The other afternoon I went to the Academy to fetch Carol. As usual, I waited in the reception area and sat on one of the benches. There were many people coming and going, parents come to collect their children, other children leaving (they're not supposed to go out through the front door or through the gate through which cars drive into the campus, for health and safety reasons, but the children still do. Well, it's their fault if they get knocked down and hurt.) and teachers going home. As I sat and waited, a young man who works there, (a sort of porter/janitor or something, carrying around boxes and putting stuff away when it has been delivered.) was putting a pile of boxes into a trolley, which is one of those all-purpose trolleys used to cart around bags of rubbish, and heavy items. Anyway, there he was, more or less throwing these boxes into this trolley. I imagined at the time that perhaps they contained printer paper or something, and that they must have weighed a fair amount, and, indeed, it wouldn't matter how much dropping or throwing about they received, as the contents wouldn't be damaged in any way. He was making a great deal of noise about it, as the boxes banged on top of one another in the trolley. He then pushed the trolley away, up the ramp, and around to the entrance to the science department where Carol is based. He came back several times, having, I presume, emptied the trolley (and making as much noise unloading it as loading it, no doubt.) I mentioned this all to Carol, and she was also surprised at the amount of noise he was making about doing the job. She then told me that he was Polish, or at least from one of the former Russian states. Also, that he didn't speak much English, or perhaps one or two words, and his reading of English was even more basic, to say the least. Not that I would hold that against him. If people are prepared to move here and then get a job, I really admire them. It's when they come to this country and expect to take advantage of our welfare system and take all they can from the Benefit system, that's when I object.
Anyway, to return to the young man and his portering skills. Carol told me that these boxes were clearly marked 'Fragile.' So goodness knows what condition the contents of the boxes were in after all the banging and crashing given to them. She only hoped that the boxes didn't contain glass, bottles of chemicals for the science department, otherwise there would be leaking bottles and broken glass to contend with. It was the fact that he could barely read English, or perhaps not at all that made me rather anxious. Had nobody thought to at least teach him some basic words of English, particularly 'Fragile' and 'Handle With Care' before they employed him?