No job offers yet for mom 
who took her plight public

The unemployed mother of four who demonstrated in downtown George Town a week ago said she is getting plenty of attention but, so far, no solid jobs offers.

Karissa Cameron, 24, stood under the Clock Tower beside the Legislative Assembly on Thursday morning, 25 November, with a large placard saying she was a young mother of four who was out of work.

Since then, she has received several calls about jobs in the public and private sectors and has been to some interviews, but by the middle of this week had not yet been hired.

“I’ve gotten several phone calls since my story’s been in the news and in the Compass, but… so far, nothing definite – nobody’s given me a job,” she said this week.

However, she has been invited to interview for jobs and is hopeful that her public appeal will soon result in steady, full-time employment.

In the past, she has worked as a secretary, administrative assistant, receptionist and bussed tables at restaurants.

“I’ve been to interviews and have filled out application forms. The difference is now people are calling me about jobs. Some places are telling me they can’t take me because they are overstaffed right now, but they want to let me know that they have my paperwork on file so that if anything comes up, they’ll give me a call,” she said.

High unemployment rate for Caymanians

According to the figures stated in the annual Strategic Policy Statement, released in the Legislative Assembly on the same day Ms Cameron carried out her demonstration, Cayman’s overall unemployment rate for this financial year is 5.4 per cent. Although the report, citing statistics from the Economics and Statistics Office, does not give a breakdown of how many Caymanians are out of work this year, usually the unemployment rate for Caymanians is higher than the overall rate, which includes Caymanians and non-Caymanians. According to statistics for last year, the overall unemployment rate for 2009 was 6 per cent, which included 9.9 per cent of the Caymanian workforce, or 1,790 people, out of work,and 2.2 per cent of non-Caymanian workers – or 390 individuals – unemployed.

Ms Cameron, who said she is bringing up her children on her own since her husband left her and moved from Cayman, hopes that once she gets a job, she will be able to go back to school and study at night. She is considering studying law.

After standing in George Town during the morning rush hour last week with her sign, Ms Cameron abandoned her demonstration when she was approached by a representative of the Department of Employment Relations who told her the minister wanted to see her. However, the young mother said she did not see employment minister Rolston Anglin, but instead met with Director of Employment Relations Robert Whittaker and other officials from the department.

She said that meeting with the Department of Employment Relations was not her first. She had been to the department previously to try to find work after losing her job in September.

“I’ve been there several times before… When I went in this time, they pulled out all the stops telling me what they were doing. There were so many people in the room, I was overwhelmed,” she said. “At the end of the day, they couldn’t come up with any employment.”

Positive attention

Ms Cameron said in August she left a job in an inventory department of a local company – a position she had held for three years – to take up a job doing accounts for another company. When she was interviewed for that job, she said she told the company she had no experience or training in handling accounts, but she was offered the job anyway and told she would be trained. However, she was terminated after one month and has been looking for a job since then.

She said she felt she had been discriminated against in that job and had been “set up” to take a job she was not qualified for.

She is also disappointed that none of her local George Town MLAs nor the minister of employment had contacted her.

Her public display has garnered a lot of attention, most of which has been positive, Ms Cameron said.

“It has been extremely positive. My age group, my school friends, younger people, have been coming up to me to say they are very proud of me. They tell me ‘Don’t be afraid, when you stand out with that sign, you were standing up for other young mothers who don’t want to go out there’”, she said.

“It has empowered me. My self-esteem has gone through the roof. Now I know I can do anything,” she added.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. I KNEW there was a reason. This isn’t a sob story. This is her own fault. Lets recap this story, shall we.

    ….Cameron said in August she left a job in an inventory department of a local company ,a position she had held for three years , to take up a job doing accounts for another company. When she was interviewed for that job, she said she told the company she had no experience or training in handling accounts, but she was offered the job anyway and told she would be trained. However, she was terminated after one month and has been looking for a job since then.

    So, we have someone already with a job. Applies for a job she has NO EXPERIENCE IN, with 4 kids. Leaves a perfectly good job, and then complains when she can’t find another one. I’m not that smart. But no one in thier right mind would take that kind of risk. She had a job. She took a risk and lost. That’s life.
    Well, incase she doesnt’ know. There is a recession on. Jobs aren’t as easy to come by.

    Personally, and I hate to sound mean. She was a fool. And she’s experiencing ramifications from her foolish choices.

    Yet, she has the audacity to picket ‘CAYMANIAN mother of 4 out of work, no one will hire me’. SOMEONE DID HIRE YOU AND YOU QUIT!

    Who in thier right mind would take on a job, that they have no experience in, that meeds upper level education, or previous experience, as obviously doing accounts would need.
    I think anyone with half a brain, would realise, that’s most likely a failure going to happen. And most would not even try to approach that. No matter the money being offered.

    It’s no different than a NASA offering this lady a job as an astronaught. She tells them she has no experience being an astronught…But they tell her they will train her, but common sense says she may or may not catch on. what does she think COULD happen if she can’t do the job..durrrrrrr.

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  2. Yes she took a risk. But if the new job offered her more money and training in a professional field, she would have been a real fool for not taking the opportunity to further herself.

    It backfired on her and she needs a job now to feed her kids, not criticism on pass choices. Instead of being complacent of her situation she took action, an action which took courage on her part. Good for her. I hope she finds a job soon.

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  3. If you dont’ have kids, then taking a risk by going into a field you know nothing about. Is fine. Very little risk.

    If you have 4 kids, and no one to help you support them. You do not take risks like this. This isn’t hard to understand here.

