“I was stuck in a rut. I quit,” says Alexandre Nadeau, who gave up his job as a plumber to go work for the Chillionaires collective, turning its back on the clockwork 9-to-5 job.
“We want to ‘work’. We work all the time, but ‘chillingly’.” “We have eight companies in real estate, events and so on,” explains Alexandre Nadeau, who would not go back to his old life for anything in the world.
“I gave up welding after 15 years of working in forestry because I kind of liked being cooped up in a factory,” says Nelson Grant, of the Opoua Forest Workers Cooperative, at the Migrant Resource Center in Haute-Gaspésie.
These workers who gave up their jobs are part of Isabel Maréchal's new documentary, The big resignationwho went to the four corners of Quebec to meet people who resigned because they couldn't take it anymore.
While the education strike has paralyzed Quebec, the documentary unveils the emotional plight of a teacher, who left the world of education because she felt crushed by the weight of the system.
“Suffocated by their work”
During the pandemic, one in four Quebecers were considering changing jobs. To understand this quiet abandonment, Isabelle Maréchal picked up the microphone and continued the thinking that began in her previous documentary, Middle class means.
“Around me, I saw many people suffocating because of their work,” the intellectual says in an interview with Newspaper.
“To what extent should your job take precedence over every aspect of your life?” asks the star host and businesswoman.
Isabelle Maréchal wanted to understand what made Quebecers turn their backs on their former careers.
Mario Beauregard / QMI Agency
Factory worker, teacher, nurse… Isabelle Marechal took the time to listen to understand the reasons that prompted them to take action. It has given a voice to others who have chosen the co-operative model to breathe new life into a world of work eroded by the culture of speed.
“It's an exaggeration to say 'I'm quitting' because work is the center of our lives,” sums up Isabelle Maréchal, who has been working in business since she was 16 years old.
In his documentary, we feel the dull anxiety that weakens some people's health. The less meaning they give to their work, the longer the rubber band will stretch until it snaps.
Because while there are still many who have passion for their work, others feel like slaves to their livelihood, which is slowly killing them.
The big resignation The film begins with a worker saying he has been told to go to the bathroom less often and drink water to avoid slowing down the pace of factory work.
“There is hope if managers start to open up in turn. Flexibility cannot be in just one aspect,” says Marechal.
“People have more power than they think,” she concludes.
The big resignation It will be broadcast on Télé-Québec on January 24 at 8 p.m.
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