The Controversy of job seekers in Albania

What would you do to be employed?

According to the BBC this is what one man did to make it to his first day at work.

 A US company owner gave an employee a new car after he went the extra mile – 20 miles (32km) in fact, walking all night to make his first day at work.

After his own car broke down, Walter Carr made the long commute by foot through the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama, to his new job in removals.

A police officer spoke to Mr Carr en route and, impressed by his grit, took him to get some breakfast.

 

I put an advert in an Albanian newspaper looking for a babysitter and cleaner. The non- negotiable qualities were

“MUST SPEAK ENGLISH AND KNOW HOW TO SWIM.”

I got a few calls from people who could do neither and was impressed by their dedication to find employment regardless of lack of the main qualities defined in the advert.

Then there were the ones who got their brothers, cousins and friends to make the enquiry.

And then there was the most interesting group. These were the ones who claimed to have both requirements and experience for the job requirements so I made appointments for interviews and then waited.

THEY DID NOT COME OR CALL OR TEXT

Because I urgently needed an employee, I followed up with phone calls. To my astonishment, these were some of the responses that I got.

“It was raining so I could not come for the interview.”

So would this person only work in the dry season?

“It was too hot, can I come when it is cooler”

Would this person only work in the spring and autumn?

“I forgot that I had to meet my cousin for a coffee”

So will your cousin give you a job?

I forgot to set my alarm, I overslept.”

While that is plausible,  please…..

“I went to the beach can I come in two days?”

To the beach and you need a job? Why not go to the beach when you are earning money to pay your way?

“I have exams, can I come another time”

Why would you not mention that on the first phone call?

“I am so sorry I was a little sick, can we meet for a coffee”

No I do not want to me for a coffee I want to interview you for a job.

And then the most SHOCKING

“You place is a little far, can you meet me in the center?

Seriously, you want me to meet you somewhere at your convenience so I can offer you a job that you claim to want?

That way made me speechless.

Okay, eventually I did get a small number who had no excuses and actually came to the interviews some accompanied by mummy, sister, friends cousin etc.

I try to go out once a week with my husband and this job would require that when I go out, the baby sitter spends the night in my place with my 7yr old daughter. One lady said “No problem but only if I bring my 18 year old son because I would be scared to stay alone.  Really, you want your 18 year old son to spend the night in my 7 year old daughter’s bedroom?

One girl said “I can stay the night but only if I bring my mum”

Then there is the one who came for a trial day two hours late and left two hours early while telling me that she was desperate for a job but forgot to give her brother the house key and needed to leave.

One said she could look after my 7 year old but would clean nothing.

So do these people really want jobs?

Yes they do.

Do they want money? Yes they do.

But do they need money?

NO THEY DO NOT.

There is a very big difference between what people WANT and what people NEED.

I want a brand new Mercedes sports car, but what I really need is any kind transport.

I want a mansion but what I need is a roof over my head.

I want an I-phone but what I need is just a phone.

Truth be told, I have everything that I need but not everything that I want.

In my opinion the basic human needs are, shelter, clothing, food, water, oxygen and fuel.

I come from a continent where people literally die from thirst because they cannot get a glass of water. While I commend the American guy who walked 32 kilometers to work, for some in Africa, walking 20 kilometers a day every day to make life possible is an everyday reality.

If your next meal is only possible if you go to work, there is no way in hell that you would say “ooops it was raining I could not make it to the interview.”

The truth is many young people in Tirana have all their needs taken care of. eg mummy and daddy sending food and money from the village, rich uncle in the USA sending money and clothes, a sister in France etc

Given my country of origin, I find it difficult to comprehend that rain can stop someone attending an interview. I guess there are different definitions of poverty and not being able to afford the latest I-phone is not one them.

FREE ADVICE

Only call if you really need a job.

Do not let someone else do your job interview.

If you have no time to attend an interview, do not call.

If you do not speak the required language, do not call.

Do not be late for a job interview.

If you are over 18, do not bring your friends and relatives to interviews.

If you have too much money, go on vacation and stop wasting my time.

Is that too much to ask?

 

Any thoughts on the subject are welcome.

 

8 thoughts on “The Controversy of job seekers in Albania

Add yours

  1. Grew article. I’m African American living in tirana as well and the lack of professionalism kills me at times too… they complain about unemployment but then won’t show up for a job interview, then when a huge influx of foreigners come when they eventually join the EU they are going to complain about foreigners taking their jobs away, you know, the ones they dont want to show up for.

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  2. You can’t hold countries of the world, collectively, to your personal standards, or what you see as the standards of you country. This is the exact mentality that justifies all forms of discrimination and racism, leading to the most extreme results.

