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Will F*** for Work

Oct
3
2006

An Italian woman has promised sex in exchange for a full-time permanent job. At least that’s what her blog, titled “Desperate 30-year-old” says.

Known only as Sara, her first entry chronicles the rather bleak situation of Italy’s young people: “I’ve been on the job market now for 10 years…Before hitting 30, I was sure I would have cobbled together a career but instead it has been a series of jobs paid under the table or temp contracts that have lasted years. One of these “temp” jobs lasted nearly five years, at the end of which they said: thanks and so long.” (translation mine.)

She comes to the stark conclusion that the only solution is to sell herself, offering one night of sex in exchange for a permanent job with a monthly salary of at least €1,200 (circa $1,500).

The result? Some 3,265 comments on that post, a handful of newspaper reports and even some emails from sympathetic employers offering jobs without wanting that pound of flesh.

Naturally, the story does not end there. Sara, who says in the meantime her contract was picked up again, has found herself a platform and is trying to figure out what to do with it. So far, she has been snubbed by leading daily Corriere della Sera and has made the discovery that neither the state TV networks nor the private ones are much interested in her plight.

I feel her pain. In my early days as a TV journalist at Berlusconi’s commercial networks (everyone has a few loose tibias rattling in the closet), I remember asking why the BBC could report on the seedier side of Milan’s modelling world, but Italians did not investigate their own back yard.

A seasoned colleague gave me one of those looks that means my-god-Americans-really-do-come-from-a-Frank-Capra-movie and said, “Are you joking? That means no fashion shows, parties or those heavy discounts. For what? A story? No way.”

Un- or underemployment is one of those issues that Italian media avoids, for lack of clear sides. Whose fault is it anyway? Labor reforms from the last government (Berlusconi), or the unions (traditionally left-leaning), or the university system (also bastion of the left), or maybe even the new center-left government.

Sara, who lives in Rome, wasn’t wrong in thinking that a blog might come to bigger things. Gawker readers have been corroding their insides of late with the posts about bloggers and book contracts. It wouldn’t be the first for Italy, either.

The runaway success, that disproves the rule, was the €1,000 generation blog by two 30-something Italian “serial trainees” became a novel (plus film rights sold) with blanket national and international media coverage.

Answering a comment from a reader who calls the protest “lackluster and formless” while the ego of the protester appears to be “rapidly expanding,” Sara replies: “They can forget about me, but they can’t forget about the problem.”

Unfortunately, it seems that after the initial clamor they probably will.

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 5:44 PM | Permalink

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