Monday, November 5, 2007

Being From Away is Not Okay

Before I go on my anti-Newfoundland offensive, lemme keep a make couple things clear:

  • I would never change my decision to be out here. This has been the best and most important year of my life thus far.
  • There are some really great people out here and I will take their friendships with me when we move home in May.
  • Everyone needs to come out here, at least once, just to really understand and take in how beautiful this place is.
Now then - if you're from "The Mainland" and have any inclination of moving to Newfoundland, don't do it. It's not a good move. Things are different out here and by things, I mean you.

This one is a long time in the making too. Since day one out here... and it's just bubbled over officially today.

Do you know how many interviews I have gotten since I have been out here? Three - one at a Call Centre, one at Home Depot and one at Blockbuster, where I'm currently hustling movies and having laughs with a great group of people. That's it.

I'm a University Graduate - Psych Major, HR Minor, Univeristy of Waterloo '01...

Doesn't matter. I'm from Away. That point trumps all else in terms of even getting a foot in the door or a callback for that matter. So with a resume that boasts the educational background I have as well as numerous years in management roles with both a Crown Corporation and small-town, family-operated business alike, all I can score is the same job high school kids are using to earn their beer money.

But it's deeper than that too.

Writing? Hell no. Even though I've sent countless emails and even shown up in person to try to introduce myself to the Editor of The Telegram, I can't get a sniff from him. Closest I've come is renting a couple of flicks to his ex-wife over the weekend...

Even the free to the world weeklies want nothing to do with me. My material isn't what they're looking for or their paper isn't the right type of forum for someone like me...

And then today, the best one yet.

Sarah and I are house hunting and I went and saw a beauty spot last night. Nice couple - snowbirds heading south for the winter. Everything clicked.

She's a nurse - Sarah's a nurse.
He loves baseball - I write about baseball.
Their daughter is a journalist, so am I... sort of...

I was charming, respectful, offered to pay a larger sum than they were requesting so they knew we were serious about wanting to live there. Everything felt good about the meeting. I told Sarah I thought we would get it, even though there was one other woman that they had to meet with. What could she have that we don't?

She's from the same little village as he is. Barely 12 hours after I sat in their living room, their decision was made and it wasn't in our favor.

"She's from where I'm from out around the bay. Same place we have our cottage. We know the same people. Everyone out there wouldn't be pleased if we didn't give it to her."


Now, missus could be the nicest woman in the world and they just would rather her than me and Sarah, but that isn't what was said. It was a flat out, "She's from here, you two are from away" situation and that's garbage.

I know it happens every day in every arena imaginable and the slights that I've encountered here are nothing in comparison with what many go through on a daily basis. Doesn't make it any less wrong though.

Now maybe I am an unemployable bastard and my writing is piss-poor, but since there are a couple people who send me cheques on a semi-regular basis for my writing and everyone seems to think I'm a fairly affable and enjoyable person to work with and for, I don't think that's the case.

I just happen to be one of those unlucky souls who wasn't born and raised here on The Island...


Brad said...

"Piss-poor" is such a strong term... perhaps "urine-esque" might better suit it.

The blog is great, the writing is great...welcome to the club.

dic said...

I know I said I would vouch for you anytime...

BUT -- affable? affable? Affable, you surly bastard?

After some of the shit you've pulled, vouching for your affability will be a challenge, but dammit I'll try.

(Brad might be a better reference though, 'cuz of his age & all.)

Brad said...

Thank god Chalk doesn't have a picture next to his name - he has all the appeal of leukemia.