I just got home from a trifling day at work. When I got in my driveway, I was greeted by a note strategically stuffed in-between the door-jam, where no one could miss it. I picked it up and read the cryptic message scribed on it: “Call me, I need to talk to you: Dan.” Well, I know of four Dan’s in my little conner of the world, which one could it be? So, further investigation is needed to track down the mystery Dan. I looked at the handwriting, the type of paper and the location from where it was place–it all pointed to Dan from the Justice Institute in Vancouver. I was correct!
So Dan called me on the Cell phone checking if I was home or not because he wanted to pop over really quickly to talk about something that was on his mind. In the past, work is mostly what’s on Dan’s mind, so I kind of figured that that was what he was going to talk to me about, and again I was correct because as Dan knocked on my door, and I let him inside, he went straight into his pitch–regarding work! So me and Dan sat down in my living room ready to talk shop…..
As Dan talked, he was clearly upset about a few things. He was concerned that we, meaning most of the Criminology students, were not receptive to some of the programs that are being offered through the employment placement programs listed by the College. I thought about that for a few minutes because I had thought about it too, working through one of the many programs, but I really never got motivated enough to actually sign up for one. So I told Dan that we should go on-line and check out the net to see what is offered right now. A few clicks later we were looking the main page of the employment section of the College’s web site. All I saw were ads for “help-wanted” work for assistances, nothing really too enticing for my blood, or anyone who was in upper-level studies. So Dan pointed to one ad that said, “Looking for students who are interested in community policing and security for a company that does crime prevention in a local Mall…” I laughed, “that’s for security Guards…. not Criminologist!”
What Dan didn’t get, was that for most of us, our passion is in helping people, not policing or protecting someone’s property during the dead of night. We are academics who have very high values–not for cheap labour, or workers that can read and write–although I think every employer wishes they could have a 4th year student for $8:00 per hour? For myself, when I was doing the undergrad gig, I was volunteering in Corrections (the prisons) and doing advocacy work in the Courts, not walking around with a billy-club and flash light for $8:00 p/hr. I was also helping graduate students with their research papers, so I too could one day step into the research and development arena and change the world when I graduate.
Poor Dan just doesn’t get it. That is why I’m typing this out on the web in my Blog because most business people don’t get it either. There are some disciplines that are totally run on passion, i.e., for the love of doing it. I see helping people as a gift, not a privilege. I can help people more by spreading knowledge and understanding than I could by running factories and mines. I work between governments and people, dealing with a system that is so complicated that you need four years of University just to cut through the text. Not everyone can do that; there is not enough people to fill the need. Maybe my friend Dan will see what I’m talking about once I graduate and start my journey through the systems within our society? Maybe I might be practising restorative justice on Dan because he needs help, or is dealing people who are in need?