Thursday, June 26, 2008

I want to be an Untouchable!

In his book, 'The World is Flat', Thomas Friedman mentioned about how as the world gets flatter, the only way that one is assured of being employable, and staying that way is to be an 'Untouchable'. No, not the kind that one would see in India's caste system as the lowest of the lowest of caste, but ironically, something similar to that effect. It is a term that he uses for those jobs that requires a certain degree of customised individuality skillsets that one perhaps will never ever, if one can certainly ascertain so, be rendered to the cycle of unemployment that pervades the modern day industrialised countries in this age of outsourcing and globalisation. So perhaps being the neighbourhood baker, hair-stylist or laundrymat owner is not that bad after all, because of the sense of familiarity that these positions breeds, plus the fact that one can't really see the above work being outsourced to others in another country, hence these jobs are really relatively safe, and therefore UNTOUCHABLE!

Which is surprisingly ironic when one compared to the original intent of the term itself, because it does describe the lowest of the lowest caste in India, the ones that would do the job that no other caste or people would do! Maybe, when one look at this concept of 'untouchability' in another context, it is NOT that bad after all. I mean, who would want to be out of job right?

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