Going viral

Sunday. The mall’s packed. The afternoon in Toronto’s downtown Eaton Centre is a chaotic cacophony of shoppers, baby strollers, bags and trolling, tarted-up teens. Masks? Yeah, everybody. Restaurants? Packed. Social distancing? Not a chance. Omicron? Pffft.

Monday. The office is a morgue. I wander around the tens of thousands of square feet of Bay Street real estate that should be bustling with colleagues. I find two. See for yourself. Here is the view from the door of my opulent corner office with its gold-leaf desk and ermine carpeting…

Changes in the last ten days are, well, worthy of a drama queen. The slimy little pathogen’s latest spawn has ripped through the populace, terrifying the crap out of the media. So despite hospitalizations being stable or lower, daily case counts make huge headlines. Politicians have responded. Boosters are flowing like therapeutic rivers. Thousands have lined up to get takeaway antigen tests at liquor stores, of all places. And Mr. Market is taking few chances, as the Santa Claus rally turns into a pre-festivus sale.

What do investors fear?

A storm, composed equally of new pandemic restrictions hitting the economy at the same time interest rates are poised to rise thanks to the worst inflation since Brittany Spears was ten. Nervous employers are making matters direr. In the past seven days execs at BMO, Scotiabank, CIBC, National Bank, Sun Life, E&Y have reached decisions guaranteeing all the little businesses gathered around their downtown towers will hurt more and longer. RTW is being paused. Again. January 10th was the big day. Now it’s Valentine’s. Or will I still be lonely in my office when the sap flows?

But here’s the real question: if people can flock downtown to shop and eat, why can’t they go to work?

Answer: because they don’t have to.

It may be a long time before the country gets its work ethic back, or loses the conviction that government’s role is that of provider. In 2020, for example, Ottawa shelled out $82 billion to almost nine million people – payments which extended well into 2021 even as the pandemic was quelled. Seems everybody stuck their hand out, including seniors who were then shocked to learn GIS payments would be reduced because they took $15,000 in CERB cash. So in this month’s economic update, the feds gave them more money to compensate.

The pandemic has been historic. So has been the largesse to those affected. Along with the deficit and debt that resulted. But another large story is about the millions of white-collar workers who never missed a paycheque and kept their pensions and benefits right through Covid. They transitioned to remote working – from home. Now they don’t want to go back.

This – not omicron – is a huge reason bosses are in a quandary. The variant, and the media’ virulent response, have given the WFHers another reason to resist returning to their commuting and cubes. Behind the veil of ‘workplace safety’ they remain in their jammies, sweats and bad hair, living a work-life balance that was once only dreamed of. Corporate Canada is vexed. How will this end?

Toronto employment lawyer Howard Levitt sees nothing but trouble on the horizon for the couch gang. Without workplace face-to-face (or mask-to-mask) interaction, he says, human connections deteriorate. Employers lose empathy for workers and employees develop far less loyalty. Dismissals and resignations both jump. Corporate memory is lost. Bosses are less likely to see what benefit an employee is bringing to the firm, making it more attractive to hire offshore at far less cost.

“Coupled with robots and other forms of automation becoming increasingly functional and less expensive, I see the makings of a labour force and financial crisis,” he says, “with less employees paying taxes on high income jobs, on the horizon.”

And here’s a stark conclusion:

“Looking ahead, what will working from home ultimately beget? Unemployment, reduced salaries, the transfer of jobs abroad and an underclass of employees far removed from decision-making and promotional opportunities.”

Soon it will be two full years since a ton of middle-class people were told to grab their laptops and head home because some crazy virus was killing folks. In that time many astonishing things happened. The government tried to paper over troubles with borrowed money. Now public finances are a mess. Real estate went ballistic because of WFH nesting. Income and wealth disparities exploded. Small businesses were sacrificed. Along with them, the baristas and sales clerks. Immensely unfair in its treatment of some, the virus bestowed fortune upon others. Don’t get used to it.

About the picture: “Thank you for your contribution to Canadian financial literacy! I have been a reader for several years and have found your information very helpful for my financial future. But mostly I just shake my head at the real estate lunacy!” writes Rob, in London. “I wanted to share a pic of our pandemic pup Charlie, a hound/lab/? Farm mix that couldn’t have turned out more beautiful! Here is a pose for Christmas! Merry Christmas to you and yours! And a happy new year.”

179 comments ↓

#1 Kirk on 12.20.21 at 3:05 pm

“Coupled with robots and other forms of automation becoming increasingly functional and less expensive, I see the makings of a labour force and financial crisis,” he says, “with less employees paying taxes on high income jobs, on the horizon.”

And here’s a stark conclusion:

“Looking ahead, what will working from home ultimately beget? Unemployment, reduced salaries, the transfer of jobs abroad and an underclass of employees far removed from decision-making and promotional opportunities.”

~~

Now THAT is worthy of drama queen status.

#2 Penny Henny on 12.20.21 at 3:07 pm

Just noticing but Faron seems to go off the deep end right when there is a full moon.

#3 BillyBob on 12.20.21 at 3:07 pm

#109 Faron on 12.20.21 at 2:19 pm
#102 Faron on 12.20.21 at 12:54 pm
etc
etc

Tl;dr…Kinda busy these days. It’s a burden, being essential, but someone has to do it.

As I said, simply entertainment. Thanks for not disappointing! :-)

And again – Merry Christmas!

#4 jimmy zhao on 12.20.21 at 3:07 pm

If the office is a morgue, turn those tens of thousands of square feet of Bay Street real estate into condos and they will soon be bustling with residents.

This will help solve the housing crisis, and small businesses who rely on people downtown around those buildings.

#5 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.20.21 at 3:09 pm

Re: Picture of office

Is there a rainbow flag in the back?

#6 Faron on 12.20.21 at 3:12 pm

Yeah, Omicron. Still a bit early to tell IMO, but here’s hoping that this is the one that knocks the pandemic down to manageable endemicity.

Stonks: CNN fear-greed index is pretty darn low = fear. Fear is a bad time to sell.

Now for the weather:

Wow. The NAEFS ensemble has temperatures as low as -38 in Calgary a week from today. Median hits -31 overnight the 26th/27th. That, my friends, is “COLD for Calgary” if it verifies. Threatening record low temps that are, variably, in the bottom of the -30s for late Dec.

Go here:

https://weather.gc.ca/ensemble/naefs/EPSgrams_e.html

And fiddle with menus to see the plots for town of choice.

Was looking at this in an American model the colour scale saturates at -10 F. The map of SWern Canada is a sea of white save for some colour near the coasts.

https://a.atmos.washington.edu/wrfrt/data/2021122012/images_d2/tsfc.171.0000.gif

Phenomenal event. Even Vancouver and Van Isle getting a slice with -7 and -4 median ensemble temperatures. Meanwhile +10 in Greenland and above freezing on Alaska’s north slope.

Good set-up for clean, long period surf hereabouts if you can stomach the cold.

#7 Tony on 12.20.21 at 3:14 pm

Seems like someone is being a drama queen…..

SOOOOOO much cost and time savings from not going into work and much more efficient without constant interruptions. I am surprised that my work ethic has improved although I am very close to be Financial Independent and saying see you later to the corporate world and getting to actually enjoy life rather than being a pathetic person who’s only identity/purpose in life is tied to a job until they die.

Sure, there may be less connection or loyalty to the corporate overlords but that is the same with corporate overlords attitude towards their pawns.

#8 alexinvestor on 12.20.21 at 3:23 pm

The overall question is whether such a WFH world is more or less efficient. If it’s more efficient, then there will be more benefits. For instance, I use to get monthly haircuts which contributes to GDP. However, now I cut my own hair and the government presumably pays my barber to sit home. GDP has dropped, but overall there is no real impact since my hair still gets cut.

#9 Inflation on 12.20.21 at 3:25 pm

For a lot of people 35 and under with no chance to buy a home in Toronto, I think they have now decided that it’s not worth the effort to go to the office when their is no opportunity to own a home, priorities are now changing, why stress and overwork yourself for what! 20 years ago you could have a basic office job in Toronto and afford a home and a family in Toronto, not anymore. People use to make a career on service industry jobs in the city, not anymore, it’s all student’s and part-time retiree’s doing this work now. Before it was buy a house with a picket fence, start a family, work at the same company for 25 years and retire, now it’s enjoy the moment, life is short, I can’t buy a house anyways so I might as well enjoy myself, best of luck everyone this holiday season and please support the less fortunate, thanks Garth for the great blog.

#10 Stone on 12.20.21 at 3:28 pm

Monday. The office is a morgue. I wander around the tens of thousands of square feet of Bay Street real estate that should be bustling with colleagues. I find two. See for yourself. Here is the view from the door of my opulent corner office with its gold-leaf desk and ermine carpeting…

———

Garth, would you like me to come over and keep you company on a coffee run?

I promise to wear pants.

And…you’re buying the coffee. Can you validate my parking too?

#11 john on 12.20.21 at 3:29 pm

It’s amazing to me how obstinate you are in your view regarding WFH. Do you not see that we are at least 20 years late in its widespread adoption. If WFH is SO terrible and will cause mass unemployment, let it. Just let the market decide instead of caveman-minded, yuppie management types.

#12 JacqueShellacque on 12.20.21 at 3:30 pm

“Looking ahead, what will working from home ultimately beget? Unemployment, reduced salaries, the transfer of jobs abroad and an underclass of employees far removed from decision-making and promotional opportunities.”

Impossible to know. I think the dividing line isn’t WFH or not, but between ‘know-what’ and ‘know-how’. The ‘know-what’ jobs are largely white collar and have words like ‘analysis’ or ‘finance’ in their titles, it’s true AI may send those the way of the dodo. Their value rests entirely on the presumption that they know things other people couldn’t. On the other hand, those that I’d call ‘know-how’ jobs will probably have a premium on them, and some thought undesirable today may come into fashion. ‘Know-how’ jobs solve real, tangible problems. My furnace was out today and the guy who fixed it (very good at what he does) is in constant demand. I tell any young people within earshot to focus on ‘know-how’ stuff when thinking about the future and don’t touch ‘know-what’ stuff with a 10 foot pole. No 4 year uni degree, go to trade school or college and get in doing something tangible as soon as you can, and branch out or extend your learning from there.

#13 cuke and tomato picker on 12.20.21 at 3:31 pm

My son has been working from home since 1995 when he started in his bedroom then bought a condo in the south Okanagan, then bought in downtown Vancouver and now works from his condo near the Legislature in Victoria B.C. His motto is “no days off remember if you’re not working
your competition is” Also people are bothering our MLS’S
in Comox and in Nelson B.C. Hassling and mocking our officials has to stop.

#14 Dolce Vita on 12.20.21 at 3:33 pm

UK Omicron to Dec. 20 data from UK Health Security Agency, 858% incr. in new Omicron cases Dec. 13-20, assess on your own:

https://i.imgur.com/RGydt0v.png

[Dec. 18 UK new Covid cases, incl. Omicron, per ZOE a staggering 129,970]

Omicron sequencing details for Canada by Location, Age Group, Gender (831 new Omicron cases Dec. 20):

https://i.imgur.com/YVx3S1Y.png

Data from:

https://newsnodes.com/omicron_tracker

Watching Cdn news past few days closely.

If their Gov’s will not test them like the UK and Denmark do, the Canadian people are doing it on their own. Render themselves and others harmless. Canada, her good people.

———————-

PS:

Commies have a sense of XMas humour?

https://twitter.com/ChinaDaily/status/1472738443352494081

[If I were Santa, it would not be my index finger I would have raised]

#15 JMM on 12.20.21 at 3:33 pm

I bought pants, Garth. You told us to buy pants, that WFH would be sacrificed before the altar of prime office space. And all for this?

#16 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.20.21 at 3:35 pm

Govt bureaucratic jobs can be “offshored”?
The horror.

#17 Tom on 12.20.21 at 3:37 pm

Many people-including those in many white collar jobs have had crappy conditions before Covid. Outsourcing, pitting employees against one another, failing to promote because they don’t want to pay higher salaries, not starting benefits until they have worked at a job for 3 months–just so the companies can save money. Companies scrimp on training staff and many have created environments where there is little job security, so now they wonder why people want to work at home and why people are quitting? The corporations only have themselves to blame, as they have created this environment.

#18 CanadianOne on 12.20.21 at 3:38 pm

Merry Christmas & Happy Happy Festivities Garth,

Me thinks point of life isn’t the great rat race. Things will change for sure. For some for better for some not so much…. Enjoy!

#19 Just meet your goal on 12.20.21 at 3:39 pm

Is there any blame for those that supported the draconian demands of government?
Who would want to return to the old way after tasting a little freedom?

#20 FranklingTempleson on 12.20.21 at 3:41 pm

Answer: because they don’t have to.

Unless yo are one of those folks privledged enough not to work at those establishments downtown. Then, well whatever, prole.

#21 the Jaguar on 12.20.21 at 3:43 pm

Charlie stands at soldier like attention, but his chocolate, caramel, & vanilla coat give away his sweetness. He’s a Haagen-Dazs delight.

