I was recently at Softwave Gallery to get some prints and there were like four people sitting around, none of whom could do anything. Some were cleaning staff, so fine, but there was one accounts girl who could do absolutely nothing beyond processing payments. Like, she couldn’t even give us a waiting ticket when we came in. Softwave Gallery sucks, that’s another story, go to Anim8 instead.
Anyways, we’re trying to hire someone to do Sinhala events and we got a promising CV from a university graduate. Sri Lanka is the only place I know of where higher education leads to higher unemployment, which is insane. It’s like we spend time and effort actively making people stupider. I mean, to take in the top whatever percent of Sri Lankan students and make them less employable is truly such a grievous sin. So, to return, I was looking at this CV and wondering. It all looks good enough on paper, but what I keep hearing is that the productivity is low and that their motivation is thin. Which we can’t really afford, but I guess we’ll try it out.
This just got me to thinking. How many people in this country do we pay or encourage to make themselves less smart? How many security guards are staring into space for 12 hours a day? How many shopgirls and boys are getting Rs. 500 and a bath packet to stand somewhere and be befuddled and unhelpful? It’s madness. How many government servants does it take to process an application? How many people do you need on a tech support crew? The standard Sri Lankan formula for anything seems to be one to do and four to stand around and watch.
I’m generalizing of course, there are tons of productive Sri Lankans. We are, however, as a society and culture, doing something seriously wrong with our education and employment. We have a higher education system that makes people less employable and entry-level employment that makes them into zombies. If you look at Sri Lankans in the diaspora and what they do, we are wasting a tragic amount of human capital.