Rant: Why Seychellois Employers Choose Expatriates

I’ll have to write this rant separate from my journaling because I feel like a whole different person whenever I have to think or deal with employees. For instance, I can’t say I’m in a pleasant mood and then turn my journal into a fit of rage. In Seychelles, the government prioritizes the employment of locals over foreign staff. So unless bribery is involved, you can only employ a foreign worker if you can prove that there is no Seychellois who can do the job (underqualified) or if you can prove that there is no Seychellois willing to do the job (no applicants). To assist unemployed workers, the employment department (who seems underqualified themselves) have this ridiculous habit of sending out random CVs to anyone who publishes a vacancy advert. If your requirement is “masters degree in neuroscience” they will send you CVs from people who didn’t even do A-levels. If your requirement is “English proficiency” they will send you CVs of someone who cannot speak English. They don’t even care to properly score nor interview the people who submit their CVs. So they are just creating “noise” where there’s none. It is already overwhelming enough to find someone to fill in these spots, we received over a hundred applicants the last time we ran a vacancy advert. Now for them to email CVs from people who do not even meet our basic criteria, and then they require a feedback report, they are giving us even more work to do – if we had time to do that extra work, would we be trying to find an employee to begin with?

This past week, our 2 casual workers continued to add stress to my peaceful life. On Monday one was running late, she said she would be 30 mins late and as it was coming close to her being 1 hour late, we told her not to bother showing up. On Wednesday one of them had an “appointment” so we told her to take the whole day off because that is our rule with casuals – if you’re going to take half the day off, you might as well take the whole day off. On Friday one of them entered the shop 1 minute before we’re supposed to open (8:30am) and then seconds later, she leaves to get breakfast. She returns 15 minutes later to leave her food behind and steps out to take a 15-minute bathroom break. Again this past week, we were told the extension that connects the following appliances: the outdoor fan, the microwave, the water dispenser – wasn’t working. We told them to move around the cable and they said it’s still not working. This extension has been working perfectly ever since we opened the store 2 years ago so we found it odd. In the evening when we did reconciliation, my sister just moved the extension and it was working fine. The next demand was for a radio. “The music in the CDS tablet is too repetitive, can we get a radio”. So we bought a cheapest radio that was SCR 135. The music that is playing on the CDS is entertainment meant to be for customers when they walk in and browse around. It was never meant to entertain staff. Whenever we interview people, we actually mention that this “is a boring job” so how is it my problem if they do not know how to find ways to entertain themselves? The next demand was for toilet paper. At the beginning of the week, there was 1.5 rolls in their basket. Our previous employees would go through 1-2 rolls per month and a 12 L bottle of water every 3 weeks. Their consumptions don’t really bother me, I understand they have to drink and use the toilet but they also have this habit of “pooping on company time” and that will explain the extreme usage of our resources – a reminder than we have never had 1 full week of complete attendance by either one of them so yes, the usage is quite a considerable amount.

It’s just one demand after another, and they do not even meet the standard of what we are looking for. They are both 23 years old and they act like children. They weren’t raised right. Their parents failed them, the education system failed them. As a result, they are failing at their jobs. They treat us as though they are doing us a favour by being at the store. We have closed for a total of 9 hours (that is OVER 1 full day of our regular working hours) in just 3 weeks. How much money did we potentially lose because of incompetent workers? If we employ them they will be taking 1 extra day of sick leave after each “appointment”.

In Seychelles, employees are entitled to 1.75 days of annual leave per month (I don’t know if this has changed recently), so a total of 21 days per year. Employees seeking a bit of a break will simply go to a doctor (healthcare is free), tell the that they are sick and they will be given 2 days sick leave by default – the day that you see the doctor + the following day. This abuse is so rampant. There is also “casual” Fridays where you get to where casual clothes and everyone shows up to work but nobody wants to work.

Now tell me – which employer in their right mind would want to hire a junior staff from this country? We do it because the government makes it extremely expensive for small businesses to hire expatriates. THAT is our only reason we don’t have an expat to replace these 2 casual workers. We are already paying SCR 17,000 for these 2 who have weekly “appointments”.

While we were texting our disappointments to the girls the other day, they all of a sudden acted as though they couldn’t understand English. We try not to do this face to face when we are disappointed because we want written proof that things were said. We have their CVs and English was indicated as a language ability in both their CVs. If they have no proficiency in the English language, they should have been honest and not state it on their CVs. Now they are pretending that they didn’t learn English at school? In Seychelles, English is not treated like Creole. English is the language used to learn all subjects except for French. How were they able to sign up for Facebook? Perhaps it’s time we had a Creole school. People should learn important subjects in Creole. Perhaps they will learn it better.

We have already warned them that if they are late this coming week they should not show up. If they show up, it will be their last day with us. At this point, depending on our mood, we will tell them to either leave immediately or they can complete the day and then just not return. While any normal human being will recognize the frustration in their boss’ tone, anything we say fall on deaf ears with these girls. They will say “ok noted” and then say something like “oh by the way we need more candy in the jar” – WHAT THE FLYING FUCK.

I was telling my sister that at this point we should be monetizing these issues. We could create an account on social media where we do skits of employees showcasing their ridiculous issues and demands. Pretty sure it would resonate with the crowd of employers.


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