Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Would someone like to work for me? Please?
I sometimes don’t know what to make of the news. They show all these people queuing for Passover food parcels. They describe destitution and hunger. The queues are growing from year to year, the reporters explain. Someone I know who runs a food project tells a similar tale. It’s so sad (I am so lucky to have enough to eat).

But then, why can’t I find an Israeli cleaner? Could all these people really be so poor that they are reduced to charity, but still none of them want to clean houses for a living? I don’t get it.

I know, many of them are old or sick; many of them can’t do any sort of hard manual labor. I know, most have probably worked hard all their lives, poor souls, but just can’t make ends meet on today’s pensions or welfare checks.

But they can’t all be too ill or too old to work. There must be one or two who wouldn’t find it too difficult. It’s not like I’m an unreasonable employer. I would never follow a worker of mine around or behave unpleasantly. I’m generous about wages and I give a nice bonus on holidays. You see, I feel a bit embarrassed about having someone work for me, so I would rather just leave them to get on with it.

I had the most incompetent cleaner, but I never complained, not even once. I reckoned everyone deserved a decent living, even if they were not very good at their chosen profession. A soft touch, that’s me.

So I stare at the screen, watching these people in the big queue, waiting to get their rations. The man who runs the food project has such good, compassionate eyes. He describes the troubles of the people he helps. What a lovely, kind person.

I too feel compassion for the people in this queue, and in many others all over the country, and I often open my purse as does my Bish, but all the time I have a nagging little thought eating away in my brain, “If they would only come to work for me, maybe they wouldn’t need charity.”

“I’m not afraid of hard work.” They tell me on the phone. I am happy. At last! I take the day off work to show them the ropes, and then they don’t show up.