Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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I'm first. It's good being first. What a bad sports night. My Habs and Coyotes both lost. It sucks. Also my Suns lost, but it's not all that bad as they lost to my Nets. My Indians won. My Diamondbacks only tied the Cubs. My Orioles had the day off. My Cavs better win tonight. I'm worried though. What if they keep on losing? They better win and my Suns better beat the Celtics.

March 24, 2017 @ 8:23 AM

James Edgar

Happy first weekend of the only two sports that actually matter. MotoGP and F1. Everything else is just kids games.


March 24, 2017 @ 8:38 AM

Rob J

US president with a 37 percent approval rating trying to get a health-care plan with 17 percent approval rammed through. (Ricky Gervais voice): "Think of that!"

March 24, 2017 @ 9:23 AM


all i need is to go to court today for my parking ticket - which was justifiably given to me, and hope they reduce the damn fine. it's on my mom's car to boot smh.

also, looking forward to some surgery next week for my eyes (not laser)


March 24, 2017 @ 9:33 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Just chiming in to say I've been thoroughly impressed by both the Leafs and Raptors lately. When Lowry returns, it's going to be fun.

It's been a long, long time since both the Leafs and Raptors were in the playoffs at the same time.

March 24, 2017 @ 9:35 AM

Al The Royal Pain

It's going to be a fun spring and summer for sports fans. Let's hope for a great Autumn as well.

March 24, 2017 @ 10:24 AM

Ryan G

One word to describe the woman helping me with my license plates at the Service Ontario office the other day: joyless. She was like a robotic shell of what was once a human being.

I believe her demeanor and disposition is a direct result of knowing you are guaranteed a job for life. Brain-numbing, but secure.

But I'm sure this woman would be totally different if i met her at say, a dinner party. I liken it to when you see those before and after videos of a dog at the humane society. Before it's adopted, it's sulking, sad and lonely in it's cage. After someone takes it home it's happy as hell, with wagging tail and a giant smile on it's face.

March 24, 2017 @ 10:26 AM

Smartest Person Here

@Ryan G

Having spent half my life in a province with privatized "registries" I'll comment on your observation. One can get their license sticker on a Sunday in some places in Alberta. What's the registry like? Well it's usually busy, there are signs that "asshole behaviour" won't be tolerated and the people are often robots and clearly tired of the abuse they receive.

I disagree that the snarky demeanor is because of a "job guaranteed for life". Maybe it's because she realizes she doesn't have options to get out of that job? And she definitely endures endless harassment & intimidation on an hourly basis.

March 24, 2017 @ 10:58 AM

Ryan G

@SPH, Yes i'm sure that's true too. Maybe a little from both column A and B.

Another job requiring a thick skin would be those parking enforcement officers. Those folks gotta be like Charlie Sheen in Platoon, sittin' in the jungle with a bunch of red ants down your back...on edge, ready for anything when they're in the middle of issuing a ticket, which is probably why they want to maximize the speed of that process. Cuz outta nowhere some super pissed off person could come flyin' into their face, and i'm sure many have been assaulted. But, that all comes with the territory - better to have a shitty (decent paying) job than no job at all i suppose.

March 24, 2017 @ 11:10 AM

Smartest Person Here

Back a few years ago I was doing a cyber security project at a major government institution in Alberta. I went outside to get fresh air and ended up talking to a woman who was a CSR. She told me that sometimes angry people who called in would threaten to sexually assault or even rape her. No doubt this happens elsewhere.

March 24, 2017 @ 11:19 AM


Leafs fans finally having a good season, good for them! I've enjoyed this first season of Raptor fandom for myself, looking forward to KLow's return.

CSRs deal with a lot of shit- I too would like a smile and conversation, but even if I get upset when they seem rude/standoffish - have to remember people have bad days, or worse. once someone told me to smile more, he said his wife mentioned i was so pretty and i should smile more - i told him off.

because that day my step cousin had died - i literally could not smile, smh.

March 24, 2017 @ 11:25 AM

Rob J

Canada is full of nice people who all hate each other. I'm going with this thesis till proven wrong.

March 24, 2017 @ 12:05 PM


The women who are behind the counter at the Service Ontario office near my home (yes, it is pretty close) have always been friendly, efficient, etc. in my experience. Having said that, I have seen their zero tolerance for B.S. and abuse. Good on them. I should note that it is a franchised office. That may make a difference.

To any person employed and paid by the taxpayer: If you don't like your job, for which a number of studies now have determined that you work fewer hours, are making up to 19% more than someone not on the public payroll, and take more days off, you can always quit and go get a job in the private sector and find out what life is like for the majority of workers in Canada.

(Exceptions made to the previous paragraph for those who deliver front line health care, who are under provincial government gun in just about every province. This obviously excludes the thousands of bureaucrats that the Ontario government has hired in that sector since 2003, while cutting back pretty much everything else, especially the laying off of thousands of nurses.)

