Monday July 06 , 2015

Casuals R Us

I’ve been writing conversations, trying to keep it real. Christ, it’s hard writing a book. I wish I’d written it already and could spend my free time doing arts and crafts.

Anyway, I made a comment on Dr. Dawg’s (where I’m not commenting anymore so don’t go looking for it) that I’m going to paraphrase here because I’m trying to work out for myself how it really is.

I think retail, which isn’t an industry so I can’t call it the retail industry, retail is how it really is now. And the problem with that, and it’s a problem because retail is too much of our economy, is that people who work for retailers aren’t employees.

We’re casuals. We’re a dime a dozen, our jobs are a dime a dozen, there’s no substance to any of it, no stake involved, it doesn’t matter.

Also, one of my co-workers is a young woman who struggles with English and who was fast-tracked to Canada as a highly skilled worker. And I have more in common with her, now, than I do with the public servants I used to know and who shop at our store.

I think that’s significant but I don’t see much recognition from various and sundry that it’s even happening, this sudden and drastic downsizing of individual economies. I mean, I’m okay with it, but I’m a very conservative person and I live a small and uncomplicated life.

 

Welcome Back Potter *Now Updated with Awesome Subtitle!

Just kidding.

*Awesome Subtitle Update: History ends when Herstory begins.

I’m referring of course to Andrew Potter’s interesting piece in the Ottawa Citizen in which he segues our love of nostalgia, with a heavy nod to Mad Men, and our lives lived online, over to the end of history, as predicted by someone supposedly named Francis Fukuyama in, yes, “The End of History”, which was published in 1989.

That’s the year I got married. A dozen years after that I discovered the internet and social media and almost immediately became a cyber super star.

Now I’m divorced.

You do the math.

The thing is, I have friends who love(d) watching Mad Men, women and pop culture aficionados, but I couldn’t watch it because I couldn’t get past the sexism and littering to appreciate the style.

Styles?

I still agonize over that picnic scene. If you haven’t seen it, it’s one of those jarring ‘hit them over the head with it’ nods to a time that supposedly existed once but not anymore in which the characters go on a picnic in the woods, and when they’re done, they just leave the mess there, get in the car, and drive off.

Except then I give my head a shake so I can agonize over our deliberate cutting down of grabillions of hectares of boreal forest in Alberta – even though climate change!! – and then wasting bajillions of buckets of fresh water to steam oil out of sand so we can keep on keeping on driving those same old same old gas guzzlers and so on and so forth and more of the same etc etc.

Never mind all those forest fires started by people flipping the bird at Smokey Bear.

All happening here in the epicenter of the end of history, too, not even over in Europe where history’s been over ever since our biggest free trading partner – USA! USA! USA! – nuclear bombed Japan – twice!! – and ended it.

Anyway, not sure where I’m going with this and it’s 9:30 a.m. so I’m a 1/2 late for my book writing start, but it seems like whenever I try to look forward to a stylish future free of sexism and litter, there’s some man there to tell me to fuhgeddabboudit because there isn’t one.

Enh, could be worse, I suppose, we could be looking forward to the past everlasting.

 

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Hydro One on Line Two

I do feel bad for the young man at Hydro One who lost his job recently due to his own bad behaviour, but since he wouldn’t have nearly the responsibilities of so many Canadians who lost their jobs in random cuts to the public service in the past few years – through no fault of their own – my empathy is mitigated.

Or is my empathy extended further…

Because really, the hardest part of all of this for him, I’m pretty sure, is that he’s lost his job in such a public way that, well, I hope he’s getting counseling to talk him through this humiliation that he’s brought upon himself, and that he comes out the other side of it okay.

It’s a lot for a young man to endure these days…

 

Back At It

Just a super excited heads up that I’m in the middle of the chapter that sparked the idea for “My Book! My Book! Won’t Everybody Think of My Book!”

I didn’t have writer’s block so much as writer’s fear of failure, which may be the same thing, I don’t know. But I just jumped in as Alan Cumyn advised at a reading of his I attended once upon a time.

He said you can jump in anywhere and suggested the middle is always a good bet.

He also said, “You’re trouble, aren’t you”, when I asked him to sign my copy of “The Famished Lover” twice – for re-gifting.

 

Welcoming Michael Coren

Subtitled: Sooey makes Michael Coren all about her.

I hadn’t thought about Michael Coren for a while, although my Conservative friend used to mention him frequently back before he had his American girlfriend and was available to give Miss Daisy here the odd ride to Rockland Textiles or Ritchie’s Feed and Seed.

By the way, I’ve planted seeds hoping to grow both annuals and perennials around and about our little postage stamp. Could happen. The lilac I planted a couple of years ago is in bloom and the sand cherry is thriving, although it looks like it might be a spirea.

Why do people like gardening? It’s so hard and there’s next to no instant gratification.

Anyway, before I read in Michael Coren’s own words in that liberal filth rag, the Toronto Star, that he’s going from a big “C” Catholic to small “c” christian (i.e. Anglican) I was reading about people who live the christian life just for the hell of it.

And it makes so much sense, they make so much sense, that it boggles my mind that I’m not doing it, too.

