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A Bright Future For Greeks:"Now I Clean Swedish Shit"

Tyler Durden's picture


One look at the short squeeze in the EURUSD, coupled with the endless jawboning out of Europe, and one may be left with the faulty impression that Europe has been magically fixed and that Greece couldn't be more delighted to remain in the Eurozone. One would be wrong. This is what is really going on in Europe:

As a pharmaceutical salesman in Greece for 17 years, Tilemachos Karachalios wore a suit, drove a company car and had an expense account. He now mops schools in Sweden, forced from his home by Greece’s economic crisis.


“It was a very good job,” said Karachalios, 40, of his former life. “Now I clean Swedish s---.”

That more or less explains everything one needs to know about the "fixing" of Europe.

Of course, those who saw our chart from yesterday which showed Greek unemployment rising by 1% in one month to a record 24.4% will hardly find this surprising.

For all those others who need a personal anecdote to grasp just how fixed Europe is, we hand it off to Bloomberg.

Karachalios, who left behind his 6-year-old daughter to be raised by his parents, is one of thousands fleeing Greece’s record 24 percent unemployment and austerity measures that threaten to undermine growth. The number of Greeks seeking permission to settle in Sweden, where there are more jobs and a stable economy, almost doubled to 1,093 last year from 2010, and is on pace to increase again this year.


“I’m trying to survive,” Karachalios said in an interview in Stockholm. “It’s difficult here, very difficult. I would prefer to stay in Greece. But we don’t have jobs.”


Greece is in its fifth year of recession, with the economy expected to contract 6.9 percent this year, the same as in 2011, according to the Athens-based Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research. Since 2008, the number of jobless has more than tripled to a record 1.22 million as of June, out of a total population of 10.8 million.


“In Greece, there was no future,” said Ourania Michtopoulou, who moved with her husband to Sweden in 2010 after both lost textile industry jobs in Thessaloniki, where they had a comfortable life with a house and car. “Here, I can hope for something good to happen. Maybe not for me -- I’m 48 -- but maybe for my children.”


Their family now crams into a small apartment, while her husband, Nikos, works for a landscaper and her teenage children struggle with Swedish lessons.


“It was not easy for them,” she said. “My daughter said lots of times, ‘I hate Sweden -- I want to go home.’”


Karachalios began his career in pharmaceutical sales after his mandatory military service, working at three different companies in the southern city of Patras. He married a Chinese woman he met at the 2004 Athens Olympics, had a daughter, and divorced.


“You can plan, you can organize, you can make plans for 10 years, 20 years, but you don’t know what life brings,” he said.


An intense man with flecks of gray in his thinning black hair, Karachalios said he has lost 20 to 30 pounds since moving to Sweden. His hands are stained with grime. Instead of the suits and ties he once wore, he now dresses in jeans and work boots. His suits remain in Greece.


In Homer’s Odyssey, Telemachus is the son of Odysseus, a Greek hero who spent 10 years struggling to return home from the Trojan War. Karachalios was named after a great-uncle who was a favorite of his parents.


Karachalios’s troubles began in early 2010 when the Greek government, which provides health care, forced drugmakers to cut their prices by as much as 27 percent. To reduce costs, his then-employer PharmaSwiss fired him and two other salesmen, leaving his former supervisor to manage the accounts, he said. Karachalios searched for jobs and eventually spent two months in 2011 as a telemarketer in Athens. He quit after not being paid. An ill-fated attempt to start a retirement home cost him months of work and most of his savings.


Determined to move, Karachalios considered Australia before rejecting the immigration process as too expensive. He had a friend in Sweden, had visited before and knew its reputation.


“I knew they were very organized,” he said. “Everyone pays their taxes and it’s fair. There is no cheating.”


Karachalios arrived in March. His friend helped him find a room to rent and he pays 4,500 Swedish krona ($670) a month for a room in a quiet apartment complex that houses other immigrants, many from the Middle East.


His studio has no stove or oven, just a hot plate and microwave. He has a single dish, and when he has a guest, he eats out of a plastic container that used to hold feta cheese. A tiny Greek flag is taped to the wall. The room came with a television though Karachalios said he never watches. In the evenings, if he has the energy, he studies Swedish.


Because of his background in health care, Karachalios at first applied for jobs caring for the elderly. He was rejected without an interview because he didn’t speak Swedish.


To find a job, he began knocking on doors of restaurants and janitorial companies, and eventually found a position cleaning rental houses. It was hard, lonely work that didn’t allow a break for lunch, he said. His first week wasn’t paid because he was told he was being trained. After his second week, when he was paid for only 32 hours instead of the 40 he said he worked, he wasn’t called back.

In Greece, Karachalios was paid between 2,500 and 3,000 euros ($3,143-$3,772) a month, after taxes. In Stockholm, he makes 80 krona an hour. Based on a 40-hour work week, that equals about $1,907 a month.


“I was doing something more glamorous but I don’t mind this work,” he said. “I feel alive again. When you are unemployed too long, it’s very hard. I was angry all the time.”


