Northern News Services
Marcel Guibosche is the dishwasher at the Eskimo Inn. He just celebrated his first year anniversary on the job and looks forward to the next year.
Originally from Red Lake, Ont. Guibosche has lived and worked in Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver.
He's spent some time drifting from job-to-job, falling on and off income support.
He took some training in first aid and found himself with two job possibilities: one at a resort in eastern Ontario and the job at the Eskimo Inn.
"The one in Ontario was only a summer job and I the Great White North sounded like an adventure, so here I am," Guibosche said.
He's also trained as a line cook in the kitchen, but prefers the dishwashing because of the consistency of the work.
"It got confusing with every new chef that came in and wanting things done a different way," he said. "I'm comfortable with the job and I know what to expect every day."
He's had days where he was quite literally ready to throw in the towel, but friends encouraged him to stick with it.
"I stuck it out but they've all since left," he laughed. "I wish they would have taken their own advice."
His day starts at 8 a.m. by dressing in his kitchen whites, filling the machine with water and scrubbing any pots that were left soaking from the night before.
The dishes are sorted and he stocks the line with clean plates for the breakfast rush.
He enjoys the fast pace of the kitchen work and he says it makes the day go by very quickly.
"They run out of cutlery or glasses or the chefs need something right away...it gets pretty busy at times," he said. "I don't mind -- I'm helping out and I'm part of a team."
He says the team sticks together even off the job, with nights out and sharing holidays together.
"We've become like a surrogate family; we celebrated Christmas together, New Years ... it's nice because most of us can't go home," he said. "We pull together and I like that."
He enjoys the routine and the regular paycheque too.
"I was tired of the revolving door that I was a part of; looking for a job and going on welfare," he said. "For me it's all about pride."
"I've travelled so far and for too long to go back to that," he added.
He's thought many times about leaving the North and the dish pit, but the thought of going back is part of what spurs him on to stay.
"I'll go back as a success; I'll go back as a brand-new person," he says with a proud smile. "People will say, 'Marcel is different -- he's grown.'"
"I've grown and learned to deal with the day-to-day problems at work and on the job," he said. "I'm tired at the end of the day, but I'm tired because I worked -- instead of being tired of looking for work."
He offers some advice for those out of work: