When I was a teenager, Unemployment Insurance – colloquially known as UIC, an acronym for Unemployment Insurance Commission – was really easy to get. You could even get it if you quit your job, which is definitely not the case now. All a person needed to do was work for 6 or 9 consecutive months (I can’t remember the specifics), and that would qualify them for UIC.
This was great for seasonal workers like fishermen or, ironically, ski lift operators. I say ironically because the lax rules spawned a thing we all called “The UIC Ski Team”. What it meant for slacker kids like myself and my friends was that we could spend the spring and summer working at some menial job, then spend the fall and winter smoking weed and skiing, all fully supported by the good taxpayers of Canada. It was a good scam while it lasted.
It’s not called UIC anymore. Now it’s called EI, which stands for Employment Insurance. I have no idea why anyone would want to be insured against becoming employed, but that’s another blog post. They changed the name and tightened the regulations, and rightly so. The old system was easy to cheat and, I imagine, expensive to operate.
Last Monday, I once again joined the Ski Team. Not by choice, mind you. I was let go from my job of 12 years. I can’t get into many details about it, because so far there aren’t many details. The ones that are available will have to remain private for the time being, but when I can tell you, I will.
I’ve decided to post regularly about the experience of being an older guy who has lost his sole source of income due to the peculiarities of a person whom I allowed to hold far too much sway over my regular paycheque. I’m not going to specifically discuss the loss of the job much more. Instead I’m going to focus on “what comes after”. How am I spending my day, how friends and family are reacting, my inner dialogue…that kind of stuff.
The next little while is going to be interesting no matter what happens. I’m still charting a path into my future. Maybe I’ll get another job, maybe I’ll make my own, maybe it’ll be some combination of the two.
In any event, it’s an excuse to write with a purpose if nothing else. I hope you find it entertaining and/or worth your time to come back and visit periodically. If not, the next gondola leaves in a few minutes.