Italy is facing an economic crisis. Work is not easy to come by. Many young people, those in their 20s to 30s cannot find any work at all. This country does not have the expression “under employed.” Employed is employed. And being employed is considered a good thing. It’s not like it is in the U.S. where we won’t take a job at the grocery store or in a restaurant because those jobs are below us. Young people here would be happy to have “those” jobs. They’re just not available. Work is a privilege here.
Italians take great pride in their work. From the janitor at the airport, to the Barista at the café, to the gentleman working behind the register at the local clothing store; Italians dress in their Sunday best, consistently keep themselves busy with work, and truly seem to care about a job well done.
I respect this. It’s nice to see so many people take pride in a job well done. And it’s absolutely refreshing to be away from the constant size-you-up-to-see-if-I’m-doing-better-than-you-in-life questions that are so prevalent in the Washington, DC area. You know those subtle, but not so subtle questions like, “So Valerie, what do you do?” “Oh, really? How long have you worked there?” “My god! Did the stock market hit you like it hit us this year? I certainly hope not!”
Ugh! Spare me the pleasantries and just ask to see my bank statement already!
Witnessing the pride Italians put into their work, and not working for two months have actually restored my appreciation for my own job and reminded me how much personal value I derive from it. I can't believe it but I'm really am looking forward to working again! What a great thing to realize when you’re on vacation!
Woo hoo! Chalk up one more lesson to the “What Val learned when she left it all” list!