Friday, 18 January 2013

Depressingly unemployed

There's something depressingly wrong in this city of ours, when the men in my household can't find decent employment.
Time was that a high school education was a ticket for training of some sort. Not anymore. Our Nick has applied for every job under the sun. He got his Smart Serve and his G licence.
Guess what? He can't even get a job that asks the question: "Do you want fries with that?"
So he languishes in the basement, scouring the job boards, looking after his daughter while the rest of us shake our heads.
Meanwhile in the upstairs, Scott was just been informed that he did not pass the interview for an OC Transpo bus job he applied for a year and a half ago. It's been six weeks since his interview and he was assured that he would still be in the running if he hadn't heard within two weeks.
Finally, today, he tracked down the "human" resource guy who told him, "Meh, our bad. Somebody should have called you."
Scott has a clean driving record and he's bilingual. He could teach a master class on how to be nice and respectful to people. He's six-foot-two and nobody would mess with him. Oh yes, and he has his CPR and emergency certification.
The interview was subjective.
He missed the threshold by one point.
One point.
So now he's wasted all this time, still unemployed except for a small job working in a wine making shop. He brings home three hundred dollars every two weeks.
Last week he talked about taking the car down to the river.
I'm feeling that I might join him myself.
I have now become the breadwinner in this house. Me. The freelancer who has had to fight every two months to get paid. I like my work, don't get me wrong but it's only part-time with no "fulltime" future.
I work in the magazine business, which is a dying industry.
I work for Euros!
It just doesn't seem right that two adults with sixty years experience between them as professionals should have to live on twenty grand a year.
Scott spent twenty-six years travelling the world as a CBC cameraman. He went to war zones. He witnessed on behalf of Canadians the massacre of Tienanmen Square. He produced the national news from Ottawa every weekend for five years.
Now he's bottling wine for public servants in Orleans.
Back to the bus job.
I've taken the bus. A lot of bus drivers are surly, unhelpful and try to kill their passengers while speeding along the Transitway. I once was menaced at the back of a bus by a bunch of thugs, who opened up the windows on a rainy night and left me drenched. The bus driver did nothing.
A lot of drivers are ignorant, too, especially to people like me who rarely take public transportation.
Scott would have smiled, talked to the lonely little old ladies at the front of the bus, tossed off kids who were menacing others, and saved a life in a medical emergency.
In both official languages.
I don't know many bus drivers like that.
So it's back to the drawing board.
There aren't many jobs for old cameramen.
Or high school grads.
Maybe Nick and Scott can deliver the Citizen -- that's if we can afford to keep our car on the road.
 

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