So I'm temporarily laid off from work. There's been a big lull in contracts getting awarded in my industry, and as a result things slowed down at the office. I should be back to work in a few months, but in the meantime I'm on Unemployment Insurance - or as it's known in Stephen Harper Newspeak, "Employment Insurance".
Now, the gub'mint demands that you look for jobs when you collect UI. Because, y'know, getting a few weeks of money at 55% of your previous wage isn't enough to make people look for work.
(OK, I know I know, the real reason for it is that people who have become unemployed after years of working really feel helpless and incompetent at looking for work, so the government wants to give them a swift kick in the butt. And I guess that's necessary. When someone feels hopeless, it really takes some nasty tough-love to get them off their asses. And if you're not lucky enough to have a fucking bitch wife threatening to leave you and take the kids unless you "get off your ass and get a job, what the fuck else are you good for anyway, don't fucking look at me like that you fucking slob", then someone else has to step in and provide the motivation.)
I'm not sure if I'm required to look for another permanent job, since I'm only on layoff for 2-3 months. In any case, I can't find a replacement job exactly in my field, because there's perhaps 20-50 people in the entire GTA who do my line of work. And their employers are also all feeling the pinch right now too. Except Dillon who are undercutting everyone.
Now, I can branch out into broader fields in a job search, but I have zero experience there in the past 12 years; so while I could apply for a job in manufacturing/industrial engineering, the only true experience I have is 8 months of co-op in a factory over a decade ago.
But anyway. The government has something called a "job bank", which I guess takes the place of the tragic post-it board they had at the UI office 10 years ago. Basically, you have to be truly desperate to take the types of jobs they advertise. For example, the "job bank" will be very light on lawn-mowing jobs now that winter approaches.
There was one job listed for my field, and it shows how hilariously worthless the "job bank" is, and how grossly desperate you have to be to take that work.
Basically, some company was looking for an electromechanical technician (that's not my field, but I guess I'm supposed to branch out, eh?). Here are some of the job requirements/description they had listed on the government website:
- CEGEP/college/trades education
- 5 years experience
- "attention to detail", "ability to work under pressure", "works well with others"
- full-time and on call, shiftwork
- Secret clearance (WTF!!!)
- criminal record check
- seemed like you'll work both in installation and in design & CAD.
That's $2 over minimum wage, apparently; I haven't actually collected anything near a "minimum wage" for over a decade so I have to admit I don't know what it is, but apparently it's around $10.
It's also maybe $50/wk more than my UI check is going to be.
Now, I don't have the experience, I know utterly nothing about installation work, and I'd quite possibly fail the Secret clearance (and criminal check). Srsly if my various past associations with peaceniks, Greens and skinheads, including a "wanted terrorist", aren't enough to get me a CSIS file, then my early-90s Unabomber fansite (voted the best Unabomber news aggregator of that time) probably did.
(Of course CSIS was very busy back then, establishing and funding the largest Canadian neo-Nazi organization, so maybe they never got around to little ol' me.)
But still, $2 over minimum wage for someone with technical training who's bondable, on call, and has more skills than mopping floors? Are you serious?
It might just be that employers access the job bank to list jobs, and then they tick off every fucking box on the form; maybe they think that since job bank viewers are desperate for work, the employer will have the pick of the crop?
Or maybe the employers who use the job bank are so bad to work for that they don't have a huge pile of resumes in the office that they can look through whenever they're looking to hire. And the employees they do have would never recommend that company to their buddies and their old associates from school.
But that's an illustration of how worthless government "job banks" are to people who have, for example, any employment prospects at all.
Anyway, just wanted to kill some time spouting off. Market doesn't know what to do today, probably waiting for the next Fecal Cliff* news. Oh look, Nevada Copper's back down to $3.30. GDXJ went too high yesterday for no good reason, probably has to backfill now. Wow I love Calibre Mining. And so on.
* - because it's such utter shit