About this query: “But here’s the real question: if people can flock downtown to shop and eat, why can’t they go to work?” – “Answer: because they don’t have to.” – GT

I would agree many will hold out returning to the office as long as they can. I can almost hear their cries of ” C’mon in a get me Warden! I’m not going to come peacefully”..

But it’s also corporate interests with liability concerns who are responsible for holding back the return to office. A close friend in the big smoke told me his Toronto company office reopened earlier in the fall with intense precautionary daily measures, including some people being fired for non compliance to those measures. Now the office is closed again and he has retreated back to Huntsville area and his cottage area real estate empire. If you are going to be stuck at home choose the one you love best.

The hypocrisy and ineffectiveness of many Covid measures undertaken is getting clearer every day. I just witnessed it coming back on an international flight days ago. The rebellion has begun. As March Break approaches the wheels will come off, especially if ICU numbers stay low.
Alberta, poster child for bad behaviour is down to 68 in ICU from the 268 mid fall after only 19 in early August.

Like most things in life, it’s a ‘numbers game’. The peeps hiding under the bed at home just might find they have ‘crapped out’.

#22 TurnerNation on 12.20.21 at 3:45 pm

We are under attack! Gunning toward a Reset + UBI 2022?
The schedule seems tight. House arrest while it goes down Comrades.
The Green pass was supposed to make us so healthy!!

https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/mobile/quebec-shutting-down-schools-bars-gyms-tonight-as-covid-19-cases-soar-1.5714268
“Quebec shutting down schools, bars, gyms tonight as COVID-19 cases soar”


– The more you line up the longer we will be locked down. A perfect cycle.
In good news once again we have erradicated the common flu. Gonzo. Everything is COVID.

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/flu-influenza/influenza-surveillance/weekly-influenza-reports.html
In week 49, influenza activity across Canada remains low for this time of year. There are sporadic detections of influenza being reported; however, there remains no evidence of community circulation of influenza.



— If only we’d had a hint here. From over one year ago:

“#74 Alphonse Kehaulic on 11.25.20 at 7:40 pm
28 days lockdown. Symbolism. Two 8s = 88 = double infinity. In other words: Endless, in perpetuity, no timeouts for your lockdowns. Put it to you this way: From now on there will never be a time of no lockdowns.
28 Days Later was a movie about a pandemic. Just a coincidence I’m sure.”

#23 IHCTD9 on 12.20.21 at 3:48 pm

No end to the stupidity in this country anymore. Hope everything holds together for 5-6 more years. If it does there may be a permanent 5 day weekend coming my way.

I’ll watch from the porch instead. I’d rather not support the crapification of Canada.

#24 Mean Gene on 12.20.21 at 3:49 pm

Beware what you wish for, you may just get it, lol.

#25 Dolce Vita on 12.20.21 at 3:52 pm

Garth cheer up.

So far from Canary in the Coal Mine UK, Omicron has low deaths, a moderate number of hospitalizations and exponential Omicron new case growth.

To me it means many infected, a few go to hospital and fewer die…so far. Again, provided people get vaxd.

If Omicron spreads this fast it will fizzle out early next year, March? May?

Light at the end of the tunnel…finally.

—————–

And, please Mother Nature no more new variants, we’ve had enough. Cut us some slack.

#26 T-Man on 12.20.21 at 3:57 pm

The new underclass: white collar home workers being serviced by underpaid/overworked Amazon and Skip the Dishes drones.

#27 Buy High on 12.20.21 at 3:58 pm

Employers in Van are definitely struggling with this. There are masses of employees, myself one of them, who have now been full remote for so long that it has become normalized. We are in uncharted territory.

It will be interesting to see who goes back when called to the office in 2022 vs who quits (I’m betting on most people going back semi full-time, with lots of grumbling).

Another thing I am hearing more and more from the 40 and under crowd (in the Lower Mainland, mind you) is the pointlessness of going back to an office only to exist in the real estate nightmare that is now B.C. At least, this is what those who didn’t get into the market are saying (everyone I know who owns is all smiles these days, thinking they are a genius). But it does make me wonder what kind of societal shift COVID may have pulled from the future.

For those who are totally priced out of the big cities, does the current remote reality offer a glimpse of some hope for a better life? A new remote working paradise in Moosejaw perhaps?

I’d love that. Not for everyone though.

#28 Linda on 12.20.21 at 4:00 pm

Charlie is one handsome ornament!

When it comes to unemployment, reduced salaries, outsourcing etc. I would like to point out those outcomes have been around long before WFH became a thing. Anyone who has been around during any economic contraction can provide many an anecdote about being told to lower their expectations when it came to salary increases – in fact, not a few folks out there could testify to having taken salary rollbacks etc. – plus being told to do more with less as former colleagues were given their pink slips. As for outsourcing, that has been a constant for how many decades? In fact, the last big story on outsourcing was how employers were abandoning it as the cheap labor of abroad was no longer so cheap, making outsourcing less attractive as a means of cutting costs. I will however concede not being in the office & in the constant view/oversight of the upper levels of management means that MSU opportunities are reduced, with the result that promotional opportunities may well pass one by.

On the potential plus side of WFH, sick leave should plummet & coworkers who spent more time socializing than working can no longer hide in the herd. Also, how about those GHG emission targets? Kind of difficult to argue that a drop in daily commuters wouldn’t lead to a drop in GHG emissions, especially with those stunning photos of clear blue skies in normally smog filled cities when Covid saw folks staying at home. Working in an office is traditional, but it might be worth considering whether that tradition should be replaced.

#29 Faron on 12.20.21 at 4:08 pm

#2 Penny Henny on 12.20.21 at 3:07 pm

Funny, I’ve noticed that you are a jerk 100% of the time.

#30 IHCTD9 on 12.20.21 at 4:10 pm

#8 alexinvestor on 12.20.21 at 3:23 pm
The overall question is whether such a WFH world is more or less efficient. If it’s more efficient, then there will be more benefits. For instance, I use to get monthly haircuts which contributes to GDP. However, now I cut my own hair and the government presumably pays my barber to sit home. GDP has dropped, but overall there is no real impact since my hair still gets cut.
_____

That sounds a lot like you are paying your barber to sit at home, while you cut your own hair.

#31 Classical Liberal Millennial on 12.20.21 at 4:12 pm

Here we are again, 90% vaccinated, willing to sacrifice our kids’ well being and the livelihoods of millions of people to the case count gods. You’ll find the most ardent supports of such lockdowns and closures are the privileged, triple-dosed middle class WFH cohort.

I’m moving from a hybrid to almost completely WFH scenario again in January, but I’d go back 5 days a week if we could move on from this lunacy.

#32 Ronaldo on 12.20.21 at 4:14 pm

#4 jimmy zhao on 12.20.21 at 3:07 pm
If the office is a morgue, turn those tens of thousands of square feet of Bay Street real estate into condos and they will soon be bustling with residents.

This will help solve the housing crisis, and small businesses who rely on people downtown around those buildings.
—————————————————————
So then what do you do with the WFHomers after their office cubicles have been converted to condos. Build more towers? I recall in the 80’s recession in Vancouver where we had the same situation with empty office towers due to massive layoffs. They were looking at converting the tower space to condos back then.

#33 Stone on 12.20.21 at 4:19 pm

“Looking ahead, what will working from home ultimately beget? Unemployment, reduced salaries, the transfer of jobs abroad and an underclass of employees far removed from decision-making and promotional opportunities.”

———

Hmmm…outsourcing to Asia and elsewhere has its positives as well as its drawbacks. Garth, didn’t you complain a few days ago about not being able to get an ironing board, kettle, etc.? Corporate execs have been seriously spanked by their short-sighted outsourcing as well as automation/robotics. If they learned anything from the experience, they’ll do better going forward.

Overall, are corporate profits up? Appears the answer is yes. Do I really need to care about the rest? Might be a bit lacking in empathy on my part but these days, I’m looking at all this from a 10,000 foot view.

#34 Oakville Rocks! on 12.20.21 at 4:20 pm

Once again a blinding flash of the obvious..

“But here’s the real question: if people can flock downtown to shop and eat, why can’t they go to work?”

Maybe if they had some assurances that those tall buildings would allow the windows to open….

Ermine carpeting… I had to look that one up. I think you are taking the Greaterfool credo of catching & eating squirrels a little too far although I do applaud your use of the whole animal.

Happily, we have never left the office because we sell and support real physical products that require people and trucks to receive and ship them. Not gold leaf desks or rolls of mink carpeting mind you but essential items for healthcare.

I will say this, the customer service from our suppliers / partners in Canada who allow stay at home work is really starting to decline. The US, not so much because a lot of them go to the office.

#35 SunShowers on 12.20.21 at 4:21 pm

“Looking ahead, what will working from home ultimately beget? Unemployment, reduced salaries, the transfer of jobs abroad and an underclass of employees far removed from decision-making and promotional opportunities.”

Ok…but we already have that now. One can’t scaremonger by threatening people with things that they already have.

“Bosses are less likely to see what benefit an employee is bringing to the firm, making it more attractive to hire offshore at far less cost.”

Offshoring is like the classic prisoner’s dilemma.
It’s in every firm’s best interest to not offshore at all. Everybody wins.

However, one firm offshoring will have an advantage over the firms who do not, so that leads many to do it.

But, when multiple firms offshore, they all lose quite precipitously because they end up laying off each other’s customers in favor of hiring people overseas who will never themselves be customers of these firms.

#36 I don't want change on 12.20.21 at 4:28 pm

Make’s sense that you want to see things go back to pre-Covid. Given that you are still working in your 70’s, I assume that you think your identity is defined by your job. You have played the game and are winning and don’t want the rules changed. Might be a hit to your well being.

A few reason’s why maybe a change is needed:
1) People can’t afford to have kids as both parents need to work; In order for the game to continue, either immigration or birth rates need to rise. If people can’t have a work life balance that allows this, our society is in trouble long term
2) Climate Change. Less people needing to commute every day will result in less pollution, less needs for new roads. I’m sure the banks won’t factor in employee commutes to their zero carbon policies; Which leads to the third point;
3) Governments have listened to corporations and made decisions for their benefit. Maybe going forward we need to put the employee first. Companies operating in Canada have to employee x number of Canadians and can not get around said rule by hiring “Contractors” from the likes of TCS, CGI etc who provide banks with off-shore workers for the companies (who then say what, we don’t hire offshore workers)

Maybe I like my work. Maybe you should try to find a defining activity yourself. Besides whining, I mean. – Garth

#37 Leftover on 12.20.21 at 4:31 pm

The WFH drones will be replaced, sooner rather than later. The bosses in the towers are planning it.

The WFH producers, who already made their own hours, will work from wherever they get the most done and make the most money. No change there.

But the divisions will get bigger. We talk about housing affordability in Canada but not much about stagnant incomes. The drones will be lucky to have any income at all.

#38 Victor Maitland on 12.20.21 at 4:31 pm

What do investors fear?

A storm, composed equally of new pandemic restrictions hitting the economy at the same time interest rates are poised to rise thanks to the worst inflation since Brittany Spears was ten. Nervous employers are making matters direr.

A foolish fear to be sure. We’ve seen this song and dance before. A few more bad days for the indices, and Powell will make some cryptic statement about “flexibility” on the timeline of the tapering, and up she goes.

#39 cramar on 12.20.21 at 4:37 pm

Just talking to a friend in Kingsville, ON, over the weekend. He said a house in his subdivision just sold. The house was listed and had an open house on Sunday previous. Priced low at $499k to obviously generate a bidding war.

It worked.

Since COVID restriction only allow one couple in house at a time, there were four couples waiting outside, and a long line up of cars with people waiting to get in line. I think he said house sold for $585k, but it could have been 685K. FOMO.

Insanity all over the country. Not normal times.

#40 Al on 12.20.21 at 4:38 pm

So is the Turner Investment Corp going to declare bankruptcy because no one is in the office? Is all that rent, office equipment and overhead needed? Are the employees happier? Is everything efficient or not? Ask the questions.

Seems to me, all corps should be looking and evaluating. I understand that new employees need some guidance from real world contact with the old dogs. But, shouldn’t the management find a way to ensure that the newbies get some mentoring under the new reality, maybe rotating one on one?

Business changes and good management adapts – always been that way. Some times, fabulous things happen unexpectedly. New reality?

Actually all my employees are in the office, in two locations. – Garth

#41 The West on 12.20.21 at 4:39 pm

Can’t let you get away with this one Garth.

The pandemic has laid bare the gaping social divide between the establishment (those who own the money) and those who toil for it (including the “white collar” professionals).

But here’s the real question: if people can flock downtown to shop and eat, why can’t they go to work?

Answer: Because wasting their life supporting a machine that no longer functions as a greater good for the majority is pointless. Money is worthless, and has been since 1971.

This pandemic powerplay is going to back fire BIG TIME on the western establishment. I, for one, am loving the ride down.

r/antiwork

There is a mass awakening going on.

