Sure enough as I’m having a drink with a good friend last night, during stop one of thursday involuntary pub crawl night, she utters the words “What’s a blog?” And boom – as always – I spouted out 10 to 20 minutes of technical definitions as well as anecdotes from my so-called blog-life. Eventually I think ladies will start throwing drinks in my face like I’m Jack on Three’s Company. But astonishingly, she stayed and dare I say it – was intruiged by this blogosphere I speak of.
Speaking of which, welcome to all those visitors from Turkey! Yes.. lots of new visitors from Constantinople this week for which I’m very thankful. I also noticed frequent visitor from C?te D’Ivoire which, as I learned during the Olympics, has legally changed its ENGLISH name from Ivory Coast to C?te D’Ivoire. That should tongue-tie the non-francofones. Mais Oui!
On the agenda today – Temporary work and Temp culture. I recently signed a contract to work at the U of Amsterdam for another 9 months or so, but I signed this sheet of paper at a TEMP AGENCY. I’m not a real University employee, I’m a big ol TEMP. They can fire me without fear of contract stipulations, my measly wage comes from the agency, they don’t pay taxes or extra costs that would come with having me as an employee. In the end… it’s all cheap and commitment free for them and for me its… well.. a temp job. I know some will remind me its not shameful to be a temp and its a necessary “economic” strategy for businesses or in this case universities (though there’s less and less of a difference), but as I sat in this temp agencies I saw adults (IE-older than me),people with degrees on top of degrees, loads of experience… yet they were at the mercy of the Temp Agency. I asked myself, as Freddy Mercury sang: “Is this world we created?” I mean.. what happens when we’re all temps? Will temp agencies go to other temp agencies to temp-out their staff and workload? And what the hell are businesses doing with all the cash they’re saving?
What I’ve learned in the last three years in the Netherlands and Portugal is that it is NOT, by any means, an American phenomenon. I actually once thought it was. ManPower may be the largest employer in the US, but them and “their brethren” have been immensely successful in Europe too! I sat with the Dean for a bit yesterday and shot the breeze, as we sometimes do, he reminded me that this has been going on since the 70’s in the NL. Hence the famously flexible and successful Dutch economy, as compared to Germany where they have resisted this phenomenon until now. He also expressed a bit of disgust that Temp culture has invaded University culture. I’m really wondering what price our culture pays for all this.
This must be annual report season, UNFPA (Population Fund) released the cold hard population facts. My synopsis:
– 3 condoms per year for every one man in sub-saharan Africa is a global shame.
– Western Europe ain’t that fertile. (gulp)
– Rich-Poor gap is horrendous, and my finger is pointing right at those at the top and those in charge who allow this to continue. Two fingers I guess. Pointing in similar directions.
Just got distracted by an article. I love lock-pickers, especially the NYC kind. You ever tried to pick a lock? That shit is hard. Now a nose.. that’s less complicated.
Today’s Music: The Used – Something to Burn