From the cutting room floor: My worst-ever summer job


In 2012, while working for the Ottawa Citizen, I was asked to write a piece on the “worst summer job I ever had” as part of a series all the reporters were supposed to take part in. It was designed to be a rebuttal to then-Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who had recently claimed there are no bad jobs while trying to sell changes the government was hoping to make to employment insurance download apps again.

The series got spiked so it never ended up appearing in the paper, but I was always happy with the item I wrote on the job I had for part of the summer in 2006. Here it is in full. Many thanks to then-Citizen editor Catherine Lawson who (as usual) transformed what I filed into a much better piece of writing.

The job seemed simple enough in theory: go around to houses in the Arnprior area and drop off forms for the 2006 census herunterladen. The shorter version to every house, the long-form to every fifth.

It was only when I got out in the car that I realized what I was up against.

Many people in the Ottawa Valley where I was spending the summer had already expressed their opinion about the census.

“This land is our land,” signs bordering the roads on their properties read. “Back off government.”

I didn’t realize until I was driving home from training one day that I, as a representative of the government, was now the one being told to “back off.”

Even still, I thought, maybe the whole thing would be good for me windows xp professional kostenlos herunterladen. I had just spent two years on my undergrad degree, contemplating the importance of the state as laid out by philosophers such as Hobbes and Locke. Perhaps there would even be opportunities to put what I was learning at school into practice by engaging in some meaningful debate with residents of the Ottawa Valley about the views I had adopted regarding the importance of government.

Those notions were put to rest during the next day of training, when our instructor informed us that such discussions were strictly forbidden. If someone refused to take the form, I had to defer the matter by filling out a “refusal to accept” form and speaking to my supervisor microsoft 2007 for free german.

I was incredulous. The “meaningful debate” I was used to at university was being quashed in favour of bureaucratic efficiency.

That became less of an issue over the next few days, however, as I soon learned that many of the recipients of the forms I was dropping off didn’t seem particularly interested in having a discussion. They were more interested in me getting off their property.

One woman insisted she didn’t have to take the piece of paper from me because she had once worked for the government mein handy kann nichts downloaden. What I was repeating to her from my training was a lie.

The good news was that those concerns soon became secondary to the practicalities of how I was actually going to deliver the census forms.

At training, the instructor had pinned a map to the wall that had been divided into various zones, each of which had a different level of density denoted by the number that was in the centre rechnungsprogramm kostenlos downloaden. I was hoping for the smaller, more urban zones, such as the ones in nearby Arnprior that had been designated one or two.

Instead the instructor pointed me to a much larger portion of the map — the one that had a six in the middle.

I spent the next few days meeting some interesting people I would have never run into in a university classroom.

One man looked as though he had been growing his beard since the last time he saw a person (his facial hair, as I remember it, was down past his collar) ing app herunterladen. Another lived, without any power and not close to any other neighbours, at the end of dirt road that was barely wide enough for my parents’ pickup truck to traverse.

But as hard as dealing with people was turning out to be, I realized after a few days it was less difficult than traversing the terrain in the Ottawa Valley audiobooks for free. The map they had given me contained a number of roads which didn’t have any people listed as residents but which I was still required to explore in case anyone had moved there since the last census was taken.

After scuffing the bottom of the pickup for a third time on gigantic rocks on a logging road, I decided to head home, even though it was the middle of the day and I had only covered a fraction of the zone to which I had been assigned download microsoft office. I picked up the phone and called my supervisor, not to tell her about another “refusal to accept” form, but to quit.

These days, I like to think that my resignation was the straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to the decision a few years later by the governing Conservatives to eliminate the long-form census.

The mostly negative feelings I had (and continue to have) about the census aren’t informed by any of the sorts of reasons I would have to explain in a university classroom command and conquer alarmstufe rot deutsch kostenlos downloaden. I simply wanted vengeance against the piece of paper that had made for the worst job ever.

I haven’t discussed nor read political philosophy in years and instead spend my days writing about the practicalities of everyday life: fires, crime, city bylaws — stuff that seems decidedly distant from the texts of old, dead political theorists.

The rest of the summer was spent getting up at 5 a.m. and dodging little white projectiles as I raked out sand traps and picked up broken tees at the local golf course.

And I’ve never regretted the decision to quit.

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