I often had jobs that involve getting wet. I was a lifeguard and swimming instructor, for example. As a longshoreman, I used to find a way to fall into the drink just before lunch so I could have that 4 hour drying off time.

Once I had a job as a streetworker. No – I know what you’re thinking. I was not shovelling out ditches, although that would have been more lucrative. I did that as an archaeologist. Nor was I working in the sex trade industry. That would be street WALKER. I was a streetworker working with teenagers and young adults who were becoming street involved.

On spring morning, the week after the change to daylight saving time, I found myself looking through the local newspaper for a tide calendar. I noticed low tide would ne at 10:30 AM, so allowing for an hour to move the tide back to standard time, I had less than an hour to get to Shady Island where I knew a septet of missing teenagers were camping. I wanted to make sure they had some condoms in case they were having sex.

Shady Island, or Steveston Island, is a small tidal island in the South Arm of the Fraser River. When the ride is low, there is a rocky breakwater connecting it to Lulu Island – the site of Richmond.

An hour  later, standing on the breakwater admiring a 20 foot gut of water separating me from the teens who were all cheekily waving at me, I felt the rock I was standing on shift. Seconds later I was bobbing in the river like a freed fishing float.

“I need some help on this mission,” I thought as I changed clothes.

I remembered that in Steveston Harbour there is an RCMP marine station. I surprised the corporal on board of the 45 foot vessel. I told him what I was up to, and he threw me a shotgun and said, “Let’s go.” Apparently I was the first person to visit him in 2 years. He wanted to see the other side of Shady Island, as it was a haven for auto parts smugglers.

We took a 10 foot Zodiac with an 80hp Mercury Outboard. We cruised at “dead slow” out of the harbour which suited me just fine. As we rounded the marker buoy, he opened up the throttle.

Skin started peeling from my face.

I could feel my ears migrating to the back of my head and start clapping together.

When my eyes pulled out of my skull  so their optic nerve stalks, I could see he was laughing at me.

When we reached the other end of the island, we pulled up to the shoe. Sure enough, there was a pile of chrome wheels stacked under some driftwood.

The corporal was very happy with his haul. He was so happy, in fact, that he had a squad car pick the teenagers up as they climbed off the breakwater.

“Do you want them to meet us at the wharf?” he asked.

“No,” I said. I just realize I got Fraser River water on the condoms.

“What?” He said.

Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at or at or at 604-464-4195.  If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates When he is not doing all this he lives in Port Coquitlam with his partner Cecelia.



One Response to “GETTING WET ON THE JOB”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Hilarious! And, your descriptions defy description.

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