Tag Archives: UFRJ

Tedious jobs

28 Jul

There are a few jobs that I see people doing in Rio that seem so utterly pointless that I can’t help but feel frustrated for the people doing them every day I pass them. The people do work whilst they are doing them, they don’t sit around doing nothing, but these jobs must be so tedious, so mind-numbingly dull that I think it would surely be better if they were just paid the money and enabled to use their talents however they thought best.

Light turns green, attendant blows whistle

Traffic light attendant

Wandering across the university campus I come across several people wearing light blue vests and caps with the words ‘Operacao Trafego’ emblazoned on the back. Their purpose seems to be to control the traffic and help people cross the roads, however, with the presence of traffic lights their primary job consists of blowing a whistle when the traffic lights change from red to green. Perhaps chaos would ensue if they weren’t there. Perhaps drivers wouldn’t be able to tell when the traffic lights had changed or perhaps they would just ignore them. However, drivers do seem to (mostly) be able to follow the rules of the road around the rest of the city and the university roads aren’t exactly teeming with traffic.

Lift attendant

Ever walked into a lift and thought what I really need is someone to push the button for the floor I want to go to? No, well you’re missing out because lift attendants seem to be a requirement for every shopping centre worth its salt, government buildings and the airport in Rio. For us the resident lift attendant makes going to one of these places just that little bit more interesting with an awkward silence as we travel in the lift following the awkward conversation when they’ve realised we can’t really speak Portuguese! Add to it someone sitting there listening to everyone’s conversations and a job that requires pushing little buttons and I do begin to wonder who decided it was a requisite job.

The little booth to sit in at the end of the corridor watching time tick by. There wasn’t anyone there at the time I passed in the morning.

Sit in at the end of the corridor job

I guess this should really be called a security guard/receptionist job. It does perhaps help to protect the building and they are someone you could ask for help, however, the job mainly involves sitting behind a corner shelf/booth. This job wouldn’t be so bad if there was something else that could do whilst they were sitting at the end of the corridor. But they have no computer, no reading material. Just half a wooden screen.

I really don’t want to belittle the people doing these jobs and of course I want these people to have jobs. There is obviously the money to pay them. But please let them have jobs that allow them to use their brains.