Between The Lines: Newfoundland’s Hunger Games

The longer I hold down a permanent position, the further I distance myself from school, adolescence and those days of not caring about things like bills and the almighty dollar, the more I think on things, cliched things, like ‘love what you do.’

What’s more? You’ve got to feel that love reciprocated in some form. I truly believe that. You can be passionate about sculpting, policing, stocking shelves or putting up drywall, but if your efforts go largely unappreciated, or at worst, are met with disapproval or malice, then the 9-5 shifts and 12 hour, two week turnarounds go by at a snails pace. 

Damned if you do 

I think these days about those thankless jobs, the damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind. I think about the city workers, clearing snow for the past 90 days and counting damn near round the clock. They’re either too late or too inefficient or there aren’t enough of them or they’re wasting company dollars. That’s the type of thing they’re hearing.

I think of my wife, sister-in-law, mother-in-law and dozens of friends in the health care and nursing profession. They’re never where they need to be, too lazy, too careless, too inefficient. Those are the complaints received, as the kids say, on the regular, where in reality too overworked, too understaffed, too underfunded and too unappreciated ring much truer. 

If you go by the public protest and the constant white noise  of social media then you’ll find no gratification in most work. People in this day and age are rarely satisfied and find it much easier to rip someone down than to prop them up. 

At the risk of the rage of faceless masses I’ll address this carefully, but maybe that says something about us as Newfoundlanders and our tendency to get our backs up and complain about most everything. Admit it.

I saw a great Tweet the other day that read, “Newfoundlanders love to have a moan. If opportunity was knocking they’d complain of the noise.”

Come on now, that’s funny. Which brings me to the ‘race’ for the Liberal Leadership. 

Race? More like a slow march to the gallows. A lottery draw at gunpoint to participate in the Hunger Games.

The would-be heirs to Dwight Ball largely dropped like flies, wilting under the weight of what has to be the most undesirable job in the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Who can blame them? Not this guy. They don’t want the smoke, as it were. Shoveling manure in a hurricane would likely receive more applicants.

The sacrificial lambs

Kudos to Andrew Furey and John Abbott (candidates as of press time) for serving as the sacrificial lambs for the party and province. It takes guts, and skin as thick as kevlar, to sign up for the amount of crap they’re going to wipe away…metaphorically speaking. 

Let’s hope they love it and genuinely have a passion and dedication for the cause, are enthusiastic and able to weather the storms, take the lumps and swallow the failures in the name of change. Because given the current state of politics, and the keyboard warriors ruling the web, I have my doubts they’ll be feeling the love for long

Dillon Collins, The Herald’s Staff Writer, can be reached by emailing [email protected]

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