Was it your first week back? Or was it your very very first week?
Well, all the best – may you go forth and devour your course work like a hungry beast, spewing A-pluses all over the place. I also hope you enjoyed our first edition of debate. Ceapum and I strived to create something of purpose for you: • It may have consumed five minutes of your time during some very important “housekeeping” details of a lecture. • It may have provided some lighthearted bathroom entertainment (I have noticed some copies are cleverly tucked away in the loop of the hand towel dispenser). • It may have provided comfort on that horrendously uncomfortable bus ride, reminding yourself that you are a human and not a sardine! • It may have helped you get to sleep at night. Zzzz. • Or (yes, I’m ambitious) it may have caused you think about something and provided some news and entertainment for your week. So let’s get stuck into it. As the city campus undergoes construction on the WG building*, I enjoy walking past slowly to watch the progress. There’s an element of intrigue to a large construction site: the screaming machines, cobwebs of steel tubing and timbre, thousands of tons of concrete and rigging precariously placed together through the vision of a fancy architect. Then slowly, at the end of the day, it all goes silent again. There’re also a few unsung jobs. Notice that construction hoist going up and down all day. That’s a hard job. I know this, as I did that myself for a few weeks during the construction of the new Auckland City Hospital. I was an undergrad in search of a few bucks. First to
arrive, last to leave – up, down, up, down ALL DAY. The small caged hoist sounded like a prison door when it closed – seconds turned to hours, minutes turned to days. It seemed easy enough, and many would comment: “I wish I had your job”. But they didn’t know. Mohammed knew: he was operating the lift next to mine. A job he had performed with pride for more than twenty years. I asked him how he managed to stay sane. He told me not to look at my watch, which was obvious enough. But he also told me something else, a little more unusual (whether or not it was in jest was not so clear to me): “Try not talking to anyone,” he proclaimed. I thought Mohammed had a Zen like quality that I did not posses. After the holidays, I happily left that small cage with enough money in my pocket to by a Marshall amp and flippant dreams of stardom. In this issue of debate, Sebastian Mackay and Hazel Buckingham give us their strong views on the Government’s current direction as it heads down the road of welfare reform. These are difficult times for all as the economy slowly trudges along – and more difficult for some. Jobs are scarce, and many are demanding: “Where are the jobs?” So we remember those with the forgotten jobs, the minimum wage jobs, the no qualification jobs, the solo mothers and scraping the bottom of the barrel jobs. The really hard jobs. Respect to you all. * Check out Te Waha Nui’s website for some great videos documenting the construction of the WG building. The videos were produced by last year’s team of AUT journalism students: http://www.tewahanui.info/twn/index.php
Published on Mar 8, 2012