So you’ve come to work for Rob Ford

Relax—first-day jitters and grave doubts about your moral compass are normal!

by Scott Feschuk

So you’ve come to work for the mayor

Photo illustration by Sarah MacKinnon

Congratulations on your exciting new job with the mayor of Toronto—and welcome to City Hall! Have you quit yet? No? Good, just checking.

As a new employee, you’re likely to have many questions about working in the office of Rob Ford—questions like, “Where is the washroom?” and, “How will I ever again look at myself in the mirror?” Relax. First-day jitters and grave doubts about the integrity of your moral compass are normal!

This orientation guide will bring you up to speed on everything you need to know about being a staffer for Mayor Rob Ford and pretending that’s OK.

The first rule: Verb tenses are very important in Rob Ford’s office. For instance, the mayor is on record as saying, “I do not use crack cocaine.” Note that he did not say, “I have never used crack cocaine.” With that in mind, we’d like to officially welcome you on board and say, “You are not regretting this decision for the rest of your career.”

Here’s some general information you may find handy:

  • The mayor is not a fictional character. We want to be upfront about that. A lot of people seem surprised when they find out.
  • Employees of the mayor are expected to be at work in time for the 9 a.m. meeting. Did you bring doughnuts? The new guy usually brings doughnuts to the 9 a.m. meeting. (The meeting is to eat the doughnuts.)
  • New employees are obligated to watch a training video that provides insight into the effects of Mayor Ford’s leadership on the city of Toronto. The video is the 1998 blockbuster Deep Impact. The mayor is the comet.
  • Shirtlessness in the mayor’s office is at all times frowned upon. (Exceptions: shirtless Fridays, summer weekdays, shirts vs. skins food fights, post-lunch mustard-stain issues, Fight Club, extreme itchiness, mild itchiness, “forgot shirt,” annual spring Pink Belly tournament, double dares.)
  • According to protocol, Mayor Ford is to be referred to as “Your Worship” or “Sir.” The mayor prefers to address his employees by a nickname he himself assigns. That nickname is always “Peckerhead.”
  • You have been supplied with a smartphone. The phone, camera and video-camera features have been disabled because none of your business why. It makes an elegant coaster.

As a new employee, you will be required to fill out the kind of standard paperwork you find in any workplace. Beneficiary form. Direct deposit information. Legally binding affidavit swearing you didn’t see anything that you will have seen.

Please also ensure you contact human resources to obtain a copy of the Office of the Mayor’s ethical guidelines. (Kidding.)

As a political operative, you may be called on to act in moments of crisis. Your response will be dictated by the precise nature of the emergency. Some examples:

Crisis: Mayor’s credibility irreparably damaged by revelations of crack use.

Action steps: Ignore it—it’ll blow over.

Crisis: May possibly be late getting to football practice.

Action steps: HOLY MOLY POLICE ESCORT PRONTO GO!! GO!! GO!!

Crisis: Stuck in a door again like Winnie-the-Pooh.

Action steps: Gerry in maintenance has the plunger.

In the event criminal charges are imminent, please consult the brochure “Relocation of Mayor’s Office to International Waters.”

A note about the press: Local reporters are despicable low-lifes who practise “gotcha” journalism by uncovering facts about the mayor and telling other people. However, the demands of interacting with the media and the public are eased somewhat by the fact that, as a spokesperson for the mayor, you can reuse the same few “talking points” in pretty much any situation. Please commit to memory the following:

  • “The mayor has no comment at this time.”
  • “The mayor apologizes for sweating on you.”
  • “The mayor thinks your lady bum is shapely. That is why he’s currently touching it.”

On behalf of His Worship Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto, we’d like to once again welcome you to City Hall and ask you to hold onto this mysterious package, which “doesn’t exist.” We’re excited and deeply shocked that you’ve agreed to work with us.

