Not Newsworthy

Museum of History - 05/05/2020
Museum of History – Gatineau 05.05.2020

Did you know that I am the only Canadian over 60 with C.O.P.D. (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) who chose to leave his part time job for a period of 3 months when his place of work was re-classified as non-essential? That day was April 9th, 2020.

To be fair, the diagnosis of C.O.P.D. is pretty much assigned to anyone who has been a lifetime smoker, which I am guilty of.

My questions is, “Is this a story and am I really the only one?”

The reality of my choice is that I may not have a job to go back to because my actions were not seen as a leave of absence. I was offered to be laid off but was informed that doing so would allow the company to call me back at any time. This information was given to me by the company. So I could have been called back in a day or two, a week or weeks, months and possibly not at all. Who knows? What was clear to me was that I was not willing to have any company choose when I should return and I wanted wait for the experts to inform and perhaps guide my decision as things progressed.

From my perspective, this part time job was my lifeline as much as any full time job. It fed me and kept my bills paid as I worked on photography just as I’ve done for decades. I do however have the added benefit of early C.P.P. which gives me an extra $300 or so a month. 25 hours a week has been enough to do these things.

I believe that the decisions we make as we get older should change. Ideally they should possess some knowledge and at least a hint of wisdom. Does it make sense for a man over 60 to hold onto a minimum wage job and give the control of that risk to a company?

As my brother would say, “Everyone has a right to their own opinion, even if they are wrong.” There is only one answer to my question, and I left that job. Any other decision would have been fear based or based on the things that we’ve been told such as “Never quit a job.” etc… I ask that you do not torture your children with such antiquated garbage thinking.

Short story long, ( “Yes I wrote it that way on purpose and ‘No” I do not use Grammarly.” ) what I wanted from all of this is for people to think that there is perhaps more out there, more situations and challenges that other Canadians may not be aware of or have not even considered.

I’ve sent a smaller, less painful version of this story a while back to The Ottawa Citizen ( twice ), two members of parliament in West Quebec ( because I live in Gatineau now ) and the CBC. I get that they are all bombarded at this time but I do wonder what they think. Maybe I’ll try Global News next.

Thanks for reading.

Rick Carroll

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