Suby & Sins House

18 Apr 2006 1,657 views
 
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photoblog image THE BOARD GUY

THE BOARD GUY

Please do refer to the article from The Guardian, published on 16 November 2006, to find more about the 'board guys' of London.

 http://money.guardian.co.uk/work/story/0,1456,1643687,00.html

These guys are mostly young foreign students , having recently arrived in London from overseas, who covet these jobs despite the brutal working conditions and meager pay (as low as £3.80). They come to work, dressed in three or four layers of jumpers on a cold day, having 20, maximum 30 minutes of a sorry excuse for a lunch/toilet break. When they are going back to their countries, they either pass 'the board' to their friends or sell the job to soeone else for as high as £100.

One of the 'board guys' at Oxford Circus, Lukasz tells the Guardian reporter, " I'm just living day by day. I'm an uneducated man; I have no skills, no qualifications. That's why I am doing this. London is expensive, but in Poland, if I stay there, I have no opportunities at all."

After an extended weekend of Easter holidays, as you wake up to face another week of tedium of work, please spare a thought for the 'board guys' of London, and say a little prayer of thanks for your education, qualifications, endless opportunities that lay in front of you, and as much as you may hate going back at times, the job you do.

Words and photography by Sinem

"Ars longa, vita brevis."

THE BOARD GUY

Please do refer to the article from The Guardian, published on 16 November 2006, to find more about the 'board guys' of London.

 http://money.guardian.co.uk/work/story/0,1456,1643687,00.html

These guys are mostly young foreign students , having recently arrived in London from overseas, who covet these jobs despite the brutal working conditions and meager pay (as low as £3.80). They come to work, dressed in three or four layers of jumpers on a cold day, having 20, maximum 30 minutes of a sorry excuse for a lunch/toilet break. When they are going back to their countries, they either pass 'the board' to their friends or sell the job to soeone else for as high as £100.

One of the 'board guys' at Oxford Circus, Lukasz tells the Guardian reporter, " I'm just living day by day. I'm an uneducated man; I have no skills, no qualifications. That's why I am doing this. London is expensive, but in Poland, if I stay there, I have no opportunities at all."

After an extended weekend of Easter holidays, as you wake up to face another week of tedium of work, please spare a thought for the 'board guys' of London, and say a little prayer of thanks for your education, qualifications, endless opportunities that lay in front of you, and as much as you may hate going back at times, the job you do.

Words and photography by Sinem

"Ars longa, vita brevis."

comments (31)

Strong message Sinem, I like. However I think you made a mistake with the date of the article
Suby & Sinem: Thanks for visiting, Sola. Hmmmm, very observant, maybe I should sack Suby smile and hire you as my editor.
  • tbone
  • 18 Apr 2006, 03:06
very nice I like the ones of peopal
Suby & Sinem: thanks, tbone, same here.
  • Fraser
  • United States
  • 18 Apr 2006, 03:24
Looks like he is doing it blindfolded. Interesting shot!!
Suby & Sinem: I still don't get the whole blindfold, you know.
nice capture...eyepopping yellow jacket and sign r great focal point...wonder, how he walked wt blindfold? :-P
Suby & Sinem: I do wonder as well smile
Considering his line of employment, the more eye-popping the coat the better smile)
  • Emr
  • United States
  • 18 Apr 2006, 06:01
Since he cannot see, you could take a closer shots at every angle with interesting compositions.. smile
Nice one.
Suby & Sinem: That didn't occur to me at the time. Dang! Should have made the most of it! smile
  • Erik
  • Sweden
  • 18 Apr 2006, 06:56
Nice colours of that guy. I like the toned down colours in the background. Whats with this guy? What with the blindfold? Doesn't he wish to be recognised?
Suby & Sinem: Wanted by Crimewatch smile
Or maybe working under-cover?
  • bruno
  • Sweden
  • 18 Apr 2006, 07:22
great and funny shot. "This way to SUBYway" smile))
Suby & Sinem: Subyway it is!
Nice backstory, Sinem, and a solid documentary photo. (I think this could use a boost in contrast, though.) Regards, Brent
Suby & Sinem: Thank you, Brent, I'll give the contrast a try, definitely.
  • Micki
  • 18 Apr 2006, 10:29
Very moving post today, Sinem.
Suby & Sinem: Thanks, Micki.
  • Chantal
  • Netherlands
  • 18 Apr 2006, 12:39
what a job!
Suby & Sinem: Imagine!
  • Subomi
  • Milton Keynes, Great Britain (UK)
  • 18 Apr 2006, 12:48
Lovely words as always. Lovely lovely shot, thought as much when you shot it. Well you are progressing real well on your journey to become a well established prosumer smile The force is strong with you smile

Good shot, I know there is more where this came from. Can't wait to see you share your images and words from Sinem with the world.

