Moncton — The Gallant government has facilitated yet another good-news jobs story for New Brunswick.
Officials with Nordia Inc. sat down last week with Opportunities New Brunswick to discuss whether the Crown corporation would subsidize the cost of antidepressant medications for only “newly created” call centre jobs, or also for those depressed employees brought over from the soon-to-be shuttered Sykes call centre. In talks, it was determined that all employees would receive ample off-brand antidepressants at little to no cost to anyone but the government.
“Our website lists 10 reasons to grow your business in New Brunswick, and one of those reasons is ‘a skilled and motivated workforce,'” said Opportunities NB spokesperson Shelly Randall. “While New Brunswickers are certainly skilled in answering endless calls from irate customers, they’re losing the motivation to… well… to do anything. We’re promising to help Nordia fund a health plan for employees that includes a boatload of antidepressants so they can continue to perform this humiliating, soul-crushing work for very little pay.”
Randall claims some medications can even render workers “as docile as livestock,” making them incapable of standing up to incompetent managers and adept at taking an unprecedented amount of abuse from callers. “It’ll revolutionize the way New Brunswick does business and emotionally stabilize our employee base,” she said, beaming with pride. “The last item on that list is ‘unsurpassed quality of life,’ and with the help of a shit-ton of drugs, we can finally claim that New Brunswick is at least an OK place to live.”
The Manatee caught up with a dead-eyed Nordia employee in the centre’s lunch room who was munching a limp salad from a greasy Tupperware container. Our reporter asked for comment, but the man seemed unsure of how to engage in a conversation while not wearing his headset; he merely grunted and fixed his eyes back on a TV in the corner of the room.
“We’re a little bit different,” said Nordia spokesperson Paul von Stueck, popping a handful of Paxil. “By that I mean, unlike all the other call centres in New Brunswick, we care about our employees’ mental well-being. We’d like to get our suicide rate down to 1 a week — 2 max — and as you know that’s well below the provincial average. With the help of Opportunities NB, I truly believe we can make that happen.”