March 24, 2017 @ 12:54 PM

Smartest Person Here


If you actually break down the numbers on pay you'll discover that the supposed higher wages are due to higher wages in low end front line jobs. So, a cleaner makes $16.73 per hour instead of $12.00 at a private company. Same for hours. They tend to work 37.5 hours versus 40 hours a week and because they're unionized they're less likely to be exploited. Myself, I don' t take issue to paying people at the bottom end of the spectrum a little bit more.

It's funny but my experience doing projects with the government is they always had lower rates with more complications. Further, any cyber security or IT gig I've seen in the government pays poorly. Most certainly the military pays poorly. And any government gig I've looked at tends to list their wages and pays poorly compared to the free market.

Perhaps you're just parroting "information' which was analyzed by folks with agendas? Stats are an art. Just like crime is down in your neighborhood too brother.

March 24, 2017 @ 1:28 PM

Al The Royal Pain

I'm willing to bet that the majority of those unhappy workers are a result of bad leadership and not wages or job satisfaction. It doesn't matter how mundane or repetitive a job is, if you have good bosses who can foster a good working environment, people will usually stick around, or worker harder...even for less.

The issue with a lot of these places is they promote from lower ranks (which isn't a bad thing), but you have to promote the right people for the right reasons, and often the wrong people are promoted for the wrong reasons (ie: tenure, favouritism, politics).

Compound that with the fact that they then fail to provide the proper training to make those people better leaders and you have unhappy workers.

March 24, 2017 @ 2:32 PM


nice to have meaningful hockey in the city of Toronto in March :)
lets keep it going Boys!

March 24, 2017 @ 3:16 PM


I've had the unfortunate need to use both Service Ontario and Service Canada over the past week. Both experiences were horrendous- Had to wait an hour and forty minutes at SC and an hour at SO. Every person I dealt with was robotic and gave me scripted answers without listening to what I needed from them. There was a sign that said "no cellphone use" but the woman serving me had no problem eating a granola bar as she was speaking to me.

How's your wife doing, Mike?

March 24, 2017 @ 3:56 PM


@smartest person here

I'm in accounting working in industry. If I wanted to go work for the CRA I could make more money, get more vacation and benefits. Everybody in the industry knows it. The reason why everyone doesn't just flock to the CRA is because A) people want a challenge, and B) if the CRA Is on your resume, everyone knows you took the easy way out and won't want to hire you. its toxic

I live stats... and the vast majority of government jobs are at least equal in pay to private industry when you consider salary, health care, pension benefits, vacation, sick days.

I'm also sure you're a totally independent observer with no agenda....

March 24, 2017 @ 4:09 PM

Rob J

Obamacare 1
Trumpcare 0

March 24, 2017 @ 4:39 PM

Smartest Person Here


So what's your point? It's not the workers fault the system is designed poorly. Do you blame the troops or blame the General when they lose the battle? Those staff are TOLD to use scripted answers like just Help Desk uses scripted answers when you call fore technical support.


Nope, no agenda here other than countering old white guy shill handed out by old white guys. And to clarify "old white guy" refers to those incessant whiners who forever spend their life bitching about shit they have little understanding off. Unfortunately it's illegal to arrest & detain them.

March 24, 2017 @ 4:42 PM


Here's my point.....
I agree that people who work with the public deal with harassment and assholes all the time. But if they're dealing with me and I'm not being an asshole or harassing them , why should I accept them treating me like crap? At Serv Ont they had customer comment cards but only in french. When i asked for an English one they told me they were out of them. Wonder why.

March 24, 2017 @ 5:08 PM

Smartest Person Here

Golly maybe it's because people aren't like light switches?

Hey Jillian, let me ask you a few questions. Have you ever had a bad day and brought it home? Maybe barked at your partner? Or, has your partner ever approached you for sex when you're not in the mood and he can't understand why you're not in the mood? And you think to yourself "I'm not a light switch".

Sounds to me like you think the world revolves around you. #Sorry.

March 24, 2017 @ 5:21 PM

Smartest Person Here


Who can't love this "Trumpcare" failure. It's another case of Trump narcissism. He's a lot like Kim Jong in NK, just he can't behead the people under him.

I'm enjoying watching this cluster fuck.

March 24, 2017 @ 5:38 PM


government jobs are not perfect - just amazingly cushy.

service ontario etc - i too love good conversations, and might even react the way jillian does -
but at the end of the day, they're just there to do their jobs. if they talked small talk to everyone,
might not be too efficient/effective!

March 24, 2017 @ 7:08 PM


Well, my Cavs won and my Cavs clinched first place so that's fantastic. They're going to repeat again this year. Unfortunately my Nets and Suns both lost. My Orioles only tied, but my Indians won again. Great about my Indians. Anyway, Leafs won't win the cup, Habs will. They will heat up just in time for the playoffs and win the cup.

March 25, 2017 @ 8:22 AM


Found Octopus Wants To Fight at the LCBO today! Woohoo!

March 25, 2017 @ 2:46 PM

Rob J


Did you experience a case of 'hot-legs' at all this past winter? For some reason, that anecdote still sticks out for me.

March 25, 2017 @ 2:50 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rob J

I did not! But there are two reasons why....

1. This was a mild winter. I can tell by my toes... they're always first to go numb. There were less than five days where I ended my ride with numb toes.