Follow Scott Feschuk on Twitter @scottfeschuk




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So you’ve come to work for Rob Ford

  1. I get to work at 5 am and hate my entire day. This made it just a whole world better/

  2. Sounds like sours grapes by Maclean’s. No wonder people have no respect for for the media and can’t believe half of what they publish.

    • Was that straight from the new employee manual?

    • It’s a humour piece. Kind of like the entire content of the Toronto Sun.

  3. This comment was deleted.

    • Thanks for your application, but in the business we spell it “skillz.”

      • Spell it anyway you want. It’s still drivel.

        • I’d pay a lot of money to see you and Emily get into a debate on these boards. We’d need a bathysphere to find the bottom of your comment thread.

    • Depends. Are you a crack-head like the mayor?

      • Speaking of crack heads…Peterborough is the place to be.

        • YEAH BABY!

    • It’s an humour piece. Kind of like the entire content of the Toronto Sun.

  4. It’s humor people, go get a cup of coffee!!

    • Kind of like the entire content of the Toronto Sun. Or that comedy show the Ford Boys do on GetOffMyLawn1010.

      • i love the getoffmylawn1010 fantastic

  5. What, no requirement for new hires to get a prominent tattoo with the “GRAVY TRAIN!!!! ™” logo?

    • it was, and I quote “gravy plane”.

  6. Actually, I’m pretty sure the city cell phones will unlock once the summer football league in Rexdale starts up. Arrangements will need to be made to pick up the kids with the city hall cars.

    Oh, and you’re the driver.

    • Preference will be given to applicants with a Class “B” driver’s licence. You know, just in case we have to commandeer a TTC bus again.

  7. It shocks me how people take these articles so seriously! It’s HUMOUR! You probably find The Daily Show appalling as well! Move south they take the wrong things seriously too! ALSo when did Feschuk’s articles represent all of Maclean’s? He’s one guy writing about one subject, heaven forbid there are different voices that you may not agree with in a publication! How very Canadian of Maclean’s!

    • A sense of humour is a terrible thing to waste. Ever notice how many people get fooled by The Onion? Granted, it’s not as funny as it used to be, but still…

      • Satire is hard! People thought Swift was really advocating eating babies too!

        • He wasn’t?

    • A disturbingly large number of people thing the Daily Show is a real news show and get most of their news from it.

      • Well in the US the Daily Show is sadly, probably one of the best news sources!

      • You prefer Fox?

  8. I believe the mayor inhaled. iI don’t think he’s been telling the truth. I believe he’s probably got a substance abuse problem that needs to be addressed and he should at very least step away from office temporarily although my personal preference is that he resign because the allegations have destroyed the trust of council and the city. I din’t vote for the man because I thought he was an obnoxious blowhard at election time.

    This piece however, is nothing more than a series of fat jokes. Shame you MacLean’s, you’re supposed to be the pinnacle of print journalism in this country. We expect better from you.

    • Complaining about fat jokes in a Feschuk piece is like complaining about chicken on the KFC menu. And you do realize he does humour, not journalism – don’t you?

    • There’s nothing in there about the Mayor attending the 9 a.m. doughnut meeting. Because humour must be grounded in reality, and everyone knows the Mayor shows up at the office bright and early at 1 p.m. The businesss about the door has nothing to do with his weight. This is a guy who has trouble avoiding television cameras. And besides, given the staff turnover in the Mayor’s office, it’s pretty clear there’s a revolving door on that sucker, and revolving doors can be complicated to operate if you’re distracted.

    • Hey Jason, I’ve been criticized before (probably for good reason) for overdoing the fat jokes, and I think if you read my more recent stuff you’ll see far fewer of them. However, Rob Ford is a man defined almost entirely by his appetites and his inability to control them – and I’m not just talking about food.

      • Also, tell Jason how upset Paul Wells is going to be to read that you’re the one responsible for being “the pinnacle of print journalism” here.

        AND WOULD IT KILL YOU TO DO MAILBAGGERY AGAIN?

    • Jason, I disagree with your assessment of the mayor but I admire you for your stand on this lame “article.” If only more people were able to put aside their biases and opinions.

