Sunday, May 04, 2008

Escaped Employees: If you see them call the police!

In some ways, I find this situation rather amusing. Amusing in the way that says, "Never in my entire life have I ever seen companies that post photos of their employees who elect to or refrain from returning to work." I am certainly not amused that the employees, for whatever their reasons, felt they had to "escape."

Can you imagine if, in the U.S., companies posted photos of employees who didn't show up for work - at whatever job and for whatever reason - every single newspaper in every major city would probably have full pages of notices reporting that "Sue has escaped - she is hungover and didn't show up for her shift at Super Discount World" or "Joe decided he didn't want to deliver pizza's today - he has escaped from Pizza 4 U."

And, although these types of notices may well be common the world over except for in the United States, because I have lived in only two countries [the United States of American and now, here, in The Sandbox] I have no knowledge of whether or not this is common in Italy or Norway or Panama. I can state for a fact, however, that these are not the first photos that have been published in our local paper of workers who have left their employers. But I can't recall seeing an instance before now where the word "escape" has been used. "Abscond," yes; "escape," no.

Does give one reason to wonder though... Why would one have to "escape" from work? Was that person being held in some sort of servitude? Was that person actually chained to his or her proverbial "desk?" "Escape," as defined by Merriam-Webster in its first example says "to get away." Escaping, in my mind, means abruptly leaving something you don't want anything to do with and want to get away from - and fast. So then, why in the world would one woman and three men who were imported from another country, Sri Lanka, where they likely couldn't obtain gainful employment or they wouldn't be here, need "to get away?" Could it be that they knew their jobs were in jeopardy for some legitimate reason and they wanted to find other employment? Could it be that they were being forced to work double-time for minuscule wages? Did they see an opportunity to rob a Brinks truck and decide that they could just hop on a plane and go to Costa Rica for an extended vacation?

It is quite likely that we will never know the reason that these folks decided that they needed to "escape" from their employer. We can just consider ourselves lucky that, for the most part, we have lived in a Country where you don't need to escape - but simply "give your notice" and leave, willingly, in some specified time period to go on to a more lucrative endeavor.

[Photos from Arab News either 02 May 08 or 03 May 08.]

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