Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Today, I hate the CBC

Nearly everyday I look over the job opportunities at the venerable institution. Some jobs are well beyond me and my skills, such as president, or anchor, or journalist. I don’t want to get myself in over my head and either get fired on the first week, or have a staff that resent me for my incompetence. (I have been that staff. Being the incompetent one in charge fills me with dread.)

So I apply for jobs I know I’m capable of doing. Things such as assistant camera person, technical helper monkey, production assistant, maybe even video editor (again, I’m happy to be an assistant at this too). I even applied to be the video archives clerk cause at least it says video in the job title and I don’t mind working my way up from a windowless dungeon, if that’s what it takes.

The online process is routine. The website even saves your information so you only have to change the relevant bits.

But there is one section that fills me with annoyance. The one section that gives you the option of not filling it out.

It asks the following questions: Are you aboriginal? Are you a person with disabilities? Are you a member of a visible minority? What is your gender?

I have considered lying at this point. Of course that would be caught the moment I show up for the interview, but then, who is to say that I am not a visible minority, or that I don’t have some native blood in me somewhere?

The following is from the CBC online application process:

"Members of visible minorities" means persons, other than aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.”

So not me, so much. In fact the only yes answer I can give this series of questions, is yes I’m a man and a white one at that. Not my fault, not my choice, but I don’t feel guilty or responsible for that.

Let me be perfectly clear; I don’t believe in racism or treating handicapped people like dirt, beating up on women or feeding aboriginals rot gut in an effort to steal their land.

I don’t believe in those things, and have not done those things. I do acknowledge that such things happen.

The reason I don’t agree with these sorts of actions isn’t because I’m such a great fucking person. It is because no one should be evaluated based on an element of their life that they can do nothing about.

Racism is wrong because the judgment stems from the colour of a person’s skin or their culture.

You can’t do anything about that. You are simply born. You don’t get to make those decisions. You are male or female, white, brown or purple, based on barely understood realities of biology.

Thus on a purely logical basis, you cannot and should not judge another based on such things.

Affirmative action does not work outside of theory. It places the very same discrimination it seeks to eliminate on what is perceived as the opposing party without consideration for the individual.

It is just as racist to say ‘I will not even consider hiring that person because HE is WHITE.’

One day I decided to fill out the page. Why should I feel ashamed, after all?

Today, I finally received a call from Radio-Canada, the french arm of the CBC.

I was instantly excited. Perhaps a job... I’d even take a modestly paid intern position and do it with a smile on my face.

Predictably enough, it was in french. That isn’t a problem, usually. I was thinking in english, so my brain struggled for a few seconds to make the necessary switch.

The man wanted to know more about the school in Alberta that I graduated from. No problem. I answered. I worked hard at that school and learned some stuff, hopefully the required stuff.

The next thing I know he is asking rather technical questions, while not really hard, and I do know the answers, took me a bit by surprise. He hadn’t even told me at this point what the position was for.

So I asked. Apparently it was for a job as an assistant in a television studio. Great. A chance to work and learn some stuff. I have hung lights for theater and for studio work, so it is something I can do.

He was calling to not waste my time and theirs since they were considering asking me in to write a 4 hour exam.

Apparently, he decided that because I wasn’t ready for rapid fire technical questions at 10 in the morning and couldn’t give him an answer to the question “What do you know about electricity?” CBC would be unable to pony up the 50 cents or so in photocopy costs to write the fucking exam and prove myself one way or the other.

So I didn’t pass the screening call.

Granted I’m a little upset that within seconds my sought after chance at an interview with CBC was utterly destroyed. I do feel that had I been able to claim some sort of minority status other than the obvious western Canadian in Québec, I might of at least had the chance to write that 4 hour exam that would somehow magically make me able to hang lights, plug them in, and know to keep my mouth shut while the show is being taped.

At this point, at least for today, I want nothing to do with working for organizations more worried about how they are perceived than actually getting on with business.

I can't find an appropriate image to go along with this post. I already used the photo of shit in my last post.

3 comments:

French Panic said...

"Members of visible minorities" means persons, other than aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.”


I think it is totally awesome that monster corporations are still identifying people according to their "race" (sooooo 17th century) or the colour of skin. I bet Mel in your poo picture would get a job no problem, based solely on her appearance. I also bet that Mel would rather punch the CBC in the gut than get a job based on her femaleness and skin colour.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I understand. You were not able to answer technical questions at 10AM and are complaining about failing the screening? Are you serious?

BTW, most companies have such clauses in their job opportunity posters. They want a representative workforce which means occasionally hiring non-whites.

Tom Weston said...

Dear Anonymous,

First of all, I welcome debate, but if you are going to critique with such a nasty tone, stand up and identify yourself. I'm now not sure if you will read this.

Second, look at the date asshole. This was in 2007 when I was out of work in Montréal. Perhaps you haven't lived there before, but language issues abound and I will not accept that I am a lesser human for being born with anglophone parents.

An unexpected call with such an odd question of "what do you know about electricity" is not a usual occurrence , nor is it an appropriate way to determine if a further interview is required.

Thirdly, and this is important, judging me by my skin colour is racism, judging me by my genitals is sexist. There is no wiggle room in this because I can do nothing about my race or gender.

If you read further on, you will learn that I did do that 4 hour exam. It was rather unfair. Now in Vancouver, I've talked with some CBC staff who assure me that unfair hiring practises are the norm at the Montréal office.

So jackass, feel free to follow my other blog which is current and perhaps use your real name the next time you choose to challenge me.

I welcome any comments, but I will talk back and I will not back down. I am serious.

Finally, this is perhaps entirely far too immature, but FUCK YOU!