Going to a government office to get something done is always a big hassle in this country. You are either asked to come the next day or the following week or after their lunch time. And, you keep hopping from one window to another, from one room to the other and from one table to the next. They blithely refuse to help you in desperate times when every passing moment is precious for you and to them; it’s just a tick on the wall clock.
I recently had a brush of such experience in one of the ought-to-be respected government organizations. No sooner I landed in the room of the person I was to get my documents signed with, I was asked to come after an hour for something that would just take 15 minutes of his time. Already on a tight schedule, it seemed totally ludicrous for me to idly wander for an hour for nothing. Considering he was engaged in his task at that moment, I asked if he would attend me when he was finished with the task at hand. He wouldn’t bulge an iota even after I had made several requests.
Known for being testy at times, I put a cork on my tantrum and managed to politely ask if I could sit on the sofa and wait for him to finish his current work. With his consent, I sat down on the dust laden sofa, scrutinizing the room we were in. Surprisingly he beckoned me soon after he was free and I found him, surprisingly again, amiable when we struck up a brief conversation. However his assistant, an old irascible lady hadn’t quite imbibed her boss’s trait as she shrewdly retorted telling, ‘OKAY! Lady! Can you hold your horses now!’, when I pointed out that she had missed one of my documents. In the end, it just took exactly 15 minutes to get all the things done.
I couldn’t help but wonder why the government officials are such sadists. It’s just like they are seeking some unknown vengeance with us, putting us in desperate situations, making us suffer and yet we have no other option but to conform to their sadistic deeds. As I was making an exit out of the dilapidated building, trying to hammer out the reason behind their psyche, I felt may be this is it, their workplace, a dilapidated antediluvian building with its even worse interiors, which is somehow inflicting these negative vibes in them. Even people like us, who work in well-furnished buildings, have our times of frustrations; I didn’t stand on firm ground to carp about them but only could commiserate at their plight.
Most of the government offices as we’ve seen are in an utterly neglected condition, with cobwebs caving in from all the corners of the dusty and damp room with cracked windows and piles of files lying on top of each other, covered with dirt, ironical in this computer driven world. The room that I was in earlier also had cracked walls and in these rising Fahrenheit temperature, there was only one fan serving quite a number of people. Working in such a horrible room, I couldn’t blame the old lady for her curtness. When the policy makers are driving away in imported SUVs and jet black Mercedes, getting paid for doing all the talking and virtually no work at all in rooms fitted with imported AC, it is rather depressing for these officials, who do the actual work, to come to a building in ruins with muddy ground, noisy fans, and one immersed in stench from the toilets. I felt, who in all his sanity can manage to work double-faced in such a condition and I saw their attitude to work and to people as mere way of venting out their frustration, sadly though in a diabolical fashion.
Of course, government offices and officials require a lot of reform, from computerizing the manual tasks to alleviating corruption; I believe the first step should be elevating the working environment by at least cleaning up the dirt and tidying up the rooms and furniture if not a complete renovation. A healthy and clean working environment raises one’s morale and attitude. With an effort towards this direction, we can hope of better and productive government officials, who have become an adjective rather than a noun to connote indolent, lethargic procrastinators.
12 thoughts on “Government office and the officials”
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Could not resist Comments. Many of Banks in Nepal too have lunch hours and they do not keep support staff during lunch hour. All go to lunch and come back together. GOVARMAN office taught it to fellow enterprises. I am always frustrated when I go to including private banks. such a mess to customer support. They take our money. they run by our money and do not care serving us. Many private companies too have suffered because of this legacy. So, Government must change from GOVARMAN into real GOVERNMENT is People’s gathering by /for/ to/ from/of the people as American president Abraham Lincoln once told. Pardon me if it was not Abraham lincoln. Poor in history memory now.
So, as long as lazy tyrants are in government, formed by lazy parliament, consisting of old mental dogmatic minds, New service from Nepalese government/Politicians cannot be expected. Let us wait and see.
Dear girija, actually you tried sending people off after 18/28/ year terms and 60 /58 aged people abt 13 years ago. Now is it not that you should retire to Hell for all wrong doings and to heaven for daring acts.
I was infromed about this posting. I am not happy that government offices are still the way it was year before. Please go and meet my home minister Sitaula. What the hell that ex-Pancha is doing. I can fire him if you guys want me to do so. I am about to die as you all know. I hope you forgive all of my sins. My only desire is to see power transfered to my daughter. It has been a big challange lately as people have noticed she is an useless and arrogant bitch. Pardon my words. I am tired of her dumbness. She has started dating with some party workers – which is making very difficult for me. That’s why I limited my dating within extended family members. We Koirala’s love Muslim culture that allows having affairs with extended family members.
true shamesh even tho we hate giving bribery. we are at times left with no options.. i wud like to quote the line from the article.. ‘we have no other option but to conform to their sadistic deeds…’ we are helpless. we need the things get done.. we need those signatures and they know that we need it .. that’s reason why i call them sadist.. and again we are helpless..
Yhe the sence of self responsibility, self concern.. But people in government offices only know to do their work if they are paid well or wait till they feel okey let’s do some work.
I once faced the problem of “Bholi Aoonus”, it was just a signature of Ward Seceratory on some documents, but amizzingly he posponed the task, until i took the alernative way, the way WE HATE, the Bribery.
even God won’t know how much corruption is there….
it is the sense of helpless that is very frustrating.. we know wat shud be done.. but can do nothing.. Rajendra dai. u’ve said we must do and teach them their duty.. how ?? will they even listen to us … the laymen… and is there anything that we can do so that the ppl really listen and change.. ??
I believe such things should come from within.. sense of responsibility and awarenes.. unless and until that happens.. the true awakening… the situation is grim..
Your article of your personal experience which happended to you in one of a Government office is correct. These things regularly happens in Nepalese offices and with Nepalese officers, who thinks they are rulers. You have asked in a reply to a comment dated 28th August that Quote What can we do, is there anything we CAN do.. unquote. You are right What can we do?. We are the one who must do and theach them their duty. We must make them understand and tell them the reality that they are Public Servant, NOT PUBLIC MASTERS. Until and unless this goes into their head/mind, they are not gonna change. I also write in such matters where Govt. Officials’ nonsense arises. Please see (if you have not) my recent article: WHERE TAX PAYERS ARE FORGOTTEN…
Posted by Rajendra Keshari Pandey on August 22nd, 2007
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You article deservs a nice thank you and a praise.
yea true.. what can we do !! is there anything that we CAN do… !! prolly no… such is the sorry state of ours.. all we can do say… ‘estai ho’.. depressing.
The first step is taking care of the immense overstaffing. The main problem with people working in these offices is the sense of permanent job security and the lack of accountability that follows it. They’re 100% sure their job will always be there no matter how they perform, and people don’t really get into administration due to a “passion” for it. There are too many people — but they’re all slacking off — so no work gets done. Hire-n-fire is what we need. But who’s gonna do it? Haha…. someone with a death wish, that’s who.