> chat > Sat 2004-01-10

Chat for Sat 2004-01-10 15:05:02

rich-c: confirm
rich-c: refresh
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changed username to Ron
rich-c: hi Ron, drying out now?
Ron: Well....wherever two or three are gathered together
Ron: dying out?
rich-c: absolutely - gather your weather has improved
Ron: yes. We seem to be back to normal more or less. Snow has gone
rich-c: we don't have that much snow, but at -20 that's to be expected
Ron: disappears very quickly when the temp goes from -5 to +10
Ron: You're in the deep freeze
rich-c: yes, we're to be up to freezing tomorrow so will get some thawing in the sun (if any)
rich-c: yes, we have been really cold - -22 overnight and that's in the city
Ron: boy
rich-c: don't you miss Ottawa on days like this ;-)
Ron: yeah right (NOT)
rich-c: so how is your mother doing? recovering?
Ron: Better today Rich, thanks. She actually asked for scrambled eggs this morning, so that's positive
rich-c: still a long way from well, then, I gather - but at least reading on the plus side
rich-c: got our own jolt yesterday, though not unexpected
Ron: well she's still quite weak, but I think she's thru the worst of it now
Ron: oh?
rich-c: Pamela got her notice - Speedy closes down March 12th
Ron: not good
rich-c: there will be a good severance plus supplemental generosity
Ron: well let's hope so
rich-c: but I worry about her finding a suitable new job
Ron: right
rich-c: they are offering job-hunting help and salary continuation through August
Ron: Well, that's a help. What's the job market like in Toronto?
rich-c: but teh problem is, her skills aren't ones that show up on paper
Ron: Sounds like the company is trying to do what it can
rich-c: I think the job situation is generally buoyant, but how patchy that is I don't know
Ron: that can be a problem
Ron: She knew this was coming?
rich-c: well, her big asset is her social skills, which means she will have quite a network
rich-c: in the sense that yes, the purchase offer has been known for some months
rich-c: and the declared intentions of teh buyer sounded ominous
Ron: yes, think I recall her talking about it
Ron: Around here, if you don't have a network, you won't find work. But we're a much smaller market
rich-c: essentially, they're going to restructure the company and run it from teh Alberta headquarters
Ron: Damned westerners
rich-c: no comment
Ron: :)
Ron: I am quite happy to be through those days
rich-c: the problem is she only has grade 12 academically - she refused to go further
Ron: Our community net has a program run jointly with the local Human Resources Canada office wher
rich-c: but ass you know she is very fluent and articulate
Ron: where we get the benefit of a 6 month term while they pay the wages
Ron: People on the program are essentially looking for work but we furnish some employment they can put on a resume
rich-c: I'm sure HRC has something similar in Toronto - bureaucratized to suit the size of teh market
Ron: W have people with us who have degrees up the ying yang, but can't find a job
Ron: no doubt
rich-c: well, Pamela has a long solid work history going for her and should get a glowing recommendation
Ron: Oh I'm sure. You're right.... she has the people skills, and projects confidence
Ron: I'd consider that a plus
rich-c: actually, Erin says the newly installed politicians are looking for good help and there are opportunities at Queens Park
Ron: might be a lead
rich-c: she was even trying to get Pam to apply for one post last month but Pam was preoccupied with the wedding
rich-c: problem is, these would be political posts, not civil service
Ron: yes.... " at the pleasure of Her Majesty"
rich-c: exactly - as long as teh boss tolerates you, or the government lasts
Ron: or in other words, for as long as your boss holds political favour
Ron: and you serve your boss
Ron: right
rich-c: there is teh advantage though that you get to know the civil service and hear about openings
Ron: yes.... a foot in the door
rich-c: exactly - the job requires working with poeple, who talk...
