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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Working in Italy

I know I complained about the horrors of working in Italy a few months ago, but this is a story that needs to be told.

My friend heard about a 20 hour a week part-time job for 600 Euro a month. For those of you not in Italy, that is a decent wage-not good-but definitely not bad. She wanted a part-time job, and it was a job in her field. It sounded perfect!
She submitted her resume and was awarded an interview. She went, and was offered the job 2 days later. 'There's hope!' I thought to myself. Usually in Italy one only gets a job through connections, not through applying and interviewing for it which is done in other countries in the world. I was very pleased.
4 days after she started working at this 'dream job', she is frustrated to the point of quitting.
The first day the boss 'expected' her to work for 8 hours, even though they had agreed to 4. There was no offer of paying overtime or increasing her salary either. She has other obligations. That is why she took a part-time job in the first place.
On the second day she found out that she had to pay the state taxes out of her little salary, instead of the employer paying it.
On the fourth day she was informed that the salary of 600 Euros that both she and the employer agreed upon will be lowered to 500 a month. Does that remind you of anything? (Think about The Godfather 'negotiating' his godson out of a contract in the book 'The Godfather')
Why is it that I am not shocked by this sordid tale? Italy is a workers nightmare, no matter what you hear.