SEPTEMBER 3 2009 13:37h
We drink 22.500 tons of coffee per year and we spend 2.25 million hours consuming it.
We consume 22.500 tons of coffee per year, and in spite the fact that complains regarding insufficient wages and poor job markets are frequent, we still manage to indulge our hedonistic needs.
We drink 22.500 tons of coffee per year and we daily spend about 2.25 million hours consuming it. We found this shocking information in our conversation with Domagoj Trusic, one of the few coffee experts in Croatia.
“Croats are excellent workers both nationally and internationally. Why is it then that we are considered extremely hard working in Germany for example, but not at home? Because other countries pay greater attention to how their workforce is organized.”
According to 2006 information available to Trusic, AC Nielsen found that one average Croat spends about five kilograms of coffee per year, and that he daily spends about 30 minutes consuming it. Considering that we are talking about a population of about 4.5 million, a simple mathematical calculation confirms our findings.
However, with 11 kilograms of coffee per capita, Finland still ranks as the top coffee consumer.
Calculate the money you spend on coffee
Few days ago Croatian media published results of the World Bank investigation. Their research revealed that Croatian workers receive the highest compensation in the region – regardless of their productivity. This means that they do not work as much as they should. The research was conducted in every country in the world and employed more than 6000 experts.
The latest World Bank report, concerning Croatia’s labor and social situation, says that Croats do not want to work, but instead, prefer enjoying state benefits. Premier Kosor says that report is very short and very clear. She plans to take appropriate measures and be harsher with those who do not wish to work.
''Who is able to drink that much coffee?''
President of the Independent Croatian Trade Unions, Kresimir Sever, refuses to agree with the World Bank. Sever believes that most of workers in Croatia do not have time to drink coffee, especially outside of their workplace.
- World Bank report offends me in many levels. The question is who is able to drink that much coffee. Workers who have a record of departures and arrivals are most definitely not able to do something like that. But those who are able to do that are usually led by incompetent managers – Sever concludes.
NHS President further defends his argument by saying that most of the top-paid managers, who are responsible for business organization, are actually the ones sitting in cafes and not supervising their workers.
However, he admits that many of those individuals are doing business talks, in spite the fact that they are doing them in coffee houses. Sever questions and criticizes other claims made by the World Bank. He says that they have a tendency to focus on individual pieces rather than seeing the whole picture. This ultimately leads to wrong conclusions and faulty judgment.
Dr. Hajrudin Hromadžić, Professor of Everyday-Life Theories in the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, mentions that he personally supports the culture of 'sitting in the coffee houses’, because it represents the ritual of exceptional symbolic importance in models of interpersonal interactions.
- Hypocritical moralizing of the World Bank's work ethic and puritan view of people as isolated, profit led nomads, prevents them from acknowledging the social and cultural values of a system that unintentionally opposes the process of neoliberal capitalization and slows their ideological matrix down – says Professr Hromazic.
However, Hromadžić remains reserved in regards to labor productivity estimates and other socially relative topics.
Better national framework for greater productivity
- The World Bank, allegedly, cares for poor people and looks for ways to help them, while at the same time, it encourages investment in countries where workers are stripped of their rights - Kresimir Sever says. He also adds that they are right in regards to unreasonably high salaries and unusually large number of premature pensions. Managing Director of Employers' Association in Croatia, Marko Horvat, says that salary taxes are a major problem as well and that state needs come up with a solution.
- This is primarily employers’ problem. More specifically, work force is expensive and pay benefits are too high. States should agree on a better framework for greater productivity - Zubrinic notes. Solution of problems with cafes and idle workers depends on the methodology of the company, the main adviser and director of the CEA comments.
Ana Knezevic, President of the Croatian Union of Independent Trade Unions, pointed out that no other European city has so many people in cafes during work hours, as Zagreb does. However, she disagrees with notion that Croats are ‘lazy’.
Workers in Getro cannot go out for a coffee
Workers in factories and shops are certainly not allowed to leave work like that, so civil service employees are probably the only ones doing that. Getro cashiers barely have enough time to go to bathroom - said Knezevic. She adds that she has had experiences with coming to a state company and seeing a 10 to 10.30 break notice. She would sometimes wait until the afternoon before their workers returned.
-I agree with Sever when he says that our workers perform wonderfully internationally and that they seem to lack motivation and adequate level of supervision when working nationally – says Knezevic.
She also believes that Croats live above their means, invest in luxury instead of their future and rely on loans too much.