I’m excited to see a building coming up on this spot because in Edmonton we have closed our municipal airport, meaning now downtown towers can go over a specified height limit that was needed for the approach pattern. This may well be Edmonton’s new tallest tower
Hello Dear readers! I wouldn’t count myself to be a proper blogger on the topic of mental health if I didn’t take some of what I had to say about money and work and put it down for all to see. Just about all my life I have worked, even when I was in the most severe of depressions and on seriously strong medications. I can recall one time when it was my birthday and my brother and mom called me in the morning before work and I was in a terrible state. Most people would appreciate getting a call like that, but I was very down and very ill at the time. I was working at a grocery store which for some time I thought would be a dream job seeing as how it was a well paid union gig, but I was struggling. Later that same year I went into the hospital and was released early so I could go back to work. After finally quitting the grocery store job I found something that I could handle a little better, security work. There were a few things I liked about this kind of work, first and foremost it allowed me a great deal of time to read but sometimes it was extremely hard to keep myself going through a long night shift (we often worked 12 hour shifts) and then have to ride the bus across town to get home and maybe get a few hours sleep before having to go back. Having no union was an obvious drawback because one year I worked both Christmas and New Year’s hoping to earn some overtime and was given none and a scant explanation that I hadn’t worked for the company long enough to get overtime.
Eventually that job dried up, actually I think what I remember is having some 19 year-old kid come and tell me all the things he didn’t like about what I was doing and I simply quit rather than knuckle under. A short time later I went into the offices of the best company I possibly ever worked for, the old cowboy movie classic, Pinkerton’s. It was a great company and I had a great boss, a former Infantry Captain who had left the military after removing a major’s teeth the hard way. He made the job so fun, he would always call up and say, “your assignment, should you choose to accept it…” there was a lot of pride that went with the uniform and I worked some cool assignments, like guarding multi-million dollar highrises and the Edmonton Art Gallery among many others. I ended up losing that job too after a couple of years and I went in and out of security work when I needed to. Eventually I really did get a dream job, the one I have now. I work for IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the work is fun, the people are awesome, they pay is great and they treat their employees really well. That is what I think is really key, a person, especially someone with a mental illness, but really any person, has to enjoy and be comfortable with their work, because it is a huge part of who we see ourselves as and how we feel about ourselves. I really think that a lot of women I know are heroes because they forgo the joy of working to take on the nearly thankless job of being a mom. Just today I wrote a note to an old friend of mine telling her how much she would love my job and she agreed, she said it would be a dream but she only has the time to fix up furniture at home which is her present job because of her duties as a mom. Makes me think back to my mom and how much she gave up to raise my brother and sister and I and then took on correspondence courses and volunteer jobs and even went into debt to return to school to realize the dream she had to give up on of becoming a teacher. But really, what I want to say is that even if you have a Psychiatric disability it is important to try and work as much as you can. A lot of jobs may pay very little, but still when you add up the dollars on payday it will make a difference. At first it may be just a few extra groceries, or even just a few better quality groceries. Then it will pay off in self-esteem. Then, you may find you have savings and can plan a little trip somewhere on the Greyhound. A trip will renew you and re-energize you, make you want to work more and work harder. Do this for a while and raises and promotions or better jobs could well come your way. Before you know it you will feel great, have some property to be proud of. Myself for a while I ran a table at the flea market. I found that if I kept a decent roll of cash in my pocket wherever I went that opportunities to buy cheap items would present themselves and I could sell these at reasonable but profitable prices. One thing I would do was go to book sales and garage sales. I would pick up Stephen King Novels for $1 or 50cents and sell them for $3 and get DVD’s from pawn shops or my own collection and sold a lot. One year I had some money set aside for boxing day and a store was clearing out video games for $1 and I bought about 100 or more titles and sold them for an average of $5 to $10. Another time I had some cash and bought four or five VCR’s that I sold at a profit. I eventually got a bit sick of working at the flea market, the lousy food and the worse coffee and found another job as a security guard. One day I was simply doing my job of watching a door at a movie set and got to be friends with the Assistant Locations person. He convinced me to come on board with the union to do movie security for twice what I was getting, and before long I was doing the job I have now for even more money. Of course money isn’t everything, but now that I have my mental health in order, it really is nice to be able to buy a book or a gift or a plane trip. Last year alone I went to Hawaii twice. Well, that was actually more than I wanted to write today. Please tune in tomorrow when I will go over some of the secrets I learned reading some of the great classics of financial literature, the best of which I will recommend in advance, “The Richest Man in Babylon”. All the best dear readers!