue cashmere dress coats offset with paisley scarves that looked expensive enough to have come from The Irish Shop on Bloor.
That was back before he was even elected, so they were campaigning dressed like that.
On the other hand, I’m living the way I do today because of OPSEU local 593. The money I made working for the NDP caucus at Queen’s Park is seeing me through cold and dark days under Stephen Harper. So credit where credit is due, although I had help back in those days via an independently wealthy friend with whom I lived for a couple of years, too, only paying for utilities. She’s a big L Liberal. Make of that what you will. You know her.
Interest rates were crazy high in the 80s, oh my, my hundreds made thousands made thousands more, and when the stars aligned just so, I put it ALL on a down payment and, really, I’m still benefiting from that first unionized workplace, so I can’t complain too much about not benefiting much at all from my last one.
But you may be tapping into something because today on the dog walk, before the weird weather of right now hit in Ottawa, I realized that I get not just a little bit of that Tea Party feeling every now and again. When I see how easily the safety net can be dismantled I wonder at the intentions of those who set it up in the first place.
On CBC last night Wendy Mesley asked the panel if it was time to start reporting extreme weather in the context of climate change, as in admitting that climate change is causing extreme weather and going from there. And Marnie Soupcoff said something about proof, but also something to the effect that extreme weather isn’t killing Canadians like it’s killing other people.
While we were developing we were creating a future export of extreme weather that would kill millions of people living elsewhere in the world. You’d think now that we know the future has arrived for them we’d stop developing, accept that we’ve developed enough and live some other way, but you’d be wrong, of course.
Is there a political party in Canada willing to stand up and say no to developing the tarsands? There must be. Because they’re not all the same. I can point to policies some politicians espouse that I agree with and policies some other politicians espouse that I don’t, which means that they’re not all the same.
But you don’t believe that climate change is real or that it’s happening or that it’s man made, anyway. You don’t even believe in a finite planet. You believe in mother nature and father time and God and life everlasting and that it doesn’t matter even if scientists aren’t making it up because what matters is nothing, so nothing matters.
I know I said “Desperately Seeking Socialism” would be continued, but I need to interrupt it with this important bulletin about Rob Ford.
Just kidding. It’s not important. It’s not even a bulletin. Cripes, Rob Ford doesn’t even seem to be much of a problem, now that council has voted to strip him of his powers.
What was the big hairy deal, anyway? Seems like a “no brainer” as Stephen Harper would say, except about approving a pipeline that could wipe out a country’s fresh water supply.
It’s so fishy, though, that Rob Ford hasn’t been charged with any of the crimes he’s known to have committed, isn’t it. I mean, there’s no way he wouldn’t have been noticed drunk driving when the police have been tailing him for months.
So I can’t help thinking he’s cut a deal, mostly because of how he went on in that video about not being a rat. Seems like a weird thing to say, even if you’re Rob Ford.
And the way he said it, I dunno, like he was trying to convince himself, “I’m not a rat”.
Also, if I had to pick a Shakespearean character he most reminds me of, it would be Lady MacBeth.
Yikes, I just got a chill up my spine reading that over. Oh well, that’s what I get for being a conspiracy theorist.
Anyway, now that I know council can also strip Rob Ford of his budget, I’m a little annoyed that it didn’t get around to this earlier.
Geez Louise, what kind of damned lefty pinko council is it, anyway?
Oh yeah, the kind that would let a garbage strike go on for an entire summer and give out thousands of metro-passes to people who can afford to buy their own and tickets to the zoo to see the elephants that shouldn’t have been living in Toronto in the first place and subsidized lunches as if they’re not all local to the city and able to brown bag it.
Still, hard to imagine how anyone thought Rob Ford would be an antidote to stupid shit that mayors do.
No, seriously, if I go missing, check Rob Ford’s trunk.
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