February 7, 2008

Some things I've learned about work in Honduras

Ratio: 2 shovel leaners : 2 workers

Monday is not really a work day.

Saturday morning is designated as a half-day work day, but it really is just a day that an employee goes to the workplace to wait four hours for their weekly pay. The law says that the work week is 5 1/2 days, but that the workers are paid for 6 days. If the worker misses Monday, they are only paid for actual days worked.

No matter how desperate someone says they are for a job, they will not come to work every day.

A waiter's job is to take the order, bring the food and drink (one time only − if your glass is empty, it's not their problem), and collect for the check. Period.

Workers who cannot remember how to perform a duty from morning until afternoon will have a complete grasp of the labor laws and their benefits.

Todos saben todos. (Everyone knows everything.)
Anyone who once watched a house being painted is a painter.
Anyone who once mixed concrete is an albañil (brick layer).
Anyone who has worked as an albañil is a contractor.

Anyone who has glued a leaky pipe back together is a plumber.

If it isn't done "that way" in Honduras, it is wrong. No hay de otra. (There is no other way.)

If you find that rare good and conscientious worker, you must cherish them as if they were your long-awaited only child.

If this sounds cynical, just ask any employer!
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