Even though I’ve jettisoned God from my brain I’m still cursed with the ghost of John Knox tapping away with his knotty cane somewhere in my subconscious so I always get a vicarious thrill from the idea of killing him off with acts of kindness.

Why is it so hard to be good, to do good, to forgive ourselves and each other?

While I’ve been writing my book about my year in retail, now going on two years in retail, I’ve written two other books, one about internet attractions, another about the time before cyber space was discovered.

Just kidding. They’re jumbly masses of words. But one day, rabbit, one day…

I wonder sometimes if we all suffer from post traumatic stress, and that some of us are just better at suffering in silence while others of us can’t shut up.

Speak up, silent sufferers! You’re making us non-shutter-uppers feel guilty!

A co-worker sort of shouted at me the other day, before I went on vacation, which is where I am now, thinking about my future, pondering a life change: “Sooey, you’re a very empathetic person but she’s a good girl working for the corporation and you’re all fuck the man and why can’t you see how that’s a problem, not just for her, but for you!”

People really are awesome, sometimes.

Welcome, Michael Coren.

 

PSA

I know I’ve been blogging like an idiot lately but I’ll go back into semi-retirement on Monday. I’ve been avoiding writing a chapter in my book that’s kind of pivotal because I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it justice. It’s a co-worker’s story and it’s like a made-for-tv movie it’s so dramatic and over-the-top. But true. Omigawd. She’s such a ball-buster. Not anti-men at all, just a ball-buster. Although men are kind of afraid of her, I think. Anyway, it’s got everything but incest as we say in my book club.

We mostly read first time novels by Canadian female writers.

 

And Another Thing

What kind of economic fuck-up is Harper Canada that a guy young and stupid enough to bros’plain “fuck her right in the pussy” to a reporter, on air, makes $100,000 working as a public servant at Hydro One, while middle-aged taxpayer me has been knocked out of the middle class and into the retail class where I make – altogether now – $11/hr part-time.

Because that’s all there is for me and I have no doubt that the young master of the universe in the news is part of the brainless brigade that voted me off the middle class island.

Fire them all. Nobody under 100 should be making $100,000 as a public servant!

 

Fuck Him Right In The Pocket

Okay, I’m not as bad as I must seem to you right now because instead of posting a short story at Dr. Dawg’s yesterday I saved it for my book.

You’re welcome.

I’ve done a 180 on the “hey, I’m not working so I think I’ll harass women who are” guy and now agree with Tabatha Southey’s view, which is more or less “fuck him right in the pocket”.

I don’t know why I didn’t notice right away, but Pierre Poilievre helped me see how outrageously class-ist the handwringing is about the young master of the universe losing his sunshine list job at Hydro One because he was behaving unbecoming a public servant in his off hours.

Trust me, public servants have a lot of leeway and all the representation in the world when it comes to self-expression both on the job and off.

Not so much almost everybody else. I sympathized with a manager on stress leave and my hours were cut by the other manager to next to nothing. I waited it out and they were increased to double plus good (which is actually bad because it was way too much) but only because I can afford to wait it out.

Others would have quit and moved on down the hall to another labour exploiter.

This is entirely wrong, of course, that so many of us have dropped out of middle-class jobs where we had labour rights and into the retail-class where there are none, literally none, and if I put myself on camera to behave the way this young master of the universe did, for sure I’d be fired.

But not in any dramatic way that would draw attention. I’d just be taken off the schedule.

“No, you’re not fired. We just don’t need you right now.”

That’s how it is down here.

But what to make of Pierre Poilievre taunting taxpayers (hah!) like me (I say “hah!” because I don’t make enough money to pay taxes, so there!) with his taxpayer funded videos of him handing out cash to our younger selves.

Well, I’d like to see someone give him an atomic wedgie during a media scrum.

He’s playing a game, he thinks politics is a game, and he’s playing it with my life and the lives of so many other middle-aged Canadians who’ve dropped out of the middle-class and down into the retail-class that I’m not sure what else there is to do.

The voters of Nepean are clearly/obviously the stupidest people on Earth.

Anyway, that book isn’t going to write itself, so I’m thinking of taking myself seriously and quitting my retail job to take the summer and git ‘er done.

I’m disciplined that way. Trust me. Cheer me on. I can do this but I’ve got to take the risk on myself first.

 

White Knights of the “Men Only” World of Employment

This is just such bullshit, outfits like Hydro One riding in like white knights to fire the bros’plainers for the “fuck her right in the pussy” bro after gutsy pro Shauna Hunt has already saved the day by giving them their fifteen minutes and exposing (to me, anyway) the on-the-job sexism her own employer has been egregiously negligent in dealing with.

When you want a job done well, send in a woman, I guess.

I mean, really, take a look at the gender imbalance at the workplaces of these white knight employers.

Give the bros’plainers their fucking jobs back and tell them to stay away from microphones and cameras and women who aren’t their mothers and hire some female co-workers for them to get used to seeing in the workplace.

The “yer lucky… blahblah… giant vibrator… blahblah…” bros’plainer is an IT guy at Hydro One, ferchrissakes. What the hell is he going to know about women in the workplace? He’s probably never seen one.

What a load of public relations hooey we’re swallowing.