Unemployed at 25 in CubaJanuary 6, 2013 | Print |
I was born in 1988, so I belong to neither the generation that enjoyed the benefits of the Soviet bloc nor the one that grew up breathing the fresh air of change in the ‘90s.
And even less was I one of those who in the ‘60s and ‘70s were peons in the construction of “something.”
As the children of the Special Period crisis and of the 2000s, we learned not to expect good news. For us the word “future” isn’t much more than part of a phrase repeated ad nauseum.
We follow the dynamic of the grand wheel of survival…where there’s very little time to think about anything except a piece of meat, a pair of shoes or a tube of toothpaste.
I think we confuse optimism with stupidity, and I believe we’ve learned to shelve or shred our dreams.
For things to go a little better for us, they recommend that we talk in low voices and walk on our tiptoes – though I’ve turned out too awkward.
So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that my birthday will be spent in one of the offices of the Ministry of Science.
I’ll be trying to talk to a secretary who will be looking at me with disdain and even anger.
Now I’m just another one of the unemployed.
They went through my emails — and my rare moments on the Internet — and managed to fire me based on trivial computer regulations.
I’m an “undisciplined”. They could forgive me if I spent five out of my eight hours a day watching movies, chatting or discovering what exercises to do to get rid of cellulite.
But looking for information about Cuba, or writing and discussing that topic is too much; it’s a serious act of “indiscipline.”
To get reassigned, I’ll have to deal with the same people who one year and nine months ago told me that, although I was a nuclear chemist, I couldn’t work in any research capacity given my “characteristics.”
Those “characteristics” are nothing other than writing on this webpage about thing of interest to me or that cause me to worry about my country. Unforgivable.
I expect perhaps months of unemployment, running from one ministry to another, noting how the functionaries avoid me and invent implausible excuses, repeated a hundred times: “Come back tomorrow to see if we can take care of your problem.”
I have a year and three months to complete my post-university social service obligation, and the Ministry of Science is obligated to assign me to a job.
But then what?
My work record says more than any employing supervisor wants to hear.
My current situation is a warning and a vision of the future.