Karachalios wasn’t paid until mid-August for work he did in July. In the meanwhile, he lives frugally, saving half-smoked cigarettes while he waits for his parents to wire money. He also worries about finding another job, which will be necessary once school resumes and the cleaning contract ends. If he can’t find a permanent job in Stockholm, he said he may move with his daughter to Shanghai, where his ex-wife lives.


“I don’t have anywhere else to go and work, and it would be helpful for my daughter,” he said.


Karachalios wakes at 5 a.m. with the sun already up because of the long Swedish summer days. He checks Facebook on his phone for news from Greece and takes the subway one stop to Rinkeby, a gritty working-class neighborhood. Near the station is a parking lot where people without homes sleep in their cars, leaving their shoes and bottles of water outside the doors.


After a cigarette with his co-workers -- all immigrants from Greece -- Karachalios piles into the van for the 45-minute drive to the outskirts of Uppsala, a small city north of Stockholm. Today’s job is to finish cleaning the elementary school they began working on yesterday. They start at 7:30 a.m. and work 2 1/2 hours before breaking. For lunch, they share their food, with Karachalios bringing fried meatballs for the group.


Karachalios is charged with cleaning the dozens of double- paned windows, which takes its toll on his back and shoulders. On other days, he cleans floors. In his pocket, he carries a razor blade for scraping the gum off linoleum.


“I’m tired of all this,” he said. “I want to close my eyes and wake up in 10 years and not have to worry.”



"To get to be 40 years old, it’s very hard to accept that your life is going to be like this,” Karachalios said.

Ah.... "European utopia."

Continue reading here.


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Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:31 | 2771839 jcia
jcia's picture


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:37 | 2771878 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Id rather clean up after cheese and chocolate, then Gyro and yougurt!

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:41 | 2771891 malikai
malikai's picture

I could kill for a good gyro right about now. Sadly over here all we have is shitty kebab shops. Which are good on a bender but the next day it's messy.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:46 | 2771912 bdc63
bdc63's picture

Swedish Shit ? .... funny, that's what I call "Ikea" ...

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:49 | 2771923 Mark Carney
Mark Carney's picture

Greece is in its fifth year of recession, with the economy expected to contract 6.9 percent this year, the same as in 2011,


For the one hundreth time, thiat is called a DEPRESSION, for fucks sake, even in technical terms its a depression......*face smack*

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:58 | 2771962 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Mark Carney lol....

You named yourself Mark Carney LOL!

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:04 | 2771990 Dalago
Dalago's picture

Monetary slaves!!!!

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:15 | 2772033 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

And here in is why you should either fix it early or just let it run off the cliff fast. 

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:34 | 2772099 Manthong
Manthong's picture

You know how when you’re on your hands and knees cleaning a squat toilet and you just know that the guy who last used it had svampsoppa, kroppkakor, and gravad lax for lunch?

I hate when that happens.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:42 | 2772127 Colombian Gringo
Colombian Gringo's picture

Cleaning swedish shit? At least it's better than eating Obama feces

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:55 | 2772165 BaBaBouy
BaBaBouy's picture

"Sweedish Shit" ???


More Like GoldMan-S Shit ...

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:05 | 2772211 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

This story has "Max Keiser" written all over it.  Can't wait to hear Max talk of Greeks cleaning up Northern Euro zone member's shit.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:09 | 2772228 eatthebanksters
eatthebanksters's picture


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:36 | 2772363 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Just cleaning? They've been eating the stuff since the common currency was IMPOSED!

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:02 | 2772491 stocktivity
stocktivity's picture

All the jokes about the poor guy piss me off. It brings the real tragedy into focus. Those with jobs or a pension don't realize how lucky they are. Sad.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:07 | 2772506 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

sales reps = liars


now he has a real job.


what's wrong with that picture?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:29 | 2772576 I am on to you
I am on to you's picture

Its the real job,thats wrong,,and he might get dirty,thats not for salemen,to be dirty,only underlings gets dirty,brave new world!

And now he,s gona learn, what it meens to pay tax,damn difficult word!

Sat, 09/08/2012 - 01:29 | 2774004 Davalicious
Davalicious's picture

It is sad to hear his story. But Greeks were encouraged to take high salaries, and big debts, for their worthless labor. Consider the recent ZH story showing that Greeks are some of the least productive people in Europe. They were suckered. The Jew banks are to blame, not the Greeks.

But Greeks must never expect to get back to their something-for-nothing life style.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:02 | 2772494 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture



cheap labor.....Greek's are Europe's Mexicans....


by the way, pharma rep < janitorial services in terms of social contribution perspective.


how come this can't happen to American liars on wall st? I'd like to hear bond sales say "Now I Clean Canadian Shit"




Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:02 | 2771977 Blasé Faire
Blasé Faire's picture

From the full article:

“He’s also bitter about comments made by former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, who said in interviews abroad in 2009 that corruption and tax evasion were to blame for Greece’s problems. ‘Who, me?’ Karachalios said. ‘I’m not lazy. I didn’t steal from the government. I was honest and they made me like this, to come here.’”

