There's always a choice and a way out.
A friend of mine works as expert on merchandise in a large Minsk supermarket. Now she's glad that she's been working there for long, because new employees have no rights there at all. Why do you think so? And she explained it to me.
It turns out that the administration likes very much to hire young specialialists. The managing staff says without a piece of shame: "They got free education and they will have to work here for two years! And we will pay these experts on merchandise and heads of departments the salary of sellers." And it will be issued as follows: 60/40 - 60% is the salary and 40% is a bonus which is not subject to payment. At that, young specialists have no other way but work for two years being bonded peasants.
That is, they first manage to take free education because of high marks and later learns well. It is hard to preserve an educational scholarship. Then they are welcomed by empoyers and do not get paid properly, because they have to work two years because they got free education.
My friend's daughter studies at the University of Culture - Department of Popular Instruments. Students are very often invited to work as teachers of music at schools. Many students agree, especially those from the province, who want to have some extra money. So, these students are traditionally hired in September and fired in May not to pay for a long academic vacancy. School administration do not deny this fact. Students have to agree with it to be hired in September again. As soon as you try to push for your rights, you're "blacklisted". Otherwise, you'll have to buy instant foods unless your graduation. And this is normal, no employer feels discomfort about it.
Because we got used to kolkhoz feudalism. This is modus vivendi of the society and modus operandi of bureaucrats. Even the classical feudal law "vassal of my vassal is not mine" does not work here. Kolkhoz feudalism is "vassal of my vassal is nonentity and has no right to existence." Do you think that the communist Minister of Education thinks about teachers? No. It is all because he is not interested. It is extra information with a zero profit. And the chain is as follows: counselor and school principals victimize school teachers, and they, in turn, are victimized by the District Education Department. And they are given a bad time by the City Education Department. Then follows the Ministry. Then goes the government. And Prime Minister, and Lukashenka.
But this is not the top of the pyramid: then follows Putin, but here still nothing can be done with it. And here comes a reasonable question: who can be victimized by teachers? Children, of course.
And this principle is applicable to rightless graduates of the Trade's Department: the chain is almost the same: graduates - director - the Ministry of Trade or a private owner. There is a great number of public authorities. And the scheme is common. It is being practiced across the Belarus.
And there is no escape: no matter how tall you walk, you'll always be a vassal, a servant, and a bonded peasant. One may have power over tens and hundreds of people, however, the relief does not come, because a new Sir may be even worse than a previous one. A vicious circle, there is no way out. However, it is not true. More precisely, there is a choice. Either you keep silence and wait for promotion being a bonded peasant in hope to victimize your subordinates or take the streets, join protest actions, respect yourself and change the power.
The second variant sounds much better, doesn't it? Although, it is more dangerous. But even this dangerous feeling is a luck. It does not stand snivellers.
Iryna Khalip for Charter97.org