    All the training in the world, isn’t going to help you, if you don’t or will never understand what your doing. That is the risk, you take when going into a job you have no experience in.
    Going into a field with no experience, with so much and so many people riding on you, if you fail. Is crazy.

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  4. Yes I totally agree, she needs sympathy. As a matter of fact, I am going to quit my job (I have four kids too, plus my wife works), and apply for a job that I have absolutely no experience in. I beleive I saw in the paper that RCIPS is hiring for a helicopter engineer. It pays good — alot more than I make now. I think they will hire me because I have been in a helicopter before so they will train me. Now, if you agree with that decision then consider it done and then I will stand out on the corner with a sign that says ‘Caymanian father of four out of work’. And before you jump all on this post, I’ll have you know that I have two college degrees!! Are we a society of dumb, dumber, dumbest? While I empathize with her, I will leave a bit of advice for her or anyone else thinking that’s the way to do it. WISE UP or WAKE UP! Times are too rough and uncertain to jeapordize the stability of your family — especially the little kids.

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  5. Dear Ms Cameron,

    Now that it is established that you Ms. Cameron are pursuing a position you are indeed qualified for; would you please have on hand a list of those companies that promised you a job as soon as they have a position open? We need to know the job position and the names of those Companies. Yes that is privy information in case we have any bureaucratic rebuttals in these forums. This is not just simply an issue of employment business BUT PERSONAL where every Caymanian and every mother, man, woman boy and girl and the future of our people is concerned. I would like for you Ms. Cameron to present the list to the Labor Office cc: Immigration Board, cc: Charman Work Permit Board, and also all news media, primarily the newspapers for them to appoint their investigative journalists to follow this case for us all to see the outcome.

    The public will be watching to determine if Ms. Cameron will be used as a scape goat for these insensitive employers to continue to abuse the Work Permit systems with deceptive advertising and we will further observe publicly how and if the Work Permit Board WILL GRANT WORK PERMITS FOR ANY OF THOSE POSITIONS PROMISED TO YOU.

    I am determined that this abuse and exploitation of Caymanians by our government and Corporate Cayman WILL CEASE AGAINST OUR PEOPLE

    Good luck, God Bless,

    Florence Goring-Nozza

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  6. All these people talking negatively about a situation they know nothing about. This is truely the Cayman I have come to know and detest from being born and raised here.

    Were you there when they released her from the accounting job? Do you know exactly why she was released? How do you know there was no bias against here there? How do you know she was trained properly as promised? How do you know the company did not decide to downsize after she started?

    All you know is that she was let go and thats all. Stop pretending to know the entire situation after reading a few lines in a article.

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  7. Wow, talk about missing the point ENTIRELY beenie.

    NO ONE is trying to guess why she was let go from the accounting company.

    What everyone is trying to point out, and you obviously missed it several times.

    She had a perfectly good job, worked there for 3 years. She quit that job, which they obviously were willing to hire her. For an unknown position in accounting.

    Are you following/getting it yet?

    Most people would not go into a job they know nothing about, with the promise of training. As I stated before, no matter how much training. She may have not gotten the hang of the job. Did she not think about the what ifs?
    Obviously not, or she would not have been in this situation in the first place.

    Reading comprehension. Sometimes, it’s a good thing.

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  8. My reading comprehension is fine.

    The point you are missing is that she does not need criticism right now or ridicule; somebody saying something like ‘Oh you fool, why you left your good job for? Thats what you get.’ Have a heart and show some decency towards a fellow human being who is obviously hurting right now.

    Yes she made a big mistake leaving a stable job. She now deserves to suffer indefinitely?

    Showing some compassion. Always a good thing.

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  9. No where is anyone stating that she should suffer indefinitely.

    But lets look at her way of going about getting a job. Sign. mid day. under the clock.

    I could pick apart how she picketed. But I won’t.

    But the problem most people are having with this story is, that she portrayed herself as the ‘unlucky CAYMANIAN woman that no one would hire’. do you not agree this is how she portrayed herself? *signage is a dead give away here, no argument needed.

    And the problem most people have with this story, is. When the truth is. She had a job, quit it for some foolish endeavor. So someone was willing to hire her, and she quit on them. Then says ‘no one will hire her’.

    It has nothing to do with compassion. Everyone is compassionate about joblessness. No one wants to see another suffer. But when you stab yourself in the eye and say ‘whoa is me, my eye hurts, give me another eye’ Who can say ‘awwww pooor person, it’s not your fault you stabbed yourself in the eye’.

    If this had been a mother of 4 who has never been given a chance at a job, i would be entirely on her side, shouting to the rooftops how this is absurd and wrong in her own country, that she cannot get a job.

    But the problem is, she had a stable job, and quit it. And now she wants a hand out due to her citizenship. That is absurd.

    No where in life is anything given to you. You must earn what you have. And take what you can get.

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  10. I think the point that a lot folks are trying to make is that in today’s economy it’s a good idea to stick with a good thing, but everyone has the choice to try and get ahead. You take risks to do this and you need to be prepared to live with the consequences if it doesn’t work out the way you expected. You can’t blame society, companies or the government for your own situation.

    I feel really bad for her but it was her choice to make a move during these rough times. Hopefully she’ll find something soon.

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  11. Ok Berd, i concede. I was merely trying to highlight that regardless of nationality, she is a human first that deserves some compassion and which one of us has not poked ourself in the eye at times.

    I agree that the signage was wrong and she cant just hope to get a job solely from being caymanian.

    I really dont feel so bad for her, its her children my heart goes out to.

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