Has the Greek media really covered up the widespread tax evasion?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:26 | 2772316 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

The Partee is over ?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:50 | 2771927 donsluck
donsluck's picture

It is ironic, I think, that the high interest rates for a lot of EU countries reflects a healthy bond market, reflecting actual risk. With ECB proposing to buy up national debt, they are killing the healthy bond market. Now the EU will follow Japan and the USA down into the de-capitalization hole. Go gold!

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:48 | 2771918 AnAnonymouses
AnAnonymouses's picture

Europe need fixing like fat American citizenisms need colon cleanse!

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:56 | 2771948 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

Shut up and get me an egg roll.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:32 | 2772091 Kayman
Kayman's picture

When Mitt Obamny finishes the turnaround for the American economy, AnAnonymouse will have American Citizenisms cleaning up Chinese Shiticisms on the streets of Beijing.

America, destroyed from within. 

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:08 | 2772514 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Americans are so stupid, they PAY for Chinese "Shit".



Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:54 | 2771944 Jolly.Roger
Jolly.Roger's picture

Dumb f*ck thinks Switzerland is Sweden

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:17 | 2772038 laozi
laozi's picture

Even in China they mix up Sweden and Switzerland, but there the counties are called Ruidian and Ruishi.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:11 | 2772240 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

And somehow we get "Greece" out of "Ellas"... but what can you do?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:39 | 2772377 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

And somehow he must have also mistaken Solothurn with Stockholm, eh?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:39 | 2772379 SheepRevolution
SheepRevolution's picture

"Id rather clean up after cheese and chocolate, then Gyro and yougurt!".

The article is about swedish shit, not swiss shit.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:33 | 2771846 miltiadis
miltiadis's picture

Just ask a Greek what opinion they have for Greek pharmaceutical salesman i can tell you that this article in the Greek media has a lot of hate comments below it for them...

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:50 | 2771926 Abraxas
Abraxas's picture

"Greek pharmaceutical salesman" - that's what they call a drug dealer

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:32 | 2771847 BaBaBouy
BaBaBouy's picture

EURO Masters Need The Slaves...

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:32 | 2771850 The Continental
The Continental's picture

TidyBowl bitchez!!!!!

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:33 | 2771854 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:42 | 2771871 Jlmadyson
Jlmadyson's picture

Clearly there is zero answer for Greece and they will fallout by year end is my guess at this point.

Every indication from Euro heads point to them not caring at this point either.

Even if there was a super secret meeting to keep them in by US elections.

I might add Spain is not that far away from this same fate.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:53 | 2771872 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Hopefully the same will be said of the fraud peddler primary dealers, as well as Central Bank hucksters.  They've been shoveling shit for years, so that group of people would be well suited for custodial jobs or horse barn cleanup.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:36 | 2771873 GolfHatesMe
GolfHatesMe's picture

Swedish Shit - also known as all of the merchandise at IKEA

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:58 | 2771958 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

Mostly, actually made in china.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:25 | 2772066 dugorama
dugorama's picture

Prior to 1989 it was made in East Germany.  

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:13 | 2772250 GolfHatesMe
GolfHatesMe's picture

Swedish Chit

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:37 | 2771875 blueridgeviews
blueridgeviews's picture

This is what happens when the public elects officials who promise them stuff and pay no mind to the fiscal situation.

It's fortunate for rulers that men don't think.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:38 | 2771883 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Coming soon to a "Theatre Near You" , named the U.S.A.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:41 | 2771892 TrumpXVI
TrumpXVI's picture

Ah, my thought exactly.

But you were faster on the trigger.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:41 | 2771893 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Dude, it has been like that for awhile here.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:38 | 2771884 ArrestBobRubin
ArrestBobRubin's picture

"I've seen the future Brother, and it's shit"

with apologies to the great Leonard Cohen

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:40 | 2771889 Abraxas
Abraxas's picture

Nothing new. Latvian Engineers and Moldavian lawyers have been driving cabs in NYC for years.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:42 | 2771895 Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

I spoke with a cabbie who was General Counsel at Lehman.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:51 | 2771900 Abraxas
Abraxas's picture

You're kidding, right? Of course you are.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:09 | 2772208 falak pema
falak pema's picture

I spoke with a guy who saw Saigon fall to the Cong like that iconic helicopter ride, then saw Merril Lynch fall to the Gong in red October armageddon slide. 

When you've been down for the count twice on such awesome occasions, when civilization obliterates in front of your very eyes as does your job; due to Cong and Gong mahjong, you deserve the purple star.

How can a man survive two scorching traumas like that in life. He must have a hide tuffer than an alligator's. And no pride left in him other than the will to hide and sneak out to take the next ride. I am in wonderment of such devotion to losing side, as every turn in tide shows you the dead bodies lying inside the deadly, empty void of vain illusions lost.

Its life and it does have a nasty bite that can leave us all with one part of our whole like Lance of LAncelot ride.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:22 | 2772060 zapdude
zapdude's picture

I had a cabbie in Houston once who was a former Nigerian politician that was run out of the country by the oil corruption. 

Seemed like a genuine guy that was fighting the system and had good ideas/libertarian thinking.

