Written by Alex Hickey
Saturday 30th September
11:30, Hickey on jobs once again. It’s late morning now on this fine September day but for the look of it, you would hardly even think it, bright and warm outside and my fan is going at speed mark 2, which doesn’t sound like much but this is a cheap fan after all. October is looming slowly and yet the temperature hasn’t changed very much at all over the past couple months, those Swedish bastards must be lapping it up out there.
Regardless, we’re here to talk about jobs, mostly just out of sheer boredom but a point does need to be made. I was talking the other day with a rather desperate worker on their break, desperate in the sense of wondering what to do with his career. A common theme it seems these days among many Maltese, and an important question for any real intellectual to ask. While the economy is currently being upheld by offshore workers who are more qualified and trained as a result of them being from the country of origin of the company they are working for. But while they are squandering their loot on overpriced apartments and cliché bars, locals are here wondering, what now?
My friend with whom I was chatting seemed to have similar concerns as I did, little room to grow in the sector he works in, not many people willing to budge money wise and though things are getting more expensive, the only thing that seems to be growing with it, is the arrogance of the bureaucracy that runs this shit house. And when faced with a decision like that the only two avenues are grim as he himself explained, joining the mainstream, conventional workforce which three years from now will only reap the same problems as things grow further out of control or becoming an offshore himself. Which has a good sound to it, especially when you consider far off lands like Japan or Colombia or Australia; it has a nice ring to it; kind of what I imagined joining the navy must have sounded like in 1930. But just as the latter, this does have heavy consequences bearing on a person, beyond simply missing home. Who wants to be a slave labourer out in Japan or get beaten up by a crazed kangaroo out in Australia, I sure as fuck don’t.
My advice, though impractical to most, would be considered largely dangerous at any mass level. In a world where you’re being jerked around by bullies on top, the only way out is to go further down. Underground type down. Guerrilla style work; get in, get the job done, outsource yourself and others, get the cash, get out, find something else to do. For a person who is frank and multifaceted, this kind of life sounds great and extremely plausible. Now, I’m not advocating tax evasion or just not getting a job but we all need to consider that the world is changing at a massive speed and I don’t know if people are aware of whether they know their own capacity to keep up with it or not. These people will eventually be pulled down and drowned in their lack of clairvoyance, and I apologize to these people but, this is going to be an increasingly important trait to have from now on.
And what about education? What about our kids? How are we going to explain to them why we don’t have jobs for ourselves and how all the jobs they want to apply for after they finish that gaudy and expensive college they went to, that not only have the courses they took now become obsolete but the jobs that they would love to apply for, didn’t even have existing courses for them while they were in college? This will truly be the plight of the future, the youth constantly trying to keep up with a non-stop world which just isn’t willing to accommodate them. I don’t have kids and I don’t want kids, mostly because I’m a systematic narcissist with a drinking habit, but also because I don’t feel that the world is going to be available to them in future. We’ll have “For Sale” signs on every lawn and aliens with their probed, pregnant wives will come in droves to survey the places we once called home.
Back to reality though, consider Japan again for instance, a country so far ahead that people just aren’t doing it like they used to. An inverted pyramid, with more people aging than being born, these are real problems in a world which doesn’t cater to humans. And people there work like fiends just to afford their tiny Tokyo apartments, or maybe Osaka, doesn’t really matter, it is one of the most expensive nations in the world after all.
All this talk of education and jobs and things which frankly disturb and disgust me gave me a hankering. So, as is just, I headed out for my early afternoon beer at a local tavern to relax and recap. The bar man, an old friend from my dad’s day, opened his bar way back in ’62 and he’s witnessed this change first hand. He remembers all the American and English sailors porting in our fair town and the prosperity they brought in with them. The Good Old Days, he’d remark. Now, Msida, my town, is just a yacht marina next to a massive highway. A place for pricks with enough money, but never enough. A far cry from the submarine base it used to be.
So, let the Swedes have their expensive cocktails and their shitty apartments, and let the government get rich off the suffering of our people. Let the boss who’s never in go about his businesses and his other seemingly more important things to do. But when they all turn around and realize that everything they’ve exhausted so much money out of is coming up dry, the only people who will be left happy would be those damn foreigners, what do they have to care? They’ll just pick up their desks and find some other tax haven to exploit. In this game, you live and all 99 others die at your expense.
So to conclude, fear not young worker, your days of being jerked around will find you some fairer shores, if you follow the stream that is; your children sadly, are fucked, but hey, give me a call when you get out to Akihabara and we’ll continue this chat over some Sake, Asahi and a couple of cute, young virgins, just like the good old days of American and English sailors out in some rambunctious tavern in Msida all those years back.