#42 Mattl on 12.20.21 at 4:40 pm

If these jobs could have been offshored that would have already happened. Not sure that doomsday scenario will play out, doesn’t seem logical to me that jobs that are being deemed critical to be WFW will all of a sudden be sent overseas.

Big lesson from he pandemic is how effective WFH can be. All of these corps moved their staff home and are blowing out earnings, productivity can’t be all that bad.

And we are getting solid talent from employers that are signaling back to the office. People are willing to take slightly less to WFH and we have the technology and culture in place to support these folks.

Does suck that we won’t be traveling until early summer, Q1 trips all canceled.

#43 SunShowers on 12.20.21 at 4:41 pm

“Maybe I like my work. – Garth”

Well, approximately two thirds of Canadians don’t.
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/12/01/survey-finds-65-per-cent-of-canadians-seriously-considering-job-switch.html

With statistics like that, would it not be reasonable to suspect there is something structural at play, rather than some kind of personal failing?

#44 THE DANDADA on 12.20.21 at 4:42 pm

“with less employees paying taxes on high income jobs, on the horizon.”

Wait…isn’t that what FIAT currencies are backed by?
Who you gonna tax when all the jobs go off-shore and those jobs left on soil are low-to middle income?

Nations become obsolete because we will be in the age of the Internet. Money becomes borderless, borders become porous. The digital workers work from anywhere, choosing where to pay their taxes. The two ways to fund a nation, taxation and money printing… gone.

#45 Warren-the-lagging_indicator on 12.20.21 at 4:51 pm

Work ethic? No worries we will all be absorbed into inner space via the Metaverse. Forget Bitcoin replacing the Dollar worry about CIPS and SPFS merging to replace SWIFT by China and Russia aligning their interests.

#46 Pandemic Is Over on 12.20.21 at 4:52 pm

Yes, some professions are disappearing (salespeople of different kinds, in particular); but this is just an inevitable optimization. If the same result can be achieved with less labour, that’s the way it goes.
Why resist? Why be in denial?

#47 Al on 12.20.21 at 4:57 pm

Actually all my employees are in the office, in two locations. – Garth

If your employees are happy that’s good.

Personally, I’m retired from one of Canada’s major corporations and don’t miss it after 35 years.

I have two kids in their 30’s, both are chartered accountants in manufacturing corporations, not public accounting.

One switched jobs and works from home for a company that is 60 miles from home (much to my surprise). Another works for a food manufacturer and goes in everyday but the office is mostly empty.

Things are changing, the virus just exposed it. I never thought I would see this, but it’s real. It appears to me, there are many adaptions that may become the new way.

Got my drivers license and my health card renewed on line (hated those renewal offices), I order groceries on line, just bought new jeans on line. Times are a changing.

#48 cramar on 12.20.21 at 4:58 pm

Was on U.S. news yesterday.

Washington State Republican Senator Doug Ericksen dies at 52. He was an early critic of masking and vaccine mandates and has been battling COVID for several weeks.

#49 NOSTRADAMUS on 12.20.21 at 5:00 pm

BEWARE THE IDES OF NOVEMBER AT YOUR PERIL!
For the past six months I have ended all my posts with the prediction ” Beware the ides of November at your peril.” I even went so far as to say that I would be showing up to tell you so. Well, look who has shown up. As I predicted (1) the Corona Virus would reappear and wreck havoc with a vengeance, (2) The stock market was living on borrowed time. (3) The housing market decline, well that prediction was a lay down. Now for some good news for the overindebted.. When everyone is predicting something (hiking interest rates) I take out the crystal ball for a second opinion. All these predictions of rate hikes assume that there will not be another recession in the longer run. Central banks like to pretend they will hike, but when the time comes, they have delayed so long they will find an excuse to not do so. Possible excuses that come to mind, a recession, stock market plunge, real estate hic-up , another pandemic, global warming, global cooling, or an asteroid crash. The central banks will find some excuse to delay the hikes. But the most likely excuse is a recession or stock market crash. And just to scare you straight, look for a baby interest rate hike, to be shortly followed by a reversal. For the overindebted, party on. Sleep tight my little beauties.

#50 Penny Henny on 12.20.21 at 5:00 pm

Actually all my employees are in the office, in two locations. – Garth

Team members Garth. Team members.

#51 Iron Maiden on 12.20.21 at 5:00 pm

So I’m driving, listening to some old school metal. Iron Maiden.

Song I forgot comes on. It’s called “Virus”. It’s from 1996.

I’ll let the lyrics speak for themselves…but my goodness, since when has heavy metal become so prophetic?

Virus by Iron Maiden
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbOSBphq3NA

Lyrics
https://genius.com/Iron-maiden-virus-lyrics

#52 Omicon...hahahahaha on 12.20.21 at 5:00 pm

Omicron: such a joke that South Africa is about to dump all contact tracing and quarantines.

Yes, the scientists advising the government of South Africa – where Omicron is now the dominant strain – say tracing and quarantining the contacts of infected people is a waste of time.

This cool-headed advice is exactly the opposite of the panic in wealthy European countries (and certain blue states).

Of course – unlike wealthy European countries – South Africa has tens of millions of extremely poor people. It can no longer afford to engage in viral theater to satisfy public health fanatics over a strain that looks more and more like a cold.

The prospect of nationwide food riots will tend to concentrate the mind.

Verified SOURCE
https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/covid-19-stop-tracing-and-quarantining-of-contacts-says-ministerial-advisory-committee-20211219

#53 bob on 12.20.21 at 5:03 pm

Hi Garth,
I wouldn’t equate work from home and work ethic.

I am now working more than I was before, because my job requires me to deliver, and working remotely means it is less efficient to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate. Things you could have chatted about in person, on whiteboards, are much hard to do virtually.

On the plus side, I save on commuting and costs.

#54 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.20.21 at 5:04 pm

Hmmm.
BC ( unlike Nova Scotia, Quebec, etc) still hasnt clued in that people can actually test themselves.

https://vancouver.citynews.ca/2021/12/20/vancouver-covid-testing-waits/

But if you’re a drug addict in BC.
A free Narcan kit to jab a needle in the heart revive your friends if they OD….

Dippers and their irrational rules.

#55 M on 12.20.21 at 5:05 pm

I’ve been WFH. Commuting will now be seen as an added expense instead of getting back to normal. The savings in terms of dollars has come from decreased fuel/repairs/insurance/tires/parking etc and has dampened the inflation felt at the grocery store and nearly everywhere else. Take child care costs out for kids too old for daycare and too young to be left alone as well for anyone who works from home. No longer need to either heat up lunch or pay to eat at one of the tiny businesses around the towers.

For productivity and life balance it’s another strike against WFW. Productivity is generally better (for my company and many others reportedly) and people are now looking back at the hours of time spent mindlessly floating down a highway (if you were lucky) or grinding though traffic and wondering what the hell the point of that was?

The canary in the coal mine here is that office reit CEO who comes on bnn every so often to berate people for not wanting to get back to an extreme waste of time and resources to keep him in business

#56 bob on 12.20.21 at 5:07 pm

Garth, where do you see that hospitalization is stable and possibly decreasing?

From Ontario’s website, it looks like things are on the uptick, and it looks like an exponential graph starting to take hold. Am I read it wrong?
https://covid-19.ontario.ca/data/hospitalizations

#57 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.20.21 at 5:08 pm

@#41 The West

“There is a mass awakening going on.”

+++
Ri-i-i-i-ight.
Laziness, Sloth and Stupidity is apparently more contagious than Omicron.

Not to worry.
Communist China will whip you drafted millennials into shape.

We Boomers are too old and get to sit this one out.
:)

#58 R on 12.20.21 at 5:14 pm

“Hard times create strong men, strong men create easy times. Easy times create weak men, weak men create difficult times. Many will not understand it but you have to raise warriors, not parasites.’”
With millenials running to a safe place when they are insulted, and with people gladly accepting govt payouts to working, I think I can guess what part of this cycle Canada is currently in.

#59 Hurtin' Albertan on 12.20.21 at 5:15 pm

Ordered some N95 masks. I guess the beard has to go?

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/images/FacialHairWmask11282017-508.PNG

Or maybe I should let the wife and kids use them and hope for super-immunity via a breakthrough infection:

https://www.healthing.ca/diseases-and-conditions/coronavirus/vaccine-for-coronavirus/breakthrough-infection-could-mean-end-game-for-covid/

#60 JSS on 12.20.21 at 5:17 pm

It was always a dream of mine to work from home in my sweats and judas priest tour shirt. And it actually happened. And my wife is happy too, because the laundry has been moved from washer to dryer, and the dishwasher has been preloaded. All before she comes home from work.

Just remember folks, if someone tells you it can’t happen, well, they’re wrong.

#61 Linda on 12.20.21 at 5:19 pm

Another thought regarding “with less employees paying taxes on high income jobs”. Given that there seems to be a real bias against anyone who is deemed successful these days & given that our current government has shown it will punish high income earners with ever increasing levels of taxation, seems logical that folks might decide to forego that promotion or salary increase in favor of a more modest & less ‘target on the back’ lifestyle.

#62 twofatcats on 12.20.21 at 5:21 pm

Dec 20 Today’s flipped ‘Principal Residences’

https://housesigma.com/web/en/house/eQp5yO8j8Pw7d0ZE/7-GOVERNOR-SIMCOE-Drive-St-Catharines-L2N3J1-40133723

https://housesigma.com/web/en/house/eVbOYEpVE9B3x2P0/183-WELLINGTON-Street-Welland-40195291-40195291-X5457948

https://housesigma.com/web/en/house/xLkv3V9Pjbx7DBNr/7-GOVERNOR-SIMCOE-Drive-St-Catharines-40191977-X5457154

#63 Work and Tumble on 12.20.21 at 5:27 pm

I have been working for 40 years in the same business, worked from home for the last two years really like work from home and my productivity has been good.
But I have decided to pack it in and retire end of this month..The last two years have been good practice for what’s ahead.

#64 Robert on 12.20.21 at 5:27 pm

Re: yesterday’s bitcoin babe : when to sell?
Nobody can predict where markets will go next. Since you have covered your cost you have a risk free trade. You can bleed this out slowly on rallies, sell it all now, or play around market timing the dips. Bitcoin tends to have big dumps when the whales sell off, then it rallies back quickly. I concur with Garth that the long term value is only what the next greater fool is willing to pay. And keep in mind that governments don’t like competition and will likely try to kill it some day. Bitcoin is not money, it’s too volatile and nobody accepts it as cash. It’s great for doing laundry and getting dirty cashola across difficult borders. Nice trade though.

#65 Doug t on 12.20.21 at 5:30 pm

2 years of complete brainwashing (no antivax here fyi) and more to come – the world has changed in so many ways and alot of damage has been done to society’s psyche – people are lost and feel abandoned by useless and ineffective leaders – their trust in the “system” has been destroyed and they are feeling untethered. Change can be brutally hard – where we are heading is of course unknown but you better buckle up

#66 Annek on 12.20.21 at 5:38 pm

I retired recently from health care. I have been shocked to see so many young people at Costco, supermarkets, the malls during working hours. I often wonder if these are the “supposedly working “ from home types. I often have wondered how many hours that they actually worked per day, and bilked their employers for full time work.There are two types of people, those with an excellent work ethics, who work hard and are honest, and unfortunately those who will milk the system. I wonder about the percentage of the latter. These probably voted for T 2.

#67 Faron on 12.20.21 at 5:39 pm

#34 Oakville Rocks! on 12.20.21 at 4:20 pm

“But here’s the real question: if people can flock downtown to shop and eat, why can’t they go to work?”

Maybe if they had some assurances that those tall buildings would allow the windows to open….

It’s a good poin’t. Although persons have to person the various retail outlets and that’s a hazard for them. For the rest, when shopping dining or whatever, exposure isn’t for a full work day. dart out for a couple of hours then head home.

Stewing in an office for 8 hours+ a day is a different animal.

To be clear, I am a strong proponent of work from work for all of the reasons that Garth notes. For me, a vaxxed and fairly healthy 40 year old, it’s well worth the risk.

#68 Garth's Son Drake on 12.20.21 at 5:43 pm

Great on everyone out shopping in TO while others sacrifice staying at home and not spreading anything as I have been doing the whole time.

The math is pretty clear. An exponential rise in infections will no doubt lead to a rise in hospitalizations and our hospitals really can’t handle much. We have a real problem once the specialized hospital staff get sick because departments are going to shut down.

It will basically be “sorry our hospital is closed” and a new term of “treat yourself at home for any medical care” will be added to “stay at home” and “work from home” as the new world future.

But let’s bring into focus what really matters for Canadians. How will this affect real estate?

Short answer: city centres, commercial real estate and condos are in big trouble right when savvy investors were front running buying them and thought it was coming back. Omicron flipped everything on its head and it is clear that this is going to be the way of the future.

Mutants look to be permanent and the next one could be lethal. Imagine the lock downs then.

How can anyone feel good about buying a condo and living in a dense city center given that outlook?

