Barely two weeks working in my current office, I have had a hearty dose of office politics, supreme injustice in public institutions, and the hopelessness employees feel as they feel that nothing can be done to rectify this problem unless they are willing to risk their livelihoods.
Just today, as I was entering the office, I had to manuever my way as a “lowly intern” to defend my supervisor’s honour, hopefully to prevent her from getting in trouble with the big boss tomorrow.
But, I think I failed because they were not listening to me. It’s like he’s nodding but at the back of his mind, he is thinking, “Okay, this girl is just an intern. What does she know?”
Oh, dear God. Point #1: Just because we have no titles and we are young, that does not mean we don’t know anything. How dare you look down on me?
And, yesterday, a few of us talked over lunch about people with titles and high positions. One researcher recently went to a rural village in Southeast Asia. On purpose, she introduced herself with her first name instead of telling them that she had a doctorate. But, once they learned of that information, they changed their attitude around her and started seeking her advice in everything.
It wasn’t like this when I was in Sweden. Whether they were professors or graduate students, everyone was equal. No one look down on anyone, and sharing goes both ways.
Point #2: Why do people, especially here, assume those who are Doctors or Professors know everything? Why do we put them high up on a pedestal without investigating their true capabilities?
And, guess what, I found out that people can buy honorary doctorate titles and professorship through money and connections. That attitude does not reflect the true meaning of getting a Doctorate. A doctorate means a master of knowledge and now has the license to teach. Bought and not earned, how can he/she be qualified to lead others? Hearing that just shocked me.
Hoping to not fall into the same despair felt by my disillusioned colleagues, I am fortunate that I have a good supervisor who’s experienced in dealing with such a rotten system where undeserving people hold top management positions and no one to tell them that they are in the wrong.
So, Point #3: Where’s the dedicated worker’s union who is supposed to prevent such problems? Why is there no check-and-balance in this institution or in public institutions for that matter? Why can’t others see the inefficiency so prevalent because of the lack of trust among employees due to poor leadership?