Day 360 - Brian (1st person I approached)
December 26, 2014 - It can be challenging enough some days to get someone, a stranger, to chat with me. It’s all the more difficult when there’s a television camera off in the distance recording the experience. Or at least, that’s been the anticipated experience. I guess it’s all in the pitch, and having done this for almost a full year now, I think I’m close to perfecting it!
Steve, the cameraman was shooting some footage (it’s called B roll in the world of television and film) of me walking around looking for today’s story. Steve suggested I walk towards ‘the guy with the black coat there’ as we both spotted Brian walking towards us. Steve added ‘if you want to talk to him, don’t let me stop you, I’ll just keep rolling,’ and that’s exactly what happened. Of course the pitch is a unique one in this situation. First thing is to find someone who will take the time to chat with me for the project. Then they have to let me ask them questions, be filmed while we chat, and let me take a photograph of them. It ends after they're interviewed by Alex, the reporter covering the story for the news. Once I explained all of that to Brian, he simply said
“Sure, okay.” A most pleasant surprise!
Brian was born here in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC).
“I was born at Grace Hospital, which is Women’s and Children’s Hospital now,” said Brian. He has one brother, four years older.
“We got along as kids, and still get along. We’re pretty close, still good friends, yeah.” The family lived in East Vancouver until Brian was nine years old.
"We moved to Surrey. I don’t know why, other than it was my parent's decision. I don’t remember having any difficulty making the transition. At nine years old, I was still young enough to not be bothered by moving. I don’t know about my brother. I imagine he didn’t have any problems with the move either. He wasn’t in high-school yet. That might have made it more difficult,” said Brian.
“My favourite subject in school? Well, that would have to be PE (physical education). I loved hockey. I played a lot of street hockey as a kid. You don’t see so much of that anymore. Kids are indoors playing video games. And parents are too afraid to let the kids be outside for too long,” he said. We spoke about how as a kid, it used to be you went out and knew to come home when the street lights came on. Times are changing.
“I graduated from high-school in Surrey. Then I went straight to BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology) at seventeen,” he said.
“I went into the Power and Process Engineering Program. It’s how to manage the day to day running of industrial plants. Operating the systems that keep everything going, like the heating and air-conditioning,” said Brian. He was at BCIT for two years, getting his Certified Power Engineer diploma. He started working immediately after graduating.
“I started my job right away. I got hired on with a mining company. The diploma got me in the door, but I learned so much more actually doing the job. I did some more courses along the way, like Excel courses and things. But I learned more by being hands-on, in the job. I was with that company for seven years,” he told me.
“I got laid off. I didn’t see that coming at all. They laid-off almost seventy percent of the employees. There was a down turn in the industry. I had about two months notice.”
Brian used that time to his advantage, applying for other jobs.
“I was actually on vacation when my last day with (the mining company) happened. I had to use up my time-off owing, so took the last week off. I finished work on the Friday and started my new job on the Monday. I had no down time at all. I was very fortunate,” he said, with a content smile.
Brian works at a large public venue downtown, looking after the heating and cooling systems.
“I’ve been there for six years now,” he told me. Brian considers himself fortunate to have only had two jobs since graduating from college.
"I’ve been lucky, only having two jobs. And I like what I’m doing as well.”
“A coworker volunteered to work my shift on Christmas day which was great. I spent the day with my wife and daughter,” he said, again smiling.
“We’ve been married for two years. We met through online dating.” Brian and his wife Antonietta, just had their first child, a daughter, Juliana one month ago.
“We went to my wife’s family, my in-law’s, for Christmas Eve and had a nice evening there. And we spent time on Christmas Day with my parent’s and our family. There must have been fifty people at the house,” he said. I asked if it seemed like a nice break to be back at work, after all the family time.
“No not really. I like time off, and especially time with my family.”
“Christmas is all about family for me, spending time together. It’s not about the presents,” he said. This year was particularly special, with a new daughter to celebrate as well.
“Next year will be different, she’ll be walking!” he exclaimed. As for plans for the new year?
“I’m going to spend some time getting used to the idea of being a father,” said Brian. I laughed and suggested that could take maybe fifteen or twenty years. #notastranger