Career paths

We usually trim Fid (dog) every once in awhile to keep his appearances up.  He thinks he is pretty good lookin’ and doesn’t like to ‘slip’ his usual standards.  But trimming him is like trimming a Brillo pad.  His hair is as close to wire as possible in a mammal. Because we were away and let him grow out in the winter anyway, we usually give him over to the local dog groomer once (sometimes twice) a year.  Every Spring, fer sure.  She does the heavy cutting, we do the touch-ups.  He’s a smidge over due for both.

Computers are ubiquitous and quirky and so many people know how they work and nerdism is getting more common all the time.  But not out here.  And we’re seemingly immune to all that software and data chip stuff ourselves and so our computers need to see the computer groomer once in awhile, maybe twice a year.  We do the little tweaks now and then but the real virus-outing and such has to be done by a geek.  Getting your real wires sorted is another Spring cleaning chore for us.

Our above-mentioned groomers are on another rural, underpopulated island.  You’d think getting service would be easy.  It is not!  It is easier to get an audience with the Pope.  “Well, I am now taking bookings for 2015 but maybe I could fit you in at 5:00 am on a Sunday? But you’ll have to make breakfast while I work?  Zat OK?”     

That’s the thing about employment in the forest; either the person is the only one for miles around or the only one competent for miles around and they are really, really busy or else there are several other similar service providers and they are all very, very poor ’cause they are never, ever busy.  You can stand in line just to get a ticket to stand in line for the dog groomer!  But there are a half dozen nuclear astrophysicists twiddling their thumbs just down the street.

OK.  I am exaggerating.  We are not oversupplied with physicists.  Hyperbole.  So, sue me.  But our cups do runneth over with quilters, knitters, crafters, herbalists, yoga instructors, potters, artists, weavers, writers, botanists, painters, sculptors, activists and assorted derivatives from several generations of over-emphasis on the Liberal Arts.   

We have carpenters up the wazoo.  Of course.  Everyone is a carpenter.  Even Sal.  Got millers of wood, too.  Same for plumbers and, oddly, medical personnel.  Well, NOT the official, educated, legal, conventional doctors although we DO have the legal, registered kind of doctor, too.  You don’t have to wait to see the local witch doctor OR their neighbour, the kind with ‘MD’ after their name.

I could see a doctor every day if I wanted.    Computer fixer? Not so much.  Dog groomer?  Sometimes she’s just a rumour.

The local area has at least four doctors that I know of and I suspect that there are several more.  They don’t all practice, so they remain incognito.  One is open about it and even has her name on a sign (and she’s good).  Most of them just live out here and enjoy life.  But one of them (under the radar-type) travels to a foreign country every year to attend to her own little hospital orphanage.  Another is on the local registry but works just a few hours a week and just a few months a year.  Rarely actually seen. She has a life. Another has an office but it is never open.  He may have a life, don’t know.  Hasn’t been seen in months and he is pretty old.

Lawyers, architects, people seeking bureaucratic positions..?  No chance.  No demand.  None.  May as well go to the city.  THEY use architects.  We ‘wing it’.  THEY use lawyers.  We just hold a grudge.  THEY use consultants and so do we but ours are free or will advise for a beer and a sandwich.

Every ‘secure’  job out here has been secured decades ago.  We have ferry workers who were born and raised on that very same ferry and they will likely die on it.  You don’t get your journeyman papers on our ferry till forty years of service!  No one leaves their ferry job!  Same with the grocery clerk, her kid and her kid’s kids.

The point?   Career paths are different out here.  Walking paths in the city are hard and straight and marked with signs, lights and crosswalks.  Paths in the country meander through the forest every which way and end up in the weirdest places.  And so it is with career paths.

Who woulda thunk that the foundation of the local economy would be the dog groomer?



2 thoughts on “Career paths

  1. Specialization of labour is a positive sign of a growing community. No one can be all things and a jack of all trades. For a while the Global village buzz was afoot but now it’s the 100 mile diet and in your case the epic circle is more focused. The goat, and the chickens must be in your future. As is a deeper sort of hunkering down that eschews bit coin.


  2. I tried the chicken idea on Sal and she won’t go for it. She is smart, that girl. She knows that the chickens would become ‘hers’ and I would not do my part. But I fooled her on the garden, thank God.


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