CAN’T WORK, WON’T WORK

Can't work, won't work by Tony Marturano

“There are some out there, the few (million that is) who think work is for fools. These individuals wouldn’t dream of getting out of bed to deliver an honest days’s work”

So, how is your weekend going so far?

Are you, like many across the globe, not looking forward to Monday morning back at work or are you one of the few who really loves their job and can’t wait to get stuck in again? Maybe you’re a house wife/husband who works just as hard as the general workforce (I have to be specific because that’s a common bug bear for stay-at-home people), or perhaps you’re neither of these, maybe you’re one of the staggering 197 million (2.52 million in the UK) people around the globe who were out of work in 2012.

Throughout the decades, unemployment has been one of those controversial and emotive subjects that many choose to steer clear of at gatherings for fear that it might trigger a meaningful debate or maybe even fisticuffs. However, make no mistake, as I write these words, I’m confident that this article is going to stir up said feelings in many of you for a multitude of reasons so strap yourself in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Let’s start with the obvious; why is work, or being out of it, such an emotive subject?

Well, as always, the origins of this pesky subject goes right back to our ancestors. The so called ‘hunter gatherers’ who, from puberty, were taught to go ‘hunt’ and ‘gather’ food for their families and ‘the tribe’. This basic indoctrination has been diluted over the centuries as food availability has become easier (at least for most developed nations) and the ‘weaning’ age of young adults has been considerably lengthened. The social impression, however flimsy, remains ingrained in many of us today as a basic work ethos. That said, most, given the choice, would not work (at least not for someone else) as they’d much rather have the freedom to pursue the things that give pleasure, such as time with loved ones, especially small children, recreational activities, holidays and maybe even shopping. However, in accordance with basic economics, to earn the money necessary to sustain basic life support, such as ‘roof over head’, food, electricity, furnishing, transportation and even fund some of those recreational activities, many of are forced to embrace ‘economic slavery’ and sell the majority of their personal time to the highest bidder.

So, is it any wonder that many of us relish even less the requirement to prematurely wrench ourselves from Morpheus’s warm embrace, shove ourselves under a shower and compel ourselves into the transportation of our choice to deliver our time to our employer’s bidding?

Now, let’s add a particularly disagreeable boss, some equally irksome colleagues, and a pay packet where over a quarter (if not half) has been devoured by the tax man.

Now we’re starting to feel just a tad grumpy. So it’s as we drag our weary bones home, maybe on the underground where the armpit of a fellow commuter is bobbing in front of our face, like a nodding dog in the back of a car, that we notice the headline on somebody’s newspaper; it informs us that some lucky sod has won a few million on the national lottery and some other, who’s probably never done a day’s work in his life, has just inherited a million more.

It’s times like these that make us pause for thought but not very long because the next day our alarm will wake us up and do it all over again.

Yet there are some out there, the few (million that is) who think work is for fools. These individuals wouldn’t dream of getting out of bed to deliver an honest days’s work, some of them are so badly mollycoddled by misguided parents that they don’t feel they have to, both are nothing other than the parasites who contribute little to their own personal development and that of the society in which they exist, creatures who lurch from day to day devoid of any moral compass and happy to be subsidised by the nation’s workforce through taxes.

And there’s a particular breed of parasite that has mastered a method by which they give nothing but take everything, ultimately from those who need it the most. I’m talking about young single mothers who are abandoned by their boyfriends and happy to pretend they’ve taken a vow of celibacy, this is also so of their ‘old bird’ equivalent who have also learned the art of being a spinster, because being single has never been so lucrative. Start with actual or a pretend disability and build on this or make yourself a single, vulnerable mother with children and exploit the welfare system for all It’s worth. People like 60 year old divorcee, Linda Allen, who was ‘unable’ to work and claimed benefits for over 10 years but failed to declare that she had started a relationship with another man who was working. In all, Allen fraudulently claimed over £74,200 in benefits (£36,000 in income support, £32,000 in housing benefit and £6,200 in Council Tax benefit). She was given a ‘suspended sentence’! Yet Allen’s case pales into insignificance when compared to that of a Ugandan family who are believed to have claimed over £4 Million over a 20 year period. Key player, Ruth Nabuguzi, made claims for HIV/AIDS drugs costing £2,280,000 but she didn’t have AIDS; the drugs were shipped back and sold in Africa for profit. She also received £500,000 in housing benefit from Newham Council in east London, a further £154,000 went on education for the ‘family’, with £37,500 for a single higher education course. Fraud relating to accommodation costs and sub-letting of flats cost £650,000, and the family’s myriad of benefits totalled £900,000. The list goes on, and I’m not talking about the list of this scum’s deception but the list of individuals with very similar deceptions, thousands of which are discovered every year. Luckily, in this one, the perpetrators received an actual sentence they could serve but not that it will ever refund that money so that it may be used for actual deserving people.

