Monday, 24 September 2012


take advantage of somebody: to take selfish or unfair advantage of a person or situation, usually for personal gain.
In this world there is no hope of exploitation ending soon and am going to try and explain why it won’t end soon. Consider this scenario, *Andrew has a Diploma in Information Technology and can do a wide range of works as per His profession. But due to economic stress, few and highly competitive job openings available; He has not been able to secure a job.
After two years of job-hunting, he finally lands a job in a privately owned company. Due to desperation of having had no specific source of income he readily accepted the offer of Kshs 10,000 per month salary job. He was among the few employees in the company earning the same amount. Since the job was located in urban area, he rented a house of Kshs 3,000. The rest of the money was used for other of his budget allocations.
The job was indeed tiresome since he was working up to overtime and it reached a point he started feeling like he was being exploited. So, they started negotiating for a higher salary, only to be met by a rude answer from his employer, “If you do not want to work you can as well quit, there are so many people who would like to get such kind of money monthly. As a matter of fact I am only doing you guys a favor by giving you a job and money, quit today and am sure I am going to get some other people willing to work”. And that is the bitter truth that we have to live with. If you are not willing to work earning Kshs 10,000, someone else is desperately in need of such kind of an opportunity.
With the kind of the situations in our world, joblessness, poverty, money losing value, sky rocketing prices of goods and services which is inversely proportional to incomes, there will be always someone who is willing to work at a very low wage so as to be able to cater for their daily needs which have gone to a point of desperation. Worse, those who are working on their meager incomes, the greener pastures are not readily available and they can’t just jump ship without knowing where they are landing so they will continue to work in their low income exploitative jobs just to sustain their livelihoods. And some modern employers are so much aware of these situations and they take advantage of the harsh economic situations to exploit their workers, knowing too well they are not likely to leave their current job due to economic pressures facing them. Take for example, every time employees raise an issue of salary they are threatened with sacking. Some knowing too well they cannot afford to stay jobless, since they have dependants like spouses, children, siblings etc, will do anything within their power to retain their jobs, unfortunately this may also include setting themselves up for being exploited. In our modern world, consider yourself very lucky if you have an understanding employer. Such employers are hard to find.
Can self-employed people be exploited? Yes. Customers have the power to exploit the sellers of e.g. clothes. Imagine you have not made a sale since morning, towards evening you get a customer willing to buy your product at a mere Kshs 50 profit, what do you do and you are on the verge of sleeping hungry? So it is possible to have customers and consumers being exploitative, but of course this is through individual bargaining power. Also some employees, especially those who are highly talented, gifted and cunning in their work can turn out to being exploitative to their employers knowing too well that their employer cannot afford to lose their services. Some employees happen to be the pillars of the company they work for to an extent that should they quit, the company collapses.
Some employers even make it a point of squeezing every human- resourceful energy from their employees, e.g. energy, time, etc so as to ensure that they do not engage in any other economic activity, all this is an effort to enslave them and keep them there. Such employers even go to an extent of ensuring that employees do not even have access to simple social services e.g. news for wanting to keep them in the darkness of what is happening out there. Some employers also restrict formation of employees’ empowerment unions in order to lessen their powers in the company. So employees will never have time to educate each other in any matters of life. In many companies dictatorship is the way of ruling.
It’s also possible due to fate to find some people who are really talented in their careers unemployed. Such will find and take any job opening available if they do not afford to start their own business. Other people are weighed down by responsibilities of life, e.g. parenting, and will not take risks of dropping their jobs in search of greener pastures for fear of what may follow in case their venture into “greener pastures” backfires. Other people, by nature, fear taking risks and will continue sticking to their current exploitative job.
Thus harsh socio-economic situations have pushed the modern society to an extreme of enslaving some individuals since they have no enough power to break from their apparent shackles. Unless luck shines their way, they will continue to be exploited as long as they live in this world, courtesy of harsh realities of life.
So next time you see someone who willing to work in exploitative situations, do not be quick to judge him thinking that he is stupid enough to be exploited, but try to put yourself in his shoes and imagine what you would have done if it were you. Have a nice day ahead.

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