Scary Errands

I’ve been running countless errands lately, to fix the car, fix the backpack, fix errors in paperwork, fix my lungs, it’s mainly about fixing things. I know I’m supposed to buy new things instead of fixing them, but I really don’t feel like buying, especially now that my archenemy controversial town planning councilor Sitta has decided that the solutions to the current crisis is keeping shops open at night and on Sundays. And you can’t really buy new lungs you know.

Anyway, it turns out that fixing things can be very complicated these days.

You call a repair shop, a workshop, a clinic, the customer service of a firm. They take a long time to answer the phone, sometimes they don’t answer the phone at all, and when they do it’s often a manager without a clue or sometimes it’s the owner himself, you can hear him smoking behind a big desk. So you ask could you maybe do this and this and how much would that cost and the answer is we’ll let you know and then they don’t call you back, simple as that. Sometimes they do accept the item to be repaired, but then they keep it for two months and when you ask they confess they have not even started yet.

The fact is, so many people were fired over the past few years, or variously dismissed, so now there’s nobody to do the work, when there’s some work to be done. In the morning most of the cars and vans in my road remain parked. The people who could fix things are grounded, in their homes, watching Top Gear reruns. They are living on state unemployment insurances, some of them have been doing so for a couple of years now, still one year to go.

It’s scary. And it’s also the proof that all those new “flexible” contracts, that were supposedly meant to allow firms to afford temporary staff without the “burden” of paying for holidays and maternity leaves (and proper taxes) were just a smokescreen.