Sunday, May 25, 2014

From star to supporting role!

This pass few weeks has been literally 'hell' for me at work. For my colleagues in HQ New York, this 'hell' has been lasting months. But until this pass few weeks, I was always able to help them work out the positiveness of the situation.

I cannot believe that just about 1 month ago, I attended the Regional ICT workshop for UNDP in KL. And I felt so inspired, so eager to get it on and work on all the IT initiatives UNDP had in mind. We were being taught about the Cloud and how UNDP was going to go there. We were seeing Microsoft 360 and how we will utilize that to its full potential. We were talking strategic partnership. We saw ourselves up there pushing the organization into achieving greener offices, more efficient work processes, reaching out to far and beyond communities with just very simple hardware. We saw the role of IT and how with minimal cost the power IT can bring to the goals of UNDP. Wow....we were all geared up.

Then slightly more than a month later, we received the worse devastating news that UN as a whole does not understand such power of IT. They unfortunately still see IT as a supporting role to finance and projects and HR. From a pillar that supports the organization, IT has been reduced to a stone that forms an existing pillar.

Such redundancy really breaks my heart.

And what affects me more is that Shirin Hamid, my CTO's post has been demolished. In actual fact now, the IT deputy reports to an Administrative person.

I have great admiration for Shirin Hamid. She not only addresses her by name but remembers any issues or concerns that has been brought up to her attention by us. She takes time to talk to 'lowly' staff like us without making us feel we are lowly. She is small in size yet big in stature. The achievements she has accomplished as a person and thus bringing UNDP IT in the limelight as well is out of this world! I am sad that UNDP does not see that. And that UNDP will have lost a person such as she.

Looking at the new organigram, I shudder at the days to come. I see the positions that have been downgraded. I see the people that will need to move. I see the staff who went to US with a UN working visa and who are now out of job. I see the people who are laid off without any remuneration save for their unexpended leave. I see the number of people holding a certain grade and now they have to fight amongst themselves to retain their position.

My own supervisor, having been in US for close to 20 years with a UN working visa now finds she has to relocate to Malaysia. A Filipino citizen, a single mother with a daughter close to 18. She suddenly finds her life turning upside down.

My colleague with health issues has to find comfort in other doctors in a foreign country. Where in times of an emergency a phone call away to mum and dad will no longer be possible.

And they ask questions like "What am I still doing with UN?" and "For all I contributed to UN, this is how they treat me?" Sad but inevitable. Such is life, full of changes and uncertainties, especially working with the UN.

I think it's sad - from strategic partnership, we are reduced to such fate. Like a star come crashing down. Like brilliance we are slowly losing light.

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