Fredericton — David Howlett is officially “over the hill” in the Picture Province. After acquiring two degrees and having turned 30 last month, the Miramichi native no longer qualifies for literally any part- or full-time position in the province.
“Well, it’s all over for me,” said Howlett with a sigh, browsing Indeed.ca for jobs in Fredericton. “I graduated from UNB — my second degree — this year, and my student loan debt is massive. But I’m either overqualified or too old for every job that exists, at least in Fredericton. They’re all for ‘students’ or ‘youth,’ and the province has decided that 29 is the maximum age to have any kind of income.”
The Manatee did some research and found that, not only is Howlett not suited for any of the underpaid contract or student positions available in the capital, but that goes for other cities in the province as well.
Brenda Somerville co-manages a summer camp in a rural area for disadvantaged children and youth. “Mr. Howlett did send us a resumé, and let me say, I was impressed with his credentials. But we don’t want someone who’ll be too qualified and make our less competent employees feel bad,” said Somerville. “And lord knows he’ll think he’s too good for us and leave after two weeks for some high-paid, prestigious job back in Fredericton.”
Howlett’s actual experience in Fredericton, however, has been somewhat different. “I applied for a 3-month summer job cutting lawns with the city, but they said my education puts me out of the running, and they’d rather pay a high school student $11 an hour to do it,” continued Howlett. “So I went to Subway and asked them if they’re hiring, and they laughed in my face and said fast-food is no place for a two-time university grad.”
Howlett’s parents told our reporter that they don’t understand why their son doesn’t just show some initiative in his work-search.
“I’ve been hearing a lot about entrepreneurs in New Brunswick,” said the elder Mr. Howlett, “so I don’t know why Dave doesn’t get in on that racket. He’d just need to invent an app or something like that and he’d be set. He doesn’t have much drive, it seems.”
Canada Student Loans, meanwhile, have started to harass Howlett, demanding a monthly payment of $900. “It’s time he starts to give back what he owes to his province and his country,” said a representative. “According to research that I just made up, the average graduate could get a great job, but is too lazy to do so. If he needs money so badly, he can borrow it from his parents.”
At press time Howlett was emailing a resumé and work samples to the CIBC customer contact centre, which is the only place willing to hire graduates who are 30 or over. “They’re actually the best demographic because their spirits are already completely broken,” said Bryce Jones, a manager at the call centre. “They’re empty shells of people. And that’s perfect for us.”