Fredericton — Local baby boomer Daryll Gautreau, 56, said his son Francis has been out of work for several months and, as far as Daryll can tell, the young man shows no initiative in landing his dream job. The Manatee sat down this morning with both men at Coffee and Friends in Fredericton to hear their thoughts on the New Brunswick labour market and to discuss Francis’s options.
“Well, I don’t really have any options. Around 5 years ago I graduated from UNB with a major in marketing, and at last count I have $38k in student debt,” said the younger Gautreau, 27. “I apply for several jobs a day, but I can’t seem to find anything worthwhile.”
“Well, what’s ‘worthwhile’ to you?” said Daryll. “You have to start at the bottom like I did, and move your way up over time. It’s like I always say: a career takes dedication and commitment, which are attributes I think today’s young people lack.
“He’s just too picky,” continued the man who was handed a high-paying and secure job in his field exactly 4 days after finishing his one-year course back in 1978. “You might have to take something not so glamorous for a while.”
As Francis humbly petitioned our reporter for change to buy a coffee, Daryll was quick to intercept. “Hey now Francis — you can’t go asking for handouts every time you feel like having some fancy drink! If you made coffee at home and brought it with you, you’d save 3 bucks a day, and lemme tell ya, it adds up. You should be cutting down on frills and investing that money.”
Francis rolled his eyes and checked his smartphone while Daryll explained that, with any effort, his son could easily find meaningful employment. “I told him he could take a computer course at night so he can upgrade his skills and get a really great job. And he’s always on Facebook, so I would think he could land some kind of job in technology with that on his resumé.”
“Dad, what kind of ‘computer course’ are you talking about?!” asked Francis incredulously. “I know everything there is to know about computers — I fix yours every time I come over for dinner! And I have a university education, I’m bilingual, AND I can ace an interview. The problem is getting the damned interview. It’s friggin’ impossible!”
“Well hold on there a minute, son,” interrupted the elder Gautreau. “I think the problem here is your language. You think any employer’s gonna look twice at you when you can’t keep a lid on that potty mouth? In my day, we knew what not to say. We had respect, goddamnit, and that’s half the battle.”
Our reporter grew weary of this pointless and evidently redundant exchange, so shifted the topic to New Brunswick as a whole.
“There’s seriously no hope here,” said Francis, sipping his tepid coffee and gazing out the window at the snowdrifts. “You can either work at the Sobeys checkout, or at a call centre for minumum wage, listening to old people complain about their cellphone plans all day.”
“Oh, come now, what kind of thing to say is that?” huffed Daryll, readjusting himself in his chair. “It’s plain to me that the problem is your attitude, young man. There are plenty of jobs for go-getters. Problem is you’re so quick to give up.”
Both men sighed in utter exasperation, and stomped out. Our reporter was left to bum coffee money from a nearby customer and update her LinkedIn profile for the 5th time today.