And the people who took a risk to move to rural affordable areas are the big winners. Not having them return to work indefinitely has allowed them a life they always dreamed of and took a chance on and technically provided with a lotto win as the people late to the party are coming in droves to bid up these great areas outside of the city. Congrats to the first movers who embraced this change more quickly. This is your reward.

Detached homes outside of city centres are the big winner.

#69 Adam Smith on 12.20.21 at 5:43 pm

People seem to be missing the point here. Yes, I work from home, and yes I could back to the office before I am forced but I am not because WFH is awesome.

HOWEVER. This is not sustainable. WFH nukes a lot of our small businesses and it will rely on tax money to support all those redundant workers. If big companies don’t need expensive Canadian workers and can hire hard workers from India who give essentially the same benefit for less money, why stay in Canada? When those profitable big businesses and their employees are gone, who pays the taxes to pay for CERB or whatever is needed to support all the people who aren’t working anymore?

This will become a death spiral for a country that is already as unproductive and highly taxed as Canada. Basically what we are seeing happen to New York, except at least those people stay in the US.

#70 Bezengy on 12.20.21 at 5:44 pm

Perhaps this is a silly question, but why are we always talking about Toronto? For instance, why can’t one of the big five banks locate in St. Catharines?, or Chatham? What is the big benefit that Toronto offers? It certainly isn’t housing affordability. Maybe it’s time to spread things out a little. Might be a big step towards reducing emissions too.

#71 rosie on 12.20.21 at 5:45 pm

Seamus Heaney understood.

“Getting started, keeping going, getting started again – in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm not only of achievement but of survival, the ground of convinced action, the basis of self-esteem and the guarantee of credibility in your lives, credibility to yourself as well as others.”

#72 yvr_lurker on 12.20.21 at 5:50 pm

So despite hospitalizations being stable or lower, daily case counts make huge headlines. Politicians have responded. Boosters are flowing like therapeutic rivers.
—–

This scenario with vaccine escape is playing out exactly as I predicted last summer, when most everyone was saying that the end of the pandemic is in sight.

Given the typical 3 week lag between high case loads and required hospitalizations, it seems perfectly prudent for Govt’s to take a short-term defensive position limiting interactions for the next few weeks to really understand the pathogenicity of omicron in our population. With its R factor and partial vaccine escape, it is inevitable that tons of people will catch it in comparison to earlier variants. What remains to be seen over the next month is how many people require hospitalizations from it. This is why this short-term caution is needed.

#73 Val on 12.20.21 at 5:50 pm

I see investing as prime target of automation with robots automatically buying, rebalancing and producing statements.
I hope one day, lawyers will vanish. Just like those red light cameras – AI will rule based on evidence submitted, and human to review the judgement. No need for Mr Lewitt

There is absolutely no need to work in the office when most of the team working from home. Its nonsense – we have folks sitting in the meeting room talking to everybody else on Teams.

#74 Do we have all the facts on 12.20.21 at 5:52 pm

Government austerity is just around the corner so don’t expect a significant increase in Public sector employment of the next five years. Between December 2019 and November 2021 an additional 285,000 Canadians were employed in the Public sector. This increase bears further scrutiny in light of a pending increase in debt service obligations.

The number of Canadians employed in the production of goods however declined by 40,000 over the same period.

These trends must be addressed to assure that the revenues necessary to fund the operation of all levels of government increase. As the circle of debt tightens around all governments the option of working from an office or working from home might become a moot point for many Canadians.

Average GDP growth of 2.0% per annum over the next five years definitely won’t cover projected increases in the statutory obligations of all levels of government.

We need plan to increase productivity and employment opportunities in productive sectors of our economy before the consequences of complacency begin to erode our current quality of life.

#75 Cheese on 12.20.21 at 5:58 pm

Been working at the Ottawa hospital for 2k a month since the pandemic started, no days off. Anyone in the city need someone? I can learn to do most anything.

#76 ElGatoNerodeYVR on 12.20.21 at 6:00 pm

#33 Stone on 12.20.21 at 4:19 pm
《》 Corporate execs have been seriously spanked by their short-sighted outsourcing as well as automation/robotics. If they learned anything from the experience, they’ll do better going forward

Sadly why are you absolutely correct in your assessment of the root cause ,the corporate executives live by the quarter and hold on to the minimum tenure negotiated to get the golden parachute.
Long term thinking (decades) and social responsibility are not in their thinking or arguably job descriptions.
Previous governments across the Western world have encouraged and rewarded the behavior that turned the outsourcing of undesirable industries to “all that you can” outsourcing instead of providing clear guidance and enforcement to ensure retention of jobs from all of the other non-poluting industries.
Sadly the low end of yesterdays past turned out to be the breeding ground for AI ,e.g. call centres , administration and support and ofcourse in reality you cannot do proper R&D without being close to the production facilities.

#77 AM in MN on 12.20.21 at 6:04 pm

Maybe not so many people need to work in office jobs anyway? Would that be a bad thing?

There won’t be a shortage of construction work or other types of work that robots can’t do. There will be plenty of need to look after all of the old people.

Getting back to Bitcoin, because it dovetails into the whole discussion about working in offices in the financial industry, imagine that the world becomes more decentralized in many ways?

#115 Diamond Dog on 12.20.21 at 4:46 pm;

You really need to study the tech a lot deeper. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing…

All of the issues you raised with security, fees, mining power consumption etc. are answered at length all over Youtube, if you take the time.

Long and short of it that it is a completely free market, anyone can join (at least in the case of Bitcoin, with no central control)

China did what China did, not just to Bitcoin, talk to Jack Ma, but that’s the reason why the US leads the world and holds the world reserve currency, because it has a rule of law system that restrains the government from simply confiscating your business overnight. The US federal courts can and do put a real burden on the government when it tries to do this, and Bitcoin is no different.

There are also a lot of countries outside the control of the US, or China or anywhere else, where you can set up computer networks. If you think the US Government might (try to) shut down the whole worldwide internet one day then you do need mental help.

Getting back to this WFH issue again, imagine a lot of finance eventually being done with loose peer-to-peer networks? Imagine music or video artists being able to sell their work in a cheap and secure (no copy) way to people around the world one song at a time, without needing big banks or tech companies?

There is a lot of development going on to deploy all sorts of services like this. Not going to change the world tomorrow, but the direction of movement is clear.

Garth – you mentioned the definition of a Fiduciary. I would consider one of the responsibilities of such to take some time to understand an asset class. The SEC took a long time before it declared Bitcoin an asset, and other cryptos a security. Anyone in the financial services business should take the time to find out why?

#78 Steve Bergg on 12.20.21 at 6:06 pm

Imagine, you wake up in your warm custom craftsman house that cost 680k, head to your home office with floor to ceiling glass, private, quiet, sipping a coffee looking out your window onto the trees in the park in your backyard to wildlife playing before sitting down to work at your sit/stand desk with a full size leather recliner to sink into in front of your floating pc screens that float in front of you while fully stretched out for maximum comfort. Everything is perfect and this is where you can do some of your best work, especially without those germy humans that can be kept at bay on zoom calls. For break you can step outside of your home backing onto the forest of fresh oxygen and champagne powder snow that the Okanagan is best known for, without a polluting car anywhere in site. The nearby homes are all newer and the air is crisp and fresh. No chimney smoke or forest fire smoke to be found. Just fresh, crisp oxygenated air.

Hey look! There is an Elk crossing the ridge across the lake view out past the infinity pool.

Cool.

It is quiet, peaceful and a place to connect with nature that naturally allows for meditating.

Later you click the mouse for your home delivery of food and/or building supplies – 2 hour delivery guarentee. Contact-less drop off at your door. The crime rate is zero in your neighbourhood, so you can get around to grabbing the goods left at your door whenever. Maybe in a couple of hours. You can always check the security cam to see if anymore stock has arrived. Your choice. You might be busy having another coffee at the time.

Well, you don’t have to imagine. This is for you. Life is good for those who dare to dream. Just think of what your Vancouver or Toronto home can buy you in the areas where people vacation. There are a lot of these areas in Canada.

Or you could spend your days getting ready, putting on a stiff suit, commuting in a car through bottle necks like the George Massey Tunnel or even worse, endless hours on the 401, possibly getting in a car accident only to find out ICBC has capped your injury damages at 5k, go to the office in back pain, sit in a cubicle with a cheap office chair that gives you more back pain, and try to relish in an office full of humans and diseases circulating and try and be productive while feeling like a zombie from the burnout due to the inefficient way of trying to keep up with the rat race in being productive by being forced into a city core to be watched over by some in person human. I see this as inefficient and counterproductive and very, very more costly for both employee and employer.

#79 IHCTD9 on 12.20.21 at 6:16 pm

I got a call from a head hunter last week. Wanted me to apply for a GM position at a local steel fabricator, and for a sales position at a GTA Steel Mill. The local fabricator, I actually know and worked with the current (presumably now retiring) GM. More money, but no thanks to that place.

The steel mill job was a little more tempting, more $ (but I think low for an actual GTA resident), WFH, go into the office (1.5 hr drive ea way) a couple times per month. Buddy was pushing hard – I told him I’d think about it.

Ultimately, I’m too set in my ways, and my office is 13 minutes away from the bunker complex. I don’t really need to chase the $ either. Things must be rough out there if headhunters are trying to snipe guys damn near 50 for good jobs in diminishing old school industries. Third time in the last 4-5 years.

Meanwhile, my Gen Z kids seem to be totally comfortable with remote stuff at this point. My eldest is back from uni as they’ve gone remote again. He’s on there writing exams, studying with his buds, playing games, and even courting a couple young ladies (from the sounds of it).

It’ll be interesting to see how WFH plays out in the future. One thing is for sure: it’ll be nothing new to the next generation entering the workforce.

#80 Lions and Tigers and Mad Cows, oh my! on 12.20.21 at 6:20 pm

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-canada-reports-atypical-case-of-mad-cow-disease-oie-says/

#81 KLNR on 12.20.21 at 6:23 pm

@ #78 Steve Bergg on 12.20.21 at 6:06 pm
Imagine, you wake up in your warm custom craftsman house that cost 680k, head to your home office with floor to ceiling glass, private, quiet, sipping a coffee looking out your window onto the trees in the park in your backyard to wildlife playing before sitting down to work at your sit/stand desk with a full size leather recliner to sink into in front of your floating pc screens that float in front of you while fully stretched out for maximum comfort. Everything is perfect and this is where you can do some of your best work, especially without those germy humans that can be kept at bay on zoom calls. For break you can step outside of your home backing onto the forest of fresh oxygen and champagne powder snow that the Okanagan is best known for, without a polluting car anywhere in site. The nearby homes are all newer and the air is crisp and fresh. No chimney smoke or forest fire smoke to be found. Just fresh, crisp oxygenated air.

Yup, thoroughly enjoying it.
Not in the okanagan mind you but it’s almost as bucolic here. Kept the urban place cause you know, options. City is great In it’s own way as well.

#82 YoungOne on 12.20.21 at 6:24 pm

“This – not omicron – is a huge reason bosses are in a quandary.”

You forgot the kicker. The BOSSES also don’t want to go back to work (Well, except you). The CEO’s love sitting at home in their mansions. They aren’t bothered. Remember that CEO who did the news interview without pants on? That’s the life. So as long as the people making the decisions don’t want to go back to work, then we won’t.

#83 CL on 12.20.21 at 6:29 pm

I don’t think people really understand what is happening due to complacency.

This is hugely deflationary in so many ways but not surprising….

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Robots-Are-Taking-Over-Oil-Rigs.html

While central banks are trying to promote managed inflation, technology is a natural nemesis to inflation by making things much more efficient and cheaper.

Interesting times indeed.

#84 KLNR on 12.20.21 at 6:31 pm

@ #66 Annek on 12.20.21 at 5:38 pm
I retired recently from health care. I have been shocked to see so many young people at Costco, supermarkets, the malls during working hours. I often wonder if these are the “supposedly working “ from home types. I often have wondered how many hours that they actually worked per day, and bilked their employers for full time work.There are two types of people, those with an excellent work ethics, who work hard and are honest, and unfortunately those who will milk the system. I wonder about the percentage of the latter. These probably voted for T 2.

I mean, it’s just as easy to tell if your employees are getting their work done at home versus the office.

#85 Barb on 12.20.21 at 6:31 pm

Charlie has such a mischievous look in his eyes, Rob!
He appears to have gotten the best of each breed…a gorgeous dog.
Beautiful colouring.

#86 PoP BC on 12.20.21 at 6:31 pm

There is this group in BC called Protecting our Province BC that uses the acronym (PoP BC).

On the website it says: We are a grassroots group of physicians, nurses, health scientists, health policy specialists and community advocates. We are working together to help people in BC stay safe by sharing accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic in BC, and advocating for evidence-based policies. Our ultimate goal is to end this pandemic. PoP BC formed out of a growing concern about the health policies being implemented in British Columbia. These policies are often in conflict with what is supported by evidence from around the world.

So, they are basically saying Bonny H and crew suck.

