Friday, 1 November 2013

I would like to work as a janitor in your office

 Just spotted a vacancy announcement for an office cleaner from a major international organisation whose objective is to develop IT in Liberia. The advert asks for a CV and 3 job references. I imagine the interview for the successful short listed candidate would go like this: 
"Thank you for interviewing me. Yes, sir, I am qualified to work in your office as a janitor. I don't have educational qualifications to match since I come from a socio-economic class that cannot afford university education. I have life experience as a member of struggling class and, have working here and there as domestic help for expatriates until they go back home. It's been my dream to clean the toilets of an international organisation working to develop my country's IT. I promise you, I won't let you down. I will bring my own cleaning tools and materials. I only use toxin-free cleaning agents since I'm also environmentally conscious. I do not have access to a computer to type my CV and I could not get in touch my previous bosses who no longer live in Liberia but I am qualified."
So, I posted this on Facebook as a status rant and one of my friends and, also an employer in the mining industry, told me that this is actually government policy:  "That is what the Liberian Ministry of labour asked every big company to do. And the advert cost more than 2 cleaner per month!"

And, I wrote:  "I am very confused and rather shocked. I wonder what the rationale is behind this policy. Is it it to give equal opportunity to all the would-be janitors? Is it to professionalise/standardise the recruiting process? Is it to raise the wages for janitors?"

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