Kerre McIvor: If you're educated, fit and well and not working, why not?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 27 May 2021, 2:07PM
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

Kerre McIvor: If you're educated, fit and well and not working, why not?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 27 May 2021, 2:07PM

Remember BBQ man?  Man, I wished we'd kept that clip. Our conversation is seared into my memory and those of you who heard it will have remembered it. 

Basically, he was off to the beach with his portable BBQ to spend a day there with his daughter, swimming, sunbathing and BBQ-ing because he could. 

He was on the bene - he wasn't going to go to work because he couldn't find work that paid him what he thought he was worth, and he thought we were all idiots for slaving away when we could be at the beach. 

Slaving away to look after ourselves - and people like him. 

He was utterly unrepentant and do you know what? He's probably not the one amongst us who will die of a heart attack. 

I remember a conversation I had with another young man, God, about twenty years ago. He had a university degree and was on the dole because he said no one would pay him what he was worth. 

I was incredulous - until you prove you CAN work, how do you show your worth? But he was adamant he wasn't going to work for minimum wage when he knew he was worth so much more than that. 

It’s an attitude I simply don't get.  But then I'm a peasant. I'm absolutely certain if I go back through my family tree, we were all toilers and hefters and hewers. 

No fannying around in draughty castles doing the embroidery - I would have been downstairs scrubbing coppers pots and having liberties taken by footmen. 

Working defines me, and I really don't care what it is I do. 

Whether it’s working as a house cleaner, in the local fish and chip shop, in restaurants or on the telly - I'll work. But are we the mad ones? 

I'm lucky that I enjoy what I do, but if you don't love coming to work, what is it that gets you up in the morning, out the door and through the grind? Especially if you have children. 

What keeps you going and stops you from pulling a BBQ man, saying to the kids let’s sleep in tomorrow.  You don't have to be at preschool at 7, sleep in, I'll make you breakfast when we wake up and then we're off to the beach for the day. 

If you're educated, fit and well and not working, why not? 

Is it that you have spent tens of thousands of dollars on your degree and don't see working just above minimum wage as a return upon your investment?

I'd love to get inside the psyche of the 122,871 people in this country who are job ready but have been off work for more than a year. 

I'm not talking about people who can't work, or people who have disabilities and would love to work but simply cannot. I'm talking about people who are fit and healthy and just simply won’t.