Seems legit, so…

…on December 16, 2021 they released this info about BC (I have a screen shot of it): “our healthcare system will collapse by early January. We are looking at unprecedented case numbers and hospitalizations. So far, the data shows that Omicron is as severe as Delta. It is airborne, and it is far more transmissible”

If any of the above is true I would say we need to get moving instead of standing on the beach trying to decide what bathing suit to wear when a tidal wave is coming at us.

Meanwhile, Israeli ministers on Monday agreed to ban travel to the United States, Canada and eight other countries amid the rapid, global spread of the Omicron variant.

#87 Balmuto on 12.20.21 at 6:36 pm

Everything’s changed, there’s no going back to the way things were. You can’t make people commute an hour each way every day just to sit in a cubicle and work on a computer, because everyone knows now that it’s unnecessary. Even most in-person meetings don’t make sense any more because you can present files and presentation materials much more efficiently through Microsoft Teams and the like. Can’t imagine going back to someone fumbling around with a projector and checking to see who dialed in on the meeting room’s conference line.

When meetings do happen in person, it’s going to be a bunch of people sitting in a room with their laptops while the meeting essentially takes place on-line. Sure, there’s the spontaneous chatting that takes place afterward, but how much of that do you really need? And do you need it every day or even every week? I’m not sure what the answer is but I’m pretty sure that the old model will die out quickly. It’s not just about how often you go into the office, but what you do when you’re there. The office is needs to undergo a radical overhaul if it’s going to survive.

#88 KLNR on 12.20.21 at 6:37 pm

@ #65 Doug t on 12.20.21 at 5:30 pm
2 years of complete brainwashing (no antivax here fyi) and more to come – the world has changed in so many ways and alot of damage has been done to society’s psyche – people are lost and feel abandoned by useless and ineffective leaders – their trust in the “system” has been destroyed and they are feeling untethered. Change can be brutally hard – where we are heading is of course unknown but you better buckle up

Yup, change is coming.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/20/rightwingers-us-social-change-coming

#89 Tad Hungary on 12.20.21 at 6:44 pm

Apparently there is an outbreak of runny noses at the U.K. parliament and it isn’t from Covid.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/12/06/british-parliament-cocaine-toilets/

#90 Omicon...hohohohoho on 12.20.21 at 6:46 pm

#52 Omicon…hahahahaha

They don’t have so many lazy, diabetic, obese, alcoholics, smokers, weeds, and population is much much younger than so called first world countries of North America and Europe for example.

It all adds up.

We’re fat, lazy, over sugared and Netflixed to the Max. Hey, Amazon worker bee, bring my my useless crap!

If China could rebrand the virus through lobbying and leverage upon politicians, could the sugar lobby, processed food lobby, alcohol and tobacco lobby not do likewise to avoid the pointing out by our leaders that these are serious health issues? These are good consumers after all. Bottom lines must be protected! We must find another way.

#91 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.20.21 at 6:48 pm

Offshoring and Robots?
Who’s gonna pay the taxes,
So I can get my heart surgery?
Not CEF, that’s for sure.
Think this through, Grasshoppers, or Ants.

#92 Phylis on 12.20.21 at 6:50 pm

So, are you the plant manager too?

#93 Wrk.dover on 12.20.21 at 6:50 pm

#12 JacqueShellacque on 12.20.21 at 3:30 pm
I think the dividing line isn’t WFH or not, but between ‘know-what’ and ‘know-how’. The ‘know-what’ jobs are largely white collar and have words like ‘analysis’ or ‘finance’ in their titles, it’s true AI may send those the way of the dodo. Their value rests entirely on the presumption that they know things other people couldn’t. On the other hand, those that I’d call ‘know-how’ jobs will probably have a premium on them, and some thought undesirable today may come into fashion. ‘Know-how’ jobs solve real, tangible problems. My furnace was out today and the guy who fixed it (very good at what he does) is in constant demand. I tell any young people within earshot to focus on ‘know-how’ stuff when thinking about the future and don’t touch ‘know-what’ stuff with a 10 foot pole. No 4 year uni degree, go to trade school or college and get in doing something tangible as soon as you can, and branch out or extend your learning from there.
__________________________________

That was my freedom 35 with grade 12.

I have never been captive chasing wages with which to be paying anyone to do anything. Except dental.

Talent is a lost virtue. But it is there if you repeatedly reach for it. Key being repeatedly.

#94 IHCTD9 on 12.20.21 at 6:51 pm

#78 Steve Bergg on 12.20.21 at 6:06 pm
—- –

Well, that is a bit of fantasy, but the stage is being set for something like this I think, although it’ll come with consequences.

Starlink, fast Internet anywhere is not far off. Drone delivery hubs, already in the works, delivery to anywhere for peanuts. Consumer goods passing from cheap 3rd world human labour into fully automated lights out manufacturing plants that drive prices into the dirt. 3D printing allowing in-residence manufacturing of basically anything you want from an emailed step file, it’s up and coming. You might even be living in a 3D printed house.

Technology is now moving faster than our ability (or willingness) to change. Consequences will be probably be social for the populace, and revenues for the government. Folks will be content with a lot less “stuff” (the actual meaning of the oft mis-quoted “you will own nothing and be happy”, already we see it beginning with Gen Z).

The future is simpler, vastly more efficient, dirt cheap, yet isolated and minimalist. IMHO, quality of life will be better for most, but politics will get uglier as social connections fade, and political consensus drifts into ever smaller and numerous fractions. We see this beginning already too.

#95 Ustabe on 12.20.21 at 6:53 pm

Commoners in ancient Rome occasionally exercised a social strategy called secessio plebis. Secession of the plebs, the working class.

The entire working class, and if you receive a paycheque from someone else you are working class no matter how much money you have, would evacuate the city en masse and refuse to work or fight or, well, do anything the ruling class wanted or needed.

This action left the patrician class to fend for itself. Cooking, cleaning, clothing themselves took up the entire day as they did not know how to perform such tasks.

History tells us the secession’s were an effective means of winning legal and economic concessions from those who rule.

I would put forth the proposition that a modern, 21st century version is what is going on today. WFH, r/antiwork, the Gamestop/Melvin Securities ongoing play, the $50/hour dishwashers…

Best decide if you are going to be a honey bee or a house fly. Remember, one deals with honey, the other dogshit.

#96 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.20.21 at 6:57 pm

#50 Penny Henny on 12.20.21 at 5:00 pm
Actually all my employees are in the office, in two locations. – Garth

Team members Garth. Team members.
————–
There are no Teams with out a strong leader who looks after his people.
There is no I in Team.
At least that what I told my soccer team.

#97 Sail Away on 12.20.21 at 7:04 pm

re: IHCTD9 diminishing industry

Do you really see steel fabrication as a diminishing business? Here it’s a month-long waitlist to even talk with the fabricator, then a while longer before they can get to the work. The really good ones are booked solid for months.

Seems like something that would never go away..

#98 HUNGRY BEAR on 12.20.21 at 7:17 pm

But Garth….. I thought you said last year that all this wasn’t a structural change?

Well I can tell you in the very large corporation I work for Covid has made many structural changes in our offices and in the field permanent.

Get ready……. this is just getting started.

#99 Sail Away on 12.20.21 at 7:17 pm

#78 Steve Bergg on 12.20.21 at 6:06 pm

Re: WFH

———

Nah. Our office is far more productive with WFW. We experimented. A little stress is conducive to better efficiency and attention to detail. It is my honour and duty to provide that stress.

#100 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.20.21 at 7:19 pm

Just got home.
Problem with the elevators.
I had to walk up18 flights carrying groceries and a case of beer.
I discovered two things.

My Covid 19lbs isn’t an asset.

Stairwell farting is much more enjoyable when you hear someone say ” Oh…my….God!” somewhere a few floors below you……

#101 DON on 12.20.21 at 7:22 pm

#49 NOSTRADAMUS on 12.20.21 at 5:00 pm
BEWARE THE IDES OF NOVEMBER AT YOUR PERIL!
… As I predicted (1) the Corona Virus would reappear and wreck havoc with a vengeance, (2) The stock market was living on borrowed time. (3) The housing market decline, well that prediction was a lay down. Now for some good news for the overindebted.. When everyone is predicting something (hiking interest rates) I take out the crystal ball for a second opinion. All these predictions of rate hikes assume that there will not be another recession in the longer run. Central banks like to pretend they will hike, but when the time comes, they have delayed so long they will find an excuse to not do so. Possible excuses that come to mind, a recession, stock market plunge, real estate hic-up , another pandemic, global warming, global cooling, or an asteroid crash. The central banks will find some excuse to delay the hikes. But the most likely excuse is a recession or stock market crash. And just to scare you straight, look for a baby interest rate hike, to be shortly followed by a reversal. For the overindebted, party on. Sleep tight my little beauties.

***************

You didn’t mention the ‘boogie man’ Grand Master Inflation.

Read somewhere that 37 – 42 months after rate increases a recession appears. If we can’t raise rates what does that say about our current state of affairs. China just did a rate cut to stimulate their recovery. Yup it sure is different this time.

I saiy, I say…did I mention inflation?

#102 Reality is stark on 12.20.21 at 7:30 pm

Be careful what you wish for.
A big accounting firm I know has highly sophisticated software which monitors your work from home productivity. They use it because they expect 80 hour work weeks for the “privilege of working from home”.
Believe me if I could utilize that technology one minute less than 80 hours and your ass would be gone in the next slowdown. All you have to do is reference the software and accuse the employee of underperforming as compared to his/her peers.
I would be vicious and I wouldn’t care.

#103 Jeff on 12.20.21 at 7:34 pm

I haven’t posted here in sometime. I will say this however…As someone who has worked through this entire Covid thing, I find the entire my office staff really lacking. Takes days for any response from engineers. The supply chain made things bad as well, but the office folks are making things just as difficult. What do these people do all day? I do see posts on Facebook some of them out shopping and running errands however… I guess that is what they do while the regular peons go to work 9-10 hours a day and haven’t missed a beat.

My wife has been working from home and wants to get back to the office in a bad way. She really misses the office days and social time at lunches, after work cocktails etc. She is sick of working from the house. Five days a week never leaving home starts to eat at you.

#104 Commuter to no where on 12.20.21 at 7:36 pm

I haven’t posted here in sometime. I will say this however…As someone who has worked through this entire Covid thing, I find the entire my office staff really lacking. Takes days for any response from engineers. The supply chain made things bad as well, but the office folks are making things just as difficult. What do these people do all day? I do see posts on Facebook some of them out shopping and running errands however… I guess that is what they do while the regular peons go to work 9-10 hours a day and haven’t missed a beat.

My wife has been working from home and wants to get back to the office in a bad way. She really misses the office days and social time at lunches, after work cocktails etc. She is sick of working from the house. Five days a week never leaving home starts to eat at you.

#105 Trucker on 12.20.21 at 7:45 pm

DELETED

#106 Steven Rowlandson on 12.20.21 at 7:47 pm

DELETED (Anti-vax)

#107 45north on 12.20.21 at 7:47 pm

And here’s a stark conclusion:
“Looking ahead, what will working from home ultimately beget? Unemployment, reduced salaries, the transfer of jobs abroad and an underclass of employees far removed from decision-making and promotional opportunities.”

I worked from the office for my whole career. Here’s a story I heard at Stats Canada. The Census was late. The top boss was not happy. He paced up and down right outside the office of the guy responsible. The top boss said to the guy “if there’s anything you need you know where to find me”. Obviously, there was tension in the office and there were lessons learned but what if the guy responsible had been working from home? I think the temptation would have been to fire him and get somebody else. This move would probably not have been productive.

Working from home is great as long as things go according to plan. Organizations where people meet face-to-face will be more productive in the face of stress.

#108 DON on 12.20.21 at 7:58 pm

#104 Jeff on 12.20.21 at 7:34 pm
I haven’t posted here in sometime. I will say this however…As someone who has worked through this entire Covid thing, I find the entire my office staff really lacking. Takes days for any response from engineers. The supply chain made things bad as well, but the office folks are making things just as difficult. What do these people do all day? I do see posts on Facebook some of them out shopping and running errands however… I guess that is what they do while the regular peons go to work 9-10 hours a day and haven’t missed a beat.

My wife has been working from home and wants to get back to the office in a bad way. She really misses the office days and social time at lunches, after work cocktails etc. She is sick of working from the house. Five days a week never leaving home starts to eat at you.

************

I have seen people waste time in an office environment just running out on quick errands…all the time. All those lunches tend to run over. It comes down to individual work ethic.

#109 Km on 12.20.21 at 7:59 pm

Costco was packed, had to wait to get a cart type busy. However let’s all make sure not to travel as we might spread the newest variant in a long list on variants. No one I speak to anymore has any trust in the government and my cohort are among the ones who got vaccinated and obeyed all the rules. Canada is pooched by the fools running it and the people who voted them in are equally as bad as they simply have no idea as to consequences to any of their actions as they think money will never go up and daddy Justin will never let them go bankrupt he will just print more money.

