Sunday, 14 March 2010

Cultural artefacts of Immigration

My blogpost today was going to be a reaction to Raedwald's thing about anger rising. I could understand his frustrations, but felt he was wrong about immigration.

Despite my limitless creativity and degree in manufacturing, I have a crap job, working crap hours doing something a trained monkey could do with little training. On the shop floor of my factory, there's so few natives you could count them on the fingers of one hand, well, one finger. The rest are not born in the UK.

If only I'd learnt Portugese and some middle eastern languages at school instead of French and Russian, then I'd be able to engage a little more. Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against my cohorts here, I just can't join any conversations with them. Football doesn't count.

Anyhoo, I just had an almost surreal experience. In one of the rooms five chaps are standing around waiting patiently for the end of their shift, having finished their allotted work for the day. One is seeking a pen, asking each person in turn if they have a pen they can give him. He needs to write something.

In the second room I was asked if I have any kids. No. Am I married. No. How old am I. 30 (well 31, now I think about it).

The gentleman who asked pshawed, I should be well married by now, with two kids. And went on to demand to know why not. I explained I had no money, which seemed reasonable enough to me. My debts are huge, and only decreasing painfully.

Its a lame excuse on reflection. For my culture its fine, but for the chaps I work with, a wife and kids are things you acquire early and don't need money for.

The gentleman pointed out I do have a job, so being skint isn't an issue, and I was at a loss.

So this is my point about immigration, just little things, that seperates them and us. I feel I need to be able to support a family before I get a family, for them, they feel they need to get a family first before needing to support it. I suspect they're winning, whilst I'm waiting for my debts to go.

I shrugged and shuffled back to the first room. The penless chap asked me if I had a pen. No, sorry. Could I get him one. Maybe. Could I bring it tomorrow. Sure. He said he'd wait.
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