Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

All together, now: "stupid oil boom!"

Things that have happened this week:

  • Two friends and I ordered a pizza that took almost three hours to arrive, cold, at its destination.

  • A major department store finally delivered the washer and dryer of two other friends, after they had waited 3 months for it. Those three months had consisted of five failed delivery attempts, including the store arranging for one of them to come home early from work, and then not showing up.

  • My friends and I finally learned how to game the restaurant system: one person has to get there at 5:00 or before, that person has to order as soon as they arrive (i.e., before sitting down), and they have to bring a book to read while they wait for everybody else to arrive at a saner time, because the group's meal is still going to take more than an hour to arrive. (But hey, we got fed!)

  • The city let us know that there's simply no way to clear the unexpected dumps of snow we've been getting, and we just have to live with them.

  • A whole slew of postal workers quit their jobs to pursue more lucrative careers, leaving suburban Edmonton residents without any mail delivery.

  • I realized that what irritates me even more than all these little annoyances is this: I love this city in a way I've loved no other place I've lived, and yet it's now--when living here kind of sucks--that everybody and their brother is moving here. They must hate it so much, and that makes me sad, sad, sad.
Verdict: I am so very ready for my city to start working right again.


West End Bob said...


Had to read this post with the provocative title. Very good description of "boom" cities worldwide, no doubt. Unfortunately, the wheels of the private sector nor the government are not capable of operating at warp-speed in the face of mushrooming growth . . . .

Rosie said...

I left edmonton (living downtown)almost three years ago now, when rent was still reasonable. I loved it there, but looks I left just in time!

And chances are I will be amongst those who return in a couple years, but not because of the oil ;)

Anonymous said...

Huh. I didn't have to do that to join Alberta Blogs. Maybe my "Alberta Pride" is just that much more apparent. ;)

In any case, I'm still not willing to let business off the hook in the bad service department. Good businesses are offering incentives to attract and retain good workers. My employer (a financial institution) is rolling out new programmes each month for recruitment and retension. (We rank in the high-middle for customer service, above the big banks, just below the credit unions.) I can't help but think that other businesses - especially the larger ones that can afford it better, such as the department store (and the city) - should be doing the same thing: making their employees feel valued and well-paid so they'll want to stay and new employees will want to join them.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, to a point. As a commercial construction subcontractor however, I'm in my friggin glory here. The one that is pissing me off is hearing about the "2800 out of work union electricians" whining and moaning about the lack of work? If they would stop waiting for the union hall to find them jobs, they would be knee deep in new housing projects and working 16 hour days like the rest of us, with no coffe or lunch breaks........oh wait, they're UNION. god forbid they don't get their coffe breaks complete with break table with a minimum of 27 1/4" per person.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

west end bound,

I've never lived in a boom city before. They talk about Alberta having all the luck right now, but let me tell you, there's not a whole lot of visible advantage to most ordinary Albertans who just want to live their lives here.


Well, we will welcome you back when you return! :-) And yeah, seriously, it's a good time to be away.


I think it was only at the beginning of the Alberta blogroll that they were strict about the joining rules.

And you're right about businesses, of course, but I still can't help but feel sorry for them in a way. It's hard when you've always worked with one model, and suddenly you have to shift to an entirely different one in order to keep things going.


Well, I'm glad somebody's getting some benefit out of it! As a university professor, my livelihood is pretty insulated from both boomtimes and busttimes, but I sure am annoyed by the way it's affected the city.

Don't be too hard on the union guys, though--they've made their choice, and you've made yours. No sense in either side picking on the other.

Anonymous said...

But....but.....THEY started it......fine professor.....I'll go sit in the corner.......(pouts his way to the corner with gum on his nose).....