Monday, July 23, 2012

Want to complain about your job? Just consider yourself lucky to have one

New encouraging data about employment. According to a research conducted by the Ministry of Labour, in the third term of 2012 only 2 work contracts out of 10 were for a permanent position; the remainder 8 were for temporary ones. We should have seen it coming: our Prime Minister Mario Monti warned us. He said that in the future permanent jobs would no longer exist in Italy, and that after all they are “boring and lead to a monotonous life”. Well, if by “monotonous life” you mean that it would allow us to plan our future (move out of the parents’ house, get married, have children and so on) you’re absolutely right. It is partially true that Italians are a people of “bamboccioni” (“big babies”) who live with their parents until they are 40, but on the other hand, where should they live? Under a bridge? Without a stable job they can’t certainly afford a mortgage.  I personally think that more young Italians should move abroad, because being geographically mobile seems to be the most effective way to get a job. But then again, we do have a lot of “mamma boys” who will never leave the country. And very often the ones who do leave Italy are criticised because” if everyone leaves, Italy will sink”. Do you want me to sink with Italy then? Forget it.
But maybe we should consider ourselves happy even only with a temporary job: it’s getting harder and harder just to get a job of any length and kind. The Minister of Labour, Elsa Fornero, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal claimed: “Work isn’t a right, it has to be earned”. It’s funny though: I used to think that we have to work to deserve a reward. Now work IS the reward.  Perhaps we should amend the first article of the Constitution: not "Italy is a democratic Republic founded on labour", but "Italy is a democratic Republic founded on the right to try to get the right to work". Complicated, yet more appropriate.