Trick or treat
We read, and we keep reading. We even share the news about the workforce crisis, that we can’t find people who are both skilled and willing to work. From the construction sector to IT. From waiters, designers, engineers to people who work in Finance. We talk about the fact that the salaries are meager and nobody is willing to work for free, that the employers suck and that the employees have a shitty mentality; that nobody takes responsibility for their actions and other stuff like that; that millennials are I don’t know how.
Perfect, let’s say that the situation is like that. We observe that there might be something genuine, an actual condition. There might be a shortage in the labor force. I would be interested to find out why this is the case. I believe there are several reasons (this is not necessarily the proper order, and I don’t exactly know how much they “weigh” in the real world):
1. Too many Romanians left the country, millions of them. If they hadn’t left, we would theoretically have a few more million people contributing to the workforce. A little pressure never hurt anybody.
2. Too many young people with university degrees who:
a. Do not have the necessary knowledge for employment, and
b. Unrealistically raise the bar in terms of the expectation we have from young people, in contrast to:
3. There aren’t too many Romanians with secondary education but with a straightforward job: tile makers, blacksmiths, concrete workers, tailors, machine tool operators, carpenters, etc.
4. The myth of high wages that must be earned, now. No, you don’t have to make that much unless you deserve it. If you use the IT staff crisis and earn 800 Euro entry-level, you have a false image of yourself, and you only take advantage of this situation.
5. Wage inequalities and inadvertences between types and categories of occupations, plus severe disruptions in the system of value perceptions due to wages and bonuses in the Government system, are often associated with the global image of corruption and legal theft.
6. Corruption and theft that are almost-generalized and legalized, in any role you might have, from the lowest to the highest levels: if you are a builder, you steal diesel from the excavator; if you are a civil servant, you maneuver auctions; if you work in the private sector, you steal from diurnal, consumptions and acquisitions budgets; if you are a marketing director, you do it fifty-fifty with the branding/marketing/advertising/ communication agency, etc.
7. The new generations of young people who grew up in comfort and wealth and no longer possess a strong motivation to take on responsibilities. That is, they are neither hungry nor cold, and they usually have a family safety net.
8. The constant increase of all costs adds up to the total costs of products or services, leading to the limitation of salary costs by business owners. You have to make a profit out of something.
9. The absolute precarious typology of the Romanian economy that produces and exports too little concerning imports and consumption. The particular typology of Romania in terms of the workforce needs salespeople, IT specialists, and state workers because otherwise, nothing works anymore.
10. The feeling of precariousness that each of us has due to the numerous changes in laws, values, people, politicians, economy, relations, etc. This leads to the buying things “here and now” mentality. Now I have to get a high salary, and now I want a phone that costs 6000 Lei. And this mentality is damaging because it does not allow even the slightest effort of construction and perspective. And from here the path is open to all kinds of “coaches” who sell the so-called personal development solutions per the minute: “You do not need to make any effort and you don’t need to build anything. Listen to me and in just 3 steps you will, mainly, become rich and that’s it. No effort “.
11. The internet, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and so on. I know, it sounds retrograde what I say, that it is very old-school, black and white, not at all hipster, very analogue and not in the line of “ease” of the XXI century. However, the speed at which we get anything (with only one tap on the screen), the gratification we get each second (with which the chemicals in our brain have already become accustomed to), all lead to the extrapolation of this speed of obtaining results in our everyday life, in our professional career, in our relationships, etc.
12. The consumer mentality led to the false belief that “I deserve everything.” Forgive me for giving you this wake-up call; we don’t deserve anything at all. To think we deserve everything is the most damaging way of thinking possible – and is also the most self-mutilating and self-deceiving intellectually, relational and professional, at the same time.
13. The vast majority of us own our own homes. The vast majority of properties bought in Cluj in 2017 – for example – are bought in cash, without any credit from the bank, and, mostly, by people who are not locals. So it’s possible, so we have the money, so we have a roof over our heads, so it’s ok, so I don’t have to work too hard.
14. Some people are earning too quickly money from the state – through auctions and illegalities that are shown on TV, that are angrily shared on Facebook, etc. What results from this? For some, a feeling of disgust, for others, a motivation to do the same. Both categories will not want to work harder.
15. Social assistance. I’m not saying we don’t need it, but it stimulates laziness and begging as it is now thought out and implemented.
What is certain is that in one way or another in România, one does not die of hunger. Everyone manages somehow to live în comfort because there is no pressure of unemployment of tomorrow. Everyone has a lifeline in one way or another, and then, why bother if it’s working like that? Because it’s working. It’s working. We see it every day. The system can very well propagate itself indefinitely by allowing functional illiterate university graduates to enter the workforce. After that, it can recycle them at its will and for the current interests of the consumers.