So, just a little joke…kinda…

Occasionally, I have to do my duty. Chores. Obligations. I avoid them as a rule. I try to delegate as much to Sal as I can but sometimes you just have to face the music and yesterday was one of those days. I had to go to town. Oh my GOD! I hate going to town.

I arrived at the ferry on the other island about fifteen minutes before the ferry sailed but, for reasons not even the Ferry Corp can explain, our ferry route is now experiencing twice the volume. I had a two sailing wait. On a Wednesday in April. Unheard of!

When I go to town it is always with a ten-chore list (of which if six get done, it is considered a great trip) and I started with the ‘Marine’ store. ‘Natch! Because I am still putting the ‘new’ boat together. And I got some stuff. And the prices were, well, ‘UNHEARD of!’. A quart of topside paint is $60.00 (plus taxes, etc.). And so it went. I spent $400 at that store yesterday that a year ago would have been $300.00 Everything was much more pricey.

The sales lady asked for my address, phone number, etc and I balked. “Just for our records”. Well, I said, I live on a remote island. And the phone number doesn’t always work so there is no point. “You live on a remote island? Take me with you!”

I then went to the paint store for Xylene and brushes. Same routine. Same answer. And, this is the point: the tatted-up and studded-faced early-20’s saleswoman (who actually KNEW her stuff) said the same thing, “You live on a remote island? Take me with you!”

And then over to the propellor shop and the woman there already kinda knows me. “You live remote, right? What’s it like? Can I make a living out there?” (in effect, much the same thing).

Three stops. Three women. All expressing a desire to live ‘OTG’.

No. It was not my natural masculine allure that was drawing them like a magnet (altho the propellor lady does kinda like me), it was just a genuine expression of fatigue, frustration and dissatisfaction with the rat-race and THIS IS IN A SMALL TOWN!!!

I then blasted off to Costco and bought more crap. The guy at the registry checked me through and instructed me on how to use my debit card. I kinda know but I never use it so I looked a little hesitant. He laughed nicely and asked “How does a person shopping at Costco not know how to use the debit card?” Well, I live remote. When we come, my wife does the transaction and I just carry. I am now just a mule and that suits me just fine.

“Wow! You live remote?…………………………………………………take me with you!”

19 thoughts on “So, just a little joke…kinda…

  1. ahahahahha.
    Thanks for the warning!
    OTG is gonna be pretty crowded!
    Where are you going to move next?

    P.S.
    My spies tell me the line-ups at BC Ferries are going to be brutal this year.
    Staff shortages will mean the non profitable routes ( yours) will be poached for staff to fill in on the profitable routes.
    The ships cant sail without a minimum staff count for fire fighting and lifeboat/ overboard drills.

    Stay at home and get drone deliveries.

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  2. Absolutely. If I could, I would. Some places do not deliver to the water taxi and some require our bodies (or pup’s bodies) to be inattendance. For those, I put it off until I cannot stand it. Yesterday, I could not stand it. Plus I needed a prop and paint. If ever there was a greater waste of time than a ferry parking lot, it is the other transportation (hah!) system like /airports/airlines.

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  3. You are right. A small town is smaller. A town the size of CR is considered a mid-size. It is just that, after a lifetime in the BIG city, CR seemed small. Nowadays, it feels big. In fact, a suburb of CR seems like ‘town’ to me. But, in reality, it is just a mid-size.
    Fact-checking is all the rage now, I guess. Thanks.

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  4. what’s the reason behind the overcrowded ferries? Do you have that many tourists this time of year? When I was on Vancouver Island, we could always take the first ferry available (only main lines to Victoria and from Nanaimo. But as a few of your readers commented, it WILL get crowded OTG (on the other hand, it seems only young woman want to go OTG, so maybe there is your attraction at play?) Shouldn’t BC Ferries give priority to locals over tourists? But as the world is evolving now, I truly understand why more and more people want to get out (I already wanted years ago before the world got even crazier then it was a few years ago)

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    • No one knows definitively as to why we have double the load every day. That really is inexplicable. But I suspect it is a few things at work. Firstly, we have all been ‘at home’ for two years due to Covid. A lot of projects and visits have been put on hold. Secondly, it is Spring and we had a harsh winter. Thirdly, most of the travelers are elderly suggesting retirement and flexible schedules. Fourthly, a lot of islands are served by that bottleneck ferry connection and all the islands have seen an increase in residents. Increased population means increased building, travel and supplies.
      And finally, it is inflation. Inflation, ironically, prompts more spending initially because people want to go off-island and ‘stock up’. Poor planning on BCF’s part didn’t cause the numbers to increase but they are exacerbating the problem. They created two new (very overdue) ferries but have not found the staff that wants to work ’em!? BCF provides one of the best jobs there is in BC and yet, they can’t get enough staff. So, the old crew is still running the old boat and it breaks down a lot.
      Of all the reasons listed, I am most surprised by lack of applicants for the jobs.

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      • I too am surprised by the lack of applicants (I only learned of that thanks to your post).

        It must be 3-4 years ago that a long-time Quadra Is. resident told me that deckhands on the Quadra ferry make $100k annually. Must be more by now. I would think that would draw some applicants. I guess no one wants to work for less than $150k. Or maybe word has gone out that it’s better to live OTG on a shoestring than in town earning megabucks. Seems that many local businesses are having difficulty hiring.

