Initially published this a week ago, then deleted it, but fuck it, here it is:
So today marked the beginning of my first day at a certain government agency which will remain unnamed for the purposes of me maintaining a source of income in case of some internet disaster (which I’m highly prone to).
The entire procedure began in analogous ways to a prison. I dressed up in working-class citizen clothes and forced myself to wear make-up and straighten my hair (okay, it seems petty to compare that to the shit prisoners go through). So I guess the prison part really began when I got there and they took our mugshots and issued IDs and gave us ‘agent numbers’. From then, we were required to have our IDs on us at all times in the secured area, and were never to be seen with our cellphones. Then, we got escorted to a classroom where we waited to be serenaded by multiple speeches from some ‘important’ people. Now, being in the first of 4 out of the 24 people in the group, I was left staring at the random pictures on the walls, flags and other uninteresting things that comprise the Canadian government. Before I know it, I am completely mesmerized by this picture of Queen Elizabeth wearing a crown and holding some sort of award or certificate or something, hanging gloriously on the adjacent wall. This is when I realize that she is an evil looking motherfucker and the crown looks unprecedented levels of ridiculous on this ninety-year-old evil looking toddler’s head. I keep forgetting that till this day, there exist ‘royalties’ on our planet and they are willingly wearing these ornaments to distinguish themselves as such. It would have been pretty useful if they let us use our phones in there since for the first time in several months, I had the urge to take a picture. Seriously, closely observe these photos and tell me this shit ain’t ridiculous. It looks even more inappropriate than those obnoxious females who wear tiaras and badges to signify their birthday. The difference is that it is not her birthday in any of the pictures (probably) AND she is for real. CAN YOU TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY?!
Not to forget, there is also some ‘royal’ baby whose pictures are consistently on magazine covers. Who the fuck is this baby, really? Not that I expect better writing and reporting from magazines but REALLY? A fucking baby? A completely inconsequential entity is now the center of our attention? I bet the readership of this magazine is also predominantly ladies ranging from 12-60. WHY I ask you are we doing this?! WHY?!?!?!?! They’ve even side-tracked Ryan Gosling for this shit.
Oh so this lil bitch can walk now? What a unique and superior human specimen. Although… granted, the baby might be ridiculous, but we, as a society are much more ridiculous for paying attention to the happenings of its everyday life. Side-note: I have no respect for you if you made up the viewership of the royal wedding and you should silently make yourself invisible from my friend circle.
ANYWAYS back to the story at hand: At last, the speakers who we have been waiting for bestow their presence upon us. There is a hierarchy of importance, of course, and you can add a tie, a coat, a pair of heals (mostly so they can meet their quota of representing women and minorities) for every level up. The skin colors also tend to become less saturated, the more important you are. The most important guy is almost always a white male with blue eyes reiterating how blessed you are to have this really great entry-level position. Also, he resembles Stephen Harper to a creepy extent. His inability to elaborate on his whack claims actually astonishes me and I’m left feeling embarrassed for him as he fails to fill in the 10 minutes of his allocated time with more than one sentence with a distinguished meaning than the others. Although, since the job thrives on people who can paraphrase, I will give him that much: he is pretty determined on employing that skill. He managed to paraphrase his first sentence starting from the third sentence onward all the way until the end of his speech. It started something like this, “you know it’s a really great job, you learn a lot of diverse things…it’s a great opportunity, you will experience a lot of different things. It’s really interesting actually, you will really enjoy this position, talk to many different people and learn a lot of new things…” and if you’re curious about the rest of it, you’ve got yourself a paraphrasing exercise.
Enter in next boss. Surprisingly enough, she’s a female and an aboriginal one at that. The only one in the room dressed in that sharp a suit and heals. Her speech is direct, focused and to the point although no more interesting than the previous blabbers. I suppose she had to perfect the nuances of her interactions to get to that level of workplace superiority. At least, she’s respectable. She talks about integrity and other things which sound like no more than common sense, the lack of which, makes our presence there as employees questionable. It is evident that we are dummies meant to reinforce their importance.
The third one is another white male, bald, self-important, and no more interested in improving the conversation. I originally planned to elaborate on how the things he said were uniquely nonsensical, but then I realized that would be wildly un-entertaining for anyone who has made it this far into this ‘piece’ because oh yeah, the things he said were not original.
Now, finally we’re down to the not-super-nicely dressed, round-ish, warm woman (still white) who gives us more important information than previously shared. We will skip through that part to where she starts talking about the official languages and their importance. She says, “so of course, as we know, English and French are our official languages and it is essential that we are able to provide services in these languages. We are not required to provide services in any other language.” Now I feel trapped, imprisoned and provoked and her words are all screaming EUROCENTRICITY at me. This is a government organization and they continue to reinforce English and French as our official languages (and no other language). There are very few European people in the room, in fact, the room has more people who’s first language is likely not English than otherwise. If we have seriously learned the perils of colonization, if we realistically acknowledge the crimes of the past, how can we sit in a room addressing and being addressed from the perspective of English and French as our primary, National languages? Do they not know that these are criminal languages that were responsible for uprooting other cultures and forced upon people? If you don’t share my sentiment, I will let Prufrock break it down for you:
Where is Cree (unfortunately the only one I remember off the top of my head, which makes me an under-educated, ignorant piece of Euro-washed garbage) in the mix? Perhaps my anger could be subverted by even an acknowledgement of this fact, however useless that might be in the reality of things. But there is none of that. Just some good old euro-centric speech and euro-normativity. If I hated myself previously for working for the government, which I don’t believe in, I now hated myself much, much more. I had to endure their words in silence and I felt strong sensations of being colonized all over again.
I take this as a prime example of recurring themes of colonization in our present day. I must feel strongly if I decided to jeopardize my employment in order to express this. I hope I don’t get fired though; need to get my dollas$z up. If anyone from work ever comes across this, this note is for you: I am willing to delete this in order to save the job. Everybody else can feel free to have no respect for me from this point on but fuck you because GOTTA FEED THE FAMILY.