Thanks For Nothing, Second Career

A couple of months ago, I made a terrible mistake. I actually allowed myself, and by extension my wife, to get excited about a government-sponsored adult reeducation program being run by Employment Hamilton (part of the dubious Employment Ontario set-up). She was going to go back to school and train to become a Library Technician. Anyone who knows my wife even moderately well is nodding their head in agreement that Dawn working in a library is the most logical job placement choice in history. I have been living in a library for the last six years, ever since I rebuilt her half dozen bookshelves the same day I moved all of her furniture here from Queens, NYC. Dawn NEEDS to be working in a library. I’ve never been more sure of anything in my entire 40 years.

So, after having previously assured my wife she would qualify, new kid Mike at EH’s Second Career employment retraining program redid her application (because previous binder monkey Chantelle hadn’t left behind the file she’d made up a whole TWO MONTHS AGO, before leaving the job for who knows what else; at least Second Career helped SOMEONE get a new job), and now Dawn doesn’t qualify, because of ‘too large’ a gap in her work record, and because her career in customer service has been with several different industries and job titles, thus invalidating it as one career path. She is furious and in tears now, and I am deeply disappointed with no way to fix the problem.

It’s been impossible for her–either of us, actually–to find any other work in this city because of the ridiculous requirements needed to apply for anything more advanced than taking orders in a pizzeria. The woman has twenty years of experience in a multitude of phone-based order desks and call centers, is highly well-read and had a nearly flawless work record before she moved here to be with me, where it took over two years for her to be legally eligible to work again.

Thank you Employment Hamilton for proving once again how useless a government employment initiatives program you really are. I don’t know why I expected you to be of any use to her after failing me twice*, but I DO thank you for reminding me why I keep voting against the various governments that have made programs like yours a necessary reality. Consider this my testimonial.

*I’ve applied to various incarnations of this program–in the same building– twice since 2004, and both times was placed and abandoned in a job that I was clearly unqualified and absolutely miserable in. I looked into Second Career with my wife, but the lack of consistent job hunting applications in the last year, due in no small part to my lack of accreditation in my profession of the last decade, has made it near-impossible for me to even apply for the most menial of entry level jobs in all but the least reputable graphics firms and print shops. I was a fool to take her there, but I honestly thought that this time, those damned people would be of some use to at least her, if not me. Will I never learn?

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