Cycle 5 – Item 306
7 (Fri) November 2014
in my apartment
-Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-
with (g-staff) colleagues
At WHO, a disheartening aspect of the job is that everyone’s badge states an end date. Reason being, everyone is there in a different capacity / different type of contract: general service, intern/volunteer, consultant, technical officer, director / short-term, temporary appointment, fixed term, continuing term. During my 10-month stint, I’ve had 3 badges, 3 end dates. The vast majority of professional staff stay no longer than 2 years. As such, the Organization’s institutional memory lies primarily within the continuing-term general support staff (“g-staff”), mostly administrative assistants, who are here for life – their end dates are like Aug 2045, the month in which they turn the mandatory retirement age of 65.
I’m tired of saying goodbye. Interns/volunteers, I wrote off by Day 2. Consultants, mostly young and single and outgoing, had been my crowd for awhile, until the wear-and-tear of farewell parties started grinding on me. Technical officers had seemed to be a safer, long-term bet, but even the ones whom I’ve grown closest to (e.g., JR, CAL) will be leaving at the end of the year. So, if I want to develop friendships that will last for the duration of my stay here – hopefully at least 4 years – I should look either to senior professional staff or g-staff.
For now, g-staff.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)