He planned to go back again to help bring about reforms, so good luck to him.

I gave him a $30 tip.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:19 | 2772272 smiler03
smiler03's picture

You gave him a $30 tip? Did he release your $5,000,000 fund that is rightfully yours?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:40 | 2771890 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Good for him!  Instead of marching on parliment day after day and demanding that they throw out all the corrupt politicians he moved to Sweeden and cleans up shit like a good little worker drone.

Ain't fascism grand?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:41 | 2771894 mayhem
mayhem's picture

Does anyone think the Greeks really care anymore? 

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:45 | 2771898 No Euros please...
No Euros please we&#039;re British's picture

He should have come to the UK. It's open doors for EU citizens, free healthcare, free housing, they even pay you to not find a job. Of course we only take top notch scroungers, so maybe he wouldn't like it here.

EDIT: Actually thinking about it, it's pretty much open doors to anyone with a pulse, and a few without.


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:51 | 2771930 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

The UK is the destination of choice for just the reasons you relate!  Scroungers welcome. Pregnant? Have cancer? Just fly into Heathrow and take the tube to the nearest NHS hospital ER. You will get the complete free treatment you need!

UK needs a new government! One that works for the British and for those who DO work for a living.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:02 | 2771963 moonstears
moonstears's picture

But in the UK you gotta LOOK Moooslim, so I hear, to get these benes. Poor UK musta changed since I was there, a great people, 15 yrs ago, who's immigration policy's evidently changing the future dynamics. Sure those Brit gals will LLLOOOOVVVEE Sharia law.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:41 | 2772125 No Euros please...
No Euros please we&#039;re British's picture

Nah, m8 scroungers have been working the system here since the 60's, black, white, whatever. The real game plan is simply to keep vast numbers of public sector workers in a cushy job, doling out cash, chasing "illegal" immigrants who then can't be extradited anyway, totally useless social workers who think kids run around all day straight into doors breaking limbs, etc etc. Greeks? They're amateurs, they could learn a lot from the Brits.

Sat, 09/08/2012 - 01:33 | 2774005 Davalicious
Davalicious's picture

We, in the UK, were betrayed. Kevin MacDonald's book "The Culture of Critique" explains the power behind the left

Take a couple of minites to read the user reviews on amazon. Most of the book seems to be online on his site

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:44 | 2771903 Cult of Criminality
Cult of Criminality's picture

Im raising the B.S. flag

In this article,i do not find `shit` anywhere but in the title and where he say`s, it is what he does.

Im watching you ZH !

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:47 | 2771915 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

“It was a very good job,” said Karachalios, 40, of his former life. “Now I clean Swedish s---.”

You're not watching very carefully, are you?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:50 | 2771922 Cult of Criminality
Cult of Criminality's picture


In this article,i do not find `shit` anywhere but in the title and where he say`s, it is what he does.

In this article,i do not find `shit` anywhere but in the title and where he say`s, it is what he does.

You do not read well do you ?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:54 | 2771943 IndicaTive
IndicaTive's picture


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:01 | 2771971 hapless
hapless's picture

Most people, when they mean "shit", say "shit".  I doubt Karachalios actually said to Blomberg "S hyphen hyphen hyphen".  But I suppose anything's possible.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:18 | 2772042 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



Are you sure he didn't say:

"now I clean Swedish shop"?


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:03 | 2771988 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

Click the linkat the bottom and read the original article. It's there.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:38 | 2772109 Bwahaha WAGFDSMB
Bwahaha WAGFDSMB's picture

Nice troll.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:44 | 2771904 john milton
john milton's picture

Greek GDP decreases 6.3 pct in 2Q

Greece's gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 6.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012 against the same period last year, Elstat, the Greek national statistics agency, said Friday.

The figure was slightly higher than the original estimate of 6.2 percent.

According to Elstat, consumer spending fell by 7.2 percent while investments declined by 19.4 percent over the same period.


yeah, looks real bright..

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:44 | 2771906 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

Hi my name is Alexander and I polish turds for a living.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:46 | 2771913 No Euros please...
No Euros please we&#039;re British's picture

Great, Alexander.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:57 | 2771954 moonstears
moonstears's picture

whitty, NEP, made me laugh!

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:53 | 2771939 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Didn't the " Myth Busters" do an episode on that ? :-) [ shit shining/turd polishing]

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:45 | 2771911 Cult of Criminality
Cult of Criminality's picture

Hes on faceplant and carries a razor OMG !

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:52 | 2771919 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

He hasn't seen anything yet! Wait till the sun comes up a 10:00AM and sets at 2:00PM and it is bone shilling cold and the dark and cold last many months. He will dream of sunny Greece.

Sweden has a good economy despite the claim of being a socialist hell hole. Believe me, most people work their asses off in Sweden! Believe it or not, this Greek is finding out! He calls this hard work because of the eay drug rep life he had.

