Month: February 2016

Kijiji Canada’s Need Not Apply

Kijiji Ad
The banner announcing Kijiji Canada’s attention to end the part time/odd jobs/ gig section I and many low-income earners use to make ends meet.

I couldn’t believe my eyes after I went to renew my “David Needs A Job” ad on Kijiji Canada and read the following text:

“Effective immediately, Kijiji will no longer be offering a “Resumes” category for Jobs seekers. For this reason, you can no longer post ads in this category. Existing ads in this category will disappear once they expire.

This is being done as the first step in a much-improved experience for both employers and job seekers. We found that employers were not using our “Resumes” category to its full potential, and applicants were relying on this category to search for work, instead of replying to jobs posted. We will be switching to a more traditional Jobs resource. Potential employers can post their available positions, to which jobs seekers can apply. If you are offering a service and looking for clients, we still have our “Services” categories for you to post in.

We will also be rolling out a lot of new and exciting features to help job seekers find their next job on Kijiji. For more info on this change, and for additional resources for job seekers, click here.”

In other words, Kijiji is not only turning into yet another useless service — Monster Canada — they have effectively taken away a tool commonly used by low income earners to make ends meet. The odd job. The gig. Something that I use to pay for my costs in order to get around. To survive.

Kijiji Canada now suggests people looking for odd jobs to go to the newly rejigged job sections, which they are apparently super-excited about. I’m delighted they are happy about something, seeing there’s so little joy in this half-murdered world we live in these days, but it’s clear they have no idea why people like myself used the Resumes section in the first place.

There are very few jobs out there. Of the jobs that are available, credential creep has hyper-inflated job requirements to the ridiculous point where even a cleaning job requires six months to a year of previous experience. Cleaning. Something that we all do on a regular basis.

That’s where the Resumes section came in.

The Resumes section was a pocket economy where individuals who needed things done could find individuals who needed money and were willing to work. Everyone wins. Well, except Kijiji Canada. Because I was able to post ads for free, Kijiji never saw a dime of what I made. Until now.

The new Kijiji Canada will now only be for incorporated individuals if not companies paying to post what little jobs they will make available, with masses of qualified jobseekers piling on like cats on a fish. In other words, just like how Monster, Workopolis, Simply Hired works now.

Those who have no experience, like young people facing the Catch-22 of “no experience, no work, so no experience earned”, and mature job seekers like myself who face ageism need not apply.

This is clearly a money grab on Kijiji Canada’s part. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Thanks for reading!

David.

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Selective Compassion

Pixton_Comic_Selective_Compassion_by_MogCanada
A social commentary comic done on Pixton about how selective we are when showing compassion. On a related point, I’m thinking of taking the Pixton business option and make comics for money instead of using the free service.

I had to wait a while until after the Christmas holiday before writing this topic. It’s quite sensitive and I know I’m going to get heck from at least one person for posting this.

Canada has pledged to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees as part of a humanitarian effort to deal with the crisis in that troubled region of the world. Of that total, according to CTV News Kitchener, 1150 will settle in the Region of Waterloo.

Keep that point in mind while I quote the following from the Homeless Hub, an organization pledged to find solutions for the homeless:

“In the State of Homelessness in Canada 2013 report, it was estimated that at least 200,000 Canadians access homeless emergency services or sleep outside in a given year. The actual number is potentially much higher, given that many people who become homeless live with friends or relatives, and do not come into contact with emergency shelters. Recent data from a March 2013 Ipsos Reid poll suggests that as many as 1.3 million Canadians have experienced homelessness or extremely insecure housing at some point during the past five years.”

Again, from the Homeless Hub, a report on the number of homeless living in the Region Of Waterloo:

No. of individuals estimated to be living in emergency shelters: 3,492 (est. for 2013)

I have checked other sources for the number of homeless people in Waterloo Region and have found comparable if not higher numbers.

The media blares about the crisis of Syrian refugees — who are not citizens of Canada and have not contributed to our social safety net — and runs feel-good stories about residents raising funds and opening their doors to them. All three levels of government, including Waterloo Region and the cities that make up that region, have ensured these refugees have a place to stay and even work waiting for them. At the same time, the call to address the homeless issue — which is higher in number than the refugee total on both the national and local scene — is met with the sound of crickets chirping on a quiet summer night. The respective city councils of Waterloo, Cambridge, and especially Kitchener are guilty of cutting funding for emergency shelters for the homeless to go to on cold winter nights. The federal government continues to cut funding to social programs and the provinces (particularly Ontario) have been placing additional restrictions on back-to-work programs like Second Career.

This is confusing to me. The homeless are citizens who once contributed to this country’s prosperity. They might be your parent, sibling, friend, or co-worker. They worked, paid taxes, obeyed the law and were good Canadians. When they, like me, hit on rough times and ask for a hand up (not hand out) to get back on the road to self-reliance, the response is indifference. Actually it’s more than that. It’s outright scorn.

We can thank our conditioning for that. How many times have you heard of the expression, “Don’t be a lazy bum” or “Oh, I’m doing nothing, just bumming around the house”.  How many times have you seen how homeless people are portrayed on your favourite TV series or movie? Do you remember that scene in the first “Back To The Future” movie where Marty McFly returns to the present in a flash of light, waking up a bum who then slurrs, “Cahreeezy druwk dwiver” before nodding back to sleep on his park bench? Pretty darn funny, huh? I remember laughing at that along with the audience when I was an usher at a movie theatre where that movie was shown.

I don’t particularly find that funny now, but a change of perspective and fortune can do that to you.

That’s selective compassion right there. Show the government a picture of a dead child on a beach and everyone from the Prime Minister to the everyday Jane/Joe will open their wallets and pitch in to help. Show a picture of a homeless man on a park bench and all three levels of government will say, “no money” and the everyday person will say, “wow, hope that’s not near where I live! Lazy bum!”.

Maybe if we renamed the homeless “economic refugees”, they would get the same sort of help the political ones receive now.

Thanks for reading!

David.