The impact of Covid-19 on employment has been devastating for people around the world. So many have lost jobs, while others have been furloughed on reduced salaries with no guarantee that there will be work at the end of furlough. Many businesses have closed, including major chains, or have gone online with a reduced need for staff.
And yet, as countries struggle with the worst crisis in most of our lifetimes, there are those that are doing very nicely thank you, and appear unaffected by the world around them.
Thanks to the wonders of technology, vacuous influencers who exist mainly to persuade young, impressionable people to buy expensive makeup and clothes, continue seemingly oblivious to the outside world.
These people who count their ‘fame’ by the number of ‘likes’ on banal posts on social media, simply go off to some low infection country with a beach or a swimming pool and carry on regardless of the plight of those they are influencing.
For quality long term employment, nothing can beat being a politician. Not one politician has been made redundant or has been furloughed during the pandemic, as far as I can see. But for a truly easy life then you should opt for being an opposition politician.
The problem with being part of the successful side of a government during a pandemic is that you will have to work long hours in a totally new situation and face criticism whatever you do.
However, as an opposition politician, you can constantly point out where the other side is going wrong without any need to come up with solutions yourself. A simple press bite on a zoom TV interview is enough to give the impression that you care.
On similar lines, another good job is that of newspaper reporter. Here is another chance to criticise government handling without the need to offer alternative solutions. Even when there is good news, the newspaper reporter will seek out something negative to counteract it.
The only places where these jobs don’t apply are where there are autocratic regimes that don’t entertain the idea of a serious opposition, where newspapers are state controlled and where influencers are not tolerated. But if you avoid these places then the world is your oyster.
As you will no doubt detect, I have quite negative feelings about such people, and don’t get me started on Premier League footballers. The overpaid sportsmen not only continue to get paid, but then ignore social distancing every time someone scores a goal. Great role model guys.
But among all of this, lights from ordinary people shine brighter than any of those already mentioned. Here in Kuala Lumpur, we have a large network of food delivery people that can be identified by their pink or green shirts. This is simply a distinguishing mark between two companies. Their scooters and mopeds can be seen everywhere.
But there are also another group of people called the “pink walkers” who have no transport. Apparently, there are hundreds of them, and they do deliveries on foot in high population areas.
I read recently of a typical person that had lost their job and had become a “pink walker”. For a payment of just under 24 USD the person was enrolled and provided with two t-shirts and two haversacks.
The walker leaves home about 9:30 am and returns about 9:30 pm after a working day of eight hours. The rest of the time is breaks and travel time into the city. For this, the person earns between 10 and 17 USD a day. The walker can earn a 7 USD bonus at the end of the week if thirty deliveries are completed with a satisfaction score of 95%!
The walker I read about was pleased to be able to contribute during the pandemic and to be able to help support their family. I wonder how many influencers, opposition politicians, newspaper reporters or professional footballers can say the same thing?