He will have a hard life in Sweden, if he expected a socialist do nothing country he better go back to Greece. The reason Swedes don't do a lot of these lower level jobs is thet they get good educations and there are good job opportunities. To those who claim Sweden is a socilaist hell hole, I invite you to go there for a few months. You will be surprised.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:53 | 2771940 Cranios
Cranios's picture


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:01 | 2772192 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

It is a "working" socialist country. In the sense that people's lives are centered around the state to make the social democracy actually balance its book, something north americans resent. But they still want the goodies of socialism.

BTW, the Swedes are a lot less socialistic than they were in the 70s, so pointing to Sweden as a success of socialism is kind of flawed because some policies that actually work would be considered "right wing" ideas here.


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:49 | 2771921 Vegetius
Vegetius's picture
Look now how mortals are blaming the gods, for they say that evils come from us, but in fact they themselves have woes beyond their share because of their own follies -
Homer The Odyssey
Follies indeed, Dragi, Monti, Barraso and the rest of the Euro Trash  
Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:05 | 2771994 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Too many Greeks don't want to pay ANY taxes, yet want all that government could provide.....  you can't demand everything from government yet not want to pay the price.   Greece faked its Balance sheet to join the EU, borrowed and spoent like mad while they could and is now paying the price (though a higher one than they perhas deserve as the bankers made it far too easy and took relish in adding to Greece's woes).

I pity thopse who have done 'the right things; and are now paying the price for the follies of others, but we've got similar things here..  California is in deep merde beccause they want much yet pay for little and has a far larger economic presence than Greece...and California is only ahead of the curve compared to the rest of the US - we're all on the same track.   It was worrying enough without all the financial games, manipulation and fraud but the wholesale looting by the financial sector has guaranteed a bad ending

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:08 | 2772195 Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture

check out this story from businessweek

regarding San Jose cops

Police officers and firefighters in San Jose, California, are rushing to join a program that lets them claim disability and retire in their 30s and 40s -- and that allows them to get tax-free pensions while taking new jobs elsewhere.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:51 | 2771932 Cranios
Cranios's picture

I think this man's plight is at least partly related to the fact that he was a pharmaceutical salesman. Even in the USA, they are a dying breed because doctors no longer have the time to listen to a salesman during the day, and they don't want to at night. I can only imagine what a doc's schedule is link in socialist Europe. 

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:55 | 2771945 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

There are still Drug salesmen, but you are right, they are dying off. Thus you now find plenty of drug Reps. are newly graduated college girls with bodies to die for and long blonde hair. Seriously, the drug companies have turned to using the attractive young women to get their message across to male doctors at least.

A middle age male drug rep is a dieing species. Replaced by bimbos who can turn a docs head. It's true.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:07 | 2772003 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

Correct. I see these people routinely, and you nailed it. Bimbo heaven.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:17 | 2772019 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Hardly a novel idea.  To a considerable extent that is how Bloomberg got rich too.

Pharm. salesmen have also been "disintermediated" by tech like most travel agents. Plus, all the free-spending and junket-going has come to a screeching halt. And human judgement is quickly drainging out (or just becoming plain illegal) of medical care across the board too.  Docs even cover up the brand names on the free charts and things that hang in their office these days.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:47 | 2772148 Montgomery Burns
Montgomery Burns's picture

The doctor bribing by pharm companies hasn't stopped, just changed. Now the docs are paid a "stipend" and first class travel expenses to fly somewhere to give a "talk" to some bs professional meeting. One doc I work with told me he made more doing that than he did seeing patients. I work in an academic med center so probably not true for private practice docs.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:04 | 2772204 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Well, private practice docs are truly a dying breed and as their compensation gets capped by socialized medicine there's going to be more hustling on the side like that not less.

Docs not getting paid unless they make a diagnosis and/or prescribe a therapy translates into more mistreatment too.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 18:32 | 2773365 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Well, I think if the drug salesman is a hunka hunka burnin love, the same strategy would work for female drs.  yin/yang.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:56 | 2771952 poor fella
poor fella's picture

Yeah but you would think his talents (and contacts) would relate to another field. I'm sure he's smart enough to do many other things but we've come to a place where once you lose that ONE good position - there's a chance you're eff'ed for a looong time.

Like a computer programmer becoming a senior weed-whacker operator.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:01 | 2771972 Apocalicious
Apocalicious's picture

Silly salesman, lobbying is where the real money is...

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 21:52 | 2773750 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

"Yeah but you would think his talents (and contacts) would relate to another field. I'm sure he's smart enough to do many other things but we've come to a place where once you lose that ONE good position - there's a chance you're eff'ed for a looong time."


Hi!   My name is Joe Izuzu and have I got the car for you!

