Sunday, September 30, 2007

Work is a Four Letter Word

CDs in Play: Neurosis, Times of Grace. Black Moth Super Rainbow, Dandelion Gum.

I have been hunting for new work of late and finding the workplace to be a bit of a contrast to what the media are saying about it. I need to start making more money in order to make it back to school and move to Saskatoon. I figure I need to make at least $18.00 an hour to get the ball rolling given the cost of living in the Metropolitan Vancouver Area. So far I have been out of luck. For a place that the news has been hyping up as an employment hot spot, the Lower Mainland job climate seems remarkably cool.
There are jobs I have been trying for and just not getting. Translink actively hires and seeks people to work on Skytrain, but so far I have yet to get them to notice me. I know two people working as Attendants and neither of them have my pedigree or recommendations. Competition is stiff, I know, but I still have a lot experience in my favour. Translink or Coast Mountain have another security force, separate from the Transit cops, but I have been unable to figure out who does the actual hiring, etc. I also tried for bus driver, but I need to have held my current driver's license for three years - I haven't even reached the one year mark with my new license.
So where are all the jobs? The media out here has gone on at some length about how employers paying $12.00 an hour and below are having a hard time finding people willing to work for such low wages. Apparently, there are so many hot, high paying jobs out there that some employers just can't compete. But where are these alleged jobs? I have looked in papers, online and asked around but no one is really too sure. But everyone just knows what a hot job market we have going right now, the media tells us about it.
Some of these hot jobs are in construction, which makes sense as we head towards the 2010 Olympics. I know a few contractors who are always looking for people. Unfortunately I have a minor physical disability that keeps me out of construction and manual labour - too much of a liability. But there has to be more jobs out there than just construction? Can a hot job market really be comprised of one industry alone? I think not.
Given the huge strike happening in the City of Vancouver, it is obviously not going through a hiring boom at this time. I looked on Monster.ca and Workopolis but all I see are the same crap jobs, managerial positions and soulless office jockey work that I have seen online since 2002. Cold something else be going on in Vancouver's job crisis? Could there be another reason why people are not working jobs in Vancouver that pay less that $12.00 an hour? Could it be the cost of living is out of control?
Unless you are in one of the better earning brackets, life in Vancouver and the surrounding area can get to be a bit hand to mouth. The Provincial Government has allowed landlords to jack up rents by something like 11-12% a year, which has lead to some staggering leaps in rental prices. The housing market is out of the reach of many ordinary working families. All this leads to people being pushed further and further out of the Metropolitan area.
Costs of living, costs of commuting, the time taken to commute back and forth all have to play as factors in Vancouver's mini-employment crisis. The truth, as far as I can see it, is that there is no hot job market in Vancouver. Certain areas would seem to be doing a lot of hiring, while service industry jobs suffer from high turn over due to the fact that their necessarily lower wages cannot compete with the high cost of living in, what regional propagandists like to call, the "Best Place on Earth".
Seems to me the only way we are going to see some stability in this region is for the municipal and provincial governments to acknowledge the growing disparity between it citizenry and to get serious about curbing the rising costs of living and and the absurd prices of what could be called "unreal" estate. The failure to do so can only result in more serious problems for the region down the road.

8 Comments:

Blogger Magnus said...

One thing I might add is that Facilities Managers have been discussing a crisis in employment with the later end Gen Y and iGen kids coming up into the job market. Unlike Gen X who were notable for wanting to start off as President and work their way down to Mail Room Clerk, many later Y's and iGen expect to live the retired life right out of high school.
Having some experience with iGen's, I have found them to exceed even my laziest moments - and that is pretty damned lazy. One guy was essentially paid to walk around for a bit and spent the rest of the time online playing games and set up dates with different women. He hated the job not just because it was boring and unfulfilling - but because he wasn't able to just sit around drink and get high. My Dad is looking to replace a guy who has complained that his job is hurting his wrists. He replaces hinges on appliances for $12.50 an hour and uses power tools.
Talking with some other people, a lot of their turn over is due to an unbelievable amount of laziness and unwillingness to work even just a little.

01 October, 2007 11:22  
Blogger Geosomin said...

I totally agree on the work thing...we get a lot of students who just don't think they have to work...or in the lab (my favorite) they expect extremely complicated and elaborate experiments to work for them the first time, as they're just "GOOD"...and why don't I do their grad project lab work as it works for me...then they can do "more important" things.

*sigh*

I am really good at what I do. It often gives me guilty pleasure to be able to prove it opccasionally when the "gifted" of the school can't do simple or complex lab work because it takes attentive and dedicated work and attention to detail...and practice.

People keep doing shit work and expecting to be paid for it.

They make it difficult for the rest of the people who work hard and just want to pay the bills...

01 October, 2007 11:30  
Anonymous Delwyn of the Yukon said...

Hot job markets tend to be mostly those schmoe jobs - burger flippers and paper shufflers, because the hot construction, mining, forestry and oil patch jobs aren't visible in Van. So maybe, you lose everyone with an instilled work ethic. Personally, I find my work ethic erodes if I get bored or dislike my job - I loved picture framing but made the same wage as ten years ago - $10/hr. The owner went through 53 staff the year I started. We've got 12 year-olds working here at the fast food joints barely able to see over the cash register and so nervous about putting in an order, but who else is willing to work for minimum wage when it barely puts gas in the car?

Now I have an office job and I fill out a lot of forms - hating bureaucracy more and more, but the wage is good. I think I'll quit, do art full time, and live off my $30 of quarterly investment income...

01 October, 2007 14:12  
Blogger Magnus said...

I need a sugar momma.

02 October, 2007 16:33  
Blogger Geosomin said...

Wish I could hook you up...I am unfortunately low on the sweetness at the mo.

Should I ask around? :)

03 October, 2007 08:35  
Blogger Magnus said...

I don't go for married women, but thanks - and sure keep an eye out for me, she might have to be a blind sugar momma though.

03 October, 2007 09:02  
Blogger Geosomin said...

I could put a few eyes out in the local friend zone if there's some interest shown...you never know who might want their very own kept man :)

I know you can cook...what else are you putting on the table to sweeten the sugar pot? ;P

03 October, 2007 14:05  
Blogger Magnus said...

My cool dry wit, my ability to quote the Simpsons, the fact that I know what a serviette is for. I don't wear hats to the dining table. Aside from some pricey tastes in alcohol I am fairly easy on the pocket book - no clothes hog I. (but I had better buy some soon before it is no clothes at all)
Um... actually, I can't really think of anything else. No wonder I'm single. I'll never be able to leech off of someone else's bank account.

03 October, 2007 14:42  

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