    Consider that cultures differ, and perhaps even the culture of babysitting for a comparatively ‘rich’ foreigner is something unusual the people you met. Also consider that many firms in all countries will interview many (sometimes hundreds) of inappropriate candidates for a vacancy.

    The right person is out there. If you can’t find them, perhaps you as an employer are not so attractive either.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan, your ridiculous comment only highlights how delusional and uneducated you are. There is no person with common sense that can justify racism and discrimination. If the OP had not mentioned his ethnicity, you wouldn’t show your true colors. The reality is Albanians are racists like you said but it doesn’t justify the type of behaviour if job seekers.

    Comparing interviewing for a baby sitter with a recruiting firm is a stretch. A big one. I doubt any firm would agree with the someone else taking the interview for someone else. Being of a poor country is not an excuse to be lazy and unprofessional.

    It is vain to extrapolate as I can’t go past the stupidity of your first comment. How does having standards, honorable ones, justifies racism and discrimination in the most extreme results? Should I say one should not expect more from a country who sells it’s young girls to prostitution and does absolutely nothing to rehabilitate them when they come back, especially in cases where they were forced? I’d say your mentality is coherent with this type of insensitivity. Even though my family is Albanian, I do not agree with social injustice.

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  4. As a woman, especially a young woman, bringing a relative with you for safety isn’t so unreasonable, considering the history of the country with abductions.

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  5. Ou, Elsa! Dial it down baby. Who cares about OPs ethnicity, or do you?
    You just said Albanians are racist. That’s at least bigoted.
    You can’t logically rebuke Dan’s coment therefore you call it stupid and him racist. That’s a convinient attack, but a futile one. You just showed your shallowness and need for virtue signaling.
    Grow up.
    p.s. Does any law in Albania condone prostitution? You looney!

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  6. Dear Elsa,

    If you need a babysitter and someone to provide cleaning please don’t go through advertisement. There are also companies of employement, so you can find what you ask.
    In second row, prejudism of people will not help to get along with one place culture.
    You need to know that due to communism babysitting as culture was settled only around the years 2000. You have to be romantic to belive that for this interview the girls could come alone. She, who ever will be, will start e kind of relationship in your private space, so the girls look for her safe. This is rational from them looking that girls who called you come from conservative and traditional families.
    3. If they called and didn’t show could you reflect on your way of expression. I would have put lots of questions if I was in your place.
    4. It looks that the girls didn’t need the money. Maybe their families are their financial source and maybe these girls wanted to try to work. Few numb of students work in Albania.
    5. Poor is a complex word. It is either material or cultural.
    The finacial sources of the girls how you comented in practical is quite acceptable and comfy. Food from village (healthy) and money from imigration. This is typical Mediterranean culture. Italy, Greece, former Yugoslavia countries and Turkey apply the same method, especially on healthy food consumption brought from countryside. (And which country doesn’t?).

    Your story in fun and acceptable to US stances but for Albanian context where the institution of babysitting is not existable to be applied through announcement. Lifestyle comparisons between US and the Balkans, doesn’t stand whether high tech is on use.
    Please follow the place methods. Ask your Albanian friends to find a good woman for your inquiries. This is Albanian style and no political or global social system will change it, let’s say for at least 30 years.
    Maybe nock at the first kindergarden close to you and ask for a babysitter?
    Ask your albanian colleague?

    Good luck

    Inis

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  7. As many comments noted I do agree that there is a big cultural difference as the problem. First of these kind of jobs in Albania work through recommendations from other people that the babysitter or cleaning lady work for in your social group. Usually it’s not just seen as someone you are employing but as someone who you invite into your home and trust a lot. You are supposed to know at least one person they have worked for a while. It is better if they show up with a family member or a friend because you can get a little more information about them. As for staying the night accompanied by their son is also very common. Many women in Albania (including my own mother) have never slept in the house alone, and just the idea terrifies them. You have still buildings in Tirana where the first 2 floor windows have bars like prisons because of the fear of thieves. In Albania this kind of job is not taken lightly as anyone who employees someone in their home has to be very careful. Since you didn’t do any research in regards to this you attracted all the scumbags. You would know better if you took some time on the matter. When you employ someone in your home you are adding a family member not just paying someone for their job in Albania. As for the people who blew off the interview most of them where trolls and the rest of them probably have made 100 calls to different places so they ended up not being interested in you. Just as you filter through people who you want to hire other people filter through places they want to work for (making weird excuses for the ones they don’t) I am not saying that I agree with the way you were treated, just trying to give some perspective on the way thing work in Albania with it being right or wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The differences between cultures and how things like job recruitment responses are handled are interesting. Though in the case of job seekers, regardless of where they are from or what the job is, if they really need the work it is hard to understand why they would not do more to try and land one. Thanks for a thought provoking posting!

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