    • Jason, I have no doubt you are an Englishman – minus any sense of humour. C’mon people get off Maclean’s back, the piece is a hoot — and in own way, maybe too close to the truth …

  9. My enjoyment of this piece is tempered somewhat by the guilt I feel in being tempted to send in an application. I mean, doughnuts are doughnuts. And shirtless Friday? Genius!

    • Read closer.. you have to bring the doughnuts.

      And before declaring shirtless friday as genius.. remember that it applies to Mayor Ford as well.

      • You and your fine print today are really bumming me out. I’m going to go get a doughnut.

    • You’d have loved to work for Mel Lastman, then. Pantless weekdays was how things rolled on his watch. (Mainly cuz he kept forgetting to wear them, and the staff followed suit to spare him embarrassment, but still…)

  10. And might the TORONTO STAR’s new employee induction introduction perhaps run along THESE lines? “So you’ve come to work for the TORONTO STAR? Well, forget about all of that high-minded journalism stuff you learned on your college courses. We’re trying to save a sinking ship here, and we’ll do whatever it takes – even if we have to take a hardworking, decent Mayor or two down with us! Anyone know any drug-dealing low-life’s? Good! We can always use more opague sources, so you get promoted straight onto our struggling I-team. One of you sit by our red GAWKER phone here – that alerts us if a new phantom story is about to break. The TORONTO STAR, as you already know, is an expert at floating phantom stories and then flogging them to death. It’s kind of our trademark and we’re very proud to be partnered with GAWKER, known as the best in that business, in doing it! Anyone here know anything about city gutters? Great – you can take the City Hall ‘human interest’ story watch. The rest of you grab a stack of today’s TORONTO STAR from the mountain of them over there and head out onto the streets to try to GIVE them away – we’re losing enough readers and subscribers, we don’t want to lose the advertisers, too!”

    Just askin’ :)

    • Interesting argument. One question: Who’s the “hardworking, decent mayor” you’re referring to?

      • One of the suburbs I assume.

      • Why, the one that the citizens of Toronto democratically elected for being ‘hardworking and decent’, of course! Did Maclean’s somehow miss covering that extraordinary, city-changing event :) ?

        • Ok, we get it. He was “democratically elected”…That still doesn’t change the fact that he’s an idiot and can’t do the job. Being elected does not grant the ability for someone to lead or even tell the truth on many things. He is a liar, a biggot and worst of all; he’s divided a city, council and it’s citizens for absolutely no reason aside from his inability to govern and provide leadership. Get your head out of your ass and smell the roses dumb-ass.

    • Seriously un-funny stuff. Bitter is so rarely funny.

      • Woo Hoo! You can’t tell the difference between ‘bitter’ and what might better be described as the ‘reflection of reality’? And I never called the TORONTO STAR ‘bitter’ – maybe ‘vicious’ might perhaps be the right word, but not ‘bitter’ :) !

        • Um, she was calling you bitter. Which is not the same thing as – oh never mind…

    • Thumbs up.

    • as opposed to the toronto shun which is entirely made up of opinion pieces. so obviously you believe the mayor to be 100% innocent of these allegations

  11. lol

  12. I plan on being His Worship’s next communications director. Here is how it will go:

    Me: Your Worship, in response to this matter I suggest the following approach…”

    His Worship: “F that. I’ll say whatever my brother tells me to say.”

    Me: “Okaaaaayyyyyyy” Cut to doughnuts.

    BEST JOB EVER!

  13. where the Krispy Kremes at in this city? they’ll go straight to my thighs, but I’ve got a hankering for one all of a sudden

    • Bathurst and Harbord

      • i’m on it like white on rice

  14. This whole article is bullying. It’s not any funnier or more acceptable than when kids taunt the fat, loud-mouthed kid at school.

    Grow up, Macleans.

    • Depends if the kid is being taunted for being fat (unfair) or being loud-mouthed (fair game). And the mayor is not a kid: he’s a man with a really big and important job, and if he can’t take a little good-natured jeering from Scott Feschuk, he’s a little too sensitive for the job.

