By Erasmo Calzadilla
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.
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.