Then Eaton's went bankrupt and my father's career went kaput. Having been laid off twice myself, I can imagine how devastating and demoralising it must've been to start all over again, being the primary source of income for a wife and two kids at home.
But my dad did it. He took short-term, low-paying jobs from family friends and just got on with it. My parents never discussed the state of their finances with us. They protected us from the stress.
I remember when my dad started driving buses. He would have been older than the average driver. He had middle management written all over him. But he enjoyed the change of scene, the lack of office politics.
It wasn't long before he was promoted into an office role, but he's kept that respect he had for the people dealing on the front lines of public transit, and it shows. His drivers adore him. They buy him Christmas presents and respond to the way he treats them: as if they are doing an important job.
Because they are. All the service people in the trenches of society deserve our respect and gratitude for what they do to make our lives easier. For getting us where we need to go.
So reading about these Conservative politicians in Alberta recently laughing at Amarjeet Sohi's former job just angers me and saddens me at the same time. None of us are too good for honest, hard work. It's nothing to snigger over. Maybe these elitist politicians need a dose of reality to remember that.