Saturday, August 05, 2006

Modern Slavery 1

The turn of the 20th century saw the abolishing of slave trade. But slavery is still very much in place. To me, it is a new way of slavery; Modern slavery. It is of types. The slave-employee and the slave-consumer, etc

In 2002, I joined Oceanic Bank Nigeria Plc as an IT staff after so many years in the freer world of the small scale employers. From the day, I realised that although I had a good job, I had as well became a slave-employee. It was slavery because my employer, like most other corporate employers around the world, determine what I wear, how I eat, when I wake up and unintentionally, when I sleep. You might ask how; never mind, I will tell you.

In the banks, and most other offices, there is ethics on dressing. Most of the time, you are required by an unspoken law to dress ‘corporately’ as the term goes. What slavery could be tougher than that? You are not allowed to eat freely in the office no matter how decent you may keep it. Yet this law isn’t scribed anywhere. Or would you go home when you feel? For most of these workers, you can ask the estate agent staff, expected targets can drive you mad with the threat of dismissal, or you may as well loose the job. You are made to tell lies, cheat, deceive, etc all in the name of achieving target. Or did the slaves of the centuries gone not strive to achieve enforced targets?

The case today seems worse as we see people become depressed and usually suffer mental ill-health due to job stress. While the bought slaves suffered mainly physical strain, we of the modern and decent slavery suffer nerve breaking emotional trauma in our nice dresses. We give less or no attention to family, home, friends. We eat on the move and need various gadgets to keep up. In fact, some of us are wired either to ourselves or to the offices, customers, and only God-knows-where. We have gone from 8 to 4pm down to 9 to 6pm and now it is 24/7. And the problem? We do not know our masters.

Our ties represent the slave chains, our ear-plugs the ear-piercing. As we’ve seen the body piercings come back to fashion among young people; a big and significant indication of the return of slavery. What a world?

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