It would be regrettable if the provincial government should withdraw funding and subsequently force the closure of the offices and job centres of Women Interested in Successful Employment (WISE).
I am referring specifically to the centre in Carbonear, for it is that centre with which I am acquainted personally.
No other job centre in this town has personnel with such a welcoming smile, such a personal interest in their clients and a complete lack of condescension towards them.
It is the place where a middle-aged woman who struggles with basic
job-search skills will never have her instructors and counsellors damn her by attitude or give her that half-hearted push and then leave her to sink or swim before she is ready to face the workplace.
They simply don’t have the “why bother, she’ll never get anywhere, anyway” mentality.
It is a place where the older worker, frustrated with the intricacies of the computer, can seek assistance and laugh along at her own ineptitude with an omnipresent instructor — a laugh which always bespeaks benevolence and never cynicism.
It is the place where those unemployed and unable to afford a home computer can spend hours typing their letters to prospective employers without furtively looking over their shoulder to see if they have outstayed their welcome.
It is the place which seemingly has an endless supply of free paper, graciously given, to accommodate the mistake-riddled drafts of jittery job seekers.
It is that necessary place which enables those whose life experience has instilled only fear and mistrust to take that first step into finding their future.
Do not say you have alternatives or duplicates because you do not.
There is no alternative to kindness, fairness, non-judgementalism and respect for human dignity and I have yet to see these values duplicated in other job centres.
Please remember that.
Patricia (Pat) Cullen