Random Inquiries: Interview #1

I find that when we are doing our day-to-day thing, jet setting across town, doing this, doing that, we often don't stop to smell the roses or slow down to look around and ask questions. Very often we see things that pique our curiosity only to remind ourselves that we're on the way to work and we have no time to inquire...

I was walking past Union Station yesterday morning and I saw two young, very well-dressed men holding a rather large, yet unsightly sign in front of them. The sign read "SPARE A JOB - TWO RECENT UNIV. GRADS SEEKING F/T EMPLOYMENT."

They stood tall and proud, looked people in the eye as they walked by, and waited. So I turned around, mid-stride, and walked right up to them. " what's the deal here? You guys stand out like sore thumbs holding that sign at the corner of Bay and Front Street just an hour or so after rush hour. What are you guys up to?"

Turns out these two guys are brothers, Eric (right in pic) and Ahmad Daro. They were only two or three hours into their newest tactic/strategy to get themselves employed when I bumped into them.

LEIGH: What led you to this?

ERIC: We've been trying to get a job for six or seven months. We're living day to day, from paycheck to paycheck. We just graduated and we thought it would be so much better when we graduated; we thought we'd actually have jobs and money. But I guess not.

LEIGH: Did you both graduate around the same time?

AHMAD: We both graduated in April. I graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, and he from the U of T. I moved here because I thought there would be opportunities in Toronto. We've been looking for jobs ever since!

LEIGH: What are some of the obstacles standing in front of you right now?

AHMAD: The obstacle is that most people get jobs through referrals. But we don't know that many people; We know a lot of people but we don't know too many people that have jobs since most of the people we know are students.

I have this employment counselor and I've been going for three months and every time I go all he does is fill out the report on what he did for me. I talk to him, I come in, he (seems) more interested in what he did for me than looking for a company for me.

ERIC: Finally we had enough and we were like okay, we're going to do the sign.

AHMAD: This is day one. We work part-time in the evenings, so we'll do this in the mornings...

LEIGH: Well, good-luck!

AHMAD: Thanks! We'd just like to have full-time jobs so we can start our life!!

I ran into the boys again a few hours after our chat and they were still at it. This time however, they were on the corner of King and University. They had made a few more contacts since I had seen them earlier, and refreshingly enough, they still maintained a positive optimism about what they were doing.

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