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:28 | 2772083 markar
markar's picture

That's why pharma reps are all buxom babes. The docs may not have time to listen to them, but can always make time to look at them.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:30 | 2772328 smiler03
smiler03's picture

Well given that the UK female/male ratio of medical doctors is skewed towards females, will buxom babes help? I doubt it very much.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:59 | 2771933 poor fella
poor fella's picture

Honey, I've finally saved enough airfare to start on my Scandinavian janitorial career. I'll send back as much as I can. Living 5 to a room is hopefully cheap enough to throw an egg into my ramen and keep my health up. I sure do miss the factory fishing ship gig. I still owe the placement agency $10k so it's going to take some time to get back on our feet. Sorry, really trying my best here. Will talk again soon - very blessed to get 10 minutes a week free internet access at the grammar school.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:00 | 2772191 MiguelitoRaton
MiguelitoRaton's picture

Everything is a game these days, puhlease. Obama says he wants everyone to play by the same rules (cough...except Corzine, Robosigning Banks, HFT gamers, political donors...couch)

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:43 | 2772397 SheepRevolution
SheepRevolution's picture

Tell Roubini to shove that barbaric relic up his ass.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:58 | 2771937 Mercury
Mercury's picture

60+ years of socialism...and Europeans still use stone-age shitters.

Then again, it's probaly kept a cap on how fat they could get.

How funny would it be to replace all the toilets in a Wall-Mart or Arby's with these things?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:32 | 2772346 smiler03
smiler03's picture


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:57 | 2772470 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

I imagine it would be very messy.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 15:07 | 2772750 FRBNYrCROOKS
FRBNYrCROOKS's picture

Man, you can't imagine the skill level, in certain circumstances, needed to navigate those shitters. My first visit to China I broke my leg (fibula) in San Francisco the night before I flew to Bejing. Try balancing on one foot trying to pinch a loaf into one of those! Just imagine the skill level neccesary for such a feat! The future inlaws had a proper, Western, toilet but, those holes in the floor are still every where. The absolute terror I felt going out afraid I would get mud butt and the hole in the floor my only option to navigate with my crutches!!! I was in China, that first time, for 30 days and I did survive without dropping a load in my pants, (thank you God!). Just seeing the photo sent chills up my spine.


Sat, 09/08/2012 - 02:18 | 2774025 Pareto
Pareto's picture

+1 for making me shit my pants laughing! lmfao

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 15:51 | 2772936 the tower
the tower's picture

Another American commenting on Europe without ever having been there... 

These kind of toilets haven't been used in a long time, and they certainly haven't been used in northern Europe EVER.

The two countries in the deepest socialist shit are the US and the UK, go mind your own business.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 18:36 | 2773374 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

It's my understanding that Whale-Mart customers now evacuate on the floor & don't bother with a bathroom. 

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 21:58 | 2773759 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

Well, if you'd prefer to walk into walmart bathroom and see a floor covered in shit rather than a toilet covered in shit it'd probably be pretty funny.

It would cut down on the 'cutt-aways' that EMTs have to perform on stuck customers though.   Just jack the customer up off the floor and you're good to go.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:56 | 2771946 slackrabbit
slackrabbit's picture

Immigrated from New Zealand to the Uk because of lack of work.

Have worked in Angola, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and  other places where the work wasn't great and mosly shit.

All I can say is anyone who thinks they are going to escape unscathed is delusionol; so keep on stacking because this party hasn't even started yet, but when its done, more than a few bosses will be cleaning someone else's toilet, because regalrdess of which hemisphere your in,  toilet water still goes round and round...

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:59 | 2771965 Apocalicious
Apocalicious's picture

I like the segue into the analogy. The shit just swirls in a different direction depending on where you are, but it's all going to get flushed...

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:54 | 2772455 Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture

clockwise in Northern Hemisphere , counterclockwise in Southern Hemisphere.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:29 | 2772573 hannah
hannah's picture

apo - you are wrong....i was actually at goldman sachs a few months back and took a huge dump and went to flush and  it wouldnt flush. i could not get the shit to flush at GS...? it just kept piling up.....?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:56 | 2771949 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

I have relations in Sweden, I was over there in January and believe it or not, the place is so socialist a pint of lager is around 13 British pounds.  I am sure that is almost $20 US dollars.

No thanks.  I like a pint after work.  Obviously our Greek friend does not.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:48 | 2772157 edifice
edifice's picture

And in Japan, they pay $35 for a cantaloupe. This is coming to America.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:50 | 2772160 Börjesson
Börjesson's picture

Bollocks. That must be Norway you're thinking of. Sweden is certainly not cheap, but it's no problem getting a pint for under £5.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:44 | 2772403 SheepRevolution
SheepRevolution's picture

Sounds like you were in Norway thinking you were in Sweden...

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:59 | 2771950 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

That is what you get when you have a corrupt system.  It eventually collapses.  The average Greek was paying 1000 to 2000 euros a year in bribes.  Even getting an admission to a hospital required a bribe of a 1000 Euros.

And to see Greeks screwing Americans, you have to look no further than George Economou of Dryships.  He has screwed US investors out of a cool billion or so, and then has the temerity to call US investors - "the stupidest in the world."  

On Dec 23, 2010 after the US market closed, he announced that Dryships was buying tankers - except he forgot to say that they were tankers that his private company Cardiff did not want.  Then he buys a company from his nephew paying 3 times the market price.

The average Greek is suffering for the crimes of the rapacious Greek oligarchs who are moving to London.  They should hang them starting with Economou.



Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:56 | 2771951 Apocalicious
Apocalicious's picture

austerity measures that threaten to undermine growth.


