::cough:: I started this and when I finished, it was freaking long. This is a warning; you might want to settle in for a little bit.
Do you mind if I rant just a little bit? But first, some history:
I work for this company, this big box electronics company and I’m part of the employee wellness/complaints committee. Basically, if you’re having problems, you come to me or any of my compatriots (I don’t know why but I love “compatriots”; it feels like we’re forming a revolution), you tell us the problem you’re having and then we help you deal with it.
I was volun-told that I was joining this committee in February or March. Oddly enough, the committee has become one of my favourite things about working for this company. I actually feel like we’re helping some people by bringing things to management’s attention and making sure they’re dealing with this in some way. It’s weird and quite cool that they listen to us.
ANYWAY, part of this committee is also directing donations from the store. For our new general manager, he had two requests for donations. He wants:
- Money or products to go to the local hospital, directed to children.
- Money to go to a local children’s sports team.
That was the job parceled out by the committee chair to me, her co-chair.
Hee hee, “co-chair.” I sound like comfy furniture. Sorry, digression.
The first part was surprisingly easy. I didn’t realize our local hospital had a children’s wing; I thought all the children were directed to the more specialized children’s hospital about 30 minutes away. I emailed them for a list, they emailed me back the same way with a detailed list that made my job (for that section, at least) super easy.
Lovely! I like easy.
… I have a joke I could make but it’s probably inappropriate considering what I’m writing about right now. ::sigh:: I’m getting appropriate in my old age.
The second request? Yeah, that one’s a little more involved.
First, I emailed my other job’s office mates to see if they had children in a local sports team that was desperately looking for sponsors. SCORE! Yes, this woman I work with, her daughter is part of a girls’ under 15 softball team. The team is fairly new, they need money for uniforms, equipment and traveling (to tournaments) plus they would be willing to put their picture up in our store and display our logo whenever they play.
They also desperately need funding because it’s hard for girls’ sports teams to find donors willing to help them out. Boys’ teams tend to be a little more established with a better, consistent donor base.
I thought my worries were through! They’re perfect!
Would I be writing this if everything was perfect? Come on.
Oh, there’s nothing wrong with the girls’ team. They are perfect. They’ll look cute on our wall, they’re local and they came in fourth in the province this year in their age bracket.
Hook yourself to a star, that’s what I always say. Okay, no, I never say that because it sounds stupid and I’m not a Depression-era shyster.
Did you know the funding for sports has been cut for elementary schools throughout my province? Did you know there are schools, considered “core” schools, in a lower income area that are having problems providing enough equipment for children to play sports? Do you wonder why the federal government keeps offering tax initiatives to families to enroll their children in to sports teams when all they have to do to effect actual change is to fund schools better?
My library has been told to expect funding cuts. I’m not completely sure what that means. How are libraries facing funding cuts? Why isn’t their service essential to the government? The purpose of the library is to encourage people (especially children) to READ. We don’t want children reading? Okay, maybe they’ll stop providing movies and music in order to keep providing books.
You know, head back into the days before recorded information. Because why would we want our institutions to stay up-to-date when we could just create a strategy where they’ll fail?
And ambulances. You would think they would be considered an essential service and the province would guarantee that a contract would be in place before a previous union contract ends. You would think.
However, rather than sit at the table LIKE ADULTS and hammer out the issues and try to figure out how to do what’s best for the PROVINCE (you know, the idiots that voted them in?), they’re too busy preening and posturing and forcing men and women who work in a very stressful situation, life and death situations, to work overtime, to work on their days off. Where is the recovery time? Where’s the emotional recharge time? How many days in a row do you think someone in this situation can work before they are entirely burned out? Why are you willing to lose experience and compassionate ambulance attendants? Why aren’t you willing to create more full-time positions so that there is adequate recovery time between shift blocks? Does someone need to die because an attendant gets punchy from working too many hours and too many days without a break before they’re willing to think of the province before they think of their own wallets?
How is it that all this can go on but they’ll still justify a large (say 55%) pay raise for the Premier and his staff?
Do I believe they should be paid a decent wage for the job they do? Of course I do. I believe government officials should be paid as though they are CEOs because unless we’re willing to pay them better, we’re stuck with lame ducks who either can’t cut it in the real business world or who’ll sit on their butts, doing the bare minimum.
But justify TO ME why you think you deserve that large a raise when, typically, most people earn a 1%, 2%, 3% raise yearly? Justify to me why you deserve that kind of a raise when so many people in my province are jobless? What kind of job do you believe you are doing that this large a raise is justified?
How DARE you? How dare you cut money from the children of our province while lining your own wallets with OUR MONEY? How dare you ask us for more money while patting us on our heads, telling us that it’s for our own good? How dare you treat us like we’re slow-witted children, spinning us a line of bullshit so rank that it smells up our communities?
Justify to me why this is okay, why the HST is a god-send, why you deserve to sit at the head of our provincial government for any longer. Tell me why we have no money for children but we have money to pay for your haircuts.
Tell us why you’re not advocating for the people in the province. Tell us all.