Day 346 - Dave

Day 346 - Dave (4th person I approached)
December 12, 2014 - My secret weapon of hitting up busy lunch spots has, on occasion, worked against me. Everyone tells me they are too busy eating before heading back to work. One gent told me he only had ten minutes to finish his lunch. I suggested that we could chat in about five minutes. He replied,

“And that doesn’t include having a smoke.” Still, everyone who declined chatting, said my project sounded interesting and wished me good luck.


I caught Dave literally finishing his lunch. I said ‘hello’ just as he put the last piece of his sandwich into his mouth. He explained he was grabbing a bite to eat before heading to a meeting, and said he’d be happy to chat as long as it didn't take too long. Today was his last day working before breaking for his Christmas holidays. We joked about how this can seem like the longest day of the week, the one before vacation.


Dave was born in South Porcupine, on the eastern shore of Porcupine Lake. It was originally founded as an independent townsite for mining prospectors. It's now a suburb of Timmins, in Ontario. He has one younger sister.

“My father was a mining engineer. We moved around to several smaller mining towns for his work,” Dave told me. As a child, Dave spent time in various provinces, the Northwest Territories, and the high arctic (Nunavut). The family also spent two years living in Greenland. 


“We were home schooled when we were in Greenland,” he told me.

“I was eight years old when we lived there. Greenland at the time was under the rule of Denmark. With living in a fly in and fly out location, we made a number of trips to Copenhagen.” The rest of his schooling, both elementary and high-school, was spent between Trail and Kimberley, in BC (British Columbia, Canada).

“I did well in school, but I never really liked it. I participated in the sports activities that were offered. Once you were pigeon-holed into a particular group or type, that was it. You could never break out of it,” he said.


“I graduated and then went straight to UBC (University of British Columbia). I wanted to be an Engineer, or so I thought. I headed to school with that intention, going directly into the Engineering faculty,” he said. Dave told me it was a culture shock.

“It was my first time living away from home. It’s not like today, back then, there was no method of introduction or orientation. My son is in post-secondary education right now, and he has had a much better experience than I had when I started at university. The school itself was larger than my home town. It was overwhelming.” Dave left UBC after his first year. 


“I left Engineering and quit school. I decided it just wasn’t for me. I headed to Australia, and went travelling for a while.” One summer, Dave had a job in a mining project located at the magnetic north pole, in the Canadian Arctic.

“My father was the mine boss, and I was underground, working in the mine. It was an incredibly well-paying job. I made a lot of money that summer. I made enough money to be able to live in Vancouver for a year,” he said.

“I took some courses at Capilano (then still a college). Mostly business and business administration courses." 


"I went to BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology) and took an Occupational Health course. I’ve been working in that field pretty much for the rest of my working life,” he said. Dave works for a large regional health authority, ensuring delivery of services to thousands of regional employees. His job involves planning and preparedness.

“In Occupational Health, you need to be ready at all times. You can’t be reactionary, it requires a proactive approach,” he said.


Dave and his wife have been married for twenty-four years.

“My wife is a nurse. That’s purely by coincidence. We have one son, who as I said, is in his post-secondary education right now,” Dave told me. I asked what his son was pursuing in school. Dave told me he's studying film and television production at BCIT.

“He’s looking at getting into a behind the camera position. I think he’ll be going into post-production, editing film.” 


I had mentioned to Dave about my presentation in October at TEDxRenfrewCollingwood.

“My son was there. He was one of the camera people, filming,” Dave said. I asked him what his son thought of TEDx.

“He said it was okay. But there was no one famous there.” #notastranger