#110 IHCTD9 on 12.20.21 at 8:08 pm

#97 Sail Away on 12.20.21 at 7:04 pm
re: IHCTD9 diminishing industry

Do you really see steel fabrication as a diminishing business? Here it’s a month-long waitlist to even talk with the fabricator, then a while longer before they can get to the work. The really good ones are booked solid for months.

Seems like something that would never go away.
—- –

Yep I do, in the West that is. I’ve been working in this industry since ‘96, and things peaked in ‘08. Since then it’s only been downhill as major projects diminish alongside big industry. Most of the work we used to do goes to the southern USA, and countries closer to where the actual project is located. Often South Korea. Also the non CWB “sweat shops” in the GTA taking a big bite out of the business.

You deal probably with structural fabricators. That’s not what we do. It may be an Ontario specific situation. We’re hemorrhaging big projects and manufacturing like crazy. Automotive is a shell of what it used to be, mining has been dead for over a decade, O+G… well my second largest customer was O+G, and they bailed to Huston in ‘20. Gone, and I can’t compete even with the exchange. There is a long list of big fabricators in Ontario that have bit the dust, not mention a severe contraction of the steel warehouse and general supply chain over the last 20 years. Everyone bought, or merged with their competitors. It’s been shrinking non-stop from top to bottom since the GFC. IMHO, we’re getting a bit hosed on materials cost on this account.

FWIW, if you are getting quoted fab work by the lb. on your projects, that’s the bottom end of fab work. Not too many are going to want to jump into that biz. Working for a general contractor sucks 90% of the time because you always get screwed somehow. That may be why you’re short of good fabricators for structural out your way.

#111 mike from mtl on 12.20.21 at 8:22 pm

Told you.

Our ever trendsetter Legault on top of the already mandatory WFH now closed schools, bars, gyms, and the like; restaurants and “non-essential” are probably on the list before month end.

Dougie is not far behind I’m sure.

Regarding WFH, myself as of this summer was thinking it could pass but honestly now a repeat of 2020 & 2021 I give up. My employer was already throwing in the towel and this latest bungle just confirms they were right… WFW and the cube farm is done.

That’s around 200 souls never taking transit, parking, lunches, drinking, shopping or wearing pants on weekdays.

Our leaders must understand actions have consequences, apparently their conviction to the narrative is immovable.

#112 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.20.21 at 8:28 pm

Sure,
Let’s outsorce even more to China and India.
I remember at the beginning of the Pandemic when Blog Dogs were blaming JT for not having enough vaccines produced in house.
Remember the OPEC embargo.
And Russia is now holding the EU hostage over gas supplies.
Canada is blessed with all the resources we, and the world needs.
No need to suck up to anyone.
BTW, our honourable PM’s 50th B-Day is coming up.
I’m thinking of collection money for a present from the steerage.
Anyone for it?
And any ideas for a present?
No socks, I think he has enough of them.

#113 Eco Capitalist on 12.20.21 at 8:34 pm

I don’t know who said it originally, but:

“No matter where you finish in the rat race, you’re still a rat.”

Perhaps people are weary of being rats?

#114 Kilt on 12.20.21 at 8:42 pm

Seems to me times are a changing.
Things and People will adapt. And already I see things changing for the good. Low paying jobs are actually starting to pay closer to living wages. If other sectors don’t keep up then they will just start to bleed jobs.

Howard Levitt clearly doesn’t make robots. Lots of jobs a robot will never replace people.

You may be able to have a fully automated McD’s, but someone is still going to pay a premium to eat a restaurant with a real cook.

But I agree. Enough of the masks and restrictions. With everyone vacc’d, Covid is just a glorified flu.

Kilt.

#115 IHCTD9 on 12.20.21 at 8:53 pm

To me, 100% remote learning seems like an inevitable eventuality. So much cheaper and accessible for the students, yet the educational system will fight it tooth and nail due to the guaranteed job losses. Think of the possibilities though. Can’t see how this won’t happen in the future. For it not, we’d still be plowing fields with Oxen, and using a horse and buggy for transportation. Humanity progresses via efficiency. So robots will do the crappy work, and it won’t matter if humans get laid off.

WFH? Hard to see how a good chunk of work will not go that way. Employers would have access to talent on a global scale. No bricks and mortar to pay for. It can get a lot more efficient than what we see happening right now. Consequences? Sure there will be, but being competitive while delivering will trump all. It’s up to the free market to sort ‘em out. You’ll win by beating out the other guy, same as it’s always been.

It’s all part of our march to a type 1 civilization. No one has to like it, they just need to be the most competitive. At the end of the day, you need to be cheaper than the next guy for the same end. Doubt it? You can buy a 27” lcd at the local grocer for under $100.00 these days. 20 years from now in stable economies, that’ll be just as ludicrous a price as my paying 800.00 for a 27” CRT in the 90’s (which I did).

The future is cheap. The future will offer less employment. The future promises less government revenues. Don’t ask me how it’s going to work – but it’ll have to.

#116 Sail Away on 12.20.21 at 8:54 pm

#110 IHCTD9 on 12.20.21 at 8:08 pm

FWIW, if you are getting quoted fab work by the lb. on your projects, that’s the bottom end of fab work. Not too many are going to want to jump into that biz. Working for a general contractor sucks 90% of the time because you always get screwed somehow. That may be why you’re short of good fabricators for structural out your way.

———-

Yeah, a little different industry. A lot of my projects are marine structural- ferry terminals, piers, floats, gangways, etc. Maybe the bridges are similar. Most steel from China. A lot of the big marine contractors have their own fab shops for the big weldments and either their own welders or they’ll sub out the onsite structural welding.

#117 DON on 12.20.21 at 8:55 pm

As per BBC today.

Russia noting/threatening it has hyper sonic weapons and is looking to put a buffer between it and NATO.

Russia stikes Ukraine and China Taiwan under the umbrella of hyper sonic weapons. Hopefully, the West has good secrets of their own.

Apparently a cyber war is underway.

#118 Common Sense on 12.20.21 at 9:10 pm

COVID WFH will bring in huge changes but not the kind people expect. If you have a role that can truly be done remotely, with no value added going to the office or collaborating in person in teams, then your days are numbered. You should want a role that needs to be in person, because those are the roles that will do well in the future. For all the other roles that are a series of tasks, the modern equivalent of widget making: expect that all the large employers are currently considering, planning for, or beginning to experiment with moving those roles to lower cost areas. You are naïve if you think otherwise.

“… but but I’ve been working from home since blah blah blah…”

Well of course there are hurdles, always have been, which have allowed pockets of WFH to be successful. But Covid-19 is challenging employers to find new ways to deliver products and services, and to overcome the inertia of how we’ve done things in the past, just not in ways everyone expects.

The “widget making” jobs are going to move to Canadian second and third tier cities in the east coast and west. Movement offshore may happen again – there are entire tech hubs that cater to supporting North America processes other than India.

The big hurdles are:

Regulatory – these are good candidates to stay in Canada but move to smaller cities. This could be a boom for Alberta and Atlantic provinces however.

Language / culture – see above. However the language skills are constantly improving in offshore tech hubs that have an entire industry focussed on North American process execution.

Time zone – you need your processes done on your time, sure, but North American time zone differences are tolerable. So Canada and US low cost cities are fair game. And the offshore tech hubs work our hours so time zone issues can be overcome.

The largest limiting factor is talent – whether enough of the right people can be sourced in all these places that jobs will move to. That’s always been the biggest limiter, but these places are actively growing their talent pools, marketing themselves to large employers, and are eager to eat your lunch. Talent limitations mean it will be a slow boil, but over time jobs will move and near shore and off shore talent pools will continue to grow.

All the jobs that are high value, regulatory, strategic, managerial/ oversight, sales and relationship driven will remain. And the ones that need to physically do something on premises too, but I’ve been talking largely about knowledge workers so far.

The real tragedy will be for the kiddos. How does one get to be a corporate exec, decision maker, strategist, or overlord without fighting in the trenches at the early stages of their career? Those trench jobs will be gone, and yet you can’t train your next gen managers to manage when they don’t have roles that can build their skills and experience.

But it may take a while to get there so it’s a problem for many many years away. For now it will be a slow boil and all the WFH-or-die types are all froggies in the pot of what will be the new seismic shift in how we work.

The WFH-or-die types are half right… there is a new way of work coming, a shift more significant than industrialization, but not in the way they expect.

#119 BCWally on 12.20.21 at 9:14 pm

I’m seeing a lot of people supporting the WFH thing, but trust me it’s risky. Few have focused on the AI solutions available and instead focus on the cultural aspects for and against.
I am an energy worker, fly in and fly out, I’m out there on the steel every day fixing heavy industrial equipment, -35C be damned as every minute down counts. I don’t have any bias really not having worked in an office job full time.
My experience with office workers should be a warning of what can happen.
I now manage all my administration through automated software. That’s flights, hours, work order scheduling and reporting, holidays, parts procurement, job estimating etc. When a change is needed there are a few office people that do that for me, but very few and most are in a major Canadian city.
That never used to be the case, office people managed a lot of that for me.
I have become very proficient at office software as a result with very little time spent in an office.
So now, not only do I perform many office functions with the help of software, but I also repair/alter all the automated process control systems and machinery that have taken away many industrial jobs.
The rise of programmable logic controllers and distributed control systems operating machinery since the late 80’s decimated the industrial worker head count.
AI has this same potential and that potential is growing every day with machine learning languages.
Tread carefully my office working friends, lest you be forgotten.

#120 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.20.21 at 9:15 pm

@#112 Ponzies Political patronage

“BTW, our honourable PM’s 50th B-Day is coming up.
I’m thinking of collection money for a present from the steerage.
Anyone for it?
And any ideas for a present?”

++++

An abacus so he can slowly learn to count?

#121 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.20.21 at 9:19 pm

The CocaCola is open for trucks and essential travel.
Ahead of schedule.
Thanks to all the Government engineers, workers and pencil pushers.
We love you.

#122 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.20.21 at 9:26 pm

Chile just voted in a millennial, woke leftist as PM.
I can hear the CIA are already sharpening their knives.
I hope there is not another Allende.

#123 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.20.21 at 9:28 pm

@#117 DON
Apparently a cyber war is underway.”

+++

Apparently…….For while

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/taiwan-china-espionage/

Retired Taiwan Military officers selling their souls for a little money.

Makes it easier when the invading army knows the defense details of the country they’re invading.

#124 IHCTD9 on 12.20.21 at 9:36 pm

#116 Sail Away on 12.20.21 at 8:54 pm
#110 IHCTD9 on 12.20.21 at 8:08 pm

FWIW, if you are getting quoted fab work by the lb. on your projects, that’s the bottom end of fab work. Not too many are going to want to jump into that biz. Working for a general contractor sucks 90% of the time because you always get screwed somehow. That may be why you’re short of good fabricators for structural out your way.

———-

Yeah, a little different industry. A lot of my projects are marine structural- ferry terminals, piers, floats, gangways, etc. Maybe the bridges are similar. Most steel from China. A lot of the big marine contractors have their own fab shops for the big weldments and either their own welders or they’ll sub out the onsite structural welding
———

Yep, we’re in different boats. I’m not even allowed to use Chinese steel (not that there’s anything wrong with it) most of the time. I get a list of countries on the “A” list, anything else is no bueno. We build stuff done and ship it, no site work. You’re probably dealing with A36/572-50/44W/50W stuff all the time. My end is everything under the sun ferrous and non-ferrous. PVQ, UT’ed, V-notch’ed, HIC’ed – a lot of which I can’t even buy anymore in Canada. Old School plate work. You’re more construction, we’re more industrial fabrication.

Sucks, but it shows (on my end) the degenerative situation in Canada when it comes to heavy industry. Your end up shows civilian infrastructure is still going strong.

#125 millmech on 12.20.21 at 9:40 pm

#42 Mattl
What happens when things slow down, the only thing left to cut will be WFH, no moving to smaller cheaper locations as that already has been accomplished.
Now that companies are lean and have greater profits do you believe that when profits wane that they will not out source WFH to anywhere where it is cheaper.
It is easy to train call center people around the world to handle tech issues, we are a population of 36 million, there are cities on this planet with bigger populations than our whole country.
You can not tell me that the people in India, that we have outsourced our tech to are not thinking of getting an even bigger piece of the pie. We have outsourced our manufacturing and now our tech will be going and you will unknowingly be training your replacement.
The WFH people who protest about inferior work/products as to why it will not happen sound eerily familiar to the auto worker of the eighties.

#126 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.20.21 at 9:56 pm

@#124 IHCTD9
“Sucks, but it shows (on my end) the degenerative situation in Canada when it comes to heavy industry. ”

+++

Yep.
The smug, laptop tapping, Zoomified bureaucrats don’t realize…..when the skilled tradesmen are gone because the entire industry has been outsourced…….

ALL that skill and knowledge….is gone…..and it will take decades to retrain kids back up…if ever.

I see it daily.

