Friday, August 17, 2007

Something stinks here

Vancouver is in week four of a municipal workers strike. Managers are supposedly trying to keep up with some of the most needed city services. I saw one of these managers this morning on my way in to work. He was wearing a vest with the municipal insignia, working hard at:

Picking up the overflowing garbage? No.

Filling in for my friend who works for the city providing physical recreation programs for disabled kids? No again.

Working at the library, trying to at least keep the kid’s section open? Nope.

Cleaning up parks and children’s playgrounds? No way.

Leading the osteoporosis prevention exercise class at the seniors centre? No.

He was doing a much more important municipal job. Collecting the freakin coins from the PARKING METERS!!!!!!

Today's dream travel destination Maligne Lake, Jasper Park, Canada: The first lake I ever swam (well waded and splashed) in. And it has to smell better than here.


Ian Lidster said...

Why does your reference to the activity of said managerial person not suprise me, dear lady? Anyway, I hope it's not getting too obnoxious for those who must be downtown. Don't ask me for my thoughts about Vcr's current hizzoner (not just about this issue but many) for I only do mildly profane in my blog, I don't do as profane as I would truly like to.
Have a wonderful weekend, friend.

Diana said...

Ew. Any end in sight? I guess I can see why emptying the meters is important but not ahead of flinging some of the piles of trash into a truck.

How pleasant it must be at the end of that spit of land in the middle of the lake...

Voyager said...

Ian, You can be as profane as you want on my site! Swear away. It would gall you to meet Mr. Sully Van. in person, one has to call him "Your Worship".

diana, It's not like they need the money from the meters, they are already saving millions by not having to pay the striking workers. So what if some meters get full and some people get to park free? Meanwhile, kids have no municipal summer programs, and their playgrounds are full of garbage and knee-high grass. Rant over. Phew!

Judy said...

Ka-ching! I guess that's the only sound many municipal managers understand.

I hope things in Vancouver improve... or that you can move to Maligne Lake...

Big Brother said...

Face it voyager, if you were a manager, which would you rather do, pick up smelly, semi-liquid garbage or nice non stinky coins? Especially if you are the self same managers who decide which gets priority. ;o)

Alda said...

Big brother has a point. I don't agree with it, but he has a point. :)

In any case, I hope they resolve it soon. Few things are as harsh as municipal workers striking.

Anonymous said...

oh, that lake is pretty!

I can't comment on the strike, as I know nothing about what is going on, but it sounds horrible.

Voyager said...

Wizard, Move to Maligne Lake, now wouldn't that be wonderful. I wonder if I woke up to that view every day I would ever tire of it. I doubt it.

BB, I see your point, but to designate collecting parking money as top priority? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Alda, There is a clear reason why municipal workers always strike in summer, the stinking garbage is supposed to put pressure on city hall. But it really effects the kids on summer vacation most, especially those who are less well off and depend on municipal programs like summer soccer, pools, and rec centres. Don't get me wrong, I am a union member, in fact I am on its executive. But thank goodness any job action my union might take would not hurt underprivileged kids. I would have a hard time with that scenario.

Reflecting pool, Yes, Maligne Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. And probably the most photographed.


jmb said...

At least being away is not adding to the garbage already building up in my can.
I see no interest in settling it on either side yet, Vancouver is saving money and the pickets seem to enjoy sitting around in the summer. I don't know what their strike pay is but it is non taxable.
I remember Maligne Lake well but even more I remember Maligne Canyon. A very scary place.

Jazz said...

Why am I not surprised?

Jocelyn said...

Ah, Jasper Park. A dream vacation for me, too.

Overflow trash--um, a future archeologist's dream?

Mike Minzes said...

This is the dark side to unions. And when you have one guy who decides to work and what he is doing is gathering coins, it's proof that unions are all about the money.

Dumdad said...

Maybe he was going to give the money to charity?!

Hope it doesn't smell too bad over there. And then there's the rats...

Rozanne said...

Oy. I hope the strike is settled soon!

I've been to Maligne Lake! It's a wonderful place. I always think that's a bad name for it though. Too close to "malign" and "malignant."

Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

parking meters? Why of course they are important! How else would those managerial salaries get paid?

Voyager said...

jmb,good time to be out of town!

Jazz, It makes a perverse sort of sense that loonie collection would be considered an essential service by city hall.

jocelyn, I don't think Indiana Jones ever had this in mind.

Mike, I have real conflicts about this strike, and who is the "bad guy", union or management. But I know one thing, strikes hurt everyone.

DD, Yes the rats are getting very fat. Fortunately we have three cats.

rozanne, I can imagine Maligne Lake being your cup of hiking tea.

Cofee woman, It takes way more than the coins in the parking meters to pay the manager's fat salaries.


CS said...

But, those coins need collecting. It's important work - worthy work, even. Where would you be if thecoins were left uncollected. Okay, that might leave time for them to pick up the trash, but the coins, the coins...

Eastcoastdweller said...

But of course. Thus does function the logical mind of the Great Bureacracy, wherever it may be found.

I was at a family birthday party in a local mall yesterday. The hostess had called ahead and made sure that we could use part of the food court.

That didn't stop three mall security guards and the head of mall operations from descending on Her like buzzards on roadkill and demanding to know who She was and what She was doing.

Meanwhile, we all sat and sweltered and dripped sweat upon the floor, as the air conditioning in the place was sadly deficient and/or broken, which didn't seem to concern Mr. Macho Mall Manager one bit.