      • Ohhhh… got it. Thanks for clarifying that bullying is selectively acceptable, Rona.

        • How does a serious-to-the-bone person like you manage to blunder your way to a humour column anyway?

          Anyway, you are welcome for the information.

          Regards,

          “Rona”

          • I’m far from “serious-to-the-bone” – I just don’t find this lowest-common-denominator drivel amusing. Especially not when Macleans and the rest of the media hypocritically purport to be anti-bullying.

          • Hey; Harper claims to be anti-bullying, yet runs those attack ads. At least Feschuk is funny. This week. Well, some of us think so, anyway…

    • When the bully finally gets some of his own medicine, I for one, rejoice.

    • Bullying is, by its very definition, the strong preying on the weak. Are you suggesting that Rob Ford, the mayor of Canada’s largest city, is weak?

      • Or simply acknowledging the robust superiority of Scott Feschuk’s strength?

    • Have to agree the fat joke is is poor taste the rest might have been funny but that put it over the line. Politicians have to put up with criticism satirical or otherwise but their physical appearance should not be fair game. Hitting someone at their most vulnerable point shows a lack of respect for others and by the. An obviously talented writer is misusing his talent a real shame.

      • Bullshit! All you hear about women politicians is how they look, what they wear, etc.

  15. Well done; bravo!! (Sometimes “simply hilarious” is exactly what the doc has ordered) P.s. Please dont tell him I’m not at my daily meetings.

  16. Enough already! This is getting tedious. I’m gobsmacked that Macleans has lowered its standards to yellow journalism!

  17. How did this get get published on Macleans website? This is exactly the kind of pointless attacking that has saturated the media to the point of it reaching diminishing returns. I am not nor will I ever be a Ford supporter but it bothers me to know that these kind of juvenile journalistic pot shots are actually galvanizing many into supporting Ford, or at the very least making the credibility of serious allegations appear more dubious.

    Come on, I expect more from reputable news outlets than this kind of schoolyard taunting. I’m sick of reading about this guy enough as it is, but it’s made all the worse when it’s nothing but fat jokes and name calling.

    • You sound like a fun guy.

      • Actually I agree with Eric. Its sophmoric You could have mailed this in. It’s not worthy of your previous work, it’s derivative – so many others have piled on with these tips its not even funny or witty anymore.
        It’s just a string of cheap shots which doesn’t advance the story, tramples over old ground and just low brow humour a first year J student could have knocked off for the student website.

    • do you believe the mayor to be 100% innocent of these allegations ?

  18. Hilarious!

  19. I wonder why anyone voted for this buffon in the first place. Surely anyone can say, lets clean up government and lower taxes. Hopefully whoever says those things is competent and honest and does not have a shady background.
    Ford will have convinced many that black is white before he is finished.

  20. Funny, but one factual error. Don’t believe the mayor is at work by 9 am. He normally arrives at the crack of noon. So the 9 am doughnut meeting would be just staff.

  21. Not funny,sorta like Fords waistline!

  22. The briefing doesn’t mention these salient facts: Our Mayor is not competent, he hates downtowners and he hates his job.

  23. very funny. let’s see a similar article about Kathleen Wynne ! If you have the cojones!

  24. Why doesn’t Toronto try practicing some decorum, stop focusing on the morale killing gossip and ensure that City Hall is getting on with civic business? If you elect someone, back them up and support them while they do the work you elected them to, and make
    any personal feelings known at the next election. You’re all wasting precious time.
    He’s not the first controversial mayor, and he won’t be the last. I’m from Calgary, and
    if you think Ralph wasn’t controversial, you didn’t know Ralph; but we backed the guy
    we elected, and look how far he ran with that faith. Watching Ford, I can see he is a
    fighter and he doesn’t give up. That’s something.

  25. Haven’t laughed this hard since Walshie the Drunky Clown showed up in Ford’s yard.

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