Story of a Working Ant
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There has been a related series of events on Spadina Avenue, referenced on the site blog. But, please note that nothing is posted there until, note until, I approve it: the spam emails that have arrived will never be allowed.
AE Micro Internet Café
Why did it take so long?
January 29th., 2007: Last Saturday night there was
a scene in the AE Micro Internet Café right out of the movies. A man
knifes another who stumbles out into Bank Street. The police see this
and can't access the café because Ms McConkey has locked the door. The
story is in the Ottawa Sun and the Ottawa Citizen. Ms McConkey has spent
the remainder of the weekend in gaol, which she practiced earlier by
locking herself into a walk-in safe whilst hiding from the police. What
will happen is anyone's guess: she is charged on several counts (items
Mon, January 29, 2007
Other significant items:
Below are comments, dates from March 27th to June 18th., 2002. Items above show particularly significant events.
March 27th: Well, well, a job found. Just a menial position (and probably, since I don't know yet, poorly paid) as one of the hosts in an Internet Cafe at Bank and Somerset, Ottawa. Nevertheless, it is a start back from the abyss. Save up the pennies, pay off some bills, find a new place to live and out will come my books and computers and pictures.
April 12th: After a period of reflection, a few days, I am now desperately hunting for another job. The Internet Cafe position, failed for two reasons. Firstly, they wanted to pay me at basic minimum wage, less a charge of twelve hours a week in lieu of time spent on the Internet. Not on, is it? I need as much money as possible. And, having said that, I was told that I was not wanted. Just because I wanted the minimum required wage?
Secondly, the two ladies that were/are managers, one actually being the owner, have come to blows. Or one could call it "marital discord", to put it in gentler terms. The owner, Lori, a nice, but immature, lady, gave me the full and horrible history of their relationship on my last shift, last Sunday.
What gives with my constant involvement with poorly run companies? A crook in Vancouver. Corrupt Union members also in Vancouver. Idiot managers at Taima/Convergys. At least I can laugh at it all!!
April 15th: Amazed that I can keep my domains alive, but this month was the worst I've been financially. No payment from AE Microsystems, although they state that they might give me further hours! I thought they didn't want me, or couldn't pay me? Or, to be precise, only in a certain number of Internet hours, plus the difference in a cheque that I can't cash? See above.
Lori later gave me a $100 cheque in lieu of wages due. This I put towards my soccer fees for this season. Naturally, this was returned because the bank won't honour third party transactions. See below about what happened when I spoke to Lori.
May, unknown date. I had come in when Kerri (sic) had worked here. This was about 1100hrs. I asked her if my cheque was here, as promised. Kerri went upstairs and asked Lori what was happening. When she came down Kerri told me I could expect a cheque within two hours. So, I returned when Lori was on the desk, and asked her for the cheque. She denied having one, saying that she hadn't told Kerri that it would be ready. She also said that her lady accountant had not been around lately, so that things were in arrears. Oh, am I so easily fooled? This is transparent nonsense.
Recently, I went down to her bank, at the bottom of Metcalfe. This was a cheque for about $60, on an inaccurate basis for work done in March, possibly. The bank were going to charge me $12 for certification, but took pity on me. It is the TD Trust whatever. What a palaver! Can't cash a cheque made out to me, even if it is made from an account held by a person banking at this branch. Such is the state of modern banking. Can't perform basic services at the counter, and staff aren't, it would seem, trained to understand a customer's requests.
June 3rd: Anyone who has worked at AE Microsystems on Bank and Somerset Streets recently is probably in the same boat as I. Note that the owner, Lori, has three businesses, one of which is a non-profit, and the other two, of which the Internet cafe is one, are dependencies of same.
When I took a cheque in, the one returned by my soccer team, she wouldn't swap it for cash, even though she had loads of money on her desk. Wages have to be paid by cheque says she, declining both to produce a new one, or an offer of payment for the balance of my overdue wages.
People at AE are making comments at an increasing rate and volume. This is mainly about payment for work done: owed but not being received. Even current staff are not being paid in a fair and reasonable fashion. It seems it is those whom she likes that receive monies and even then in an inequitable fashion. And let the others go hang. Sadly, not a way to run a business.
Now then, so many people, including current and past workers, are owed money that they are thinking of instituting a class-action suit!! Almost a joke. Apparently, the Better Business Bureau is aware, as is the Labour Board. Comments received from official sources have told of tax evasion. Some of the staff, past workers especially, are also seeing lawyers. What should a person do who has worked nights for some time, only to find he would never be paid. He's trying to find recompense whilst living in Toronto. Good luck!
There is food handling at AE that should bring in the health inspectors. Don't work with cash and then make a sandwich without washing hands and wearing gloves, what?
Additionally, nearly all of the computers are badly set up: for example, anyone off the street can install any programme. That does not help users' security. And the smell of cigarette smoke on one's hands after using the keyboards is nauseating, at times.
Much more could be said: it still won't bring in my money, will it? I'm not owed a lot, so that in my case the small claims court is inappropriate, and that is (was) my probable only means of obtaining justice. It takes too long and costs too much.
June 5th: What else would I say? When Lori came in and saw me at a computer, she asked me how I was doing. Instead of turning the air blue with rage, I told her I was so-so. Just so-so, she said. Jesus wept, what she needs is to pass Human Relations 101.
June 14th: I discovered that no one is paid for training time here. Given that training was minimal, that I worked on my own for both those days, and then worked an extra day to fill in for missing staff, I have been kind to Lori. I could have demanded more to settle my account. However, something from here is better than nothing. And also, during our conversation, Lori let slip that the accountant she uses must have been correct in paying me before. That was before the previous statement and the extra shift are taken into account.
June 16th: Is it so peculiar that whenever one sees Lori she seems totally unaware of the need to clear the air by paying out her debts to her workers? Does she think we have forgotten about what we are owed?
What I had forgotten to add yesterday is the idea a co-worker mentioned of placing pickets outside the doors of AE. The pickets would list the other places that sell Internet access in the neighbourhood. Not a bad idea, hein? Furthermore, I have been told by a worker here that she is the worst kind of woman. That she is basically a shop worn girl, who has no morals. That she is in emotional straits, is lonely and is incompetent in life skills. Sad, but seemingly true.
June 18th: I found that a staff member was recently fired for not turning up, although he had given Lori two days notice. That seems contrary to the Labour Code, given that she had agreed to the time off on the day he advised his absence. There have been increasingly large numbers of new staff here. A sign of what, pray?