        In plain terms, it just might be that more are coming to opt out of the workaday world. It has been fashionable of late to advocate for that. Work is a sucker’s game. I suppose the message is getting through. Only a few of us oldtimers left who see virtue in any kind of employment, business or anything else that pays. That is now seen as wrong-headed, succumbing to an evil and inimical to a good life.

        Perhaps, in the fullness of time, the majority will be OTG, self-reliant, growing their own food, bartering for a few necessities they cannot otherwise produce or procure. We’ll revert to life sans cellphones, motor vehicles and all those trappings of consumption. Does not sound all bad. People managed it for thousands of years.

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        • Oh, I do not think the Age of Minimalism is upon us just yet. Something like that has to be precipitated by Putin or Xi. Or maybe Covid kicks it up a couple of notches (it is not like it is going away anytime soon). I think that BCF (and their union), like so many other stupid organizations, have such strict job descriptions and requirements that perfectly abled people (but without Master’s degrees) are rejected from the ranks of the geniuses directing traffic. I understand that DoT training is required but, duh, that ain’t rocket science either.

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          • Hmmm.
            Well
            We have a country that is rapidly aging.
            We have a country that must reply on immigration to grow the population.
            We have children that must be told they are amazing and brilliant and “special” even when they just tie their shoes.
            We have a govt that has legalized marijuana.
            We have a govt that handed out billions in cash for people to stay home.
            We have unemployment at record low levels ( 5.2%).
            We have thousands of jobs waiting to be filled so wages are at an all time high.
            We have “special” kids that can pick and choose which high salary job they want.
            We have kids that can quit their good wage jobs and get another good wage job the same day.

            We need a brutal, nasty recession that lasts about 4 years to smarten everyone up.

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          • You are such a sensitive, new-age guy, NonCon. A real softie. You’d be a great character in a Charles Dickens novel. I cannot imagine how good it would be on those lazy seniors (70+) to be forced back to work. The lazy bastards! I invite them to try first with me.
            And the legalizing of Cannabis is not doing anyone any good….especially the investors in it. Why? No one is buying legal MJ.
            Even tho jobs are going wanting, the salaries offered are not sufficient for youth to live-as-their-parents-lived. That may be the hard-cheese-of-life but it’s a real obstacle in getting Garth out of the basement.
            Immigrants rarely demonstrate the ‘lazy-butthead’ problem (save for some of the young who prefer gangs). Frankly, I think a recession would make it worse on the poor and the working poor as well as the seniors.
            I think – to make it better – the ‘life-prizes’ of an affordable house, a rewarding job and a positive-learning work-experience needs to be re-thought and re-introduced and being just a digital gear in a giant net-based metaverse has to be recognized as the ‘jail-term’ it is. And I do not see that happening (hard to get the Genie back in the bottle).
            Most people (CEO) do not see past their own nose (or fiscal quarter) and our politicians and corporate leaders are the models for that. We are a reactive society and first we create the problem and then we go fix it. It’s an endless loop of futility. At my age it is impossible for me to get behind a system so unequal, so hoary, so unimaginative, so institutionalized and so lacking in common humanity like the one we are currently using. A recession is NOT creative. It is punitive. We need REform not REcession. We need a guy like you (tough, mean, educated, open to listening to old people) to run for office. Then, I’ll be a back room old guy for ya.

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  5. I think the lack of workers is a worldwide problem! Where I work, we have at least 5 vacancies that have been open for at least 1 year some even for as long as 3 years. We used to get some people on interviews, but only 1 out of 10 was barely making the minimum standards. The last 6 monts….NO inflow, nobody even reacts any more to our ads…or they cancel their job interview last minute. So we are 5 people short, causing a huge amount of stress on the people at work….seems like nobody wants to work anymore (and salaries are really NOT bad.

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    • Omg. Sorry to hear of the carking and ambos (although it is a valuable addition to my vocabulary). I am guessing that is a colloquial variation on cardiac? If so, that is very scary, awful and sad. Please accept our sincerest concern and sympathy.
      It’s been a tough few years for you, untidy.

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    • I read it. And the comments. And I agree with them quite a bit. Not wholly, but quite a bit. I recall the time around ten or so years ago that the ‘mature’ were encouraged to leave their jobs. There seemed to be some weird sort of ‘get mean-and-lean’ corporate mentality and that meant managers took on more work and more responsibility til they burned out and left. But some of the comments reflected what I said: who wants to work for nothing (due to being overtaxed and work expenses going up all the time). Work was and still is much less rewarding nowadays. PC-ness, taxes, expenses, cost of living, housing, commuting….the barriers to working are numerous. The rewards are also elusive. You get paid a 100K and can only afford to rent? You get paid 200K and pay so much in tax that you can only buy a condo? The condo expenses are rising faster than the mortgage? The system is wonky.
      Another thing…probably just me, tho….when I worked at my jobs or my projects, I worked hard and I was good. When I found my best job (arbitration and mediation) I was really good at it and I loved my work. But then I went OTG and took myself out-of-the-game and, like anything, I lost my edge. I was good but not great. I was no longer top-of-my-game. I do not want to work at something I am no longer any good at. Had I stayed in the rat-race, I am sure my skills would have waned anyway but, by leaving, I not only lost my edge but I lost my ambition in the field.

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