Saturday, November 29, 2003

How do you motivate someone to become a part of working society?
I read blogs every day.
Some of the bloggers I read are currently unemployed and frantically searching for work.
Others are working in jobs way below what they were educated to do while they search for jobs in their field.

That's why sometimes I get really pissed off in my job.

Let me explain.
The Centre I run is involved in many partnerships.
One of those partnerships is with Can.a.da. (thanks Kat for the "stop search" method). Cana.da has a program that allows people to gain work experience assisting in the field of their choice. This is either to encourage a return to school or possibly a job in the future if the person proves to be responsible and worth hiring to the employer who allows them to complete their placement in said employers business.
Basically, it's to help people get their foot in the door.
H.uma.n Cana.da. pays the participants $8.50 per hour, bus fare and childcare if the participant has children for a three month placement.

When I calculate this as a taxpayer, it's a lot of money.
Especially if the participant has absolutely NO interest in working.
I have 2 participants in this program "working" for me.
One of them is ok.
The other one (when she shows up) is late, inappropriate, and has an attitude of entitlement.
She takes liberties and has no social filter.
It's clear to me that she really has no interest in working and I suspect that she's only in this program because she's been threatened with losing her benefits.
When I spoke to her Caseworker yesterday I had trouble explaining to him in a politically correct way everything that was wrong with this woman's work ethic (or lack of it) and attitude. He finally told me to just "spit it out" and I told him that as a taxpayer, I would rather she stay home on welfare than waste everyones time and energy spinning our wheels to help someone who has no interest in helping herself.
I told him to open that placement up to someone who really wants a "leg up" into the working world.
Next week Friday I will sit down with the Caseworker and the woman/girl and tell her all the reasons that we will not continue her placement after only 3 weeks.

The reason this pisses me off so much is because I've seen people who really only need a little help to become productive members of society. People who are desperate to do anything (and do) to continue feeding their families without the help of welfare and they get passed over for these kinds of programs because they are not full time welfare recipients. Meanwhile, we're wasting our energy on lazy asses like the one I'm turfing next week.

I swear, the longer I'm in this job, the less sympathetic I'm becoming.

The woman I'm telling you about, told me that she just had a miscarriage (remember I said she had no filter?) the week before she started with the program.
I asked her if she was ok now, and she said yes...then she left my office..and it hit me...she was fucking pregnant again and she can't even drag her ass to a job that was dropped in her lap!

sometimes I feel like I'm turning into a Fascist.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

I just came back from having lunch with my mother and her friend Dusanka who is visiting for 6 months from Serbia, and going back in a couple of weeks.

My mother is already consumed with Christmas issues.
She says:
“Evo Bozic, samo sto nije!”
Literal translation:
“Here’s Christmas, it’s just that it isn’t”

December 25th, not January 7th.
“Vat to by for Da Meester?”
“Vat to by for Baba? (The Mister’s mother)” and so on.
There is no convincing my mother that no one needs her to spend her money.
Dusanka has the right idea.
The problem is that Dusanka has the Serbian idea of Christmas.

Dusanka says:
“Go mit da big battle ov goot Konjak, an a nice cake”

My Mother says:
“Ma, yu kan doo det! Tis is no hou da Kanadian pepl do dis!”

That started a long diatribe on North American life.

See, Dusanka has been here for about 6 months.
She’s been observing and making comparisons, as visitors from other countries are wont to do.
Now, it’s natural to look for the negatives in the country you are visiting because, after all, you’re used to something different.

The problem is that as I sat there listening, I recognized me, and my whole life as seen through her eyes.
My life and maybe yours too…

She said:
“Back home, we work to live. Here, you live to work.
I watch you, my daughter and the people here, running, running, running. You drive one hour in traffic to work, you work 8 hours, and then another hour in traffic to go home…that is 10 hours, then you cook and clean when you get home, another 2 hours. That’s 12 hours before you can sit down and even consider yourself human.
If you have children to take care of, not even then. Then you get up before dawn to run to the gym to exercise and do the whole thing again.
Then, Saturday comes and you spend Saturday and Sunday running to do the things that you didn’t have time to do the rest of the week.
Yes, maybe you have more things in your life, nicer things in your house, but when do you enjoy them?
Back home, we don’t live like this.
I get up like you, I work until 1pm and then I come home and lay down until 4 and then I work again until 8…not all this run, run, run…and I retired at 50 and collect my pension. Here, you can’t live long enough to collect the pension you pay in to all the years you work, and even if you do collect, it’s not enough for a human to live on.
If this is your Capitalism, Jebo te Kapitalisam (translated literally = Capitalism fucked you.) then you can call me a Communist!

But I am a Communist with a life.
You are a Capitalist with no life.”


Saturday, November 15, 2003

"Please Leave a Message After the Tone..."

All messages are one after the other.

Message #1
In Serbian:
"Sine, it's yu madder. I kal jas to hear yu voice. Kal yu madder ven yu get hom"CLICK

Message #2
"Ver ar yu so late? Yu hev a meetink? Kal me ven yu kam hom"CLICK

Message #3
"Ma, pfffffttt"

Message #4 (in English)
"My name isss Radmila, an my fon numbe iss for-van- seex-bla-bla-bla-bla. Taaaannkk yuuuuu, good-byyyyee"CLICK

I called her back.
Holy shit, Ok?

Thursday, November 13, 2003

I fired someone yesterday.

It's the first time that I let someone go and didn't feel the least bit badly about it.

Ok..Except for that idiot student last summer...I didn't feel bad about firing her arrogant little ass either.
But firing her at least gave me a little flinch.

This time it's different.
I fired a fucking idiot who put people in danger because of his irresponsible actions.

The Mister said that I'd get over that guilty feeling if I was making the right decision.

He's right.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Someone I was having a discussion with recently reminded me of some of the people I have come across in my life.

Not friends.
Not even acquaintances.

Just random people who have passed through my life and briefly renewed my faith in the human spirit.

A couple of years ago, my mother was in the hospital again.
She was ill and was in for a six week stay.
I took shifts with my uncle visiting her and keeping her company.
He took the afternoon shift because his schedule was flexible.
I took the evening shift, because mine wasn't.

At the time, I worked at Leslie & the 401.
At the corner of Nymark and Leslie, there is a strip mall.
In the strip mall is a little tiny Chinese Bakery that makes some awesome won ton soup.

I started to stop there in the evenings to pick up some Chinese buns and won ton soup on my way to the hospital to see my mother.

After about the third time, the sweet little lady with the kind smile asked:
"You going to school?"
(Seneca College is quite close)
"No", says I.
"My mother is in the hospital, and I stop here to pick up a snack for us".
We got into a little conversation about taking care of aging parents, and I went on my way.

The next night the sweet little Chinese lady with the kind smile refused to let me pay for the won ton soup.
She said:
"You are a good daughter. I help you to be a good daughter".

From that time on, until my mother was released from the hospital, the sweet little Chinese lady with the kind smile, always asked about my mothers' health and never, ever let me pay for won ton soup.

So, if you're ever at Nymark and Leslie and you're feeling a little peckish, stop by the little tiny Chinese Bakery in the strip mall and pick up a delicious bun or some won ton soup, and smile at the kind little lady behind the counter.

She's one of God's Sunflowers.