A good job

When my Scottish grandparents used to talk about their friends’ offspring, they would say things like, “Aye, ye remember Sandy McDuffus’ lassie, Moira, aye, she got a good job at the post office, y’know.”

A good job at the post office. For my grandparents, who grew up in Glasgow between the wars, any job in an office was “a good job”.

A better lifeI was reminded of how relative job values are by the Bosnian woman who sits in the street all day near our office, with a sign and a bowl for money. Every day as I pass, she smiles and says, “Buon lavoro”.

“Buon … giorno”, I reply.

It was 0° C when I took this picture at 08:30 this morning.

The other day, a friend of mine, Suzie, chatted to her in Croat. She had lost everything during the war and brought her family to Italy to seek a better life.
A good job
The woman asked Suzie what she was doing in Rome. “My husband works over there,” she said, pointing over to the left. “Ohhhh, he works at the petrol station!” replied the woman, obviously impressed.

Suzie didn’t have the heart to say that no, in fact he worked for the United Nations in the building just behind.

A good job at the petrol station.

12 thoughts on “A good job”

  1. Americans, sadly do not understand war- or rather, the personal nature of war.

    I’m not sure that understanding would make a difference in foreign policy- but more insight is always valuable.

  2. Hi Ria. This is a thoughtful post – thank you for this perspective. It’s useful to be reminded of these relative values.

    Those teeth pictues from a few days ago are truly scary. Good luck for your triple session (today?).

  3. It’s interesting to note that the abstract notion of ‘a good job’ is entirely subjective and must always analysed relatively. People all want/need different things from their jobs. We need not seek out refugees from warzones to remember that. Just remember to put some money in the unfortunate lady’s bowl, and also remember that if you were in her situation, you’d need people’s generosity too.

    Little man, what now?

  4. May be UN can use this incident to say, ‘Hello World! we are taking interest in OPAC and middle-east’.

  5. Thanks … too few people take the time to give just a little bit of themselves. It’s all too easy to forget the there but for fortune, go you or go I …

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