16 May 2021, Sunday, 21:57
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"I'd Have To Survive On One Pension"

"I'd Have To Survive On One Pension"

A pensioner, who washes hospital laundry, was honest about her income and expenses.

A pensioner from Baranavichy, who works as a laundry operator in one of the medical institutions of our town, has told intex-press.by how much she earns, how the coronavirus has affected her salary, what the prices are, how much she spends on medicines and what she saves money for:

- I come from Hantsavichy. My mother always wanted me to become a nurse. That is why after finishing school, on my mother's advice I went to Baranavichy to enter a medical school. But I failed the entrance exams. I did not want to go back to Hantsavichy so I decided to "hold on" to something and sent my documents to the Baranavichy Technological College as a cook-confectioner.

After graduating from the college I got married. My husband and I worked at the same factory: he worked as a driver, I worked in the workshop. When we had children, I decided to get a different, better-paid job. So I became a storekeeper, and then I was promoted to head of the warehouse. I worked in that position for 36 years, one year being already retired. And then I quit.

"It doesn't sound difficult, but try loading 20-30 kilos of laundry».

My pension is 420 rubles, but it's hard to live on that kind of money. So I got a job at one of the medical institutions. As my mother wanted, I got closer to medicine. I became a laundry machine operator.

My present job is not more difficult than the previous one, although at my age (I am now more than seventy years old) it is physically much harder to cope with it. I work two days after two, which suits me fine, since I have some free time. My duties include receiving, washing and ironing laundry. It would seem to sound simple, but try to load 20-30 pounds of dry dirty laundry in a large washing machine, and then pull out the wet, shake and iron it.

The laundry comes in all sorts of ways. There are several degrees of contamination: clean, with a little spot, and covered in blood. If the laundry is too dirty, we soak it, and then only do the rest - just like in everyday life. Of course, all the processes are, by and large, automated: the machine washes, the centrifuge removes excess water, and the calender irons the laundry. But I don't have enough partners to move the laundry from machine to machine, the machines occasionally break down, and I have to carry the laundry myself on carts. It's hard.

The pandemic has made a difference

Coronavirus has affected our work, too. Now we work in full protective outfits: suits, shoe covers, masks.

Of course, covid has affected our salaries as well: we used to get about 350 rubles, now we get 600 rubles. Plus the pension. We would have to survive on one salary or one pension, not live. As long as I have both, I have enough money.

I always take a good sausage for the dog.

Since I live alone - my children and grandchildren have grown up and are all independent, they don't really need my help anymore - I have enough money. And not just for me, but for my dog. I don't have to save money like I have done all my life.

I pay plus-minus 135 rubles for utilities. I pay 25 rubles for my cell phone - I talk a lot with my children and grandchildren.

I spend about 200 rubles a month on groceries. I do shopping in a store located in my house, every two days. For one trip I may spend 50 rubles, and I may spend 10, it depends.

Usually my shopping list includes meat, chicken, dairy products, bread. I also take good sausage for the dog, 6-7 rubles per kilo. Plus all sorts of goodies for him, diapers. So just for him alone I spend 70 rubles a month.

I want to be beautiful at any age.

I go shopping for new clothes less and less often now - I have a lot. But sometimes I indulge myself with new slippers or a shirt or a scarf. A woman of any age wants to be beautiful.

Speaking of beauty: I cut my doggie for 25 rubles a month, and my haircut costs only 10 rubles. Such amazing prices.

I pay about 70 rubles a month for household necessities - powder, soap, toothpaste, detergent. I spend another 50 rubles on medicine: I buy a standard pensioner set at the drugstore - blood pressure pills, heart pills.

I take the bus to and from work, and sometimes, when I'm very tired, I can take a cab.

I also do a lot of walking with my dog. On my day off, I can get out at 6 a.m. to walk with my little friend. He is happy, and for me it means an active way of life.

I've only been to a sanatorium once

Even though my children and grandchildren are adults, I always try to give them some money. Well, and when they have birthdays, it goes without saying.

I'm also saving for a vacation. At least to travel around Belarus, to see, visit interesting places. During all my life I have been to a sanatorium only once. I had no time to rest - I was working. So now I try to save 200 rubles a month.

My salary and pension are enough to live on, but that is as long as I am able to work. But when I have to leave my job, I'll have to scramble.