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“Only in the USA did I know what it means to really work hard”: Belarusian about life and work in America


A source: onliner

Karina Komissarchik emigrated from Belarus to the United States almost two years ago. She is trying to learn as much as possible about the country where she will live in the future, therefore she has already visited 25 states. He is pleased to tell Americans about where Belarus is located.


I won’t write a long introduction and go straight to the point: I admit honestly, only in the USA did I know what it really means to work hard, Karina writes specifically for onliner. Not because I was lazy in Belarus, not because here emigrants are forced to work for three. It's just that in the USA a real cult of work. The principle of enrichment is perceived here very simply: in order to earn a lot, it takes a lot and work effectively. Apply this formula to the whole country, and you will learn the secret of a successful economy.

The pay here is mainly on the clock. When you come to any workplace, whether it is an office, restaurant or workshop, each time you are asked to check in in a special program and indicate what time you came and went. At first it annoyed me, then it made me angry, now I understand why this is necessary. Late for 15 minutes in the morning? Lingered a bit at dinner? Left half an hour earlier? No one will say a word to you, they will simply deduct your hour from the salary, and it, for example, costs $ 20. And if so every day, then $ 100 per week or $ 400 — 450 per month. And this, for example, is the amount of payment on your car loan. How do you like this?

Once again, I remember my work in the sewing workshop of a wedding salon. At the peak of the season, my manager spent 12 hours at work with 10-minute snack breaks. All consultants and seamstresses also very often stayed up late. In the busiest period, I spent in the workshop on 9 — 10 hours a day. Naturally, we were paid for these watches, and then we increased the fee for them. This is how capitalism works, and everything will work in Belarus: show your interest in being useful to the company and it will notice it. A lot of businessmen from the USA told me: the desire of employees to work more, understanding what it is to adapt to the customer, or calmly accepting the fact that today you need to work until one in the morning, is the main reason for hiring a permanent job, raising or adding to the salary.

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In Belarus, many people do not have the slightest idea that it is a lot and hard to work. We are talking about half of the office staff, the people who serve the workspace — something like secretaries, or what is now fashionable to call them? Office managers? All the “sales people” sitting on the “cold” calls, some creative professions and all those without which any enterprise can easily do if the question of reductions arise, come here.

Speech about you? I will tell you why you have such a small salary, why you are unlikely to earn more and certainly will not live as good as many people live in the USA.

You arrive at work a little after nine in the morning. Slowly go for coffee, or maybe even make yourself breakfast. Decide on the way back to your table to talk with a couple of colleagues about something unimportant. Next, you need to check the mail, instant messengers, take a photo in the story, confirming that you started the working day. Togo and look soon lunch hour. So what if instead of an hour you weren’t 15 minutes longer? It’s already possible to work a couple of hours, and leave a little before six, because no one will notice.

We have few people know how much is his hour. A rare employer understands how much he loses when employees are always late or allow themselves to leave early. It turns out that out of eight hours, many do business for only four hours. People who can afford to work in such a relaxed mode often do not play a big role, which means that their salary is unlikely to increase. And you wonder why you earn less than $ 500 — 600 per month? Try to work a little more, maybe the salary will increase, and if it does not grow, then change the place, and do not whine every Friday at the bar, as the world is unfair.

Let's also remember my favorite - about holidays and sick leave. In Belarus, there is always an hour of lunch, 21 is the day of paid leave, sick days, if you present a certificate, three years of decree. In the United States, on average, you can qualify for 10 vacation days per year, and not every company is willing to pay for it. A month after the birth of the baby, they are waiting for you back to the workplace, if you need it. Of course, it is possible to cheer, but it is extremely undesirable, and you will be hinted at transparently.


I'm not talking about things like December 31. Most companies have a business day. Private companies have every right not to have a day off on holidays. Not all, but many Americans have been accustomed to work hard and hard since childhood. In the country of capitalism, this is the only way to secure a decent life. No one will come and give nothing for nothing.

The difference in mentality is very clearly seen when you watch the "come" to America from Belarus. Emigrants who are not used to working hard at home, and in the new country, will not bother themselves much. They do not understand and do not accept the new rules of the game, therefore they always try to cheat. To have lunch longer, come back later, and then they make scandals in the chief’s office, because they believe that they were underpaid. Many in Belarus were so spoiled by the greenhouse working conditions that they were horrified when they were asked to stay a little longer at work. Such emigrants often get stuck on a very average salary and, most likely, will never be able to earn more.

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Fortunately, the human brain is flexible and able to adapt to new circumstances. Most visitors quickly join the new system and, not sparing themselves, often work after six or even a weekend. And, believe me, bonuses and upgrades are not long in coming. I have friends who can often be found in the office behind the workplace when it’s nine in the evening. Sometimes they disappear there all weekend. Once I asked them if it was worth it? Will it be back to them? And if at the beginning of their career in the United States they doubted the answer, now they are smiling slyly, knowing that prizes and posts are almost in their pocket.

Still, to find out who is really interested in its success in the company, it is enough to come to the office half an hour earlier than the officially set time. Those who are already in place are the backbone of the company. Checked (and not only by me) many times.

Of course, in an effort to earn more and faster to get an interesting job, you need to be able to stop in time and take a break. Burnout has not benefited anyone yet. In the States, of course, it’s not like in Japan: no one dies at the desktop, but people are noticeably overworked.


By the way, there is a certain layer of people in Belarus who have long accustomed themselves to the capitalist way of life. These are mainly businessmen and individual entrepreneurs. I know enough participants in small and medium-sized businesses both in the capital and in the provinces of Belarus. Regardless of gender, age and type of business, they are united by one thing - the desire to work more and better. They know that if you want to do something well, do it yourself. They do not consider how many hours they worked, they have no tasks that would not be part of their duties. They answer calls even late in the evening, and they always check mail if they don’t sleep. And you know, they have a well-to-do life, quite high-quality holidays and they do not live from paycheck to paycheck.

I want to remind you that this is not about people who work in factories, in educational institutions, in the field of medicine, law enforcement, at fire stations and in the Ministry of Emergencies. Firstly, because I don’t know anything about these areas, and secondly, all these professions make me feel the deepest respect. It is only about those who complain a lot, but are not ready to move.

We scold America so much, we often say that it is incorrect to compare our countries, blame politicians for something, complain about the historical past and wars. The main thing I came to while living in America: improving my life does not begin with a change in my place of residence, political system, economic situation, moving to a new continent. It all starts with working on yourself.

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