Thursday, November 29, 2007

Welcome to the Rude Job Fair

Everything was orange at Pathways today. I walked over to Pathways at Main & Hastings this morning with a friend who intended to use one of their public-access federal government computers. It was 11 o'clock but there was a line up. Unusual. When the door man suddenly unlocked the door and people began filing in, I could see orange table cloths and staff wearing orange t-shirts.

Welcome to the job fair.

So the woman with me asked the door man in an orange t-shirt, light brown curly hair, and glasses with somewhat dated rims, if the computer room was open, "like a regular day." He sniped, "Well, I think it's pretty obvious that it's not a regular day." The computer room the woman was asking about is tucked in a corner at Pathways, very popular with local people, but people were obviously not going to be allowed to use it today.

I told the woman that I had found the guy rude. "He was rude", she said. She then pointed out -- and it's not the first time I've heard this -- that if you talk back, if you stand up for yourself in Downtown Eastside facilities that cater to the poor, you get labeled a troublemaker and it can cause you problems when you come back.

Welcome to the poverty industry.

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