Kucharuk: Fair Share silence is unfair

The Desk of the Green-Eyed Girl

Guess what? We don’t have to agree with each other. We simply have to respectfully agree to disagree. That is what I am writing about today. When I disagree with someone, it does not mean that I dislike them, it does not mean that I wish any ill-will upon anyone. It simply means that I disagree and that I have a different perspective.

Last week I broke my personal golden rule and commented on a social media site where I disagreed with the status quo. Surprisingly, it led to strangers calling me bad names (yes, really bad names which were then deleted by the moderator). Chalk that one up to a lapse in judgment. Now I am going to have to roll back my sign that says, “Number of Days since I was called a bad name on social media” to zero. Note: The comment was about a situation in a Lego store — a LEGO store! Isn’t there some kind of rule where you can’t speak about LEGO and use profanity at the same time? Unless of course you step on a small piece hidden in the carpet, you are allowed to swear when that happens.

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Okay, you ready? Here goes.

I disagree with the manner in which the recent and ongoing Fair Share negotiation information has been shared within our region (Judy ducks her head down waiting for sky to fall).

I feel (therapists tell you to start a difficult discussion with how it makes you feel) that we could have benefited from more updates and information throughout this process.

I will tell you why.

When we don’t have information, we tend to come up with our own scenarios and outcomes and oftentimes those are incorrect.

We fear the unknown and that fear begins to monger itself.

We begin to make assumptions.

In the airline industry, they are told to keep passengers constantly up to date. Even if there is no news to share about a delay or weather situation, they still are encouraged to provide an update saying exactly that. This cycle repeats itself until the situation is resolved or there is a known outcome.

They do this because if no information is provided, passengers are left to worry and wonder.

At the dentist’s office, my dentist is always chatting with me, telling me exactly what he is doing at any given moment. Probably because left to my own imagination (which is pretty graphic), I would imagine all sorts of horrific things.

Reassurance is a beautiful thing. Information can provide that reassurance.

The same scenario has occurred during the Fair Share Negotiations happening in the South Peace Region. Without the benefit of an update throughout the process (other than the “we are not able to comment”), we have been left to our imaginations. Contrast that with the massive amount of information coming from the North Peace, we begin to worry and question.

I certainly have worried and questioned. I worried about a lot of things. I even had some sleepless nights that I couldn’t blame on a hot flash!

It is really difficult to trust in a process.

It is not because we don’t trust our elected officials; it is because we don’t know what is going on. We feel uninformed. We have so many unanswered questions, which lead to other questions and worries and worry eating (that might be just me).

Do you remember practicing the “trust fall” when you were in school? It is when someone stands behind the other and is trusted to catch them when they cross their arms and fall back.

Trust works both ways. We need to trust you to make the right decisions on our behalf, but you need to trust us enough to share the burden.

On May 1, I read a tweet by CBC that said that the negotiations had not been completed by the April 30th deadline, but that the region had received the full amount for 2015.

Whew! Thank goodness!

I felt like a weight had been lifted from me and I can only imagine how the entire region felt after hearing the news.

We are craving information right now. We are looking for reassurances. We want to know that “everything is going to be okay” and that our region is “examining any and all outcomes and coming up with a contingency.”

I compare this to my anticipatory worry system that I have in place when my children travel out of country.  I need to know how concerned I should be at any given moment.  I need to know what kind of decisions I need to make based on the future of my community.

We are pretty darn smart in the Peace Country. We understand that we might have to make some concessions in the future because we might receive less from the renegotiated Fair Share agreement. Tell us what you are thinking; let us know what the process is so we understand; let us assist you with this burden of worry. We might be able to help, you never know!

I say this respectfully.

We are all in this together.


— Judy Kucharuk is a lover of sarcasm, witty people and footnotes. You can follow her blog at www.judykucharuk.com and find out why she celebrates Naked Tuesday’s. She is also known as Anxiety Girl and Jump to Conclusion girl and even owns her own red satin cape! Follow her on twitter @judylaine

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