Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Do we have Work Manner?

     As far as I am concerned, civil servants, before they join the office take oath to serve people. Irrespective of the nature of services and the status of those who need the service, the first priority is service to people. 
     And the moment we sit on our chair, it's time we think if we are really doing justice to ourselves. Because, we might at times misunderstand our RESPONSIBILITIES as otherwise. I put RESPONSIBILITIES in BOLD because it looks like lot of people don't take it very seriously. 
     I write this because the incident that confronted me the day I went to DID for a work (of my friend) really disheartened me. And I believe many are facing the similar problem with the people who are responsible to serve others in need. 
      It was my second time in the office because I didn't have all the documents required for the work the first time I went. It wasn't much of a work though. I just had to get the mother's detail of my friend updated. 
     I needed to get the documents verified by the Gup saying that my friend is an illegitimate son of the mother whose detail I had to get updated. That's atleast what the chief of the department instructed me the first day. Well, I had to get it done, because no one would be willing enough to work on something that doesn't have any evidence. Or at least that doesn't have all the documents necessary. 
     Took me a couple of days. You know how things work!!!
     So, with all the documents verified by the Mangmi and the Tshogpa  of the geog, I went to the office for my friend needed to get the work done sooner enough. To my utter dismay, the chief wasn't in the office, so I consulted the ICT officer. She was kind enough to go through the documents. She left everything aside and did my work. THUMPS UP!! I liked the way she responded to my need. Not just me, everyone would have. So, she went through all the documents and did whatever was possible and forwarded the documents to another officer inside. 
     With due respect, I approached her and explained everything. She went through the forward note by the ICT officer and gave back all the papers except the one written and signed by the Mangmi and Tsogpa. 
     "What is your name?" She asked me, with her face to the computer. I promptly responded her. She didn't say a word, and read the concern letter from the geog again. 
     " I don't see your name here" she said with a bit of negligence in her tone. I was surprised. Totally taken aback, I showed the CID copy of my friend and made myself clear that I was just working for my friend. She wasn't convinced. I gave the authorization letter which had my CID number against my name. She preferred to remain silent for quite sometime, then typed the CID number.
     "I don't get this" she said again. 
And how would she get? She was searching the data with my CID number. That was something to be laughed at. Seriously!!!
     The authorization letter clearly states that I was just an authorized person to do his work, and she said I am not ********* (name of my friend).
     Holy crap!!! Can anybody be this ignorant? I am not questioning her ability. Never I would do anything of this kind. The fact that she works in a big office itself is an evidence enough for any doubt on her ability to execute any work, but how can one be so careless on the desk we are paid to work?
     "Ma'am, would you mind going through the authorization letter first?  Looks like ma'am didn't read all of it." I said, and everybody around could feel my voice tremble.
       She didn't say a word and went through the letter. As expected, she came up with another excuse.
     "No, you don't have all the documents necessary for the updation of the mother's detail of your friend. I can't help. I didn't say a word. "The concern letter from the Mangmi and Tshogpa needs to be verified by the Dzongkhag authorities." She said in such a plain words. She was too bossy over me.
     "Silly bureaucrat!" I thought because she wasn't at all interested in doing the work. Why occupy the space if she wasn't interested in the first place.
     "Ma'am, if you could excuse me, the letter and the documents are already verified by the concerned. I got this concern letter as per the instruction given by your chief. He didn't mention about any verification from the Dzongkhag. He just mentioned the letter from the geog, that's all." I said and literally shouted back. "And moreover, the letter is verified by the concerned officer before you, so it should be easy for you to just enter the details of his mother."
      What right did she have over her chief? Seriously, where's the justice?
      Meanwhile, the ICT officer overheard our conversation and came over. Atleast she was the one lady in the office whom I found sincere with her work.
     "I verified the documents and also it is his second time coming here, and he has brought the documents as per the chief's instruction. You just need to update the mother's detail. That's it." The ICT officer intervened.
     "I don't understand!" She grumbled. Well, that didn't bother me. That was the treatment she deserved.
      After much deliberation on the computer, she finally looked like an honest officer.
    "I think I am done with the work. Tell your friend that it is done" she said with a tone of politeness.
      "So, that's it then, ma'am? I made myself sure that the work was done.
      "Yes, yes. You may leave now."

     I thanked her and left the office with my face still blushing. And atleast I did something she didn't deserve. She did't deserve to be thanked.


     If this is something everybody is being confronted with, in any office, we just have to do one thing. Make them do the work, infront of you. And I believe that many are facing this same problems everywhere. The confrontation from the bureaucrats is such a mess in a small community like ours that the services are mistaken for a big personal favour. Believe me, nobody is doing any favour. Everyone in the office work for public in which they are PAID in return. Nobody works for free!!! So, it is time we think and ruminate, 'ARE WE REALLY SERVING OUR PUBLIC?'