Last week, some woman in Winnipeg’s North Kildonan neighbourhood took a series of snapshots of City workers taking a little rest on the job. (I know, big fucking deal, right?)
Well apparently these little photos, which intrepid photog Darlene Beaumont says were taken over course of almost two hours, have caused a bit of a hullabaloo. The Winnipeg Free Press ran the photos alongside a column by local celeb Gord Sinclair Jr, which has Winnipeggers shaking their heads for a few different reasons.
According to Gord’s column, he contacted the city for comment after he caught wind of the photos. After waiting nearly a week for an official response from the city or CUPE Local 500, the union representing Winnipeg’s 5,000 frontline workers, Gord finally heard back on Friday, by way of email:
“As this is a personnel matter, [the email reads, according to Gord] the city will not publicly discuss this situation. Do know that as I had indicated, the matter is being taken seriously and appropriate action will be taken. Sorry, but that’s all I can tell you.”
Gord wasn’t impressed, and he also wasn’t impressed that “The civic administration also declined to disclose if the two workers were unionized CUPE employees or contract workers.” And neither were a few of the 52 online commenters at the time of this writing.
However, a good chunk of those self-appointed online pundits took a view much like my own, in that they don’t give a flying fuck about this baloney waste of newsprint. If the photos actually do correspond to the story that Darlene told the Free Press, is it really such a fucking bad thing for two hard working studs to take a little break on the clock?
Of course, some fucking big mouths will piss and moan that it’s “taxpayers’ money wasting away.” Or that these men should be driven like the dogs they are for the full eight hours they’re on shift under the hot summer sun, risking heat exhaustion and existential horror in pursuit of a well-trimmed patch of Kentucky bluegrass. Or that “unions blah blah to blame blah blah lazy blah blah taxpayers blah hard-earned” (barf). Or that, somehow, some poor fucker from a different country getting paid minimum wage to cut grass would be less inclined to take a break now and then while working at a menial, soul-crushing task all day.
It’s a goddamn crying shame that this made the newspaper. Most of the City guys I know are unrepentant booze hounds who smoke dope from the time they get up in the morning until they go to bed at night, and blaze double when they’re working. They may take some shade naps, or fuck off to a local watering hole for an extra long lunch hour, or go out of their way to mow a particular patch of grass near where an attractive lady regularly takes her afternoon jog now and again. But so fucking what? Do you want to do their job?
I certainly don’t. I, like Gord, rather enjoy sitting around in an air conditioned room and banging on a keyboard all day in exchange for my bread, as meagre as it may be (and lacking the benefits and pension that I would only hope Gord enjoys over at the Freep). I don’t want to sit on a ride on mower, destroying my hearing, slowly developing skin cancer under the sun’s unremitting gaze and huffing diesel fumes all day just so you can take your fucking dog for a walk in some shitty park and not get grass stains on your kicks.
If, by chance, you would enjoy doing such a thing, then go out and fucking do it yourself instead of telling other people how to do their fucking jobs. That sort of civic goodwill is sure to save the taxpayers a buck or two.
[image: Darlene Beaumont]