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The curse that has no antidote

Today I bought a China-made yellow shirt for eighteen Saudi Riyals with a mere so-so design and with, in its back, a curt message: “Work is the curse of working classes.”

Is it true? Or, is it false?  I don’t know.

May I ask from among readers out there what they can say about this message?

My brain seems in need of rewiring every after doing a stressful work requiring me to have a strong resolve to completely adjust to people whose brain, figuratively small, could have been suffering from a dearth of well-fixed neuronal circuits, as I found it somewhat difficult to decipher, in my first attempt, the subliminal message the designer would wish to implicitly convey.

I admire the designer for sharing with us a message for us to ponder about.  In his own little way, he has incited — not just prodded – us into admitting a fact of life that some of us are destined to be a worker because work, in our stratum, is the ultimate means by which we can survive in this highly political world.

While we are governed by politicians, imbued by us, through the exercise of our right to suffrage, with political power that they can wield to define our economic life, we can never rise above our pity-me situation. The gap between the rich (businessmen) and the poor (workers) has inevitably widened under a government that leaches us of our right to a fair distribution of wealth.  The rich become richer; the poor, poorer.

Proletarianization is alive and kicking. Its downsides are more felt by the working class ensnared by an economic system, defined by political mammals, that enriches the businessmen and disennobles the workers.

I remember quite well how my boss, highly conversant of his own exploitative style of dealing with people, posited his own employee retention theory during the course of one of our erratically scheduled meetings with our consultant, whose air of arrogance could have toppled down the strongly built US Bank Tower located in the world’s major seismic region.

“Our company is rich and our employees are poor.  This being so, our employees cannot just leave the company as they wish, and if ever they will do so, we can easily replace them with another.  We will retain only those who would like to stay with us,” my boss, a Saudi, said.

You see, my boss, who is rich in his own right, has no heart for the poor.   As a worker himself, he should have understood the plight of the poor, working in an exploitative company like a felon languishing in jail – sometimes bereft of his right to exercise his rights.

This designer’s message may have led the working class to realize that work is a curse that has no antidote.  Worker is always a worker, and he will die a worker.


About Danilo Tao-tuan Naraja

I am an expatriate based in Jubail, Saudi Arabia and work in the Admin and HR Division of an oil and gas company. I am an HR practitioner for more than a decade. I used to work for a Cebu-based local newspaper. I love to write human interest stories and started writing when I was still in high school.


4 thoughts on “The curse that has no antidote

  1. Surely work is the curse of disobedience? In Genesis we see Adam and Eve dwelling in paradise, with just one commandment to obey. Disobedience got them kicked out of the garden of Eden, and voila the human race has been working ever since!
    Of course we all need some sense of direction, something to give us purpose. Work is pretty good at helping many have “self esteem”.
    I agree with Leslye, many are exploited by uncaring corporations, but then sitting around at home waiting for a welfare payment doesn’t rank alongside contributing to your own welfare by work (in my opinion at least).
    Having started my own business 13 years ago after 26 years “employment” I’d say work via self employment offers many many rewards and bonuses, and I don’t just mean money. It develops one’s character, and unlocks creativity.
    Sorry to ramble on!



    Posted by snowgood | April 27, 2013, 10:25 am
  2. I’m not surprised at the sentiment: work is the curse of the working class. A lot of multinational corporations think of workers as just property. I do think, however, that all of us need to be mindful that nothing really gets done without “workers.” I think any wealthy boss who has no sympathy for the plight of his workers is asking the universe to deliver him a terrible blow. God help the man who believes that his wealth can save him.


    Posted by Leslye "JOY" Allen | April 15, 2013, 7:41 pm

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