Ron: and talk, and talk
rich-c: especially about those "open competitions" for positions
Ron: I remember going to meetings with these people. Talk about a different perspective
Ron: The only time they were interested in ATC was when two airplanes had run into one another
Ron: then all hell broke loose
Ron: sorry, kinda got off track there.... I see what you mean'
rich-c: yes, that figures - though I suppose that atmosphere suited David Cobley vine
rich-c: don't think he welcomed anyone looking over his shoulder
Ron: Oh David knew how to play the hierarchy - a skilll that I never mastered
rich-c: I wopuldn't have thought he'd play them - rather just push them out of his way
Ron: Well, sometimes you can get away with that. David had a mastery of the detail, and could always argue from a position of strength
rich-c: yes - it is very hard to put down someone who is right and knows it
Ron: In Ottawa, you have to be careful who you push. Some methods of pushing work better than others
rich-c: I'd imagine it is teh same in all bureaucracies
Ron: the term "political masters" is there for a reason
Ron: they always have the option of removing your bag of gold
rich-c: yes, although they're not always masters of their ministries - "Tes, Minister" had much truth
Ron: true. Think the average tenure of a Deputy Minister or Associate DM is about 2 years. They no sooner get some idea
Ron: of the issue in the Department, than they're off somewhere else
rich-c: right - teh motivations behind some political actions are questionable to sy the least
Ron: the world made more sense to me when I was out here talking to airplanes and ships
rich-c: didn't realize the DMs got shoved around that much - thought the idea there was continuity
Ron: unless it's changed Rich, they play a lot of musical chairs in Ottawa
rich-c: oh yes, I just didn't realize it happened at that level
Ron: and I don't really understand the justification for that
rich-c: for what happens in politics, jsut look at the latest cabinet shuffle
Ron: same chicken, new head
Ron: right
Ron: anyway, if Pamela can get a spot in the scheme of things, more power to her
rich-c: to be honest, I think Shiela Copps had outworn her usefulness, and Alan Rock is good riddance
Ron: agreed
Ron: Although the Royal Canadian Air Farce will be without a major source of material
rich-c: she's fairly apolitical so it's hard to tell if tha would be an asset or drawback
rich-c: if she used that approach, it could ease a transfer to the civil service
Ron: oh she'll find something to do, if she hasn't already
rich-c: I'm sure she will but after being sort of a lifer at Speedy the events are pretty traumatic
Ron: sec... Rich phone is ringing
rich-c: restarting your working life when you're pushing 40 can be tough
Ron: well yes, that's just it.. For a brief instant when I retired in '95, I thought of looking for work out here...... but then
Ron: the whole idea of doing resumes and the job hunting thing soon became kinda repugnant
rich-c: I had no such trouble, but then I am somewhat older, too
Ron: and I know some of the people who come into valleylinks, are in my age group more or less, and they say the same thing
Ron: yes, you were ready
rich-c: absolutely, and tehre was never teh least regret
Ron: indeed
Ron: How long was Pam with Speedy?
rich-c: I guess it depends on how able you are to fill your life without work
Ron: as you know, I have not problem on that front
rich-c: I don't remember, Ron, but I think around 12 years
Ron: aha
rich-c: quite a long time, at any rate
Ron: yes - long enough to get comfortable
rich-c: and to get extremely uncomfortable when wrenched out of teh environment
Ron: I know some people survive quite nicely on 6 month contracts, and are pretty much always looking for work. Wouldn't have it any other way
rich-c: though ironically, she had also been talking of considering changing jobs anyway earlier this year
Ron: Mom says she wants to go lie down Rich..... willl have to help ... be right back
rich-c: yes, one of our best friends ran his whole working life that way
rich-c: he finally died in Austin, TX where he was on contract with IBM
Ron: right now I could use a hospital orderly's course.... or a degree in geriatric nursing
rich-c: yes, taking care of teh elders is very wearing - Frances is an authority, and she only had to supervise
Ron: yes...... from what she's told me over the years, she certainly knows a thing or two
rich-c: it lsted too long and was too wearing
Ron: Mom has absolutely no strength in her legs at all. Walking - even with the walker is a real challenge
Ron: some days are better than others
rich-c: now it's over we're sort of still unsure what to do, though my health affects that too
Ron: yes I'd imagine there's a void there
rich-c: when you lose mobility that gets very hard
Ron: yup. I can see a wheelchair on the horizon
rich-c: right - does B.C. subsidize them? I believe either Ontario or the feds do
Ron: one way or the other. BC will probably pay port, and the feds part. Mom has supplementary Fed coverage
Ron: as do I
rich-c: right
Ron: we're also thinking of selling this house.. two flights of stairs becoming an issue
rich-c: what is her actual disability? I don't belkieve you've mentioned it
Ron: you name it. She had a triple bypass in 1987, she has diabetes, so the circulation to her legs is not good.... she's also arthritic
Ron: apart from that, she's 88 years old.
