June 13, 2008

Dear highly distinguished guests

One of the things that has most amazed me during this week has been the reception I and my colleagues have received at the various and many meetings.

While we would only be with two people of low to medium status, we would be welcomed by at least three - but more often many more - people, one of which would be a high-ranking official who did all the talking during the meeting. The others don't speak at all at these meetings, except for a particular daring employee who would pipe up to add something every now and then. It always made me wonder why these people were even at the meeting in the first place.

This morning my last meeting topped all of the others of this week: we were met by no less than seventeen (17!) people. The programme included breakfast, a 15-minute group photo shoot and of course lunch (there's always food included in whatever meeting you are at). Luckily the food was indeed good and the actual programme which was the reason we were there was very very interesting.

The lavish reception at so many (government) organisations has made me wonder why that happens. Of course there could be different reasons:
1) We really are incredibly important. We just don't know it ourselves;
2) Government receives disproportional respect in comparison to the value of our work;
3) There is a lot of hidden unemployment in Malaysia; or
4) People will use any excuse to get away from their mindnumbingly boring tasks.

Any other suggestions?


5straatjes said...

Option 2, Government receives more respect than they deserve. Part of it is the multiplier effect - you're not important yourself but you will speak to a lot of people about Malaysia. And part of it is long term planning, you might be important one day.

Wiki said...

what i saw in SEA is that all places are over staffed. don't know why. but mybe ist is some kind of prestige and that you have to show.