#127 TurnerNation on 12.20.21 at 10:05 pm

All the Former First World Countries are being wound down. Yes the CV Rules are Permanent – until 2025.
No fun allowed in the New System Comrades. Cancel culture was just training.
Life now means work and CV Protocols 24/7.

.Germany plans a lockdown light from the 28th December. This includes contact restrictions even for the vaccinated, as well as closures of clubs and discos.(n-tv.de)

.Chicago restaurants close amid COVID-19 case spike, omicron (chicagotribune.com)

.UK Trafalgar Square New Year’s Eve event cancelled (bbc.co.uk)


— All of this is for the global requirement of getting every human into the Blockchain. QR code. The US rollout is a bit slower

.Boston Implements Proof of Vaccination Requirement for Restaurants, Other Indoor Venues (nbcboston.com)

#128 Sail Away on 12.20.21 at 10:30 pm

#124 IHCTD9 on 12.20.21 at 9:36 pm

You’re probably dealing with A36/572-50/44W/50W stuff all the time. My end is everything under the sun ferrous and non-ferrous. PVQ, UT’ed, V-notch’ed, HIC’ed – a lot of which I can’t even buy anymore in Canada. Old School plate work. You’re more construction, we’re more industrial fabrication.

——–

Yes, those, plus stainless and aluminum and various coatings for saltwater and mine tailings ponds.

I had no idea industrial fabrication was getting hammered so hard.

#129 Bankrupting Landlords is good for the Economy on 12.20.21 at 10:53 pm

*”Immensely unfair in its treatment of some, the virus bestowed fortune upon others”*

Bingo! About 15-20% of the population actually love the lockdowns and restrictions. Think of all the WFHers but also all the gouging that happened since 2020. These people vote so a political party that promises “safety first” will always a good portion of the vote. All this might be more permanent than thought.

#130 Squire on 12.20.21 at 11:08 pm

#17 Tom on 12.20.21 at 3:37 pm
Many people-including those in many white collar jobs have had crappy conditions before Covid. Outsourcing, pitting employees against one another, failing to promote because they don’t want to pay higher salaries, not starting benefits until they have worked at a job for 3 months–just so the companies can save money. Companies scrimp on training staff and many have created environments where there is little job security, so now they wonder why people want to work at home and why people are quitting? The corporations only have themselves to blame, as they have created this environment.
—————-
Hate to say it Garth but I agree with #17 Tom
I have seen it myself and no offshoring since covid either.

#131 Cici on 12.20.21 at 11:30 pm

#17 Tom

Very good points that should be talked about more and addressed to create healthier workplaces.

I’ve also found in some corps that there are fraternities of people who do practically nothing on the job apart from band together with similar likeminded people in order to create a united front where none of them actually has to do anything. All about appearances, fitting in but not really accomplishing much of anything.

I much prefer having measurable goals and being expected to execute them. Currently spoiled with present employer because team I’m working with are highly qualified, very productive and very ambitious.

Only issue for me is the woke political culture gets a little extreme sometimes. I’m trying to navigate it though because my colleagues are all genuinely incredible and well-meaning people; however, I find it a bit stifling when you have to overthink everything you do and say all the time, because anything can be taken out of context or misinterpreted. Girls just wanna have fun and stop stressin’…but alas, these are the times we live in!

#132 Overheardyou on 12.20.21 at 11:43 pm

Unfortunately the stark conclusion doesn’t exist for mills because they haven’t worked long enough to realize why they go to work. For most it’s all about themselves, probably a reason why they don’t open doors for others even before the pandemic

#133 Sick of My Apartment on 12.20.21 at 11:48 pm

I’m actually itching to go back. I’m so sick of being in the same place all the time and the lack of separation between work and home.

The hybrid model would probably be best. I believe my employer will be offering it but probably for a limited duration only. We were supposed to start heading back at the end of January, until Omicron crashed the party.

I think many (but not all) who are currently enjoying the setup may eventually grow to resent it. Boredom and fatigue will seep in. I also suspect that the corps that do adopt it will be raising the bar over time in terms of productivity, yield and quality expectations from their WFH staff.

#134 joe on 12.21.21 at 12:05 am

Doomsday prediction Omicron could overwhelm NHS ‘is flawed’: HALF of patients in London hospitals ‘with Covid’ were only diagnosed AFTER arriving with another ailment, it is revealed as experts and MPs rail against ‘pessimistic’ Sage’s worst-case scenarios

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10330781/Cabinet-data-gap-backlash-ministers-split-new-Covid-curbs-demand-information.html

British media story…are the media telling the truth here?
I don’t trust the Canadian media any more re: Omicron. Seems to me they are just peddling unnecessary fear.

#135 OKD on 12.21.21 at 12:10 am

# 78 Steve Bergg
My man. (Denzel Washington intonation)
Life is good in K town; beautiful day at Biggie yday.
Cheers

#136 Midnights on 12.21.21 at 1:19 am

DELETED (Anti-vax)

#137 yvr_lurker on 12.21.21 at 1:52 am

#102 A big accounting firm I know has highly sophisticated software which monitors your work from home productivity. They use it because they expect 80 hour work weeks for the “privilege of working from home”.
Believe me if I could utilize that technology one minute less than 80 hours and your ass would be gone in the next slowdown. All you have to do is reference the software and accuse the employee of underperforming as compared to his/her peers.
I would be vicious and I wouldn’t care.
———

Did you eat a lump of coal again Mr Scrooge? 80 hour work week and if you miss an hour you are uncompetitive? Even Ebenezer had more sense. Your whole fictional company would go belly-up as nobody with any skill or ambition would put up with your proposed insanity. You do not realize that people with marketable skills can market themselves right out the door to a better gig. Go have another lump of coal

#138 Dr V on 12.21.21 at 1:56 am

Lots of thoughtful posts today. Found 119 BC Wally’s very interesting.

I gave up my managerial role just in time to miss COVID. Advised my successor to automate as much as possible due to apparent labour shortage.

#139 Faron on 12.21.21 at 3:27 am

#3 BillyBob on 12.20.21 at 3:07 pm

And again – Merry Christmas!

Awe, thanks! Hoping you ask me out for a beer again some time soon.

#140 the Jaguar on 12.21.21 at 3:32 am

Snippet from a good write up by Derek H. Burney is this morning’s NP. Under “Our incoherent, climate-obsessed elites”

“………. the basic flaw in current thinking is a profound misunderstanding of the extent to which the world depends on oil and gas for much more than energy. Petroleum derived plastics are used extensively in electric vehicles, wind towers and solar panels. Everything from toothbrushes to glass frames, cellphone casings and many implements used in hospital operating rooms come from plastic. The air frames for virtually all commercial and military aircraft are all made from high strength, petroleum-derived carbon fibre.
Because renewables are intermittent and storage capacity is limited, it is difficult to believe that they will supplant hydrocarbons any time soon. Reliance on solar and wind power is subject to the whim of nature, not mankind, i.e. knowing how strongly the winds will blow and how long the sun will shine.”

Amen.

#141 Millennial 1%er on 12.21.21 at 6:06 am

you like to rag on remote workers, but don’t realize that it’s employs the tail end of the pareto distribution of competence.

People who can get remote jobs are sick at their jobs, and work harder than anyone I know. Maybe you’re too focused on antiquated jobs that are just classist welfare in disguise (cough, government jobs, cough)

#142 Wrk.dover on 12.21.21 at 7:35 am

#112 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.20.21 at 8:28 pm
BTW, our honourable PM’s 50th B-Day is coming up.
I’m thinking of collection money for a present from the steerage.
Anyone for it?
And any ideas for a present?
___________________________________

He’d look elegant with a pearl necklace!

#143 NoName on 12.21.21 at 8:01 am

Is this ever interesting visulazation.
Can someone make it for Canada?

https://twitter.com/irmgardian/status/1473040471517712385

#144 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.21.21 at 8:13 am

@#134 joe
“Doomsday prediction Omicron could overwhelm NHS ‘is flawed’:”

+++
yep
Never under estimate the media’s ability to sell fish wrapper….

The last several weeks on the 6pm Global News.
“Omicron infections Skyrocketing!
Hospitalizations are dropping…..”

#145 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.21.21 at 8:20 am

@#128 Sail Away
“I had no idea industrial fabrication was getting hammered so hard.”

+++

China, Eastern Europe, and India have eaten our lunch.
The majority of Heavy Industrial skilled jobs ( and the years of knowledge ) are gone gone gone.
Never to come back
We don’t create and build.
The hay days of the Avro Arrow were 60 years ago.

We assemble, patch and repair….

#146 Love_The_Cottage on 12.21.21 at 8:25 am

Garth, I know that you and your team change the recommendations you make to clients as facts change.

What evidence would it take for you to change your mind that WFH can increase productivity in some / many situations, is real and has been a trend going back 20 years that is unlikely to reverse? Any or is your mind made up and no evidence will change it?

#147 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.21.21 at 8:27 am

@#124 Ponzies Political Pandering.

Thanks to all the Government engineers, workers and pencil pushers.

“””””

Funny.
I thought I heard the Minister of Highways thanking all the heavy equipment operators that worked 24hrs a day straight for a month in dismal living/working conditions.

Nary a pencil pushing, Zoom panting, HR embracing, bureaucrat in sight.

#148 RichardTO on 12.21.21 at 8:29 am

If your “job” can be done from home, it can be done from India or the Philippines for $10,000/year.

#149 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.21.21 at 8:33 am

@#143 Anonymous

“Is this ever interesting visulazation.
Can someone make it for Canada?”

+++

Neat map info on Google searches..

Sadly.
I think Canada’s Google searches would be rather boring and just show.
Months and months and months of “CERB Money” interspaced with a day here and there of “Politically Incorrect”.

#150 Dogs Not Barking on 12.21.21 at 9:48 am

Let’s state this up front: I think everyone should be vaxxed. Not even a question about it. There my CYA statement should prevent me from getting Deleted.

And this is where I stir up the crap:

Anyone have any data on the actual Omicron Butcher’s Bill? The dogs aren’t barking at all on this.

I would assume that given the perpetual hair-on-fire state of the media we would be hearing breathless reports of deaths.

But not a peep. What is actually going on?

Only three weeks. Show some respect. – Garth

#151 Dharma Bum on 12.21.21 at 9:54 am

#21 The Jaguar

Alberta, poster child for bad behaviour is down to 68 in ICU from the 268 mid fall after only 19 in early August.
——————————————————————————————————

Gotta love it!

I’m heading back in early January to visit kiddo, Sunny and River.

This time, I didn’t buy a return air ticket. I’ll play it by ear. Why rush back to madness and lunacy?

Somehow it’s worked out that every time I’ve gone out there, it’s just when Ontario went nutso on restrictions. So, I got out under the wire and extended my freedom experience.

The poster boy for bad behaviour is a refreshing change for the submissive, bland, paranoid, overly compliant paradoxical fearfulness of spoiled Ontarians.

It’s good to be free.

Oh, and SKIING!

#152 Ronaldo on 12.21.21 at 10:05 am

#148 RichardTO on 12.21.21 at 8:29 am
If your “job” can be done from home, it can be done from India or the Philippines for $10,000/year.
—————————————————————–
Yes. And without costly benefits. Careful what you wish for.

#153 KLNR on 12.21.21 at 10:15 am

@
#118 Common Sense on 12.20.21 at 9:10 pm
COVID WFH will bring in huge changes but not the kind people expect. If you have a role that can truly be done remotely, with no value added going to the office or collaborating in person in teams, then your days are numbered. You should want a role that needs to be in person, because those are the roles that will do well in the future. For all the other roles that are a series of tasks, the modern equivalent of widget making: expect that all the large employers are currently considering, planning for, or beginning to experiment with moving those roles to lower cost areas….

Meh, that’s dinosaur thinking.
You’re witnessing a paradigm shift here.

#154 Dharma Bum on 12.21.21 at 10:20 am

#100 Crowdpleazer

Stairwell farting is much more enjoyable when you hear someone say ” Oh…my….God!” somewhere a few floors below you……
—————————————————————————————————

Hmmm…and here I always thought farts rose.

You learn something new on this blog every day!

#155 Shawn Allen on 12.21.21 at 10:25 am

A question for monetary and banking experts

In Canada, bank notes in circulation (old fashioned paper cash) has increased by about 12% in the last 18 months from $100 billion to $112 billion.

https://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/banking-and-financial-statistics/bank-of-canada-assets-and-liabilities-weekly-formerly-b2/

This despite the fact that businesses and people are moving increasingly to electronic forms of payment.

People are holding less cash – check your wallet.

Who is holding all this cash and why? Thoughts?

#156 KLNR on 12.21.21 at 10:31 am

@ #148 RichardTO on 12.21.21 at 8:29 am
If your “job” can be done from home, it can be done from India or the Philippines for $10,000/year.

If your ‘job’ can be outsourced to India or an algo does it really matter where you were doing it from.
The amount of resentment to wfh on here is bizarre.

#157 Quintilian on 12.21.21 at 10:49 am

#155 Shawn Allen
“Who is holding all this cash and why? Thoughts?”

