Immigrants — is tolerance enough?
What are the challenges of the immigrants? How are they being treated? Read story of one of them, working in an international company, known worldwide. Are we tolerant? Yes, but is that enough?
Immigrants — a day from their life...
Years passed by and he still misses this thing — sleep. Sleep so deep and peaceful like a baby. Once he dreamt about comfortable, European life, but today, the only thing he is dreaming of is to wake up without muscles' and back's pain. Evening nap is over — time to go to work. Shift as any other, from 11PM to 7AM. It would have been easier if he had driving license and a car, but these are the costs reaching beyond his budget. Even though his workplace is 30km away from his house, he leaves at 8PM, to get his tram at 9 o'clock, then getting to another bus stop.
He puts on his dress uniform. Elegant black trousers, a yellow and red jacket with a large "DHL" inscription on the back. On his shaved head, he wears a cap of the same color with a pompom, and on his feet, work boots with sheet metal - black with yellow stripes, polished to a high gloss. Proudly, with his head held high, he heads to his destination - his labor camp.
On the way, he passes dozens of pairs of eyes, all focused on him; so unnatural, alien to German grey. He's not just anyone. He is an employee of a large, world-renowned corporation. He arrives at work at 10:00 p.m., which means he still has an hour of waiting in the cloakroom ahead of him. Another moment for a nap. He changes into a normal work outfit - it's normal everyday clothes, he puts on the same shoes with a plate, but now a dirty version, used for work. He hides DHL's elegant robes in a locker.
Work time, time to start...
He sets himself up at his workplace. He has a seven-meter container to unload in front of him, loaded to the brim with parcels. Some are light and fall on top of his head, and others are heavy as stones, stuffed with dog food and cat litter. Seven more such containers are waiting for him. Outdated lines, reaching only 4 meters, force him to throw packages in an uncomfortable position for his back. nich However, he prays that this will not happen, because someone has to work for the family - two children and a pregnant wife. And after all, cousins from Africa are also waiting for a package from Europe.
He's barely warmed up when the first in an endless line of bosses, managers, supervisors and foremen yells at him, twisting his name, that it's time for a break. Although he knows the slogans: one team, equality, tolerance, they really only exist on paper. It is well known that the first to take a break are black people, then the other nations, then the Turks, and finally the Germans. This information means that when he returns, he will have to work more than six hours straight, truck after truck, non-stop, like in a labor camp.
Break for all... Immigrants included
He sits in the locker room during the break. He doesn't do something outstanding, creative - he's just "somewhere", maybe in a box of nothingness, maybe watching football highlights, maybe a Nigerian series where everyone yells at everyone. This is his time to himself, time without wife, without children, and even without a boss. As he sits there, he notices something familiar - a small mouse is scurrying around the cloakroom, looking through the stock of cupboards. For a moment, he emerges from the box of nothingness: "Is this what a workplace in the richest country in Europe was supposed to look like?"
He goes back to his toil. Every minute feels like an hour. Time stands still, package after package flies, a whole avalanche. Head is empty, there is nothing to occupy his thoughts to make time fly faster. If so, you could at least play music, but no - it's forbidden. You can't bring your phone in here, you can't do anything at all. You just have to work, preferably quickly, precisely like a robot. He got a whole container of cardboard boxes with green tape. That means pet food only - heavy packs of around 20 kg.
It's getting hot, very hot, muscles red-hot, sweat pouring down his forehead until the package drops from his hands. Canned dog food splatters across the truck, and the rest of the cans roll on the floor. He slows down to rest a bit. But he can't - he already hears the Gruppenführer whistling at him like a dog and yelling: "Gas geben, Gas geben!!!"
Toilet time is luxury
It's been a few hours since the break. He wants to pee terribly and feels the pressure increasing. Urine begins to flow out of his eyes like tears. But how to leave the workplace when the boss yells that there is still so much work and less and less time? In the end, however, he can't stand it. He jumps out of the container, calls the boss and, jumping from foot to foot, shows his crotch with gestures, explaining that he has to go to the toilet.
The Führer laughs and says no, but after a while he lets go, noting that he has a minute. So he runs taking his words seriously. On the way, he passes a group of giggling Turks smoking cigarettes. He goes to the restroom. It would be a great feeling, a relief for the bladder, if not for the fact that the stench of a dirty toilet and ubiquitous urine burns his nostrils. He is afraid to touch anything because the walls are covered with something brown. He washes his hands under cold water. Unfortunately, the soap has run out, and so have the paper towels. On his way back, he passes a cleaning lady wearing headphones, having a heated discussion with someone on the phone while mopping the floor with a dry mop.
Worktime regulations only on paper... just like the tolerance
The thought that he has tomorrow off keeps him alive. He doesn't have to go to work; will eventually fall asleep. However, another boss emerges from behind - this one of a slightly higher rank. He asks him if he will come overtime. Our hero knows that it does not pay off, because most of his hard work will go to tax anyway.
He would like to refuse. Deep down, he says "Nein!", but he's scared. The last nine months he worked through an intermediary company. They know he's good, so they hired him directly for three months. If he says no, he risks not renewing his contract. He would end up with nothing. He doesn't have any special skills, and his language skills are somehow poor. Though his mouth forms "Nein", he says "Ja, gerne" and nods yes. Dreams of sleeping burst like a soap bubble. They will extend his contract, but only for six months, so that he doesn't feel too confident and refuse to work overtime, and worse, not take sick leave.
Forget about commendation
The last minutes he speeds up to finish his container by 7. He's all wet. However, he will not hear "Well done! Thanks!" He won't hear anything. All he'll get is that contemptuous look that says, "If they didn't just eat bananas, they'd be more productive."
Cleans up the workspace quickly. He knows he doesn't have much time left. If he doesn't hurry, he'll miss the bus. So he runs to the cloakroom, changes into DHL's yellow and red evening clothes. He rushes to the bus, sees it coming. Suddenly, a signal sounds. At the gate, security stops him, of course, only as part of a routine check to see if he has not accidentally taken something. "Alles gut! Have a nice day," the security guard bids him farewell with a smile. He rushes in at the last moment. The doors close and the bus starts moving. In about an hour, he would finally be home, in his bed. Such is the day of a foreigner, a black man from Africa. May his spine last for seventeen more years until he retires. And may someone take pity on him and give him this pension.
- MEDITATION ON... June 30, 2022
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- MEDITATION ON... August 1, 2021
- MEDITATION ON... July 12, 2021