Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

Why it’s hard to get stuff done here

My morning at work today:

9 -9:30 -> read work emails, make a ‘plan’ for the day.

9:30 -9:50 -> Attempt to print some documents. There is no network here, so have to copy documents onto pen drive. Turn on computer that has printer connected. Click ignore to all virus found messages (this place is crawling with viruses, thank god I bought a Mac).

9:50 – 9:55 -> Print document.

10 – 11:30 -> Discuss work with ED (Executive Director) and others. Get interrupted a lot. By people and mobile phones. Have never seen anyone reject a call on their mobile here. Not just particular to Moanoghar, this behaviour is all pervasive in Bangladeshi society. I’ve seen a panel discussion, where people ON the panel have taken calls on their mobiles DURING the panel discussion. Find out plan for the day is useless as Deputy Minister of Social Welfare is visiting today. We didn’t know this yesterday, the letter announcing the visit arrived today. And so does the Minister. Find out project activities for school children (e.g. English proficiency classes, weaving etc) have to be replanned as the Government has changed the school times. Yes, the school times. When I arrived here school was from 8am -2pm. Now it is from 10am -4pm. This messes with after school activities as availability of external instructors doesn’t match new ‘after school’ hours. Apparently the government does this every now and then and I just don’t fecking understand. Why, in the height of summer, would the school time be changed to run right over the heat of the day. In fact, why change the school time at all. Ever. 

11:30 – 11:50 -> Told I’m having lunch with the Deputy Minister of Whatever, so have to tell Memory to NOT cook my lunch today. Takes a while.

11:50 – 12:15 -> Discussion to arrange 1st ever management meeting here. Participants, agenda, focus and required materials hotly debated. Get interrupted by arrival of Deputy Minister. And her entourage. Do all people who think they are the most important always talk the loudest? 

12:15 – 12:30 -> Sit in my office trying to work out what progress I’ve actually made this morning. Not a lot. This participatory approach is difficult. Decide the Accenture approach (bowl in, take over, make shit happen, even if it is the wrong shit) is easier than getting stakeholder buy-in and ensuring stakeholder ownership for decisions taken and changes made. OK fine, participatory approach is better, but it takes longer.

12:30 – 12:40 -> Put earphones in and listen to the Lighthouse Family. Yes, I like the Lighthouse Family. Reminds me of good times when all 3 Visagie sisters lived in CT before the exodus to London began. 

12:40 – 13:00 -> Someone brings me a mango from their mother. I love mangoes. And the people here. Feel better. Get over myself, and start working on materials for inaugural management meeting.

13:00 -> Get called to go to lunch…

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7 Comments»

  Amanda wrote @

Ha ha ha !!! Very funny !!! Weeellll …. you did say you were sick of Accenture life 🙂 Brings to mind the old saying “be careful what you wish for ….. you might just get it! “

  estellevisagie wrote @

Ha ha. Yes, wise words indeed Miss Amanda.

  Lorna wrote @

No no no Stella, the Lighthouse Family is wrong on EVERY level!!!!!

  estellevisagie wrote @

You English and your hate for all things Lighthouse Family. I love them for reasons nostalgic and I don’t care who knows! There, my dirty little secret is out.

  Amanda wrote @

Hothouse family ROCK !!!!

  Amanda wrote @

Sorry, meant Lighthouse, not Hothouse. Duh !

  estellevisagie wrote @

Hothouse Family… Lighthouse Flowers…shame Amanda!


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