It doesn’t take three to five years of relevant experience to know that the job market is dismal. Even for graduates from this ivory tower institution, the prospects of steady employment are slimmer than a Kraft Single. Sanford Watt, who received his Bachelor’s in mechanical engineering last spring, has recently learned how cruel the world beyond Galbraith’s walls can be.
“I’m under a lot of pressure!” stresses Watt. “I’ve wasted countless kilojoules scouring Indeed and Glassdoor, and for what? I thought between my 4.0 GPA, co-op terms, and fluency in sixteen programming languages, I’d have no problem finding a job. But it seems that even for entry-level positions, companies won’t look at you unless you have a Ph.D. in Rocket Science and a letter of recommendation from Marie Curie.”
After months of unsuccessfully auctioning his labour power to the lowest bidder, Watt finally found something that sparks his interest. Walking home from a gruelling Burger King interview, Watt stumbled upon a new source of sustenance in his local food bank. “I never saw myself as much of a finance bro,” admits Watt, “but if it means I can expand my diet beyond Triscuits and Spam, I’ll be anything I need to be.”
Watt quickly realized that although not ideal, the banking job wasn’t all that bad. “Waiting in the two-hour-long queue is exhausting,” says Watt, “but it's all in a day’s work. I’m just glad I’m finally bringing in some bread.” Walking home with a hot meal in his stomach and a box of Goldfish, Watt was content. “This seems to be the only job available these days,” he told us as a Mercedes splashed the sidewalk where half of the population of Toronto was worrying about their futures.
While Watt is ecstatic about being freed from the threat of starvation, not everyone agrees about the necessity of such social welfare. Hugh Hayek, a coal magnate and prominent member of the U of T Board of Directors, is one such critic. “So long as the government lays bare its teats for all to suckle,” wheezes Hayek, smoking caviar from a solid gold pipe, “these younguns’ll never learn. Best we leave such filthy rabble to the mercy of the market and force ‘em to work in my mines for a nicke- I mean a fair day’s wage.”
Even though Watt has found a temporary abatement of his suffering, the road to economic security continues to seem untraversable. But even in these darkest of times, each and every one of us can take comfort in one thing: namely, that we live under a free and just system, in which a little bit of hard work and individual initiative is enough to win a prosperous livelihood. Anyone who says otherwise clearly hasn’t taken ECO102.