Monday, 22 September 2014
Dignity of Labour
John was working with me and his hands were as dirty as mine. I have learned that in Australia people like themselves to be addressed by their first name and I call him John. He was in his middle age, well dressed always below the shiny orange half jacket that is worn by all the workers so that the workers can be seen by the forklift drivers from far. He was but not so regular in the work place with me. We became familiar to each other but not friendly; we both knew that we are hard working guys willy-nilly, because there were so many CCTV cameras placed in vantage points to keep a watch, and those electronic eyes never blinks.
One day I was told that the Managing Director (MD) of the company wants to meet me. I went to the office and saw John sitting on a big revolving chair. I told him that if the MD sees him sitting on that chair he would not like it. To which he had a hearty laugh and told me that he was the MD of that company. I can’t imagine a person who got his hands dirtied with me is the MD. Back here in my country MD would never do such things, it would be below his dignity to get his hands dirty.
In the course of our conversation I said ‘John Sir’ and started sir-ing him. Form that changed attitude of mine towards him, he must have known about the dignity of labour that I must be having back in my country; and also immense respect that we naturally have for the people in the upper strata of the society. (gom lu gueshap)
I was stacking the plastic crates in which the vegetables are brought in. I came across a man who was not happy at all to do the work; he was working as if he was not well. I asked him whether he was all right. And he replied that he was going to leave the job soon because he told me proudly that he was a cook by profession. There was a twinkle in his eyes when he mentioned the word ‘cook’. I need not elaborate how I felt (for my countryman). They are that proud of their profession be it driver or cook or janitor or cleaner or anything. A profession is a profession be it anything. There is no level of high or low set by the society. All professions are important in the nation building. Without cleaner or sweeper how can we keep our street and drains clean?
I saw a sparkling V8 convertible Mercedes car parked one evening as I was doing overtime. I wondered whose it might be. I could not believe it when I saw the cleaner who came to clean the processing unit got inside and drove it after cleaning the factory. The equal distribution of wealth I guess. I thought it had something to do with the taxation policy. Because when I worked for more hours and overtime, the net pay that I received was almost same. The more you earn more tax is deducted at source (however, it is refunded in the end during compilation of the tax if the earning is below the stipulated income).
Another thing that I appreciated working there was no matter where one works, be it in private company or government the pension scheme and provident fund is guaranteed. Even if one work for an hour the PF scheme covers it. The Oz refers to it a ‘super’ – contracted form of ‘superannuation’. I had 2 super accounts one was claimed after reaching here. The other which is little less I left it unclaimed as a token of gratitude for the great country.