Yes, those "austerity measures" like increasing their debt and public spending during 5 years of recession. Apparently those 5 years would have been worse without it. It couldn't be massive government and quasi-governmental market intervention and enormous perverse incentives in the public sector that have delayed the reallocation of resources and re-training of skills to adapt to extant economic conditions that would foster an actual recovery.


Rip the fucking band-aid off already and get on with the healing process.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:02 | 2771969 falak pema
falak pema's picture

LEts not  finger point to one country nor extrapolate wildly. This is a world crisis. Its happening all over the place.

Specifically, last year Japan had Fuku. That population is living in constant peril of "sparkling" shit. No 1 catastrophe in my book.

Then late last year Libya got obliterated and Syria is now in the process. I'd hate to be simple citizen in either of these countries. Along with Egypt and Tunisia its not looking good its even looking very bad. Let alone the Afgh/PAk conundrun and Irak daily killings.

The unemployment in Greece and Spain is monumental. But its the concerted effect of global Banksta madness, crony government corruption AND dire, cruel Euro bumbling. Its a three in one political and financial tsunami, all to protect the rich.

Unfortunately a first world phenomenun. So don't just blow on the Euro front.  

We are all walking on the wild side, its not just club med,  and that tsunami could hit each and every one of us.

Sometimes even a toilet cleaning job, tough as it is, is better than dying of hunger, like in the Sahel of Somalia or Mali. Its not going to get better only the opposite.

In our world today the culprits walk free, with money overflowing in their bank accounts and carrying on their chests the ribbons of state glory! 

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:10 | 2772009 SokPOTUS
SokPOTUS's picture

Awesome post.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:34 | 2772604 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

A friend of mine volunteered for two weeks at an orphanage in South Sudan. The funding for the orphanage comes mostly from overseas donations. Apparently, the education and care that the orphans receive is so much better than anything else that parents try to fake that their children are orphans so they can be admitted.

"Umm, I found this kid walking on my street. I think he's an orphan"

"Huh, he looks just like you"

"No, I'm sure he's an orphan".


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:02 | 2771978 Zola
Zola's picture

What a sad tale... The lesson here is instead of cleaning shit these people should band together in their OWN country , ARM themselves and get rid of the looters in power. Being driven out of your own country is insane. They should stand up and fight in Greece.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:13 | 2771996 Abraxas
Abraxas's picture

Emile, if anybody was fighting over the centuries, it's the Greek people. We could learn a thing or two from them about revolutions and partisan wars.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:54 | 2772168 Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture

Zola, you are right.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:02 | 2772194 Yperkeimenos
Yperkeimenos's picture

I agree, although to stand up you need capable leaders, who nowadays have become extinct, due to media brainwashing and an, unheard of, disconnection, from reality .

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:15 | 2772533 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The government lovers turn on themselves? Not gonna happen.

The people are the problem.


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:03 | 2771985 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

There's more honor in cleaning toilets than in selling sickcare addiction.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 15:26 | 2772827 epwpixieq-1
epwpixieq-1's picture

Absolutely true, especially when for most of the diseases the only real cure one has are the natural forces of its body and well blanced food diet.

Virtually all diseases are self inflicted by the organism, and in a such way can be self healed only if one goes on a so called "water cleaning": being only on water ( preferably, a pure spring one, and absolutely no fluoride ), for as long as one can bare it. The first places that starts to burn ( your organism attacks, once only on water ), are the places in your organism where there are the real diseases and of course those fatty cells you may have put due to an unhealthy habits.



Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:12 | 2772014 Mudja
Mudja's picture

Welcome to modern slavery.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:25 | 2772070 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

Who's shit will Americans be cleaning up?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:53 | 2772164 Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture

maybe yellow

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:48 | 2772154 JR
JR's picture

While in the United States the Recovery! continues on QE steroids!

A tech salesman acquaintance of mine in San Jose finally has found work after four years of unemployment – at Save Mart Grocery making $13 an hour, WITH BENEFITS!


And O’Connor Capital Partners, the real estate investment company based in New York City that this summer bought the high-end Carmel Plaza shopping center in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California (home to such national retailers as Tiffany), for $52 million is advertising for “management” positions that pay $8 an hour.

Recovery! you can believe in!

Writes the Carmel Pine Cone: “O’Connor’s website says it is ‘currently investing a $500 million fund focused on retail property in the United States and Mexico.’  Although the company is based in New York City, it maintains a regional office in Mexico City…” 

Recovery!  by GLOBALIZATON! you can beleeeve it! 

Central planning raises all boats: A record number  of Americans—46.7 million, or nearly 1 in 7--now uses the food stamp program.”


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:20 | 2772282 walküre
walküre's picture

A man working for $8/hour is technically a slave and not a free man.

Slaves had no income but their food and shelter covered by "the man".

What's the difference?

At $8/hour a man must decide to either be a slave and die a slave or fight "the man" and die a free man.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:51 | 2772156 Oldrepublic
Oldrepublic's picture

Until the late 18th century Venice was an independent country, a world power in it time now just a place tourists visit;Greece will be like that in the mid 21st century, just a place to visit for rich Chinese 

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:54 | 2772169 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

they don't use those bigPharma reps much here any more, either...

