When I worked in Politics, I made a move from working with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP) to working for the Minister of Community, Family and Children’s Services (or the Ministry of Misery as we use to call it). The Ministry dealt with Children’s Aid Societies, Mental Health, Disabled adults and children, homelessness, poverty, deadbeat dads (people who didn’t pay child support), welfare and a whole host of other programs which were tough. I would handle “the calls” and try to fix problems as best I could. It was a hard job because the issues were tough since we were dealing with people more than just politics. I was stressed a lot since I wanted to help as much as I could. I did my best and I think I did help some people along the way, or that is how I felt. At the end I was a bit stressed and a bit burned out from this job along with the time I spent working for various MPP’s so I moved to Korea and eventually here to Hong Kong. From that job I learned what I want to do the most: help others as much as I can. It is where I find the joy and the passion to do what I do. It took some time, but I have found a happy place.
While working there I got a chance to work with some amazing people who were extremely dedicated in trying to make people’s lives a bit better. One of the guys we worked with was Lauro, who was a bureaucrat but not the typical fashion. He was someone who helped me get things done and helped me do the job I needed to do. He cut through a lot of the stuff what was going on in the ministry and helped us understand the people we were dealing with both the advocacy side of things (special interest groups as they are sometimes called) and the reality of the situation. He was a great guy to work with because I honestly believe he wanted to help as much as he could as well.
After I left for Korea, he decided to leave the government and worked in a number of agencies. His latest job is working with “The Good Neighbour’s” program in Toronto. It is dedicated to helping seniors who are homeless and tries to provide some services for them. The work is hard since the reasons for being homeless are just as hard ranging from mental health issues to losing a job or a loved one and then “breaking.” I read today one of the seniors he was dealing with had been found, dead. His name was Bill Buss. Lauro was quoted in the article saying how Mr. Buss was social but was extremely shy and independent. He wouldn’t seek shelter because he was worried about being beaten in the shelter by younger people or his things taken by those on drugs or other problems. Mr. Buss was found a few weeks after he died. No one knew he was gone. No one knew he was dead. Lauro is in the process of trying to find anyone who knows him.
Reading the story made me miss working in the “Ministry of Misery.” It made me miss working with some incredible people who are trying to help and who are trying to make the lives of those around them a bit better. I work in a school where they are a few who do this but it just feels different. It is almost like I can’t put in words how I am feeling.