The worse thing is that Nabuguzi came to the UK in 1991 and claimed asylum for herself and four children she had left behind in Uganda, and sadly, she’s just the type to give hard working ‘foreigners’ a bad name with many Brits believing (sometimes wrongly) that ‘the dregs’ of the world leave their own countries to come and take advantage of the ridiculously lax controls of our welfare system.
In fact, there’s a distinct possibility that you will know or will have heard somebody complain about the fact that they’re “sick of all the foreigners coming into the UK, especially those who come here to steal our jobs.”

Newsflash: these so called ‘foreigners’ don’t steal the jobs, they merely accept them, and often from compatriots who believe they’re ‘too good for the job, be it because it doesn’t pay enough, encroaches on their lifestyle or is simply beneath them. This is particularly the case with jobs that require a lot of manual labour and is evidenced by the fact that the number of foreigner’s working in the East of England has more than tripled in the past five years from 20,000 in 2006 to over 80,000 in 2012. Most of this influx comes from Eastern Europe. These ‘visitors’ are employed in low paid jobs, such as factories, fruit picking and crop harvesting.

Why?

Farm WorkersWell, because ‘foreigners work harder’. They appear ‘hungrier’ for the job, are more ‘committed’ and therefore reliable. Interestingly, despite the fact that it’s illegal to do so, (yet not so surprising) more and more employers are specifying an ‘ethnic preference’ when approaching recruitment agencies; they want ‘non British’ workers. A representative from one such agency in in Ely, Cambridgeshire told the Daily Mail newspaper that some firms specifically ask to employ foreigners because they think ‘jobless Brits are too lazy’. George Munns, a potato farmer from Wisbech (Cambridgeshire, UK) said, “I take my hat off to foreign workers to be honest, they come from the other side of the world and you’ve got to admire that. A lot of British workers won’t go to the other side of town to find work.” The sad thing is that George isn’t alone.

Many frustrated employers have turned to immigrants to fill positions in their organisations that British citizens simply are not interested in. “It’s a case of won’t work not can’t work.” says Charlie Mullins, boss of multi million pound plumbing company, Pimlico, he added, “British workers are too choosy, picky and not prepared to work hard. Many of the young people who come in for interviews have never even been in a workplace. Many of them have degrees: I don’t need people with degrees – I need people with the right attitude.” Mr Mullins’ sentiment was pretty much echoed by the boss of organic greengrocer giant, Keith Abel, ‘young Britons are trapped in the benefits system and do not want to get up early to do a job for £7-an-hour when they could rely on Government hand-outs’. He added that people aren’t prepared to start with what they deem ‘menial’ jobs, gain the necessary experience and work their way to better pay. Hotel owner Terry Rogers stated that whilst horrified that there were over a million young British people out of work, he wasn’t surprised. He said most of them don’t want to work, they’ll go through the motions of sending off applications and showing up at interviews but when it comes to the hard graft, they don’t want to know. He accused the welfare state of creating a ‘culture of entitlement’ and blasted the school system for offering subjects that ultimately were not of much use to most young people, such as media studies, “there are only so many jobs on the X factor”. And he has a point! media studies is a somewhat glamorous subject but the chances of it actually yielding a job at the end are very limited. “To hear them [youth] complain about the shortage of jobs you would think they are desperate to work, willing to walk over hot coals to get a job. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Time and again I see young people turn up for interviews wearing grubby jeans or tracksuits. What’s more, a lot don’t seem interested in the post at all – having turned up just so I can sign their Jobseekers’ Allowance form which means they can continue to receive welfare benefits. One wretched soul told me he couldn’t work on Friday nights or Saturday mornings because he would be out with friends on Friday evenings and hung-over on Saturday morning! Rather than interviewees doing their best to persuade me that I should employ them, the roles have become absurdly reversed with me having to persuade them to take the job. And I sacked one employee for phoning in sick, then posting pictures of herself at a social event on the same day on Facebook!”

Not long ago, billionaire steel magnate, Ratan Tata, who owns Jaguar Land Rover and Corus also blasted British workers as ‘lazy’ and ‘unwilling to go the extra mile’.

There are plenty of jobs in the UK. What we are sorely lacking is a collection of glamorous jobs that pay high and require little. Actually, scratch that, I think there are plenty of those jobs too but you generally have to work your way ‘up to one’. If there was ever an example of somebody who started ‘low’ and made it to ‘the top’, it has to be the former head of TESCO, Terry Leahy who started out stacking shelves.

Of course there is an argument that this all boils down to plain old nature or nurture. For example, I was talking to our grocery delivery driver and she told me how she’d been working shifts all week and at the weekend yet the other day she’d been woken up by her son who was lamenting that he didn’t have a shirt to wear (as they hadn’t been ironed). My instinctive question was, “how old is he?” She replied. “21”! My next question was, “and who’s fault do you think that is?” and she nodded and said, “I know but he’s getting much better now. I used to have to come in from work and clear up after him and his sister and he’d also ask me to make him a cup of tea, now at least he asks me if I’d like one”!

Really?

