Slave Office

So You Think

That's his voice on the radio.
Sounds like the Great Black Hope.
He's talking about rights and
freedoms and Defending HIS people.

He's talking about his favourite topic;
Reparations.
Anything to do with getting money is
at the top of his agenda.

When it comes to hypocrites, no one beats Jomo Jarret.
I know.
I used to work for him.

The Accolyte

I came to work for Brother Jomo with a sense of great achievement. I couldn't understand how someone like me, who had almost no qualifications, could get a job with someone as important as Jomo Jaret.

I looked at him as if he were Marcus Garvey, and if he told me to jump out of the window, I would have. For this was the Great Jomo Jaret.

I used to brag about working for him. Used to make the fact that I almost always did overtime sound like a contribution to the Mission.

Some people tossed water on my fire, telling me that I should be paid for overtime.

It wasn't until he docked my pay for lateness that I started to think I should be paid for overtime.

Black Man Time

We were expected to be at the office, at our posts bang on 8:30 and not to leave until he said when although our quitting time was to be 4:30.

He paid us each Friday, and that
was a real trip.

He usually made us wait until way
past 5 while he babbled on the
phone with friends and worshipers.

He made deductions from our meager pay for lateness, for leaving early, for anything.

If we were absent, he took the day's pay.

For the Great Black Hope never gave sick days, in fact, he never gave vacation pay either.

Why we put up with this was based on our belief that he was doing some great work on behalf of humanity and we were making contributions. Not that he was a power hungry mercenary who exploited his 'own' people.

We never realised that deep down he had no respect for his own people.
They were just an exploitable commodity.

Feet of Clay

I had never mentioned the overtime/lateness thing.
I had not 'gotten it'.

In fact, most people don't see the link between me, who is supposed to leave at 4:30pm
being given tasks at 4:20 pm which take until 5:15 pm to complete, and not getting one
cent more, and arriving 15 minutes late, and having that percentage deducted from my pay.

But it was that deduction which opened my eyes, at least a crack.

I started to notice that he spoke to us pretty gruffly sometimes. He'd shout at us, and it wasn't just tension or 'battle fatigue' as he once called it.

It took months to appreciate he didn't respect us.

I guess if I hadn't the blinders on I'd have seen it from my first week, but because I had idolised him, I felt he had the right, or that those who were his victims, deserved it.

It was a few weeks after that 'docking' of my pay for 'lateness' when he didn't pay one cent for overtime that I realised this Great Black Hope treated us as if we were his slaves.

What Happened

One of my co-slaves went home
on Friday and didn't come back.
Not a word, nothing.
Just left.

Jaret said nothing about it.

There was this empty desk, and Jaret went on as if he didn't notice. There was work on the desk and no one was told to do it, so it sat.

However, Jaret was in a permanent P.O. after that.
He barked at everyone in the office.
I was his major punching bag.
Then, he claimed I took money from his drawer.
I didn't. I think everyone knew I hadn't, even him.

I had been trusted with five times the amount that had allegedly been
stolen before. But for some reason, Jomo went at me, and fired me,
Just like that.

I didn't believe it, and went back to my desk and sat down.
In about three minutes he was in my face shouting to get out.
So I left.

I went back the next day, giving him a chance, and he shouted again, so I went to
the Employment office to report him.

Reputation vs Reality

When I filed my complaint, no one
believed me. Those at the
employment office demanded
I write it down, substantiate my
allegations. They spoke at me as if I were a born liar.

Eventually they investigated,
and found that not only had I
been fired without two weeks
pay, by the Great Black Hope
but there was no record that
I or anyone had worked for
him.

In short, we were all off the books.

He was charged under every conceivable heading of the Labour laws.

As a famous Liberator the conditions of employment of his staff became front page
news, and although a few of my co-workers were afraid to talk, smart reporters
weaseled out that no one had ever had a paid vacation. Or sick leave.

However,because of his fame and the worship the public had for him I became
Public Enemy Number One.

Until the Trial.

The Unmasking

The Prosecutor was not impressed with the Great Jomo.

When he tried to bellow about how I stole money from his desk, she
stopped him and told him that he was being charged for breaches of
the Employment Act for not paying Overtime, Sick Leave, Vacation Pay, etc.

And not just for me, for the entire staff; PLUS he had not made any
Statutory Deductions as required by LAW.

The public now changed ts opinion and somehow they allowed him to make
a deal and pay all sorts of back taxes and give all of his employees what they
were owed and reorganise his business.

Being the Great Black Hope he fired everyone, closed the Office and left the jurisdiction.

We got a few pennies on the dollar after his office furniture was auctioned off.

Most of us gained employment over the next few years with average people who
treated us like human beings.


Today

That's his voice on the Radio.
Speaking from another Jurisdiction.
Thinking everyone has forgotten.
Maybe everyone has.
Maybe his hype has outlasted his horror.

He is talking about Reparations. How the Black Man is owed so much by the White Man who Enslaved Him.

I have to admit, he knows a lot about enslavement.

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