I was reading a European Union ‘Regional Development’ magazine last month and was pleasantly (and amusingly) surprised to see an advert for Velenje where, apparently, they ‘expect me with ‘pleasure’
…all 33,000 of them.
However, despite their bold efforts – there’s only one Slovenian name that’s important for me this month – and that’s Gorenje. For anyone that doesn’t know (I’m guessing that’s most of you) Gorenje produce the world famous Gorenje domestic appliances. And now I have one. A shiny new ‘Black Jack’ Gorenje Vacuum cleaner with 1300 watts of Slovene sucking power. So, I may not be able to drink Lasko or shop at Mecartor but, my appartment is now cleaner than your average Slovene’s car …and that’s seriously clean!
Actually, I’m surprised Slovenians can find time to clean their cars because, most of them are screwed-up and exhausted by the age of 30. It’s true, look – I read about it in an academic review of Slovenia’s recent history…
“Another economic weakness is that the workforce is relatively old and young people don’t get enough opportunities. Slovenian work legislation allows employers to use alternative ways of employing people and has created a new social phenomenon – a ‘worn-out thirty year old’ person. The use of short term contracts and self-employed by the young is so extensive as to create a substantial proportion of young people with years of working experience, little or none of which is traditional, long term, full time jobs… while more than sixty percent of Slovenes nowadays start University when they are nineteen, only 5.9% of twenty-six year olds have finished.”
‘Google-image search ‘thirty year old slovene’ and this is what you get. See what I mean!! Totally worn-out.
So please, if you’re feeling a little tired and run-down, please think of the Slovene thirty year-olds. They need your help. I’m even worried that I spent so long there – maybe I will wear out!?
Actually, whilst I laughed at this, the author does have some good points in his article. Labour laws in Slovenia advantage students (and the Studentski services Mafia) to such an extent that finishing your studies is, largely, economically unviable. It may also be a contributing factor in another trend that he identifies and that’s the relative unwillingness of Slovene’s to leave Slovenia. Personally, I’d attribute that to the fact that Slovenia is actually something close to paradise but that’s a longer story.
PS. I am painfully aware that in writing this I firstly admitted to reading ‘regional development magazines’ and secondly boasted about my vacuum. To make things worse, I have to admit to feeling pleased with myself for discovering that Velenje is (by coincidence) home to the head office of Gorenje! …OK, I’ll shut up…
If it wasn’t so shitty outside – I’d get out more