It seems GJ has started a bit of a blue with his dismissal
of an errant driver. A relatively common theme being thrown around revolves around some quaint cafe socialist view of the world and the exploitation of an underclass. Which is amusing as often the comments often expose a degree of snobbery by the sanctimonious "Ches" leaving the comments.
No one is denying that some bosses are arseholes and the whole workers obligations and rights thing is a complete buggers muddle in Indonesia (notice we did include obligations, it’s a two way street). However, to assume that working as domestic help is a job choice to be pitied shows a complete misunderstanding of what real life is like for many people in this country (personally the Stump finds the profession of accountants and money men far more pitiful, after all they only parasite from the real work that others have achieved).
There is not enough work for everyone in Indonesia, nor realistically will there be in any foreseeable future. If by employing a maid/driver/gardener some of the wealth is kept locally and just perhaps that money allows the next generation to achieve even a modicum of higher chooling then that has to be a good thing.
Stump stands to be corrected, but is willing to suggest that most Australian Expatriates (this will bring in the crows) influenced by the fairly class less culture tend to treat their employees on fairly informal basis and if would be rare for an employee to be exploited as such.
The Stump regularly gets the sh*ts with the self righteous arseholes who wander through the airport for instance, proclaiming loudly “I don’t need anyone to carry my bag, I am not going to exploit the poor bastards”. Bloody drongos, what does he think the “poor bastard” is going to do if he doesn’t make any money as a porter .. Pop down to the nearest unemployment office and collect a cheque.
Having said that, the Stump like GJ is astounded that some people once locked into a secure and (relatively) well paying job, will then jeopardise the whole thing out of sheer stupidity. Company Stump recently sent a very young, very bright Indonesian (lets call him Bright Spark or BS for short) to Australia for a series of courses. It was made very clear to BS that a new product line was coming into the country and he was to be the guru of all things in that product line and the potential was there for him to reach very senior management. Sure enough, the “live for today” mental trap kicked in and he was caught selling spares of company equipment to a rival company for the sake of a couple of Rp. Shocked and horrified when he was terminated and police were called (ah the police investigation, that’s another story) he lost the job and will never be employed by another expatriate company in the region for wait for it…5 million Rp.
Now the self appointed advocates out there, will say for only 5 million. Give him another chance. Screw that! Company paid for his families hospital stays when they were sick, paid a good wage, paid thousands for international courses and gave him a future that less than 20% of Indonesians will ever see. Basic Trust and honesty was all that was required in return a fair contract and he broke it.
Although to be fair consequences and action –reaction often don’t seem to a consideration to large proportion of the population. Witness the acts of your local motorcycle riders “I ride like lunatic, on the wrong side of the road and don’t look left or right then…SPLAT.” is not a thought pattern that comes naturally.
Several years ago, I was staying in a home stay in Kupang, nice Christian family (little weird, like all god botherers but nice). One day the two teenagers in the house come to my room
Them “Hey you wanna come and see where (we) burnt the Muslims houses last night”?
Stump “Eeer Ok”
Yep sure enough a dozen plus houses burnt to the ground and on the way back home
Stump… “Why did they (you) burnt their houses”
Them ….. ‘Because they burnt our church”
Stump… “Mmm Ok”
But it gets better.. ten minutes later we pass a remarkably unburnt church
Stump… “Huh// I thought you said they burnt your church”
Them… Sheepishly “Someone said they did”
But wait gets even better…
About a week later, everyone is sitting around the table and the conversation starts with everyone complaining that the price of fish has tripled and is now a luxury item
Stump… “Hang on..Weren’t those houses that were burnt the homes of the fishermen (as well as being Muslims, it was a fisher village)”
Them.. “Yes why do you ask” ..puzzled looks what’s this bule on about..
Stump “Well if you burn the fisherman's houses then it stands to reason….ah forget it” wandering off down the pub for a fishless dinner..
Consequences …………………… They are a bastard with a life of their own.