Foreign Talent

I got this out of a mailer thrown at my gate. Yes thrown. These days pamphlet distributors don't have the decent courtesy to pass something to you personally. They might see you and the door might be open, but their one focus is shove it beyond the gate and get the hell to the next level. Even my newspaper guy, gives it to you in the hand if you're in the vicinity instead of dumping it at the gate.

So, it came from an aircon servicing firm who pride themselves on their well-qualified technicians. Well-qualified, I figure is that they have some technical knowledge and are certified on the inner workings of the air conditioning and cooling units. But they go one better. "We do not engage foreign workers". Yes, you don't. What could that mean though?

We all know that there is a drive to ENGAGE foreign talent to come set up home on our shores, partly due to the fact that the jobs they would work in, we couldn't fathom ourselves in. Also, due to the fact that we are not producing enough babies to offset the aging population problem. As older workers retire and leave the workforce, there are not enough younger ones to numerically take their place. To curb this inefficiency, we need foreigners. Fair enough.

I buy into this argument. The gahmen obviously is talking about "skilled" foreign workers, oops talent. Once you have a skill you are called talent. You don't work. Everyday you go in and just showcase your talent for shock and awe. So, the labourers are all "unskilled". I.e. Bricklaying, construction, air con repair, sweeping all doesn't really take much skills or talent.

But, these blokes probably added in to their flyers the offending sentence because perhaps, we as consumers would rather prefer a local working on our pride of a home rather than a foreigner. Are we that narrow that we don't recognize that the bottomline is the job gets done and with quality? If that's the case, then how do you hand over the keys to your Ferrari and Audi to the valet who is most probably not local going by what I've seen in the larger hotels here.

Also, by stating "our techs have technical certs and tons of field experience" and then letting go that sentence, aren't you simply brushing off ALL foreigners to be ignorant buffoons who happen to just have a penchant of taking pliers and a screwdriver and tinkering with ur cooling machine?

I think the main gist of what I'm getting at is that we are ready to categorize foreigners here very easily. We call them "expatriates" if they're living next to us and if we actually do know the meaning of the word. We call them "foreign talent" when it's some gahmen related activity or function so that everyone knows they is talented, we is not. And we call them "foreign workers" when we want to refer to every Indian / Bangladesh / Thai / Indonesian / Vietnamese / Chinese worker who so happens to be gainfully employed in a profession we would rather not be in. I'll place the definitions right below so you can derive your own conclusions.

Perhaps, it's time to open our eyes a little more to comprehend that an aircon gets repaired by an able aircon repairman. Not by an able [insert race, nationality, education level here].

Expatriate - To give up residence in one's homeland.
Foreign - Located away from one's native country.
Talent - Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality.
Worker - One who works at a particular occupation or activity.

Definitions courtesy: Dictionary.com

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