Underground economy growing.

#158 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.21.21 at 10:50 am

111 Dr V on 12.20.21 at 3:10 pm
99 Ponz – no picture of tornado devastation is “great”.
Please consider re-phrasing.

Maybe “I found the composition interesting” or “the setting is ironic” etc..
——————————
Agree.
I was thinking that, too.
I was in a rush, and did not have my artsy fartsy hat on.

#159 mike from mtl on 12.21.21 at 10:51 am

#150 Dogs Not Barking on 12.21.21 at 9:48 am

But not a peep. What is actually going on?
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Because you already have a clue: it does not fit the narrative.

#160 Dr V on 12.21.21 at 11:02 am

155 Shawn

$112B is about $3K for each canadian. Seems like a lot.
Even the businesses that are cash friendly – coffee shops, hair styling – have gone at least partially electronic.

I recall perhaps 20 years ago, it was about $40B.

Here are RBCs financial statements. $113B cash and “due from banks” but it does not separate the two.

https://www.rbc.com/investor-relations/_assets-custom/pdf/ar_2021_e.pdf

While there is no reserve requirement, I studied this a couple of years back and found 3% as a ballpark average, but that may have included 30 day t-bills and
banker acceptances.

Must be a few lumpy mattresses out there.

#161 Mattl on 12.21.21 at 11:03 am

#84 KLNR on 12.20.21 at 6:31 pm
@ #66 Annek on 12.20.21 at 5:38 pm
I retired recently from health care. I have been shocked to see so many young people at Costco, supermarkets, the malls during working hours. I often wonder if these are the “supposedly working “ from home types. I often have wondered how many hours that they actually worked per day, and bilked their employers for full time work.There are two types of people, those with an excellent work ethics, who work hard and are honest, and unfortunately those who will milk the system. I wonder about the percentage of the latter. These probably voted for T 2.

I mean, it’s just as easy to tell if your employees are getting their work done at home versus the office.
————————————————————-

Exactly, a certain amount of work needs to get done each week, month, year. Physically seeing your employee is not a useway of tracking productivity, no matter where they sit you need a way of tracking volume and quality of work.

That said I think the office will survive and I’m looking forward to hybrid models, and getting back in to see colleagues. But because we don’t know what staff are doing, that part is easy. What we are missing is the human stuff.

#162 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.21.21 at 11:08 am

126 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.20.21 at 9:56 pm
@#124 IHCTD9
“Sucks, but it shows (on my end) the degenerative situation in Canada when it comes to heavy industry. ”

+++

Yep.
The smug, laptop tapping, Zoomified bureaucrats don’t realize…..when the skilled tradesmen are gone because the entire industry has been outsourced…….

ALL that skill and knowledge….is gone…..and it will take decades to retrain kids back up…if ever.

I see it daily.
——————————-
I’ve mentioned that a few times already.
We always are talking about implementing the German apprenticeship system.
That system rewards the smartest and hardest working tradesmen.
And at the beginning, while you’re learning, you earn very little. You still go to school and learn all about bookkeeping and how to run a business.
The payoff comes at the master level, where you can run your own shop.

#163 DM in C on 12.21.21 at 11:09 am

VP for a Canadian tech company here — we all WFH and will, prob forever. Why waste good talent because they’re not within driving distance? Slack, Teams, Zoom, all enable remote work. Our employee satisfaction scores are through the roof, and we’ve grown 30% this year.

We also pay very well.

This is the new norm — micromanagers who have you see people at their computers to believe they’re working are passe. Wasting hours daily in a vehicle is ridiculous.

Oh, and I was interviewed, vetted and hired and still haven’t met anyone in person, including the CEO.

#164 Republic_of_Western_Canada on 12.21.21 at 11:15 am

God bless Donald Trump and Joe Manchin!!

Finally western culture has a chance of surviving. Support the people, not proggie Marxist radicals!

#165 the Jaguar on 12.21.21 at 11:17 am

@#151 Dharma Bum on 12.21.21 at 9:54 am
#21 The Jaguar
Gotta love it!
I’m heading back in early January to visit kiddo, Sunny and River.
This time, I didn’t buy a return air ticket. I’ll play it by ear. Why rush back to madness and lunacy?
Somehow it’s worked out that every time I’ve gone out there, it’s just when Ontario went nutso on restrictions. So, I got out under the wire and extended my freedom experience.
The poster boy for bad behaviour is a refreshing change for the submissive, bland, paranoid, overly compliant paradoxical fearfulness of spoiled Ontarians.
It’s good to be free. Oh, and SKIING
++++

Well Dharma Bum, as detailed by an observant BillyBob, (omg, justing mentioning his name in one of the Jaguar’s posts is setting off a tripwire, lol!) the weather is going to be cool during the holidays, but forecast to warm up a little in the new year.
A chinook could always materialize, and of course the sun makes all the difference. We don’t fret too much about a few weeks of cooler weather in southern Alberta. We just dress for it. And if you are surrounded by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, in front of a fire with kiddo, Sunny and River it will feel very warm indeed.

A big welcome back to your second home. It’s a great time to be alive and no better place to be than here.

#166 Yuus bin Haad on 12.21.21 at 11:22 am

Remember the good old days when you could catch a virus from just sitting on a public toilet?

#167 Mattl on 12.21.21 at 11:32 am

#125 millmech on 12.20.21 at 9:40 pm
#42 Mattl
What happens when things slow down, the only thing left to cut will be WFH, no moving to smaller cheaper locations as that already has been accomplished.
Now that companies are lean and have greater profits do you believe that when profits wane that they will not out source WFH to anywhere where it is cheaper.
It is easy to train call center people around the world to handle tech issues, we are a population of 36 million, there are cities on this planet with bigger populations than our whole country.
You can not tell me that the people in India, that we have outsourced our tech to are not thinking of getting an even bigger piece of the pie. We have outsourced our manufacturing and now our tech will be going and you will unknowingly be training your replacement.
The WFH people who protest about inferior work/products as to why it will not happen sound eerily familiar to the auto worker of the eighties.

—————————————————————-

You are about 2 decades behind. Most office work that can be replaced has been, by technology. The big admin teams and HR teams are gone, and have been for a while. Not sure what percentage of large corp uses over seas call centres, but my experience is at least half of the times I need to engage a call centre it is offshore. And guess what, those will be replaced, no millennial is going to want to talk on the phone when a quick AI/Chat session will cover it.

And WFH is hardly new, it was growing at 15% YOY. The pandemic only moved it forward.

And a lot of this new tech allows for WFH. Teams + a competent CRM like salesforce.com and you can collaborate with your staff in a way I would never would have thought possible a few years ago. Because I can collab and track productivity, I can hire anywhere in NA. A significant corporate advantage, imagine only being able to find staff willing to commute to Burnaby, or Mississauga. And that higher level of talent means I can run less staff to do the same job.

#168 George on 12.21.21 at 11:41 am

Why are so obsessed in getting back to the office? The pandemic has proven that work can still be done remotely and efficiently. The fact we can hire people in many geographical area is a bonus, especially with the war on talent out there in tech sector.

Let’s get with the times. This isn’t 1996.

#169 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.21.21 at 11:51 am

Right on topic:
If you like a glass of wine, while working from home, and fall down the stairs.
You now can claim worker’s comp.

https://theprovince.com/news/canada/air-canada-employee-who-fell-on-stairs-while-headed-to-kitchen-from-her-home-office-eligible-for-compensation-judge/wcm/bca75f23-f707-472d-a89e-a70bdba2db37

#170 zxcvbmn on 12.21.21 at 12:04 pm

knowing that vaccinated people can still spread Covid, I think it’s irresponsible that anyone who can work from home isn’t doing so. The same people shaming the unvaccinated are going out to restaurants and pretending their vaccine is 100% effective at preventing the spread. Don’t they care about Grandma? The false sense of security given by the vaccine is downright evil.

Society cannot shut down. The vaccine helps mitigates illness. Got a better idea? – Garth

#171 Dogs Not Barking on 12.21.21 at 12:10 pm

Only three weeks. Show some respect. – Garth
==========================

Not question of respect or disrespect. I’m concerned that we’re about to take another run at wrecking the economy and continue swinging the wrecking ball taken to the lives of our children.

Meanwhile, we don’t see any meaningful data on what’s actually going on. All I can see is a lot of mixing and blending of data into a “Spice Melange”.

The one spot that sticks out is the deaths, or more correctly, doesn’t stick out is the lack of reported deaths due to Omicron.

Again, not an issue of respect, but with the prime and delta variants the new deaths were already plain for all to see by three weeks.

When do we ring the all-clear bell? 4 weeks? 6 weeks?

I’m OK taking boosters until the cows come home, but if we do that the government needs to live up to it’s end of the bargain and take the chains off.

#172 Edmund J. Satterlee on 12.21.21 at 12:49 pm

@#151 Dharma, bad boy poster child Alberta currently has the harshest restrictions in Canada. At least they did before Quebec shut everything down. The media has tried hard to paint Kenny as the reckless leader of a death cult (seriously, his critics have used those words more than once) but other than last summer, when he lifted all restrictions, Alberta hasn’t been that far away from anyone else, and in fact has at times been more strict. The 4th wave hammered Alberta last fall because of the larger population of rural antivaxxers there, not the lack of restrictions. The hospital admissions back that up.

#173 Love_The_Cottage on 12.21.21 at 1:40 pm

#156 KLNR on 12.21.21 at 10:31 am
The amount of resentment to wfh on here is bizarre.
_____________
It is amusing. I’ve been working remotely (home, cottage, rented condo, where ever) full-time for 3 years and part-time for 22 years in IT. I’ve lost interest in explaining this is a long term trend just sped up by COVID – that information seems to be just ignored.

#174 Salmon on 12.21.21 at 1:50 pm

#150 Dogs Not Barking on 12.21.21 at 9:48 am
Let’s state this up front: I think everyone should be vaxxed. Not even a question about it. There my CYA statement should prevent me from getting Deleted.

And this is where I stir up the crap:

Anyone have any data on the actual Omicron Butcher’s Bill? The dogs aren’t barking at all on this.

I would assume that given the perpetual hair-on-fire state of the media we would be hearing breathless reports of deaths.

But not a peep. What is actually going on?

Only three weeks. Show some respect. – Garth

————–

Intersting.

Well, you see, what happens is the media fills up their TV time slot with a lot of nonsense, not bothering to ask the hard questions. They report on nonsense, stats, what someone said on twitter, and what the sponsors paid for.

A lot of sound, not much substance.

There are too many examples of really good science and data that has come out that should have been reported and celebrated. But it would have lowered the fear potentially – so, back in the drawer the data and science goes. Like if there is no other means for us to get info.

Tech is probably OK with this, because they are killing off the media outlets and soon will control information. Convenient.

What’s fascinating is that we know this. Ask around. Vast majority of people now know this whole thing seem mighty fishing, top to bottom.

#175 Audio Video on 12.21.21 at 1:53 pm

DELETED (Anti-vax)

#176 Salmon on 12.21.21 at 1:56 pm

#171 Dogs Not Barking

——-

Do me a favour DNB, stop looking a gift-horse in the mouth.

Omicron is here to scare the sheeple. For those who looked at some data and are a little informed (vast minority), it’s supposed to be a quiet feel-good holiday gift.

Quit talking about it so much, or the next variant mutation, Pi, will happen quickly and be much much more deadly to put you back in comfortable place of total fear.

Now, mask up, vax up and you’ll be safe.

#177 Faron on 12.21.21 at 2:13 pm

#165 the Jaguar on 12.21.21 at 11:17 am

as detailed by an observant BillyBob

:facepalm:

#178 Not Fooled on 12.21.21 at 2:31 pm

#88 KLNR on 12.20.21 at 6:37 pm
@ #65 Doug t on 12.20.21 at 5:30 pm
2 years of complete brainwashing (no antivax here fyi) and more to come – the world has changed in so many ways and alot of damage has been done to society’s psyche – people are lost and feel abandoned by useless and ineffective leaders – their trust in the “system” has been destroyed and they are feeling untethered. Change can be brutally hard – where we are heading is of course unknown but you better buckle up

Yup, change is coming.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/20/rightwingers-us-social-change-coming

***********

US mid-terms are coming and will be illuminating, but probably not the way you think.

https://theintercept.com/2021/11/15/democrats-voters-virginia-glenn-youngkin/

https://news.yahoo.com/judge-rules-loudoun-county-teen-131413442.html

Go woke, go broke.

#179 Shawn Allen on 12.21.21 at 2:53 pm

About the higher “Banknotes in Circulation”…

One thing I am pretty certain of. Most of the $112 billion in paper cash “notes in circulation” probably does not in fact circulate much at all. Some does but a good chunk may be sitting fairly idle in safes.

If you happen to make say $20k cash (And even more so if it is $100k) by some questionable means you might have some explaining to do if you try to deposit it at the bank. And you might have a hard time spending huge wads of paper cash these days. Therefore you might just put it in your safe and sit on it. It’s not a problem that I have faced.