Ron: Despite all that, she was on the golf course a couple of time s a week up to June of this year
rich-c: just plain running down then
Ron: but it's been down hill since
rich-c: well, it catches up to all of us sooner or later, and 88 is a well advanced age
Ron: yes, Rich...... believe so. The latest problem is that her kidney function isn't what it should be
rich-c: that is not an encouraging sign
rich-c: you amy want to think about your own feelings about teh house
Ron: However, I will not sit still for any physician who wants to write her off just because she's 88. We've had one attempt at that so far
rich-c: remembering you aren't going to be climbing stairs forever either
Ron: Yes, exactly. And I look around the yard here, and all I see is work
Ron: We're going to start looking at options, I think
rich-c: obviously, you got a new doctor - as was only appropriate
Ron: yup
Ron: that we did
rich-c: I know there's a lot of emotional freight attached to that house
Ron: I do have to cut some slack.... even in a small town like Comox, the medical community is short staffed, and run off their feet
Ron: but they do have to accord Mom the same treatment they'd give to anyone else
rich-c: yes, and that government you have isn't helping - you're getting what we call teh Harris syndrome
Ron: Yes, Rich, that's true. You you don't spend 40 years in a place without some of that
Ron: Not that I was here for that long, but my career began and ended with this house in the picture
Ron: Harris syndrome..... good way to call it
rich-c: and if not in teh picture, certainly always in the background
Ron: yep
Ron: So we shall see what the year bring
Ron: s
rich-c: our problem here is that the new bunch are unwilling to raise taxes, however necessary that may be
Ron: wouldn't want to be branded as "tax and spend"
rich-c: no, but after nine years of slash and burn, things are pretty sorry
Ron: When I'm in BC, I tend to rate Ontario Premiers on the basis of whether or not I can remember their names
rich-c: right now, if they act rationally, there's no opposition
Ron: and this one..... sorry... it's gone
Ron: help me
Ron: hell of a BC attitude eh?
rich-c: Dalton McGinty, and he's eminently forgettable
Ron: thank you sir
rich-c: the only thing in his favour is teh total jerk he beat for the leadership
Ron: Some days I'm on the edges of senility myself
rich-c: yes, I have been known to experience the odd senior moment too, as you may have noticed
Ron: happens to the best of us
rich-c: yes, I was down to our "old farts" lunch on Thursday with my 1949 classmates
Ron: really
Ron: must have been fun
rich-c: there were 16 turned up with two sending last minute regrets
Ron: that's a good turnout
rich-c: it is, since I believe there wre only about 80 in teh class and we've lost some few
rich-c: not surprising; for our birth cohort the average age is dead
Ron: to be expected, I guess... but it's remarkable that there's still that many around
Ron: rotfl
rich-c: let's just say they're a pretty bright and successful bunch, which leads to longevity
Ron: well. Rich.... must away.. Have to take Moms walker down for repair. Westjet banged it around a bit
Ron: and they've just agreed to fund the repairs
rich-c: but one wasx headed in teh next morning to have a new knee fitted
Ron: well... as one of my Ottawa buddies recently said
rich-c: OK Ron, great talking to you and catch you Wednesday
Ron: getting old isn't for sissies
Ron: yup.... see ya Wed
rich-c: you're so right, so take care now
Ron: see ya
rich-c: bye
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changed username to Dr.D. > chat > Sat 2004-01-10
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