Blog Archives

The Road to Realism

After reading my blog for March 4th (What Is All The Fuss About?) a friend said to me, “You’re pretty cynical.”

“I like to say that I’m realistic,” I said.

I was not always realistic.  There was a time, just after God created the earth, that I was naïve.  I thought everything was as it appeared. I believed in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and had faith in government and politicians.  It was reflecting on my various experiences, over the years, that I developed a realistic attitude.

My first experience on the Road to Realism happened when I worked for a bank in Toronto.  That was around the time that dinosaurs had just become extinct.  I was the supervisor of an office of eight people.   A position became available, in the office, and I had to hire someone.  My boss called me into his office.

“You’re going to hire someone for that new position,” he said.

“Yes,” I said.

“The person you are going to hire is  *Norman Nulp.  The Bank has rules about hiring and we have interview people for the job.  You will interview a number of people, but the person you will hire is Norman Nulp.”

“Okay,” I said.

Then my boss leaned forward and smiled.

“It’s just a coincidence,” he said, “that Norman is the son of one of the Bank’s vice presidents.”

I carried out the false job interviews.  I felt bad lying to the job applicants by telling them that I would let them know when I already knew that Norman had the job.

I do not know whether Norman knew that he had the job when he came in for his interview.  He never said anything.  Fortunately, Norman was capable of doing the job.

Later on, two positions became available.  The two other people I had to hire, after false job interviews, were incompetent.  I could not get rid of them because they were related to Senior Muckety Mucks in the Bank.

I did not have to put up with the two incompetents for long.  The Bank decided to downsize and close down our department.  Just before The Bank announced about the downsizing, it transferred Norman Nulp and the two incompetents (sounds like a rock band) to other safe departments not part of the downsizing.  Those of us with no connections were let go.


*The letters are real, the name is not.  


Home Of The Burger Family



A and W restaurant at Grosvenor and Yonge in Toronto, Canada


When I was a child, the Toronto Dominion Bank had a slogan:  The bank where people make the difference.  I was the only one who thought this slogan was silly.  People would shrug their shoulders when I said so.  Would there be a bank if it was not for people?

Fast-food restaurant A & W has a slogan: Home of the Burger Family.   The original Burger Family was Baby Burger, Teen Burger, Mama Burger and Papa Burger.  A modern-day Burger family could also be Baby Burger, Teen Burger, Mama Burger and Mama Burger, or Baby Burger, Teen Burger, Papa Burger and Papa Burger.  

Whatever members form the Burger family, it’s a huge family to keep up the supply of hamburgers for customers to eat.  Either it’s a huge family, or the Burger family can infinitely clone itself.

What family would choose a place to live where it constantly gets eaten by carnivores?  I asked several people this question.  They shrugged their shoulders.



What goes through the minds of people who put up signs?   Are these people as dumb as I am?

This walkway overlooks Mel Lastman Square in Toronto, Canada.  It’s about 20 feet (6 meters) from the walkway to the concrete of Mel Lastman Square.  An area of the walkway needed repair.

Was the KEEP LEFT sign necessary?  The white boards stop you from walking straight.  If you walk to the right and climb the railing, then you will fall 20 feet and may injure the concrete.  I would say, by process of elimination, that keeping left is your only choice.


If you walk from the opposite direction, then the same boarded area has a sign stating KEEP RIGHT.

I’m confused!  Do I keep left?  Do I keep right?  Or do I occupy my time thinking about opening a bank in Greece?


One of the Toronto Star‘s top investigative reporters exposed Jian Ghomeshi favoring people who shared Ghomeshi’s agent and lawyer.  Surprise.  Surprise.

Society taught me, while growing up, that life is fair; that the race is always won by the swift; that battles are always won by the strong; that if I worked hard I would be rewarded.  Yep, that’s what society taught me.  How much pain I caused myself because I believed these things were true!  How much easier my life is now that I know that life is not always fair; that the race is not always won by the swift; that battles are not always won by the strong; that no matter how hard I work rewards may not come if I don’t have connections.

Connections are what people need to get anywhere.  You get connections by networking or through family and friends.   It is nice to have talent, but talent is not as important as connections.  This is how the world works.   It is possible for someone to make it without connections, but that is rare.

I worked for a bank at one time.  I was the supervisor of the dispatch office that serviced the automated teller machines.  We had a job opening.  My boss called me into his office.

“According to the rules, we have to advertise this job and interview all applicants,” he said.   “You will do this, but this is the person you will hire.”

The person I hired just happened to be the son of one of the bank’s vice presidents.

I felt silly interviewing the other applicants pretending as if they might get the job when I already knew the outcome.  What a charade!  How often do similar charades happen?

Fortunately the son of the vice president was competent and able to do the job.  I have worked at places where people were incompetent at their jobs, but management did nothing because the incompetent people were well-connected.  At one place, a person ended up getting fired because he tried to do something about an incompetent, well-connected employee.   Oh what irony!  They fire a competent employee and keep an incompetent employee.

This is where I have a problem with nepotism.  I see nothing wrong if the person hired is competent to do the job.  I would rather hire someone I know, and who is capable to do the job, than take a chance on someone I don’t know.

“This business sucks!  It’s who you know!  It’s who you know!”

The first talent agency I was with sent me out for commercials and background work in films and television.  This agency  sent me out a bit, but not as much as I wanted to go out.

The agency sent out another actor all the time.  This actor, I will call Steve because that is his name, had a friend named Sam who worked at the agency.  Sam favored Steve.   We all knew this was going on, but we also knew that is how the world works.  We never complained because we knew complaining about favoritism in the entertainment industry was suicide.

For some reason, Steve’s friend Sam left the agency and got out of the business.   The agency did not send Steve out as much — if at all.  He was like the rest of us.

“It’s not fair!” said Steve.  “This business sucks!  It’s who you know!  It’s who you know!”

How odd that Steve never complained before Sam left the agency.

I have worked for the municipal government, the federal government, private corporations, temp agencies, and now I have my unreal job in the business.  No matter where I worked, the politics is the same:  Connections.  Connections. Connections.

Let me forget what I know.  Let me reread the Star‘s story about Jian Ghomeshi booking guests that shared his agent and lawyer.  Let me be shocked and outraged that such unfairness exists in the worldGod help us!