Opinion

Hopefully they know where the bathrooms are

Apparently the briefings for new employees at New Horizons are a little too brief.

“Half of them don’t even know where the staff room is!” a worker told me this week.

Just before the new year, the 120 unionized staff at the privately-owned, 94-bed care facility were told they would all be laid off in spring when their contract expired.

They could, of course, reapply for their jobs with the new contractor, Carecorp Senior Services, but it would be for lower wages and benefits.

The announcement touched a sensitive spot for a lot of Campbell River residents and not just those with loved ones living out their final days at New Horizons.

That was evident at a big rally, held on a snowy Sunday in late February, which marched its way from Spirit Square to the four-storey care facility on 14th Avenue.

In spite of the protest and lobby efforts, Carecorp quietly took over the contracting role at the end of April. Many employees have stayed, but a lot left too and apparently Carecorp is challenged to fill those positions.

I’ve heard stories of missing shifts due to a shortage of workers and new employees who walked on and then off the job due to a lack of training and orientation.

“The quality is going down hill because we don’t even have enough people to help the people,” another worker said.

 

  • Oh no, not another round of missing feet! Make that foot.

On Tuesday, in Seattle, volunteers picking up trash along the shoreline  found a New Balance runner containing a human foot.

I’m sure many will recall the ongoing saga of the missing feet. From August 2007 to November 2012, nine feet belonging to seven individuals were found at random on the southern B.C. shores. Two others also washed up in Washington State.

During this period, we picked up a police call of a foot found on the Tyee Spit. Former news reporter Grant Warkentin raced to the scene, returned and quickly posted a story on our website.

Turns out the foot turned out to be a hoax – a deer hoof stuffed in an old shoe.

However, the better story is what happened with the Mirror’s online article. Within an hour of its posting, the Vancouver Sun – a competitor – cut, copied and pasted our story on its website and gave us one line of credit.

Half an hour after that, the National Post posted the Sun’s story and entirely cut out “according to the Campbell River Mirror.”

Hmm, call it plagiarism or theft, but we got on the horn pretty quick and had them remove our stories.

The stunning part is there are reporters with Masters degrees whose sole job is to rip off other stories in order to feed their own websites.

And they do this while hacking the editorial staff on their own papers. Go figure?

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