Imagine the Consequences… If Only THEY Knew!

by Lyne des Roberts alias La Dame dragon

Finally, Jenn and I managed to get together for that “celebration” drink yesterday… I really enjoyed our time together although it was pure madness in the weather department! Sunny wall-to-wall, then five minutes later, pouring rain! Indeed we cannot really plan an entire evening on a patio this summer without occasional tropical rain… Oh well… we are Canadians and we are tough, aren’t we?

We ended up at Heart and Crown, a popular Irish Pub in the Byward Market… I really enjoy going out with my students: I teach them French and about my culture, in return I learn alot from them… For instance, yesterday, Jenn told me she would “teach” me a little bit more about Irish traditions and customs. Then she showed me the symbol on our place mats and I realized she was wearing a gold ring with the exact same design. She explained to me that, if you were wearing it with the tip of the heart towards you, it meant your heart was taken and you were not available… on the other hand, if you were wearing it with the heart pointing to the world, it meant you were indeed available and open to meeting someone. I thought it was very sweet and subtle at the same time! I went to bed last night knowing I had learned something new…

That being said, we still have not heard anything regarding Dave’s appeal… He filed his request last Wednesday, consequently tomorrow there will be a follow-up! We cannot let these people breathe for too long, otherwise they settle in their bureaucratic ways and then, we do not hear from them in weeks, even months! We already lost more than six months, enough is enough! He cannot afford to stretch this situation any longer… and there is nothing like pressuring for answers to keep people moving on issues! When it comes down to harassment (if you do not harass bureaucrats, you will never see the end of anything! It is deplorable, but there are no other ways… unless you are ready to wait forever!), I am a pro! And, honestly, I am fed up with this whole story… I only want to see it solved, so we can move on and prepare him for his oral test… Should not everything be solved to our satisfaction and should it become a little ugly, it is comforting to know his directorate fully supports him! However, I doubt anyone involved will take the risk of seeing this whole story become known on a large scale…

Speaking of spreading… Imagine for a second what would happen if the candidates who took the written test between June 2 and June 13, and missed their targeted level by one or four answers (which means they will have to re-write soon!) knew about the truth???

In a previous post, I had pointed out the discrepancy between the cut-off scores of the new written test (65 questions) before and after June 16. Since the new test came in effect June 2, we are talking about only two weeks!!! During that short period, candidates needed 51 good answers in order to get their C… then, candidates who wrote the very same test a bit later (on or after the 16th) needed 47 good answers to get the same level… Janet, who took the exam during that “floating” period got her C with 52 good answers: that was close! Imagine she would have had 50 good answers… she would have failed, right? But, on the 16th or after, she would have succeeded with the same 50 good answers. I do not know how many people write SLE tests each week… Normally, a testing room holds 40 people and there are tests each working day (in many different locations)… How many people took the written test between June 2 and June 16? A lot!!! And… how many missed their levels by 4 answers??? Just imagine if they knew about it… because of course, it was not publicized… it came to my knowledge because I happened to know a couple of individuals who were tested during those two weeks and after…

When I started this blog, I was not anticipating much traffic since I was writing about issues that concerned only a very small proportion of people (mostly located in the NCR area)… I was amazed when I found out it actually generated regular traffic. What suprised me the most was the terms used in search engines: obviously these people were looking for legitimate information regarding SLE tests in the Public Service of Canada (and they landed here instead!)… I could not figure out why! I always assumed people about to go on second language training were provided with some sort of package containing all the info they needed and all the useful links to the Commission website… NOPE! I was told everyone is more or less left in the dark and has to find information by “googling” on the net. In French we call this le système D for DÉBROUILLE-TOI! (or DÉMERDE-TOI!)… Incroyable, mais vrai!

One would think transparency is required so that people can be well informed before they go on training… Well… I thought so… I know why Jenn had to wait for almost three weeks before she got her results… The Commission was probably wavering about “should we change or not the cut-off scores on the written exam? If so… how many good answers?…”

Okay, they finally modified the pass marks… but, what about the ones who failed during the period these bureaucrats were pondering upon what to do and how to do it? Of course, the cut-off scores between June 2 and June 16 have been eradicated from the Commission’s website (if they ever were posted!)… and who will go back there regularly, unless it is publicly known the cut-off marks are changed from time to time? No one!… This is probably why the decision-makers just keep sweeping everything that could be alarming under the carpet… much easier to deal with, don’t you think?

This blog moved here, if you ever are interested in reading more on those issues…

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