How Leanid Kulakou searched for a job.
The activist of European Belarus, the taxi driver Leanid Kulakou recently travels by public transport. Bailiffs arrested his car, which he used to drive passengers and earned money, because of unpaid fines for taking part in protests.
Leanid can't pay fines because his car is seized. And his car is seized because he doesn't pay fines. This vicious circle reminds me the one of the old Soviet times, when a person could not apply for a job without a residence permit, and he could not get a residence permit without a job. The century has passed, and even the millennium has changed, but the time has left our back yard unchanged – here everything is the same, and the methods are all the same.
Whenever Leanid was riding a bus or a trolleybus, he heard announcements on the loudspeaker: "Minsktrans" invites ticket inspectors for work in passenger transport. It should be noted, it invites rather actively, even lures. You will hear this announcement no matter what bus you ride on. And Leanid decided: why not? He can apply for the job of a ticket inspector: they promise to pay a decent wage of 600 Belarusian rubles. There's no telling he would be able to pay the fines soon and get his car back so that Minskers could enjoy the company of the cheerful taxi driver with a white-red-white flag.
So, Leanid Kulakou went to the personnel department of the nearest bus fleet. Yes, they told him, we really need ticket inspectors. Thanks for coming. It's a nice day, isn't it? Then, in a conversation, the head of the personnel department asked Leanid if there were any criminal records against him or if he had ever been detained. Having learned about the administrative protocols, the head categorically refused to employ Leanid. He explained that one could not work as a ticket inspector being an administrative offender. A ticket inspector should be pure as driven snow. Otherwise, how will he fine fare dodgers if he is not law-abiding too?
Leanid agreed with the arguments: yes, indeed, he was not too law-abiding if you follow the letter of the law. Thus, he didn't deserve the right to work on such a responsible position. Meanwhile, he still has to pay the fines, his car is still seized and besides, he needs to pay the state for those 25 days, which he spent in the detention center in Akrestsin Street. Hopeless situation.
I wanted to help Leanid and to find out whether it was really impossible to find a job for a person who had been brought to administrative responsibility. Is now everyone who participates in protest actions doomed to be unemployed? It turns out - not at all. There is a wonderful job where they expect offenders with their arms open. The vacancy shows itself on one of the job search sites.
So, here we go: the security department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus (Maskouski region office) has a vacancy of a driver for a detention group and a vacancy of a police officer of a detention group. Salary starting from 700 Belarusian rubles. After five years of work, they provide a preferential loan for 20 years at 5 percent per annum for housing construction. The main holiday is from 30 to 45 days, and there also are additional holidays provided for "a special nature of service." The pension is at the age of 48 years. And the demand: there should be no more than four impositions of administrative sanctions against the job applicant.
Four, Karl! And now let's think what is the most common administrative offense in our country. It is not at all a mythical "illegal production of printed materials", for which the authorities infinitely fine independent journalists; it is not the participation in an unsanctioned event, not the resistance to the actions of the police. The most common administrative offense is petty hooliganism. As a rule, such offence is done while being in a drunken state: easing oneself in a public place, breaking windows, laying on the sidewalk, harassing passers-by and so on. If you manage to meet the requirement of four times - you are welcome to serve in the police with all its preferential loans and other benefits. Note, the security department is not like local police officer Aniskin, whom you can ban from entering your house. The security department is those who have duplicates of the keys from your house.
By the way, according to our legislation, if one commits three administrative offences, he gets into an activity therapy center. Now it turns out that if one commits four administrative offences, he can apply for a position in the police. Leanid, of course, has nothing to do here: he already has more than four administrative protocols drawn against him. But I can recommend this option to young participants of protests. If you were expelled from the university or fired from work for a 15-day arrest - go to the security department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus. It turns out that they gladly employ Akrestsin prisoners.
Why not? It's a nice idea - to infiltrate all state agencies, from security to the central apparatus! We will have enough people chosen by the criterion of the number of administrative protocols to close all vacant police positions. Then we will all meet on the square - some with flags, others in uniform - and arrange fraternization, change of power and a disco.
Iryna Khalip for Charter97.org