By Erasmo Calzadilla

One lone job announcement: Bohemia magazine is in need of a newspaper distributor (salary 280 pesos), a warehouse supervisor (325 pesos) and a watch person (300 pesos).
One lone job announcement: Bohemia magazine is in need of a newspaper distributor (salary 280 pesos), a warehouse supervisor (325 pesos) and a watch person (300 pesos).

I have etched in my mind an image that I’ve seen a lot on TV and in the movies.  It’s one of how people look for work in those countries where those series and movies come from: the job seeker opens up a newspaper full of offers and begins circling those that might suit them.

I should clarify for any apprehensive readers that I’m quite familiar with the serious difficulties of getting work in those countries where this “sophisticated” technique of publishing vacant positions in the newspaper is applied.

I raise this right now since I’m going through that phase of having to find a new job.  This is because I was fired by the university for teaching – according to the administration – a philosophy that did not concur with the program that emanates from the Central Committee of the Communist Party (in their own words).

Presently I spend my days tramping across the city and making inquiries without finding a single opening that’s worth the while, hence my sudden recollection of those old films and those ads in the papers – particularly since such a custom barely exists here.

 There are numerous publications in Cuba but none lists job vacancies.  Photo: Caridad
There are numerous publications in Cuba but none lists job vacancies. Photo: Caridad

In Cuba, if somebody is looking for a job that’s worth it, a descent one where they pay you at least enough to survive, there are two paths: either you get in touch with all your friends – especially the powerful ones – to see if someone can get you in, or you go from door to door to each workplace asking about openings, which is the craziest approach in the world, in addition to being the most exasperating and inefficient.

I’m not one to jump to conclusions, but I now suspect that the absence of this practice of publicizing vacant positions, which would make the life of job seekers that much easier, is a situation that is promoted – or at least not combated – by the bureaucracy, perhaps to keep the best positions for themselves.

I have nothing else left to think, because I don’t believe that it’s such a difficult demand, here, where control is total, that it be mandatory for each vacant position to be published, at least at the provincial level, before being filled by anyone.  It’s not that there is insufficient paper and resources, because we already even have publications with the programming of cinemas and theaters.

To be fair, I admit that neighborhood social workers do indeed find positions for the unemployed, but from what I’ve been able to witness with my very own eyes, these are the kinds of jobs that absolutely no one wants to take.

(continued…)


Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

6 thoughts on “Beating the Bush For Work (I)

  • Erasmo,
    Perhaps, like Plato and Socrates, you should found your own school, even if its first “classroom” is benneath the sheltering branches of a banyon tree. With any luck, it could last as long as the Academy (900 years+/-)! It is a sorry state when true philosophy is cast out to bitter exile. Then again, this is philosophy’s natural state. Just look what happened to Socrates. It has been said, however, that when history repeats itself, the first time is a tragedy, the second a comedy. In the end, the educrats who remain at the University are sychopatic clowns; they are rich material for a satirist up to the task of turning their pathetic performance into low comedy. P.S. If you do set up shop benneath a banyobn tree, watch out! I was once in deep thought benneath the Banyon at the entrance of La Cabanana when, PLOP!, a feathered friend above let loose on me! Undoubtedly, he traced his lineage from Aristophanes’s “The Birds!”.

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