Now I ask you, if this is what we’re teaching our children from a young age through to adulthood, what on earth are we expecting? My mother worked her whole life and therefore we, my siblings and I, should be psychologically damaged by today’s standard (most would say we are but not for this reason) with feelings of ‘abandonment’ because we often came home to an empty house and had to fend for ourselves. Guess what, we survived! And, more importantly, we cherished every scrap of quality time we did get with our mother. Today, some working mums are made to feel guilty for wanting to retain their own identities (beyond that of Mum) and their careers. One thing is for sure, despite what some psychologists would have us believe, most children, if taught from an early age, understand their parent’s need to work and earn money and, quite frankly, need to understand this because it’s the first stepping stone in their own personal development since it’s highly unlikely that the children of a parent who has done nothing but claim unemployment benefits her whole life are going to understand the need to work, achieve and generate some self-respect. Some are happy to claim benefits and hide behind the façade of not wanting to ‘lose out’ on their children ‘growing up’. These people do not have exclusivity on this compulsion; most parents feel exactly the same, they just to act on it because they have a strong working ethos and understand the importance of providing for their family and not rely on other people to do it for them. Ultimately, time with your children is about quality and not quantity and when I say quality I mean actually spending time together, doing activities, interacting, not just being in the same house but in different rooms. And to those who say that they don’t like their children coming home to an empty house, I say most children would be much happier to come home to an empty house than one that has been repossessed.

Which brings me onto my next point. Some students who were progressive enough to stay on a school and or clever enough to go to university are more than often finding themselves like the proverbial party goer; all dressed up and nowhere to go. Sadly, given the current economic climate and, it has to be said, the type of degree they possess, many graduates are finding it hard to find a job that utilises their chosen qualification. However, whilst disappointing, I don’t think this is a good excuse to sit around and feel sorry for yourself since there’s a distinct possibility that you may well land the job of your preference in due course but it may take a while but in the meantime, you should make the most of what you can find to start contributing to your lifestyle and or start repaying the loan or your sponsor’s (e.g parent) investment to fund your degree. Similarly, the same applies to those who are actually in the process of studying for a degree. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been out for meals and have been served by students who are looking to partially fund their education and or dependency on their mobile device. It can be done. There are part time jobs out there, the only question is what are you actually prepared to do that you don’t feel is beneath or too ‘taxing’ for your already studious brain.

What we receive from life is often a derivative of what we’re prepared to put into it. How much are you prepared to invest… in yourself?

“The only job where you start at the top is digging a hole”

Have a productive Sunday! 🙂

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thoroughly well researched facts and figures I had no Idea about from a personal point of View I have no objection to a huge swathe of my pay Cheque being deducuted in Taxes etc .in order to help Single Mothers who for whatever reason need assistance .be it they have been abandoned by Dead beat Fathers .Divorced Widowed whatever their Story is .or a Family Member who needs to become sole Carer for another Family Member .Students who earn and learn who need extra Help .none of this I mind .however through personal experience as manager who Hired and Fired there is an insidieous Breed being spawned I am not sure why is it Parents the Schools ,or the Goverment perhaps all Three ?.what I know is that Folk would come to me claiming they needed work once told what it involved some immediately would say no Thanks ,others would say yes then on the Day of their shift beginning would come out with some exscuse as to why they were not able to work .then the other type would be “I can only do 16 hours as my Benefits will stop “.so able fit Healthy youngsters would end up working less hours than 60 year olds who had to work several hours more to top up their OAP Pension as they could not afford to pay their bills .something very wrong with this Picture in fact I used to say it was “Obscene ”
    The next day the Younger Folk would come back and regale us all with the Daytime TV Programmes they had watched whilst we were all still working .there were the Fillipinos who would work Three Jobs to send money home to Their Family as there was no work to be found in Their Country .the Eastern Europeans who were saving to bring their Families over to do Cleaning and Hospitality Jobs as they wrote to their Families and said “Plenty of work here in Uk in Hotels ,Cleaning and Shop work as they cannot find Staff in UK “I have had Doctors work for me as there really was no work for them in their War Torn Countries Cleaning or serving Food .they did not feel demeaned they saw it as a means to an end .I have worked seven days a week for several years doing three Jobs any Family Days had to be planned around my jobs .does that make me a bad Parent or a good one? I see Roof over our Heads Food on the Table and Bills being paid just as of Paramount Importance as Hugs Cuddles Love Praise and encouragement .but most of all instilling a Good work Ethic so our Children become Viable good Quality Citizens for the Country rather than Apathetic Humans who ask “which Form do I need to sign for the Benefits I am entitled to.”
    All this stems from the Home Children need to learn respect soon as they understand the spoken word ,and that Money comes through Work with work comes results .so Chores are carried then Pocket Money is Earned not Given maybe as Treat it may be but not as a Requisite .
    I remember one Christmas Eve phoning for a third Job to top up my other two so we could meet the Bills and they offered it to me there and then I slept easier knowing that I could rely on myself to bring in the Cash .
    In Italy Pensions exist of course but no Social Security as we have here ,we are indeed fortunate to have it but only as long as the Employed pay into it ( this does not include a person working a few Months and thinking this now entitles them to a Lifelong Supply of Freeebies ) My Parents paid their whole lifetime and still do not receive what they are entitled to .God helps those who Helps themselves .

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