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Michael Jesso’s Fabulous, Derailed

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In the last year one of the most talked about Facebook pages in our region has to be Fort McMurray Everything Goes.  With a general audience of over 30,000 people, I have to admit that even I had to ask to join to see what all the fuss is about.  You don’t have to be a member of this page for very long before you figure out just what it’s all about.  You’ll find the majority of posts are questions that a simple Google search could answer for you in seconds, but there seems to be a growing number of people that forget how to use the rest of the Internet once they are logged into the community of Facebook. It has gotten so bad that you have to wonder how lonely people are, sitting at home climbing the walls wondering what the number to Pizza Prince is. You would swear it was a 411 service with 30,000 operators.  While I will admit some of the posts are good, like lost dogs, found dogs, great house painters, the odd free treadmill from someone who either lost weight and wants to pay it forward Oprah style, or just needed to get rid of the really big clothes rack in the middle of the room, to some really bizarre posts such as the people who sell their used bras. I still don’t know if this a legitimate thing where ladies by used bras, or if this is where Jenji Kohan got the idea for Piper Chapman’s new underwear venture on Orange Is The New Black. Either way it’s quite gross. I don’t care how much Tide with Bleach is used. 

Speaking of cleanliness, there are an alarming number of people selling baked goods and hot meals right out of their home kitchen. Never mind the Health Board or the Food Safe Handling guide, who needs a commercial stainless steel kitchen anyway when you can get a deal on Curry Chicken and Dundee Cake. On any given day of the week it’s like a bake sale gone awry.  While the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has their bylaw officers cracking down on these illegal kitchens with fines in the thousands, don’t fret, Fort McMurray Everything Goes has you covered! You can just log on and ask if the Emerg is busy.  I’m not kidding. That question is asked on a daily bases, usually met with 80 comments of how it’s not an emergency if you have to ask.  (Side note, I recently went to the Emerg with a genuine emergency. I had to wait 10 minutes for a bed to come available. While waiting, I looked around the waiting room and 75% of the people in there had Tim Hortons coffee cups in their hands, and I overheard one little girl who must have been five or six say to her mother, “Mommmmm, Moooommmm, you said if I came to the doctor you would get me McDonald’s. It’s not my fault he’s talking so long, can we go get the McDonald’s now?”  which turned into a crying fit after that. The mom continued sipping her coffee.  How long did they wait in the drive-thru before attending this emergency? Can you imagine if the ambulance drivers decided to make a quick detour for Double Doubles and Timbits on the way to the hospital? I guess we would all hear about it on Everything Goes!) 

There are a number of people that think it’s fine to post pictures and complain about everything. Sure there are some legit ones like “WHO HIT MY CAR AT THE STONEY CREEK PARKING LOT?” (myself included) but the number of people complaining about their nails, their Chinese food, their pizza, the person who served them at Sobeys, leaves you wondering just how unhappy these people are in their life and that’s when I hit the HIDE button for the site.  No one cares that you think you got over-charged for touton dough. The “I’m just warning people” is now just lost in the archaic made up fake accounts that seem to dominate the whole site as of late. Not only is it made up of attention-starved people sitting behind a computer but it’s now been made worse by a number of people who have made up fake accounts to troll even harder. One recent post by a fake account claiming to be an art teacher at Father Mercredi sent the Catholic School board into a spin. A post claiming a teacher was quitting because of a student’s art project featuring their parents cocaine habit grabbed the attention of a lot of people including the legal department.   The people on this site have to remember that just because you think you are anonymous by making a fake account, the team at Facebook can quickly identify where and what IP address the account was set up, so your anonymity can quickly be found when you slander and defame a school board.

With the current rental markets all over the place there are a number of alarming trends forming on this site by both landlords and tenants. With people moving, breaking leases, promising to pay, half filled out leases and no leases, people really need to wise up and protect themselves.   For anyone renting a room in someone’s house you have no rights.  The Innkeepers Act does not pertain to you. If you gave the person a damage deposit for a room rental and you aren’t getting it back the only place for you in small claims court.  There are no 30 days for anything, there can be no lease between you, you are simply a paying guest in their house. If you want to leave, leave; if they want you to leave, you have to leave. It’s that simple.  If you are renting a home, apartment, mobile home, or basement suite, then you must have a fully filled-out lease.  If something doesn’t pertain to you on that lease just don’t leave it blank; acknowledge and initial any changes that you make. Again, leave nothing blank, I don’t care how nice you are to each other, how long you have known each other, I don’t care if it’s your sister or brother, make sure your paperwork is in order. Also make sure the walk-through papers are properly filled out and signed.  If you point out something and they say, “Oh that’s too small. I’ll never charge you for that,” fill it in anyway. It’s your right just as much as it is theirs.  Take photos of the unit before you move in. Get the landlord in the photo if you can. Believe me, when it all goes south and someone is trying to pull the wool over the other’s eyes, this will help you to no end.

There are a couple of great resources for renting, one being for general information and for when things really go south. Remember the laws in Alberta favour the landlord so it’s up to you to follow the rules. One post recently on Everything Goes had a guy telling people it was ok to rack up unpaid rent and do a midnight move.  This is false, using the Service Alberta RTDS site a landlord can get a judgement and garnish your future wages for any rent or damage you cause, so be careful where you get your online advice.
On that note I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and taking advantage of all Fort McMurray has to offer. 

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