Just one more thing, which worried me, when I worked there, but I never told about it...
Our office was placed in the very center of London - beautiful building in business quarter. We had everything we need: cozy ottomans in resting zone, massage rooms, open verandas with beautiful London panorama, gym with free group classes of all kind, all sorts of free food - tasty cakes, meat, fish, fresh fruits, vegetables, berries - in the common dining room every working day.
But at the end of every working day, when I left this proud shining office, I went literally 100 meters away and saw dirty homeless people, literally lying on the on the sidelines, wrapped in old shabby rags and papers. Looking at some of them, I couldn't even understand - are they sleeping or just dead. This... contrast was so high, so abrupt and glaring, that I couldn't get it out from my head.
And when I ate that high qualified free food in my shiny office, I recalled these people, and food got up in my throat. But I couldn't just take all food and bring it to them. It would cause just even more complications. Charity should be done in clever and organized way, to not bring even more disaster. And of course, let me be honest - I was not SO motivated to really organize it. I don't have a messiah complex, neither strong moral convictions. And of course, I don't believe in God, who gives good girls rewards for good deeds in afterlife; I think that we all will just cease to exist, no matter good or bad. No retribution, no reward. The end will be the same for everyone, no matter how you lived. No wonder, I am not prepared to devote significant amount of my time and money on charity. So I just didn't do anything about it.
Knowing that the kitchen of my office send some amount of leftovers to shelters (or at least, they say so...) made me feel a bit better, but it still was heavy to see that contrast between my life and life of those people on the street. My colleagues never told about this. They never even looked at homeless people, just passed by like they don't exist. I also did the same.
But every time, when they talked with each other with their righteous appearance, praising our shiny Corporation Of Good, encouraging each other to Do The Right Things and calling each other Good People, I wanted to interrupt them abruptly and say:
- Guys, nothing personal, but we are not good people. In essence, we are nothing but monsters. Me, you, he. We have no hearts. We're gaining top salaries in London, eating this delicious food, resting in our comfy comfort zones. While right now, right nearly our shiny office people are lying on the street - dirty, miserable. We all see this every day, but we all pretend that we don't see. Did you ever try to come to that guy, wrapped in rags on the side of the road and check, is he even alive? No? I don't either.
- We never do anything about it. He doesn't do anything about it. You don't do anything about it. I don't do anything about it. And do you know why we don't do anything about it? Because we don't give a shit.
- I know, that the problem of social inequality is super-complicated and doesn't have a single simple right solution. And of course, I don't know the solution. Maybe there is no way to solve it at all. I can say only one thing honestly: I'm not kind-hearted enough to even try to find it. I'm a monster in exactly the same degree, as all of you. Maybe even more. I spent hundreds of pounds on meaningless entertainment and fancy dress, but never did anything to people at the street. So don't call me a "good person", when my memory about them is still so vivid.
But as I told, I never told about it... I just pretended like I don't think about these inconvenient things, like they don't exist. Just like all others did.
To be honest, now, while writing it, I started to despise myself for not having a courage to tell it all when I worked there. I like to imagine myself as daring truth-teller, but that work made it too clear that it is not true. My sarcastic acid mouth, which likes to tell inconvenient things so much, was actually so easy to shut up with a juicy thick roll of pounds and prestigious record in my CV. Yum!
Any conclusions? No. Any moral? No.
I seriously don't know. I don't know neither what to do about my inconvenient feelings toward people on the street, not how to find a balance between my desire to talk everything I think and my desire to look acceptable enough for corporations to earn big money.
But at least, I feel slightly better after expressing my suppressed feelings loudly without pretending. Phew...