Bangladeshi rescuers pulled a garment worker alive from the rubble of a factory building 17 days after its collapse, and immediately ordered her back to work. Referring to her time buried alive as “17 days unauthorized vacation”, the garment factory she works for transferred her to another facility to begin paying off the time.
“At her current tenure in that position, she had not yet reached the mandatory time of 20 years in grade to be qualified for a vacation day,” said a company spokesman.
The rescued woman, who goes by the single name of Reshma, was transported by ambulance to her new job, where she conveniently already works 6 hours a day as a second job. She was immediately placed on a 22-hour shift at 15 cents per hour.
“Thank goodness for the raise, else I’d never pay off my vacation time,” she praised her good fortune. “I was saving up for a last name but, hey, shit happens! That’s what savings are for.”
Management that’s currently not incarcerated declined interviews, but did issue a statement which said, in part, “Looks like Reshma’s going to be putting in some serious overtime for a while. But she knew the rules when she took so much unauthorized time off.”
Ironically, Reshma suffered fewer injuries being buried alive than she normally suffers on the job. The seamstress told a local Bangladeshi television station that she stayed alive by drinking bottles of water scattered in the rubble, and eating dried food from the backpacks of the deceased.
Local authorities, in turn, charged Reshma with theft of private property, and ordered her to fully reimburse the relatives of the dead, and the building's owners. “We refuse to turn a blind eye to this kind of blatant theft. What kind of society would that make us?” said a law enforcement official, who declined to be identified without a bribe.
It has also been reported that government rescuers will be reimbursed for pulling Reshma from the debris. When informed that her healthcare coverage did not cover "rescues", she replied incredulously, "What? I have healthcare?"
Reshma said she was anxious to start in her new dead-end position at the death trap across town in Dhaka, to begin paying off her massive debt. “The West depends on me to provide them with cheaply-priced clothing to perpetuate the illusion that inflation is flat. I can’t let them down now!” she said.
And, even though her 17-day vacation left her less rested and refreshed than she might have wished, she declared, “It’s good to still have a meaningful job to go to 22 hours a day.”