2. I learn from my mistakes. I made adjustments after the hot legs incident. For example, I don't abandon the layers until it's double digit temps. I'd rather been too warm than feel hot legs again.

March 25, 2017 @ 3:05 PM

Rob J

Definitely sounds like something you don't want more than once. As a podcast-listening walker, I certainly appreciated the milder winter.

March 25, 2017 @ 3:26 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rob J

It also let me set personal bests for KMs cycled in both January and February.

March 25, 2017 @ 3:32 PM



You ever think Buffalo's Josh Gorges regrets not coming to the Leafs because "they weren't good enough" and choosing the Sabres seeing where they sit in the standings?

March 25, 2017 @ 7:29 PM



You ever think Buffalo's Josh Gorges regrets not coming to the Leafs because "they weren't good enough" and choosing the Sabres seeing where they sit in the standings?

March 25, 2017 @ 7:29 PM


My Habs won. They're playing like a cup team. My Coyotes aren't though. Anyway, Habs won and Coyotes lost. My Cavs lost. I thought they clinched. They didn't. I'm so worried about my Cavs. What if they don't make it. My Orioles won. My Indians and Diamondbacks lost. Anyway, my Cavs have to do something. It's awful they are losing at the worst time.

March 26, 2017 @ 6:14 AM


TSN 1050 has dumped its late morning show, along with hosts Cauz and Wheeler. The 'replacement' 3 hours will now simply be extending the preceding and following shows by one hour each, with one hour of American syndicated Dan Patrick show in the middle, which apparently is already on their Hamilton station. I didn't listen to it much, but from what little I did hear, Cauz in particular seemed like he is an entertaining character who had fun -- in contrast to just about about everything else left on Toronto sports talk radio.
As Mike Richards described in his interview here a few weeks back, it seems that at some point about 2 years ago, Bell decided to throw in the towel on any effort to make it a worthwhile station and attract more listeners, while just barely keeping it going as cheaply as possible.

March 27, 2017 @ 12:17 AM


Well, my Nets won. That was a great game. My Suns lost though. That was not too good. My Cavs didn't play, but the Celtics won and so they are tied with my Cavs. I am really worried about my Cavs. Will they win again. They have to fix things and do it fast. My Orioles and Indians won. My Indians beat my Diamondbacks though.

March 27, 2017 @ 7:29 AM

Rick C in Oakville

The greed of Bell (and Rogers) for going after bars etc. with a huge rate increase on these customers for the sports packages they have, is I hope another nail in the coffin of these Oligarchic (if this is even a word but you get my jest) corporations.

I have a friend and her husband who run a small bowling alley with 2 TVs, and a small pub I frequent in my neighbourhood (maybe 3 TV's) with anywhere from 350-450 % increases in their Bell Satellite package. The friend has dumped Bell for Cogeco, as Sports is not a huge draw for their business, but the pub owner told me that he gets maybe 4-5 sports events a year to make some extra business mostly playoffs( not the Leafs lately), Super Bowl, and Grey Cup maybe. Regular sports games are just background noise for the Pub.

When you have limited competition and choices, this is what we get. Some how I remember from High School business class that there was a thing called the Combines Act which the government purported to have in its arsenal to squash any business take overs/mergers if it was going to stifle competition. Could be wrong.

March 27, 2017 @ 6:10 PM


The hell with Bell or Rogers. I have nothing to do with them. Primus is the way to go. Anyway, my Coyotes lost. Worst yet my Cavs lost and they lost really big. It's awful and LeBron is hurt. Maybe he'll be out for the season. What a fricken mess. They're slipping. I really really thought they could repeat, but kept slipping away. Why can't they do something. Well, I had to see the Bioped today. She said I have knee pain because I need new orthotics so I have to see my doctor on Friday to get another prescription. I had the casting today for new orthotics, but I have to get a prescription. No, my doctor can't just phone it in, he has to see me as well, that's the rules. Otherwise insurance won't pay anything.

March 28, 2017 @ 7:03 AM

The Voice of Reason

"Sounds to me like you think the world revolves around you."

The new title of the [redacted] Autobiography.

March 28, 2017 @ 8:23 AM


Grocery Gateway sucks !

March 28, 2017 @ 10:47 AM


You want to know the secret about Grocery Gateway. Sure, they suck if you order stuff to be delivered late in the day. Get your orders first thing in the morning, that helps. How about those Habs. Great game. They didn't do much until the third period though. How about Andre Marcov. He has as many points as Guy Lapointe now. Habs are winning the cup. I hope my Cavs can find a way to turn things around because right now they are in a big slump. I hope LeBron is okay though. My Suns and Nets both lost. That sucks. My Orioles and Diamondbacks won though, but my Indians lost.

March 29, 2017 @ 7:43 AM


Well, my Coyotes lost. That sucks. Anyway, my Orioles lost, but my Indians won. My Diamondbacks didn't play. Well, the Celtics lost and so that means my Cavs are back in first. They better find a way to win though. They have to do that. My trainer is away today. He went to Nashville with his family. I'll see him on Tuesday though. It saves me some money.

March 30, 2017 @ 7:24 AM

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