Friday, January 26, 2007

The Old Dogs and the Wee Dolly Birds

This is actually the second time that I have been discriminated against. Well that I know of at least. Other interviewers may have just looked through me. My CV may have been left unread. Invader name, ageing. Not a young bit of skirt to have around.

The first time was fairly unsubtle but at least they would have had enough excuse not to employ me. My norsk language was not really up to it, and despite being an international office with publications and all documentations being in English, lack of day to day communication ease would have been enough. Instead of me, with 9 years experience and a business masters all appropriate for the job, a pretty young girl with 18months experience as a drug representative was appointed. A ‘fighting girl’ as they put it. I got considered for a temp position after this.

Now, once again in my shakey career path, my gut instinct told me that I shouldn’t go to the snidey recruitment consultant for the third party, and unnecessary interview. They gave me, unlike my colleage moving to this new department from the old company set up at the Uni’ , a damn hard time. He told me it was a cup of coffee and a chat. The job was mine.

But the job wasn’t mine. It went to a ‘wee dolly burd’ as the old timers of my dads generation would have put it. I had no leg to stand on and was unemployed with only evening courses to keep me busy. In Norwegian, of course.

This time round there is a more subtle and insidious approach to it all. There has been a lot of squirming around trying to make enough smoke and mirrors to get me out the door and the new person in without alarm. Management have done what they wanted and abused the systems and procedures to make try to make me feel that I was agreeing with them to leave!

Okay they preferred someone else, and I wasn’t the nicest guy or most clarent bloke to work with.

But all the liberalness in Norway leaves the sharks on the reef with easy pickings and little if no pay-back. Because of the tight laws and regulations concerning employment and termination, ordinary punters just go along in the assumption that employers firstly abide by the law and secondly show fair play. They of course do not, especially when it comes to immigrants.

The cigar classes of herre-middag (gentlemens’ dinner season in the autumn) like to have a bit of fluff about the office or to pretty-up their team. They like the soft-touchy feminity and the lack of aggressive challenge and overt amibition males show. Women see the biological clock and want to start using the fruits of their humble collaboration and super-hard work they have precieved they needed to do to get on as far as a person with a penis. The cigars wafting bosses use this, as they do in other countries all over the place where equality is a legal phenomenon. Women want up the damn ladder and are prepared to sacrifice more than the average man who gets there. But more on that in another lecture.

Business in Norway is not very sexy. Business men are portly, arrogant swarthy types with open collars on expensive shirts that should have a tie in place. Successful women are hyper pushy and cut throat in my experience. It’s all a little dynasty-dallas soap opera on the back of the fact that no one really needs to work for a living here. Not sweat, long hours and putting the job first in life like many in the UK, germany and the USA. It is a means to an end and all floated in the idyll of the oil berg. Norwegians are in effect sitting in a bath of money waving piles of $1000 dollar bills about themselves. Everyone lives in a luxury, all be it that this was the case before oil in terms of quality of life. People still go skiing and live the summer in little huts like they did in the austere 1950s, they just drive there in an X5 or range rover. So in the midst of the cauldron of cash and boredom, the odd bit of eye candy gets preferential treatment. No one will notice. The sharks can go in, take a bite and swim on as an imperceptible shadow over the coral reef that is our oil berg.

Pretty girls don’t know what the hell to do with themselves because so many of them are pretty! Applying for a job they aren’t really qualified for, and being arrogant, spoilt and with over realistic expectations is no problem for a cigar class boss! Great a little fluffy to mould into the shape I need.

It must be great waving your cigar about the place talking about what foreign firm you ripped off, which contracts your old mates awarded your firm, where the next gravy train of public money is coming from and appointing the next bit of eye candy ahead of someone actually experienced to do the job.

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