Northern News Services can suck it
Trip Start Feb 20, 2011
37Trip End Feb 20, 2012
Hello my adoring fans.
Well, after one day of retardedly awful work at News/North (not the Inuvik Drum, by the way, which is what I THOUGHT it was) I quit.
I know, I know, it's shocking.... right. Never in my life, have I been so incredibly lied to as I was with this job.
Never in my life, have I quit a job on the exact same day I started.
Never in my life, have I been given a job that was the complete opposite of what was advertised.
I'll give you a sample of the ad that was posted on JeffGaulin.com
"You will get a wide range of experience -- courts, environment,
legislature, business, aboriginal affairs, municipal politics North of
60 -- writing with an emphasis on people. "
Said the ad.... so I applied. Excited that I would be doing a bunch of cool stuff.
(Later on, in a telephone conversation, the man that hired me,
said that in fact the ad does sound like it is advertising a job in
To credit NNSL, and thank you to the Yellowknifer, I did do a couple of interesting stories in Yellowknife and then I was supposed to continue said interesting things in Inuvik.
No problem, I thought.
My first task on Monday morning was to do the "Neighbourly News" which consists of calling at least 40 different contacts in various communities near Inuvik and finding out what the latest updates are.
It took me all day. Four of those 40 people actually had something REMOTELY interesting to say. And I didn't give a flying crap about any of it. Some kids went on a caribou hunt.... There is a snowmobile safety training... blah de blahblah blah...
I understand that these things are very important to the people involved, and the people in the communities around.
I understand that yes, this is the rock hard soil that good journalism grows out of. But if I have NO CHANCE of ever meeting these people, I will have no empathy... ever.... with anyone that lives there. And they will have no empathy for me in return.
After that was done, I was also supposed to write a profile on a random person. "Anyone who is employed" as long as they don't live in Inuvik.
So, I got out the yellow pages and started calling random people. After about 10 calls, no one was remotely interested in talking to me at all. And why should they? I'm sure they've all been misquoted about a dozen times each.
I wanted to shoot myself in the head by the end of the day.
I also tried to redeem the day by attending town council, because I heard the regional school superintendent was going to be there. He had some interesting things to say, which would have been a cool story, but just thinking about trying to get in touch with another teacher in a community I don't know anything about, leaving a message on a phone whose voice mail might not be checked until next week and waiting for them to call me back, made me want to carve my heart out with a dull blade.
I took a minute this morning to talk to a person, who had this job before me. They told me they were so happy to hear that I had quit after one day, and that they always wished they had left way before they actually did.
They also thought they were going to be working for the Drum before they came up here. They also did a bunch of research and was reading the Drum in the days before they moved to Inuvik. When they got here, they were shocked to find that in fact, they were doing this job. At a publication they had no idea what it was.
After talking to the man who hired me, Mr. X, it was apparent that he had no sympathy for pulling the ol' bait and switch on me, so I am still on the hook for my moving expenses. I'm calling around to various lawyers to see what my rights are and of course, according to my former boss, I have none.
Most of the lawyers I have called so far, are in a conflict of interest, because they either do or have done work for NNSL... lucky me...I'll have to cast my net wider and find someone else. I don't think what they are doing is right, or fair to anyone.
If you've read this far, you are probably thinking I'm naive. I should have never traveled so far, for such vague promises. Who is stupid enough to do that?
The fact remains that I still have a thirst for some sort of northern adventure. I still want to see what exactly it is like here. For some people, curiosity cannot be satiated. Why should I hurry and hop the next plane out of town, when I can grab a quick job and really soak up the lifestyle.
I have a couple of weeks to get out of the apartment, so I'll see how much cash I can raise before the next bus out of town leaves.
I found out the only bus out of town goes to Whitehorse, and costs $280.
The catch is, they don't leave unless they can get six people on the bus. So, I'll have to call again in a couple of weeks and see if they've filled it. I'm on the waiting list now, but I think I'm the only one.
Anyway, from Whitehorse, I can buy a Discovery Pass on Greyhound and bus it down to Mexico, or California, or some such. I'm hoping to bum around Mexico for a while ala The Refreshments and then help Owen move in to his new place in Mountain View. A longer term goal would be to get some sort of visa to work in America. Doing I don't care what.
In the meantime, I am waiting for Owen's package to get to me in Inuvik. It has a Kindle in it, which will be CRUCIAL if I'm going to bus it all the way to Mexico.
Back in Inuvik, I dropped in to all three hotels and also to the Mad Trapper with my resume. I was hired on the spot at the Trapper to work on the weekends, so that's where I'm going to be for a bit.
Upon leaving the bar, one of the bouncers, who looks like he's about 18, stops me and says that I'll get the real northern experience working here.
I can't wait to find out what he means.