Thursday, March 01, 2012


A tip of the hope hat to Edmonton's last milkman on his final run; Barry Svederus retires Friday after 34 years, marking the end of an era
Sometimes you hear the most amazing stories about being hired against the odds. They give you hope when you despair at how difficult it can be to find work. How I wish I’d seen this story earlier this week, when I was searching for hopeful stories to tell at our hope and strengths group for people with chronic pain. People were saying it was unlikely that they could be hired, given some of their life conditions.
That conversation, quite naturally, led me to want to tell them a story about an unlikely hiring event. Of all the getting-hired stories I’ve heard, I do believe this one takes the cake.
‘A native of tiny Elnora, Svederus was working at a cannery in Wetaskiwin when he sought a job driving a milk truck in Edmonton.

Arriving for his interview at the former home of the City Dairy, a building off Jasper Avenue that had a towering milk bottle on its roof, he was hired,
even though he applied in his bare feet.

As a joke that day, friends had filled his only pair of dress shoes with ballbearing grease.

"I think they hired me out of pity," Svederus says.

"They figured I was so poor I didn't own a pair of shoes."’

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