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