Since the global crisis started, students have had big problems finding temporary after-school jobs because companies have been laying off people and if they really do need part-timers, they will offer these jobs either to former employees or to their children. Among the companies which are hiring students on a continuous basis are videochat/livechat studios. Their banners and advertising boards can even be seen at the biggest public transportation intersection in Brno – at the main train station. According to a companies directory at the Seznam.cz portal there are about ten of them in Brno, and slightly more in Prague.
There are two interesting things about this type of business.
One, the form of advertising. The banners feature a smiling 20-something girl and a slogan along the lines of “Do you want to make your dreams come true and be independent?” I really do not think that any Czech woman dreams about dirty webcam talk with complete strangers in a foreign country. Evidently the whole concept of independence is based on possible earnings. Some employers claim to offer as much as CZK 50,000 per month (EUR 2,000).
Two, the employers try to convince job applicants that the servers are not accessible from the Czech Republic (e.g.: http://www.r-models.cz/index.php?page=koho_hledame&language=en), which means no friends, family members or neighbors will accidentally meet them during a videochat session. Of course, this can be true. However, videochat girls have their own discussion forum where they voice their concern about privacy, or lack thereof. Some employers often join the discussion and say that working for an American website means that foreign IP addresses are blocked. This issue is particularly important in the case of nude chats.
What the pornographers (not all of them are, let’s say many of them) do not say (and there have been several scandals in the Czech Republic when a certain starlet’s past got revealed this way) is that any session can be recorded and uploaded onto just any server where it can be found by a Czech porn lover. Just like when Czech porn stars work for a foreign producer who claims that the videos are only sold in the United States and not Europe. Of course, American customers like to grab videos from DVD’s or paysites and share them on the Internet with the rest of the world. Several Czech men who are somewhat famous (e.g. a BigBrother contestant or a son of the Mayor of a certain Czech town) found out the hard way because they had worked for a U.S. company and the videos eventually surfaced in the Czech Republic.
The Czech government has recently started amending Czech tax laws in an attempt to improve the state budget income from taxes and the legalization of prostitution was among the issues discussed. Some MP’s of the governing Civic Democrats support it, some don’t. They would like the taxes, but they do not want the state to be the pimp.
Some time ago, men who wanted to be firefighters did not have to have a high school diploma, which is associated with the passing of a complex leaving examination. Due to some recent changes the qualification requirements have changed as well, so any prospective firefighter must have a high school diploma. The problem is that the conditions were changed retroactively to apply to all active men in the force. They were granted a grace period of ten years, during which they were obliged to “go back to school” to complete their secondary education. Many schools offer “evening” or “weekend” classes for this purpose because there are many adults who realize that they need to have the diploma. However, the firefighters who have failed to do so were fired on December 31, the Liberecky denik daily writes.
No school teaches split-second decisions. There are no classes in willingness to risk one’s life to save other people’s lives. There are men in the force who had been firemen for decades when they were laid off and the absence of their high school diploma has never been a problem. Yes, they saw it coming and they knew they had ten years to do something about it, so the fact that they had to leave did not come as a surprise. However, professional website Pozary.cz (Fires) tells a story of a firefighter who could not enroll and complete his secondary education because of family-related issues. Even though he wanted to. He had to leave the force after twenty years of service!
There are specific cases where retroactivity in law should apply (and it often does) and there are other cases where it is strictly forbidden and/or unconstitutional. The latter shall apply to professions like firemen. (Photo: Hasici Liberec)
Czechs like to celebrate the start of a new year with fireworks. Every city has a few public places where people who have purchased fireworks like to gather and detonate their rockets and all kinds of other pyrotechnic devices. Many of these people are extremely dangerous because they do so while intoxicated. Just like these young men (and I think I can see one girl there) in Brno who are seen detonating an illegal device which can only be purchased by a licensed specialist. In addition, it can only be detonated in a special protective “bucket”.
The police are investigating the incident because these idiots could have seriously injured or killed bystanders. According to a January 1 police blotter paramedics were dispatched on December 31 to treat a 31-year old man who sustained serious injuries after a pyrotechnic device detonated in his hand. Of course, most of these devices can only be purchased by adults, but since “adult” means 18, which is the age of essentially all high school seniors, any kid can ask an older and irresponsible friend to make the purchase.
UPDATE Tuesday afternoon: The suspects have been identified thanks to testimonies by people who know the suspects personally. They were summoned to testify this afternoon. The public prosecutor will decide whether to prosecute them or not based on expert reports. If convicted, they may spend eight years in prison…