Melancholic Nostalgia

Also known as ‘working in a successful multinational firm in a country that is falling apart at the seams’.

Ever since I’ve started my new job, I’ve noticed that I have lost touch with the daily struggle of day-to-day life in Greece. I laugh and joke and truly enjoy the work I do now. There are some days when customers may upset me with their words and frustration over not having resolved an issue which should have been normal, but generally, it is something I find comes with ease to me.

Ever since I started at Teleperformance and the iOS department, I’ve met a lot of new people, it really is remarkable to see just how many foreigners are here. In the English department alone, I think I’m pretty much the only person with a naturalised British accent having come from that country. We have Aussies, South Africans, New Zealanders, Americans, Greeks with flawless English, and loads of other nationalities I’ve yet to discover.

The other departments are also varied, Spanish, French, German, perhaps even more out there, I’ve not gone to check yet.

Working there is so different to other companies I’ve been in before. There is constant training and evaluation, keeping you on your toes, not to mention highly professional.

Through it all, I love my job, I love to educate people on using tech, since I’ve been doing it my entire life anyway.

The problem is where I’m based.

It’s easy to forget I’m in a country where things are going downhill faster than you can say recession. High unemployment, lowering salaries, and worst of all, the rise of the neo-Nazis.

You’ve probably heard about them in the news. There have been numerous articles about them in the press. How the police collude with them to help rid the streets of immigrants, how the coalition is losing support overall, and also the increase in attack on immigrants.

A part of me is so worried about this that I’m not even mentioning their name here, just in case. In the first article, they are considering taking out immigrant children from kindergartens, they disrupt theatre plays, what’s to say that these words aren’t inflammatory and I’m then ‘removed from play’?

Another fact which has yet to be reported in the press is how they are ‘buying votes’. It’s no lie that many people are without jobs, which has led to this new scenario unfolding.

A neighbour of mine is now working for them.

No, I’m not in any danger, he doesn’t believe in their methods or any of their rhetoric (at least, I hope so). However, he is (was) unemployed, so turned to them for a job. They employ people, give them a salary, and send them to protest.

It’s easy money, they don’t need to be violent, just shout slogans walk for a bit, get paid and go home, then repeat. This has been happening more and more, increasing their overall influence. Satire by two major TV series here doesn’t disguise their increase in ‘popularity’, with random celebrities jokily praising them and the average person wanting a change in politics to vote for anyone other than the big two parties.

This change is too radical. They simply don’t know what they are voting for, and in the end, Greece will suffer.

I live and work with people of many different backgrounds, surrounded by an era of fear and anger combined like a pressure cooker ready to explode. Two different worlds, one of security and peace, another, not so. If it continues like this Greece will be a completely hostile country within a year.

Today was a National Day for Greece, parades are made to walk by senior members of government, mayors and so on.

Personally, I don’t see anything to celebrate about.

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