RCMP need to stop dealing with mentally unstable victims

This past weekend, a close friend of mine disappeared off the face of the Earth. Well almost.

She was on the brink of suicide and had cut off all communication to the outside world. Cell phone, dead. Emails, no response. Facebook, no response, Skype, offline. Apartment, nobody.

A whole slew of problems, compounded with having a massive mortgage, being newly unemployed, unable to find a job, while living with a narcissistic parent. Long story short, someone ended up getting in touch with her, and decided it would be a good idea to call the police.

Soon, 2 RCMP officers were at her apartment. They entered and started asking her about the report that she was thinking of taking her life. Her mom, not having an advanced understanding of the English language, started freaking out and blaming her for doing illegal stuff online. While she refused to say anything, her mother asked the RCMP officers why they were there.

We got a call that your daughter wants to kill herself.

The mother smirked and said “Kill herself? I should be the one killing myself. Who does she think would care if she killed herself?”. The whole time, my friend was quiet and declined any accusations of looking to end her life. Meanwhile, the mother went on a whole sob story about how she’s been supporting her worthless daughter her whole life, etc, etc, how awful of a daughter she’s been “blessed with”, and how all her friends have amazing kids.

From what I know, none of this is true. Before becoming unemployed, the daughter worked a full-time job and did work on the side. She may not have always been there every hour of the day for her mother, because she was working all the time and giving all her salary to her mother. Of course, I am biased as a friend of the daughter, but I’ve known a lot about her work before this incident.

Grow up you piece of shit.

Anyways, one of the two RCMP officers turned to the daughter sitting still and quiet in the corner, and said something along the lines of “grow up you piece of shit” (emphasis on “piece of shit”) and stormed out. The officer was a tall Caucasian male with a rectangular face and short cut hair called Mehmer(?). She didn’t get a chance to get his badge number before he stormed out.

Now that the officers have left, all she got was jeer from her critical mother.

Really? You receive a call saying someone is contemplating suicide, you go to the apartment, and call someone who is already mentally unstable, with her whole body shaking uncontrollably, a “piece of shit”? What is wrong with you? What in the world is your problem? You became an RCMP to abuse and bully the weak? Someone needs to grow up, and it’s certainly not my friend.

I’ve come to believe police/RCMP officers in B.C either have zero training dealing with mentally unstable people, or they completely disregard the training they should have and let their emotions and hot-bloodedness take over (even with mentally stable people). For some incidents of the ridiculous acts of RCMP and VPD, read this (Robert Dziekanski tasered to death by RCMP)this (Asian man wrongfully beaten by VPD, oh an apology? Lovely, that fixes everything!), and a recent case in Yaletown (guy punched in the face by police). You can easily find more abuse incidents online. Police abuse cases really need to be looked at more seriously. First it’s punching people, abusing tasers, and now it’s giving a suicide victim more reason to kill herself? Wow.

Obviously, she is still alive at the moment, as I had the chance to hear this story, but she is still in a lot of emotional conflict and all the RCMP did was make it much much more difficult for her. Great job guys.

PS: She is in urgent need of moving to a new place, but she only has enough left (~$450 CAD) for a cheap/crappy apartment for 1 month. Please do contact me if you know of any places in the Vancouver/Burnaby area. Please remain confidential about the situation, thanks.

Things you should know about freelancing

I’ve noticed that being a freelancer generally brings a lot of interest among friends, family, and acquaintances. There are a couple questions that I’ve been asked so frequently that I’ve decided to answer them in a blog post. Whether you are someone who has lots of experience in your field and want to break into freelancing, or if you or someone you know is looking to begin freelancing to start a career with little experience, I hope some of the things I’ve learned will help you.

“Where do you find clients (or how do I start finding my first clients)?”

The majority of my clients come from referrals. Previous clients usually have connections who are in similar fields of work, or are starting new businesses. If their experience with you has been good, they will not hesitate to refer you. This is why establishing a good relationship with my clients has been a big focus in my work.

If you are just starting out and do not have previous clients to work as referrals, start by letting people know you are looking for freelance work. I generally do not like taking close friends/family as clients, but these are the people most willing to vouch for you as a person and a professional if you do not have existing clients.  Continue reading

The cost of underselling

Some people who have worked with me or have a closer relationship with me will know that I have been working 18~24 hour days for the last few years. 8 of those hours have been at a full-time job, or doing freelance work while in class. Ever since I left school, it’s been 8 hours at a day job, with 10~16 hours of freelance right after.

During this time, I have had the fortune to establish great relationships with some great people. On a few occasions, these relationships have forced me to overcome my anxiety when it comes to public speaking, and have an audience of 200+ listen about my (boring) work and (faulty) advice. Yet somehow, the confidence I established by producing consistent and high quality results for clients have failed to shine through my interviews for full-time positions. I have been massively underselling myself. Continue reading