Guest post by Alison Dormaar, Pegasus resident and author
Perhaps I’m aging prematurely. I’d like to think not as I am still only in my early 40’s and besides, many people as they age will tell you that life seems to become a lot faster and more complex. I just never expected it would become so cluttered in a matter of months, not years!
I’d best explain myself. Like far too many I know out there at the moment, my employment situation over the past few years has been somewhat precarious at best. So what? I hear you all say. Go out there and get a job. Ahhhh yes, there’s the Catch 22 of the entire matter. Over past decades this was done as easily as going down to the local store for Pick N’Mix (remember those?) If you hated what you did or had a cruddy boss, no big deal. You’d just walk down the road and chances were you’d land something else within a week, provided you could provide solid evidence of a good character and a reliable work history. The rest didn’t matter, right?
Unfortunately nowadays the Rest is Everything!
A year ago I had to go to one of the recruitment agencies for skill testing. Okay, no big deal and fair enough. I sat both tests with good grace and that, along with my provided referees, was considered enough to work with at the time. But within the space of one year how tings have changed. I have been to several other agencies in that time, and for some reason they now want to know everything, not just your rank, name and serial number. Apart from the computer tests there is a raft of fact finding papers you have to fill out that would make a government Census envious. There are motivational tests, personality tests, reasoning tests, psychometrical tests, etc etc. Apparently the powers that be want to know if people “think correctly”. Hmmm. This is the kind of terminology once used by the Hitler Youth and Khmer Rouge, not to mention the Soviet Young Pioneer Movement under Stalin. All Hail Big Brother, and woe betide you if you fail to conform to the ideal “vision” and are over 30.
This is just one indication of the system that people today must submit themselves to. Is it any wonder that so many of us feel depressed, underachieving, undesirable and substandard? As it is, we sentence our children to a bare minimum twelve years’ hard labour in an ever increasing stressed school system to learn how to cope with the bare basics, and upon leaving there are no guarantees their hard-earned straight A’s will deliver the career results parents so hope for. We live in a modern society where your best is never good enough and the pressure is always on to improve, where winning is everything and there is no acceptable alternative. With the workplace situation, you may score well on the tests, but there is no guarantee you may reach the hallowed interview stage. Then there may be a second interview, even possibly a third, and you never know what each member on the interview panel is looking for. As someone mentioned to me a while ago, they feel like a Lotto ball, forever spinning around in the wheel but never coming out on top. We strive relentlessly throughout our lives, only to become highly educated pieces of dirt in the local cemetery when all is said and done.
Many people want change in social values. I certainly do. Is it any wonder that so many people now are seeking to escape from the cities, looking for that life-giving gasp of clean, uncluttered air in places such as Pegasus? In the meantime I am assured that the recruitment agencies do not want your blood type.