Loving Life after 50


( Warning this is a long angry post)
Society has changed so much over the past few decades, and oh by
the way people this is not a slam at the X generation or the Y generation or
the XY generation, this is a slam at society period.
When did it become socially acceptable to pull everything down to
the lowest common denominator instead of aspiring to improve the lives of
I have found myself pondering this lately as I continue to hear so
many people support all that is wrong just because they do not have, or already
lost or wish they had…. the adage that because I am suffering so must you. To
put it very simply, as an older sibling I may have always been resentful of the
lack of restrictions placed on my sisters because my parents had already been
through it with me but I did not begrudge them their privileges. Ask yourself, did you ever say “Why is she/he allowed to, I
never was”??   Personally I said it lots but I did not begrudge my
sisters getting to do those things I just wished that I too could have enjoyed
those benefits… 
 How many of you grew up hearing when I was a boy/girl, I had
to walk three miles to school in the snow (barefoot)??  Did our parents
then expect that we should all have to walk three miles in the snow, NO they
did not, they were trying to illustrate the strides that had taken place and to
try and make you appreciate what you had, it never would have dawned on them to
take buses and cars off the road because they did not have them. (Ok maybe
sometimes they would have liked for it to happen once just to teach us a lesson
but they did not “will” it to happen)
It is not OK people to wish for bad things to happen to
others because they are happening to you
It is not OK to turn your back and say nothing when you
see an injustice
It is not OK to DO NOTHING.
I live in Canada and I am as patriotic as one can be but I am not
very proud of my country at the moment.  I would like to blame all of the
ill winds on the conservative government and Stephen Harper but I cannot, a lot
I believe is their fault but not all. It is society and the attitude of people
today that is allowing this feeling of selfishness and what about me to fester
and grow. It is the selfish attitude of our society that is allowing this
government to get away with the atrocities they are perpetuating on their
employees.  It will only be when we decide to stand up together that we
will start to make a difference.
The government of the day is destroying my country and everything
I hold dear and we are standing by and doing NOTHING.  It is not enough to
read a story and shed a tear, it is not enough to rant at your partner over the
stupidity of comments made in the media, it is not enough to just stand by as a
spectator anymore, it is time to stand up and be counted. It can only change if
we stand together and unite; it is time to aim for the sky.  If you want
what I have let’s not take it away from me, let’s fight together to get it for
I am not a federal government worker; I used to be, just not now.
I am however a proud UNION employee who believes strongly in what our Unions
stand for.
Why it is that society believes it is OK to stomp on the
government worker?? Seriously, do you know how many times I use to hear
“my taxes pay your Salary”?? Well guess what, THEY DO NOT.  Your
taxes, if you are actually paying them, go for Roads, and schools and health
care, and meat inspections.  Your tax dollars protect our borders, protect
our waterways, and protect the environment.  Yes, money is spent on the
salaries and benefits of those that carry out those services but the actual
salary and benefit package paid out to government workers is minuscule in the
overall BUDGET.
Did you know that only 12 cents from every tax dollar is allocated
to over 127 departments for their operations,  that money is spent not
just on salaries but on buildings, equipment, supplies and travel.  Please
 remember that they have to pay their hydro, gas and phone just like you
do and that also is included in the 12 cents they are allocated.  The
media has reported that it only takes a measly 565 million to run Parliament
and the senate, and that is only 1/4 of 1 cent (.25 of 1 cent) peanuts right???
Now, when you take the individual departments, that is 12 cents over  127
departments, does that mean they are operating on .09 of 1 cent,  doesn’t
that equate to far less then Parliament???  I know these sounds a little too
simplistic but in all seriousness people, why do we let the government and some
media continue to deceive us with smoke and mirrors and thus perpetuate the
attack on civil servants.
Let’s actually look at civil servants; I will not dispute the fact
that obtaining a job as a civil servant is something that a lot of people
aspire to, and why…..  Because the benefit package offered makes the
position attractive right? So examine that fact for a moment, did the
government voluntarily start paying those benefits?  No they did not, the
civil servants (how I hate that term) are unionized employees and they and
their unions fought hard for every benefit achieved and the government today is
abusing their legislative power and removing all the benefits negotiated by
BOTH parties.
