The Unedited
Free space for free expression in English & Italian
(Un)Edited by Carlo Pelanda
Managed by F.Brunelli e L.Borgiani

7 TH OF OCTOBER 2009

The day after the meeting I'm welcome into the office, by the gloomy light of the lamps. Quite a large open space, in which 60 people  have got to work together, side by side, in no more than 2 square meters. The very same feeling of closureness should have been felt by the captives held in Sachsenhausen. Less hyperbolic would be the comparison of the several kind of prisoners who had to intermingle their lives and fates with others, who could have seated on the opposite bench of the political tribune.

Beside me a philosopher, or someone with a M. Phil., who hasn't been able to find an Engels who could pay for his vagaries and had find a job. The less professional available being in Italy the ICT, where people with every kind of human experiences converge. In front of me another of those petty accountants who are destroying the business. Actually, he's just attended a professional high-school. He comes from Sicily and had to work in the fields, as a slave of the local Mafia, consenting to receive his week off the books in order to receive the unemployment benefit. His way to serfdom brought him to Northern Italy, underpaid by consulting agencies who have sold him twice - or subconctracted him - before reaching his final destination. He sits in front of me. He's quite welcome by the management of the company, an helpful instruments to cut the pay of other consultants. Since he's seen as a consultant on the same level as me, and many other professionals with formal education. He's not a genius although, it's just the ICT industry to suffer a genuine crisis of knowledge and skills.

The place on my left is being vacant for three weeks, after a fellow chartered engineer resigned and decided to open a florist shop. Professionals, in an environment who doesn't praise professionality, ends up to conform themselves and look for a place where they could be deemed invaders from the outside. As well as the petty accountant and the wannabe philopher he has found in his own dominion.

That's perhaps amusing, unfortunately apter to inspire a playwrighter than an engineer. Or I could follow the Italian way of professionalism and exploit my unproper training with software to write comedies instead of Java code. I'll certainly find a publisher, perhaps a liberal one, greedy to make money out of the misery of the Nation. That could nevertheless quite an idea,
to try and give a twist to my career. If as a single-customer professional, I can't find my satisfaction, why shouldn't I adventure myself in a foreign land?

I was fogetting a much more dramatic character. A small and gentle lady in her late fifties. Her curly hairs, her broken nose, her shabby demeanor and her out-fashioned second hand clothes makes her quite unnoticeable. She's a biologist, she worked a long time in dusty labs for several farmaceutical companies. She had to quit her job, nobody knows how, when and why, but she's quite depressed and spends most of the time googling for Lysenko and the names of the other scientists whose reputation has been obscured by the fall of the Soviet Union. She has discovered a way to explains the effects of genetics avoiding the use of such an unsocialist concept as heredity. She works with the picture of Gagarin on her Windows desktop, that sometimes change with a young Nelson Mandela and a smiling J. F. Kennedy before the shooting.

I receive a phone call from the other side of the city. That's one of the public employee, whose conversation I've enjoyed 24 hours ago. We have got to work together. We could have relied on Skype, a platform to share the visualization of our Desktop, any kind of application to enhance the cooperation between distant teams. Much easier solutions would be available thanks to any free and open software solution, available on-line, donwloadable and installable in just few seconds. That brief step would imply quite a revolution within the company organization. Especially the one of the customer, who can't hardly understand the evolution of petty clerks to the rank of professionals. They'd prefer to have standardized workers, wearing blue jeans and blue t-shirts. A whole village of smurfs, conceived according the Marxist doctrine.

On the contrary I've found myself quite comfortable with e-technologies. I started to buy books on-line, more than a decade ago. Now that my eyes have acquired the habit to read from the screen as if it were paper,  a rare quality for someone grown up when Causescu and Honecker were still considered to be valuable guests by the Italian diplomacy, I skipped to e-books. I'm also relying on e-learning. Why don't I go off shore and work through my terminal? I should just shift my time zone some sectors to the East, or to the West, according the opportunities offered by the market.

 

 

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By Matteo F. M. Sommaruga