Love
Subomi
Suby & Sinem: Aaaaaaawwwww.... Lord Vader's softer side...
  • digitalmike
  • Virginia Colony ,Americas
  • 18 Apr 2006, 13:00
Bully for you. As usual, you put up another great shot. And your comentary is also as good as your photographs.

Great work. smile
Suby & Sinem: Thank you, Digitalmike. Don't know which one makes me happier - your words on my photos or your words on my writing. I love doing both and am hoping to get somewhere with both. Thank you for the encuragement.
Hope you didn't miss my birthday wishes on April 15? Sinem
  • Dia
  • Greece
  • 18 Apr 2006, 13:44
Wonderful message you are passing Sinem smile

Indeed, we must be grateful and never complain, we are so lucky with everything we have and the opportunities of our future...and try to help those in need, in any way we can smile
Suby & Sinem: I'm glad the message is getting through, at least to the visitors of this blog.
  • chunter
  • Salisbury, Wiltshire. UK
  • 18 Apr 2006, 14:08
High colour in an otherwise drab scene - very effectively done. They could otherwise be called the BORED GUYS. Solid photojoumnalism.
Suby & Sinem: Thank you, Hunter, your feedback is always much appreciated!
  • Guto
  • Brazil
  • 18 Apr 2006, 14:29
Ihave been doing this in Scotland years ago! And it was a great experience, to see how the people treat you, how the local people is, and hoe long i can stay f... freezing standing by the street!! Good memories!
Suby & Sinem: Wow, can't believe one of the "board guys" has visited and had the chance to see my take on the job. Glad those days are over, my friend.
  • uuu
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 18 Apr 2006, 14:54
mmmm Photo.net tttt
  • uuu
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 18 Apr 2006, 14:55
uuuuuummm Photo.net yyyyy
  • jjj
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 18 Apr 2006, 14:56
bit of time at Photo.net, but not so much lately.
  • Matt
  • United States
  • 18 Apr 2006, 15:18
I think that "blindfold" is some kind of post-op eyepatch. Though I could be wrong... it does seem unlikely that anyone could afford optic surgery on that kind of pay. Certainly makes you grateful for what you have.
Suby & Sinem: Considering the quality of the National Health Services over on this side of the pond, I don't think he would have got the op on NHS either. smile
This photo has meaning.Great job on spreading the word,do you know if there is any way we can help them?
Suby & Sinem: If you follow the link and read the article, you'll find out that the Council are trying their best ti rid Oxford Circus and the surrounding areas of these guys. This will however, destroy the little opportunity they've got to earn some cash. sad
  • hodari
  • Spain
  • 18 Apr 2006, 15:57
Good shot and good words.
You have great shots in this site, congratulations.
Suby & Sinem: Thank you, Hodari.
Meaningful post...
  • Ricardo
  • Barcelona
  • 18 Apr 2006, 17:37
Here in Spain also they exist this type of "precarious uses", with very under wage. In fact they are an operation.
  • Paky
  • Spain
  • 18 Apr 2006, 18:13
Good words. Fantastic image.Thanks for its visit to my fotoblog.
  • timmybomb
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • 18 Apr 2006, 18:25
We have those guys here in Vancouver. I always assumed they had a criminal record or something that prevented them from getting a real job. Today's post has been very educational. Thanks. And thanks to Suby for the helpful comments lately.
Interesting story.
  • Still
  • near Lyon, France
  • 18 Apr 2006, 21:14
A great capture... and a nice portrait of man at work.
Good representation of the concept. The selective colorisation puts him in a world different from his....Now to improve or rather and more appropriate what would I do? (it's not bad), I would have put everything else in colour and left him in black and white, that way it's clear that something is not the same with him. He's in a different, none colourful world as those he works with.

Now I've left the comment....Happy?

tongue
interesting capture. here in newcastle i've also seen people doing this kind of work. and in the winter too :S
Haha, excellent, this guy seem to be really motivated smile ! funny capture
  • Reza
  • United States
  • 1 May 2006, 20:20
Powerfull words and a powerfull picture.

Keep it up.
-Reza

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