The Compensation

I fell into this program this afternoon, De Tegenprestatie – The Compensation. It took me quite a search to find a good translation of this word tegenprestatie. It is a combination of two words: tegen ~ counter, and prestatie ~ achievement.

I found the following words:

  • Amends ~ Compensation for a loss or injury; recompense; reparation
  • Indemnification ~ The act or process of indemnifying, preserving, or securing against loss, damage, or penalty; reimbursement of loss, damage, or penalty; the state of being indemnified.
  • Compensation ~ Something, such as money, given or received as payment or reparation, as for a service or loss.
  • Exchange ~ To give and receive reciprocally; interchange: exchange gifts; exchange ideas.

In the evening i opened up my Dutch – English dictionary and looked it up. I settled for compensation. I’m still not sure.

The Dutch word is a very specific word in this context. It is a term used by the government for a return for a social security finance you get when you are unemployed. It is a new development, set in motion from around 2015. This evolves around a new term, participation, which is in high use in politics right now. In Rotterdam, the city where i live, this is performed in a vehement form. The program De Tegenprestatie is recorded in Rotterdam. It is a repeat of the transmission in October 2015.

I just came home from doing some grocery shopping. My new bread dough was still in its first rise. I had to wait for a while before i could knead it again, so i turned on the television. As i said in the beginning of this post, i fell into this program.

The language used by the people working at the social services department in Rotterdam is immediately recognizable. You can hear the politics behind it seeping through. The only objective is to get people out of social security as fast as possible, with any payable job possible.

While watching the talks i felt a cold indignation, an anger frowing inside of me. I also felt sorry for the people sitting there, working there. You can feel the training, the days of working together to get the tone right. The computers, the papers, the signatures. It is a world in which i really don’t want to get involved in. It is a dehumanizing environment. With names for talks, De Werkintake, De Inspanningsperiode, names for homework people have to do. This is the civilized shape of slavery. Nobody carries the responsibility for this system. It is shaped by civil servants and politicians in meetings and workshops and symposia. People are not physically hurt, no, but they are hurt by the way they are approached, by the complete lack of humanity with which they are treated.

I’m not sure i have found the right words to express my feelings about this system. I do know, I will rather do any cleaning work, than get involved in this system. I hope it will not get to that. I hope to be something else entirely. I’m working my ass of to achieve that. With this website, ellenpronk.com.

I’m sorry for the people who do not understand Dutch. The entire program can be seen on the human.nl: 2DOC: De Tegenprestatie.

A 31 minute part of this program.

About ‘De Tegenprestatie’

Published on January 15, 2016 at 6:00 by

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