Looking Around for Work… Again

Erasmo Calzadilla

A few months ago I quit my job and have been wandering around since. I was down spirited and dejected, watching my savings vanish one peso at a time and suffering for having lent money to friends who still haven’t paid me back. Later I transitioned into the phase of borrowing money and living off my family and friends.

I had to hit bottom in order to react. I’ve finally come out of my funk to face the questioning, investigations and rudeness.

To my surprise, and unlike the last time, wherever I’ve gone to workplaces there have been vacant positions, though not always to my liking.

I broke the ice with an intensive urban “organoponico” garden.

With the price of oil continuing to rise towards its zenith, I want to prepare myself for the serious consequences by learning how to work the land. Reality is great for shattering my illusions.

I showed up at one of those places ready to taste the earth toiling under the summer sun, but all they had available was a night guard position. Working from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. every other night, I could earn 300 pesos a month by preventing hungry people and jerks from breaking in to steal at night.

I imagined myself facing interminable nights making rounds armed with a stick and I felt my chest tighten. They told me to come back in a week, during which time I decided to test my luck looking for other jobs.

Later a friend told me about a job related to computer science. I was already seeing myself using sophisticated equipment and developing applications in the tranquility of my house or in a comfortable office. But no – it was nothing like that.

In the interview I found out that my job would consist pretty much of filling out bills online. I would work in a warehouse far from my home for eight hours a week for a laughable wage.

At the most decisive point of this meeting with my future boss, this guy looked at me dead in the eyes and asked: “Have you had any kind of problem? Because if something turns up in your investigation, you won’t be able to work for this company.”

“No,” I responded. “I haven’t had any problems.” The fact is, though, my work record is blemished. Nonetheless I’m going to turn in the papers but without hopes of anything coming of it.”

Finally I went to a prestigious high-level center where the wages weren’t so bad and where I would have an interesting and creative job. At the initial interview it seemed that everything was going fine and the wind was at my back, but later in another more probing meeting I had to discuss my disastrous professional career.

I began explaining my firing from the university where I had worked as a professor, but then — I don’t know why — I felt compelled to talk about other adventures of mine. Finally I added that under no condition would I join a Rapid Response Brigade (Cuban Stormtroopers). The woman looked at me as if to say, “This kid is definitively missing a screw.”

I have to wait a while for the response, but I’m not holding onto a lot hope for that one either. We’ll see.

Meanwhile I wander around free and without commitments. So, if you have a yard that needs cutting, a house that needs cleaning or are looking for an honest worker for your business, then don’t hesitate to contact me through Havana Times. I’m still healthy and strong, though my mind… well, you already read about that.

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.

31 thoughts on “Looking Around for Work… Again

  • May 5, 2011 at 8:09 am

    I can’t believe it! Millions of people get fired day by day around the world, but only in Cuba you can ‘blame it on Fidel’. Come on! And this time, as far as I’m concerned, Erasmo quit his job on his own will – ‘A few months ago I quit my job (…)’.

    As long as the ‘boss – employee’ social relationship dominates our world, these things will never change.

  • April 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Totally agree “North Africa today tells me that real change in the future will come from with in.”
    Glad we have been able to work this out!

  • April 23, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    J~ I got ya and i think you got me. But let me be clear on one thing about the standing idle. This in its self shows interest and compassion for those less fortunate. North Africa today tells me that real change in the future will come from with in.
    Michael~ Nope, we worked hard on this one. But it would have been even more interesting if Soc could have mediate .

  • April 23, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Michael talking about Socrates.
    A while back I was reading Plato and was really amazed by how current are the things he talks on his books!
    It is really surprising that we have been struggling with these same problems for eons. I think is important we strive to find solutions to these problems and to show that we care.

    I do profoundly care for my brothers and sisters in Cuba that lack freedom to speak what they think because they are in fear of retribution. Simply because I was once in fear too. I was in their place and I had nobody talking for me. Defending my rights. The right of those without voices. I love coming to this place one and many times because we may not agree in everything but we can talk and have a rational discussion on many of the topics that affect my homeland.

    I love both the US and Cuba. I wish I could help Cuba more.

  • April 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Erasmo’s account of his plight has somehow become the catalyst for a productive discussion. Not sure we have convinced one another of our respective positions, but at least we have listened to one another. Could Socrates have done any better?!

  • April 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Dear Harry, I do get you too and we seem to be in a sort of stalemate. Let me simplify your argument for you.

    You said that Erasmo’s situation is not unique around the world let us represent that with

    C(E) Erasmo’s situation in Cuba
    S(A) Alberto’s situation in Spain
    R(D) Dmitri’s situation in Russia.

    Now your arguments is that C(E) is OK because there is also S(A) and R(D) and possibly many more examples of the same situation in many other places.

    Now here is my point

    C(E), and S(A) and R(D) can all be change if we help. If we make governments and regimes understand that it is not fair to do so to Erasmo,Albert and Dmitri.

    Do you copy me now?
    I do not think we who share the blessings of freedom should stay idle and not pointing at the issues and suggest solutions. Clearly that’s all we can do from afar. It is up to them to implement them or to find their own solutions to the problems they face.
    I still think Erasmo is an extraordinarily good person with very good intentions to be loss in this political mess that is Cuba. I can really talk a lot about Cuba and US because I believe I know much about how both countries work. Can not say the same unfortunately about other places. I think you have to live in a country for many years to understand their culture and their people to arrive to conclusions.

    I hope my math simplified explanation above have not obscure matters more! 🙂

    Harry, I do believe is good to talk about all this things and with anybody. It helps us all understand each other and that itself is a really good thing!

  • April 23, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Julio~ I get it, I get it, I get it what you have stated. However I am not so sure you understand that the real point I have been making is Erasmo’s situation really isn’t as unique (around the world) as you may think. I am not minimizing his struggle at all. It’s just that, change a little here and a little there and you have the same road blocks stopping millions of educated people from success around the world. By the way the “luck wishing” has to do with anyone facing the challenge of going against the flow . It just so happens that it is more dangerous in some places than other. I am not just talking countries, I am talking peoples own worlds.

    I have immensely appreciate everyones opinion on this debate and comparison. No question in my mind that all of you are way more educated on history and politics than O Harry here. All I use is common sense from years of hard work and travel. More than any thing I hope some sort of wave of respect for man kind comes to our nations and soon.
    O and want to make a comment on the Paypal thing. It would be interesting to see if one could see any results from such an effort. After seeing the west response to Japans latest disaster. I seriously doubt it! But maybe worth the effort for E’s or whoever’s struggle . One caveat there could be legal ramifications and tax consequences if U.S. managed.

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