Monday, February 15, 2010

On Unemployment

Everyone who's anyone jumped on the straaagull bandwagon 20 years ago when Mandela was released, the ones with integrity did not.

It takes a freelancer like me loads of creativity and marketing and the absolute best service to continue to eke out a living through the myriad of side things which I do in my multi-talented, lightning fast way. However, I must say that it is not due to my lack of trying that I find myself without permanent employ. I really love this country enough to want to pay tax. But there is only so many "Dear X we regret to inform you that you do not meet the minimum requirements as outlined in our labour equity policies..." that one can read without wanting to pull out your suitcases, pack up and find some other country willing to take your skills and talent.(Hint Hint: Writer/Editor/Translator/Language Tutor/Photographer for sale!!!)

Anyway, here's the question. I wonder if I would get a job if I listed struggle veteran's kid on application forms and my cv? Would companies feel obliged to pay me big bucks? Would that give me the right to be completely inefficient and feel like the company owes me (ala a certain CEO who thinks he's worth an estimated R85 million for doing nothing more than bungling), even though I scarcely lived through a decade of state sanctioned Apartheid? I don't feel entitled to anything, but I do think that if I played that card I might get a lot further career wise.

Forgive me for having the mother of all consciences, but I think that it would be unfair if I did play the straagull card. After all, it wasn't me putting my life on the line for a country that so obviously doesn't appreciate it. I really don't know how people can feel like they are justified in taking and applying for jobs they're hopelessly ill equipped to deal with.

The more I think about these levels of entitlement, especially in the upper echelons it brings to mind some of the more sinister topics covered in Political Science 101: Shadow State Activity.(Over simplification of theoretical concepts to follow:) I doubt we have a shadow economy, because unlike a lot of African states we're not really buying basic necessities on the black market. But just take a moment to think about the politicking and the manoeuvring and the machinations that go on with creating the networks run by the Motsepes and the like. That's big, big money that the people on the ground never see, but the government officials; their cronies, para-statals and front companies sitting on boards all over the show; seem to see plenty of.

As for me, I'll soldier on and continue feeling guilty about being a non-tax paying citizen.(Please feel free to want to change that if you need a full time editor/writer. See previous ingratiation for a few more of my talents ;)) Shakespeare was right, there always will be something a rotten in the state of...

Back to the grindstone,

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