Saturday, March 31, 2012

The hero never came

It’s becoming a pretty unremarkable sight to see people suffering from homelessness in Toronto. So it wasn’t a surprise to see a homeless man laid down on the empty seats on a subway train. One of the cleaning crew members yelled out to the man, “this is not a hotel; you can’t sleep on the train.” It was harsh but I see his point, empty seats are valuable especially on a crowded subway train. Anyways, nothing was going to stop the man from sleeping on the train; I suppose anyone who is homeless and hasn’t showered or eaten for days must be living in their own world with very little care about manners or social etiquettes.

I examined his face more closely, he looked aged from homelessness and crushing poverty but aside from that and the bushy grey beards, i could tell he was otherwise a young looking man . I had the sudden urge to bring him home and give him a nice warm bath and a clean razor.

I imagined myself sleeping on a train. It’s not a farfetched idea. I have no savings and I have credit card debts that can take years to be paid off. On top of that, I just lost my job. The future job prospect isn’t good either. Thankfully, I have a mom who works everyday to pay for the rent and bills, so we don’t have to sleep on the subway. The man sleeping across me must not have a mother or anyone to rely on. I can’t help but wonder what would happen to me if I didn’t have anyone who loves me enough to make sure I have a roof over my head every night. I will never understand why anybody has to suffer the fate of homelessness and loneliness.

Nobody on the train said anything to the man. The outside world must seem like the most inhumane and ugly place to those living on the street. Could this man be the foreshadowing of what will become of me? I lamented at the lack of sanctuary in our indifferent world. I was waiting for a hero or a daring soul to suddenly stand up and condemn the transit passengers for failing to care about another fellow human being. Of course, no such thing happened. This is Toronto the Cold after all. I was no better; I got off the train just as expected. (Okay, to be fair, Toronto apparently has first class soup kitchens for the needy, at least according to writer Steven Boone)

We have a reached a new millenium; the dramatic increase in internet accessbility, along with free Wi Fi spots, and relatively cheap smart phones allow humans to be more informed and more connected to each other than ever imagined possible. However, our state of nature is still persistently and stubbornly indifferent to personal sufferings. Maybe there's an app for changing that?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easy come, Easy go

I saw the writing on the wall. I knew that I was going to be terminated from my position very soon. It was expected because my contract was ending on April 30th. The only surprise was that I became unemployed sonner than I anticipated

Fate had it that March 28, 2012 would be my last day of work; after I finished work and went home, I received a call from the temp agency that I didn’t have to return for work tomorrow. This was the longest full time job I’ve ever hold, it lasted six months. I thought I would have the chance to say goodbye to my colleagues, and to clean up the desk that I became very familiar with. I tried everything I could to save myself from being laid off; I never missed a day of work nor have I been late and I did my best to be the most productive employee but none of that seem to be acknowledged, let alone appreciated.

My desk sits idle now; I wonder if all the paper and post it notes with my scribbles and thoughts were cleaned up immediately after I left for work? The management team never recognized the temp workers, we were the “invisible workers” (the irony is that most of us are visible minorities); after all, we are from the agency. In an “us versus them’ world, we are more than expandable, we are simply refugees with no nationality, we have never existed and we never will. Nevertheless, I made my presence known in the company. My desks were occupied with my workbooks, notepads, and water bottles. To my supervisor’s annoyance, I put up dozens of work sheets on the wall of my station like a teenager who covers her room with posters.

I imagine the management team working hard to delete all traces of myself off the company. The fact that I didn’t get to say goodbye to the people I saw everyday for the past six months was pretty brutal; on top of that, I was warned that I am forbidden to contact anyone from the company after I sent an email to my (now former) supervisor after my termination. Oh well, Easy come easy go, right? I want to be strong and keep my dignity but I can’t help but feel like a whore being kicked out of the church. Apparently, my ass belongs to the agency.

I naively thought that my perfect attendance and hard working ethics would have allowed me to at least work until the last day of my contract. I am unemployed and broke again. My temp work has allowed me to live with dignity for the past six months but I have to hustle for another job soon or I am going to fall further into credit card debts.

In this brave post Occupy world, I know I am not getting any bail out, and sadly, there might not even be light at the end of my tunnel. It’s not right but that’s okay because I am used to being wronged, my tranny badge of honor is my living proof. There’s nothing I can count on, but I am not ready to count myself out just yet, my short term goal is finding a job, my permanent goal is resistance thorough existence. “They” can certainly take away my livelihood and all personal belongings, but my dignity is my own.