I’ve Been Saying This For Years

When I was living in Ireland, I had a roommate who worked as a waiter in a hotel. He told me how many people would come in leaving CVs in the hopes of a job. He told me how his manager would trash the Irish CVs, because he knew he could get away with underpaying the non-Irish job workers. He also told me about when the manager made the mistake of hiring a foreigner who knew her rights, and how the manager told her that if he had any intention of paying an employee their full salary, he’d hire an Irish person, not a foreigner. My roommate told me this, in the context of why the Irish were feeling frustrated with the influx of immigrants. He agreed that it was too bad, and that racism was wrong, but surely I could understand where the unemployed Irish were coming from, right?

I just looked at him. “Hang on”, I said, “why aren’t you all pissed at the people who are doing the underpaying? Trust me, as far as the immigrants are concerned, they would much rather be paid properly. Instead of getting mad at the people who are just as bad off as you in this economy, if not worse, why aren’t you directing your ire at those who are taking advantage of poor, desperate, hard-working people?”

Now I’ve come across this meme, and I have to say, my opinion has not changed since my college days.



  1. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Agreeing with you absolutely. I can never understand how people go from “person B was hired because the employer can underpay them” to “person B is scum” instead of ” employer is scum”.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    You daren’t criticise the employers – they’re the people you need to give you a job. You can criticise the immigrants with impunity, they have no power. That’s the calculation.

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