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:56 | 2772172 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

I always thought that the worst "job" to ever have was the one I remember from the movie "Taxi".

It was the guy with the mop who cleaned out the peep show stalls.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 18:46 | 2773407 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Did u hear the one about the customer that slipped on (ahem) & sued the peep show operator?

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:04 | 2772207 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture


To be Greek is everyone's fate. Japanese, American, Chinese ... everyone.


If ol' Whatzizname had learned how to carpenter he could be somebody. Now? Salesmen, who needs them? Big companies? Who needs them, either?


Goodbye toys, hello reality.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:17 | 2772266 walküre
walküre's picture

Greece is in DEPRESSION. - Austerity is working

Spain is sliding from recession into DEPRESSION - Austerity is working

Italy in recession - not enough austerity but with the Super Mario turning Euro into Lira, the bills can be paid

France in recession - not enough austerity and La Bastille is looking pretty good right now

BeNeLux in recession - austerity is coming

Germany on its way into recession - what? China is NOT absorbing all the excess capacity Germans can't sell in Europe?



Draghi is like a stupid fuck giving his kids candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Europe has real problems. The people in many parts of Europe are suffering. The fucking elite is giving all their power and control over the money to a fucking jackass from Goldman Sucks!

Anyone remember what happened in Belfast? Parts of Europe will turn into Belfast - REAL FAST now. I'm sure the old IRA connections and channels are still active. IRA never had a shortage of good ammo and guns.

The US may have more weapons per capita than any other nation, but US citizens are not going to do a thing about what is being done to them by the elite and the money changers.

Europeans have a much bloodier and much more violent history in that regard. It will happen and soon.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:39 | 2772619 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

There is no alternative at this point to austerity as defined by a reduction in living standards and expectations for the population at large. Let's say that those governments you mention reject austerity and just print money so the promised benefit levels can be maintained. Well, guess what? You still get austerity because the purchasing power of that currency will go down faster than any attempts to inflate it. Austerity is not a choice at this point in time.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 13:22 | 2772288 Richard Head
Richard Head's picture

Pharmaceutical salesmen are parasites.  The sooner these jobs go away the better.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:00 | 2772482 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

in the greece, swedish shit clean *you*

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:14 | 2772531 The Count
The Count's picture

I remember back in the 1970's when I traveled southern Europe I was suprised and amazed by those 'hole in the floor' toilets. My biggest fear was always tipping over while squatting...

Question: Are those still in use in Europe or anywhere else for that matter?



Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:27 | 2772572 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:30 | 2772578 walküre
walküre's picture

Allot easier to clean btw. All you need is a hose.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 15:39 | 2772874 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

My freshman year in college I had a work/study job cleaning toilets at the student union. Both men's and women's. Believe me I would rather clean a men's restroom all day than spend an hour in a women's restroom. The worst thing about guys is they don't aim - I can't even begin to tell you the worst thing about women. Dainty little creatures that they are.

BTW - at Schipol airport in Amsterdam they have evidently solved the 'aiming' problem by etching the image of a little bug in the bottom of the urinal. Most guys evidently take it as a challenge to hold their stream steady on the bug. Go figure.

Oh - and when it comes to those squat toilets. First, you can do a lot better job of emptying your bowels from the squat position than sitting and second, I spent two years in Africa where those squat toilets are usually just pits covered by a frequently poorly constructed mud cover that have a disturbing tendency to give way - so while squatting you also have to be ready to leap for your life. Staying on your toes takes on a whole new meaning.

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 16:34 | 2773070 jack stephan
jack stephan's picture

“The luxurious seats are stuffed with eagle down, and the dashboard laced with the beaks of 1000 eagles. Also there are some eagles under the floorboards.”

“That’s an awful lot of eagle.”

“Yes. And yet… “

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s just that the luxury edition has so much more eagle, it saddens me to think of you missing out. “

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 16:34 | 2773074 jack stephan
jack stephan's picture

“The luxurious seats are stuffed with eagle down, and the dashboard laced with the beaks of 1000 eagles. Also there are some eagles under the floorboards.”

“That’s an awful lot of eagle.”

“Yes. And yet… “

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s just that the luxury edition has so much more eagle, it saddens me to think of you missing out. “

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 18:41 | 2773388 Nassim
Nassim's picture

He has yet to see what winter in Sweden is like. Poor sod!

Fri, 09/07/2012 - 22:58 | 2773858 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

"I would prefer to stay in Greece. But we don’t have jobs.”

No problemo!  Simply fill out these ten forms (in triplicate) and stand in that line, over there...

Soon, the time of kicking bureaucrat's butz will be upon us!

Sat, 09/08/2012 - 03:35 | 2774100 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Payback time to Greeks for creating democracy and not being there when the security patches needed to be updated.

Referendum is the way to go. If we don't get rid of politicians they will remain our rulers, subject to bribes and even back our destruction because, if they don't, then they will be brought to justice.

Its kind of an unsafe system the way it is.

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