Wednesday, April 21, 2010
an example of when work is fun and totally unproductive
The picture above reminds me of a painting scene in some famous gallery in old England where the farmers are all engaged in various activities.If not for the machine it could be a timeless shot.
In this instance there are a total of 10 people doing in theory a job that can be done by one machine and its operator. There is the tractor driver who just lies on the ground under a shade smoking a fag.(he is out of the pic by the way) He is just there in case the roaring tractor stops, as the tractor engine drives the rear wheel which operates this tsunami thresher. He is also the boss to whom I pay the money after the work is completed, and is the son-in-law of the owner of the tractor and tsunami.
Then there are 6 men/boys who work the machine, like carrying the bales of hay and stuffing into the machine. I know them all as they are all my neighbors, and there are some in school, who work on this machine during their hols.
Then there are my three who hold onto the paddy sacks that collect the paddy and have to move them out once they fill up while another holds the replacement to avoid spillage.
They all have some fun while working, though talking when the machine is in operation is hard due to the deafening sound of the thresher. At the tea break it is lying in the shade chatting about yesterday and plans for the evening after they get their daily pay. There is a fair in town and the famous musicals that rural areas are now being plied with as a source of entertainment is a topic of conversation.
If and when the work ethic changes, and money becomes the driving force in a society then these lands will be more streamlined, worked by fewer people, and all these people who you see as underemployed will instead be part of the driven workforce.
Will that ever happen in Sri Lanka? is the question, and many would say it should not happen, as work,growth and acquisition are just not compatible with the psyche of the people who only do what is necessary to survive.