Hand in hand with well sought after positions is extreme
competition, so as great as the benefit package may be, so too is the calibre
of worker, the federal government seeks the best and the brightest, so it is
unfair to compare the benefit package of a person who spent many years studying
in a particular field and obtaining specialized experience working with the government
with the salary and benefits received in an industry that does not require
specialization.  We as a society have been tricked, manipulated and lied
to and we are doing nothing to stop it.  The conservatives have no issue
with advising the public that because of the “richness” of negotiated
agreements ( remember they were the other party in this) employees will receive rich
payouts, what they fail to reveal is they would not have had to pay out that
amount if they had not put the issue on the table to try and remove a negotiated clause. The unions were not looking
for modifications on severance packages, the government was, lies and
manipulations people.  Who is the public mad at….. their next door
neighbour who was forced to cash out severance that’s who.  
Today the attack is on sick leave and I have to tell you the
selfishness I am seeing is not making me proud to be Canadian, again the
government has done a fantastic job of making their employees look like the bad
guys.  As a civil servant a person can earn 15 days of sick leave in a
year, and they do get to carry it forward if they do not use it, they do not
however get to cash it in when they leave (in any form voluntarily or not) nor is there no accountability when this leave is utilized. The employer has the right, and often uses it, to demand proof of illness before approving said leave.
When my partner and I left the federal government employ we left
behind close to 5000 hours of unused sick leave combined.  Funny how I
only hear the government bemoaning the fact that they are carrying a
“payable” on the books,  you never hear them provide the
calculation of all that has not had to be paid out . For the record there is a significant amount of civil servants who leave massive banks of sick leave behind.  Compare this to your house insurance, you pay a set amount every year to make sure that you are insured in the event that something bad happens, but do you wave your fist in the air and yell that dang it there was no flooding this year and my house did not catch fire so I just wasted $1200.00? So my insurance when I was a civil servant was 15 days a year in case something happened to me,  and that 15 days for the record did not come without a price, do you think the employer just graciously gave me 15 days or did I have to negotiate and forego other benefits to get it,  could I have been making a higher wage if only I had not asked for sick leave?
That bank of sick leave we had ( and gave back when we left) was an insurance policy, something
that would only be used if necessary, luckily neither of us was ever diagnosed
with cancer, we did not have any major diagnoses requiring extended leave nor were we
injured in an accident (and for those things I am grateful every day). If
heaven forbid something like that had happened we had diligently watched our
leave balances and ensured that we would be ok if tragedy struck.  We
would not have had to force a return to work until we were fully recovered. 
It is disturbing to hear my fellow Canadians spout, 15 DAYS are
you friggin kidding me, I don’t have any sick time, or I only get 5 days….
 well I feel for you and I think it is atrocious that you do not have
leave but why would you make the statement I should not have this leave because
you do not, would it not be better to rally behind us in our fight so that we
can extend the fight to you and yours????
Think for just one moment, if your employer could, at will, decide
tomorrow that you should only be paid for 3 hours because there were not any
customers around for the other 3 would that be right? If your employer decided
that because they were not good financial planners and needed help paying the bills that you should have to help
pay for the phone and hydro bill? Are those notions acceptable at all?
Let’s even look at it from a non employment perspective, if you
purchased a car two years ago and the car dealer decided today that they did
not think you actually paid an appropriate price should they be able to take
your car away?
Would it be acceptable for me to applaud your employer because
they decided to slash your benefits and wages, should I think, “be happy you have
a job buddy but that should not give you any expectations that your employer
should not be able to change your terms and conditions as they see fit”? 
Is it OK that the man you just walked by on the street asking for
change should have the right to expect you to have to beg for change because he
This is what we are facing, because civil servants are employees
of the government they face not just the fear that their employer can change
their terms and conditions at will, but they also fear that you, the public
will applaud that because you have bought in to the rhetoric that the big bad
union held a gun to their head and forced them to give away the kitchen sink.
Look around you, remember 6 degrees of separation, every time you make a
comment about the laziness of government workers, how overpaid they are you,
how much they should have taken away, you are actually attacking someone you
know.  It may be a sibling, a parent, a cousin, a friend, a neighbour,
maybe someone you volunteer with but I guarantee you, every negative word that
comes out of your mouth is heard by a civil servant and your words are like a needle or a knife in someone who already is feeling overwhelmed
with all that has been happening in their workplace.
Instead of joining Harper’s attack on me/us, how about taking my
hand and walking with me, together we can make a difference; alone we are just
that ALONE.