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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Friday, September 02, 2005

Muzzle That Blogger!

You'd a thunk I'd a run outta stuff to say by now. Alas, it's not the case.

Early on the picket line yesterday morning (over delicious pancakes and sausages whipped up by the local NDP) I got to talking to an old friend who'd dropped by to visit. This was a fellow who'd worked for the CBC for... gawd, he must have started in the fifties, or sixties at the very latest. A contemporary of Alex Frame. ('Course he doesn't look a day past fifty... okay, sixty.) Worked contract all those years, although it must be said that this was by choice. Anyway, they unceremoniously let him go this past year despite his wealth of experience and competence. After all those years no announcement, no party, no nuthin'.

Yeah, the CBC values its employees. Uh huh.

So anyway this fellow was telling me about money being wasted. Before they let him go, they commissioned a bunch of stuff from him, paid for it, and then never used it. I'm not talking disc shows, I'm talking about material that cost a pretty penny. Stuart MacLean of Vinyl Cafe fame produces Vinyl Cafe with his own company. According to one source, CBC Radio twisted his arm to do this, it wasn't Stuart's preference. Stuart (I'm told) apparently feels that it costs CBC Radio more to do the Vinyl Cafe this way. Why they wanted this arrangement is a mystery. Money frittered away.

I've written before about the CBC's absolute mania for tweaking floor plans. I know that this obsession is ostensibly about recouping money with real estate profits, but from what I hear it ain't workin'.

So this is what I'm thinking. I'm thinking that if you look at this whole lockout on its most superficial level, it's about Rabinovitch and company trying to operate in a fiscally responsible manner by making their workforce as flexible as possible (never mind that it hearkens back to serfdom and the middle ages... the times they are a changin', all right: backwards).

But if you get a few neurons firing upstairs you can see that it's not really Rabinovitch's fault, or Stursberg, or even Smith (bear with me here, soon you will see that I'm not really going all Benedict Arnold) because really it's the federal government's fault, for not giving the corporation enough money to properly function. Yes, you knew that all along, and now you're smiling indulgently at l'il ol workerbee, what with his tiny little bee brain and all.

But that ain't it. The truth (well, okay, the truth as I see it today, which could well be the result of a tiny little bee brain after all, not to mention too much sun and strawberry wine) is one layer deeper (not to mention seriously telegraphed a few paragraphs ago...) It's what my friend was talking about, and it's what I was going on about in the floor plan post I mentioned earlier. (Which means that I'm repeating myself... sorry.)

The truth is this: I will not go so far as to say that we don't need more money from the federal goverment. We sure as hell do. We need a lot more. But in the meantime it sure seems to me that the CBC manages to piss a lot of the money that it does have away.

And if I'm really honest (damn that strawberry wine) probably some of us employees are guilty as well. How many times have I hit up my managers for more gear? Gear that I feel I "must" have, that I "couldn't make do without." Another recent conversation on the line involved chairs... this fellow told me that every year he has to fend off people trying to give him a new chair. "The old one still works," he tells them. "Piss off."

'Course then there's the problem of "separate budgets" and "end of the fiscal" spending. No... no, I will not get started on that.

Not today, anyway.


Blogger Laurence said...

Well, keep pumping back that strawberry wine, dude.
Even if your tiny bee brain is befuddled, it's very amusingly so.
Good onya!

11:27 p.m.  
Blogger cbcworkerbee said...

Thanks Laurence!

9:16 a.m.  

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