Embarrassed and Liberated at the [Can’t Even Utter the Word]


“I am a single mother, of a son who doesn’t even know a portion of his food comes from a food bank (or his clothes for the Sally Ann). I have only recently brought myself to be able to go a food bank, ashamed or something like shame. And then my worst fear: seeing someone I know there, the last time I was in. But then, shouldn’t there be comfort in that, in not being alone in this poverty? In recognizing faces there, and knowing I am not alone, and seeing there’s an employment issue in my town or province? The person I recognized went to MUN with me. I am university educated — no, not a useless arts degree, a business degree. I work, hard. I just can’t find a well-paying job in my field. Every time one is advertised, 1000 applicants apply, so I have a less than 1% chance to get it, or someone has the edge with their master’s degree (I can’t afford the time or money for more school, buried in student debt and raising a kid!). So I work in retail, for a man who makes me uncomfortable on the best of days. Every night when my son is sleeping, I check job ad apps, and curse myself to sleep, because there is no jobs in anything but retail, accounting, construction, and graphic design in this province! Of those 4 options, I have retail experience only. Minimum wage isn’t enough for rent and a child and food in this province. I wish politicians experienced life in my shoes, when they write policies and plans to make this a livable province. I wish wealthier people, or those with friends and family that can help them through hard times, lived through what i am living now, so they would quit judging. I had elderly parents, long dead now. I am terrified of the stigma of being poor and lazy falling off of me, unto my child. Have a heart, don’t judge people like me: we’re a reflection of the lack of jobs in our province as much as anything.” – Lucy



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This post was an anonymous submission to our Bull Horn or Restaurant Review website features.


  1. I left to take a job and never looked back. The prosperity elsewhere would knock your socks off.

  2. How about.. There are tons of jobs out there. To assume that a thousand people applied for a position is a completely negative stance(definitely not the case) and looking “online” is not being proactive and actually looking for a job.( how many resumes have you put out in the Last week?)
    Funny you dog retail, just about every place is selling something. One of my biggest regrets is going to that stupid university for 2 years( now that place is big business so many monkey degrees) I work retail and made 100200 dollars last year… You can go work retail at a furniture store and make 50-70 thousand easy( I know people who work in that industry and can’t get nobody to apply for jobs there)
    I see there are tons of entry level jobs at banks, put some time in and after a year or two you can potentially move up the corporate ladder….. Or you can look at the jobs online assuming you have no chance!

  3. A business school graduate who looks down on “useless Arts degrees” while saying don’t judge. I’m sorry for your situation all the same. A suggestion: apply to non-profits and arts organizations and don’t limit yourself to ‘the business world’. These can be rewarding sectors where people can make a living and a single mother might find a supportive, flexible culture – and business skills still apply.

  4. The answer for your situation is simple: Leave NL. There’s nothing here for anyone any longer except higher taxes and provincial debt.

    But, FWIW, not everyone who buys clothes at Sally-Ann does so because it’s cheaper. I shop there because i feel used clothing is better for the environment.

  5. This town is making it harder and harder to make ends meet- I was making more money back when I was 19 – I’m in my 30s now – Good luck to you. !

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