5.306 Feeding Institutional Memory

-Cycle 5, Item 306-
7 (Fri) November 2014

Feeding Institutional Memory


by me

in my apartment

-Ermita, Manila-

with institutional memory

At WHO, a disheartening aspect of the job is that everyone's badge states an end date, all different.  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 1 year.  As such, the Organization's institutional memory lies primarily within the continuing-term general support staff who are here for life--their end dates are like Aug 2045, the month in which they turn the mandatory retirement age of 65.

Same spread as the last time that I hosted a Korean dinner at my place (see previously 5.246 The Lonely Hearts Club Chuseok Chowdown); concerned that Filipinos may not like the stew, I was happily surprised that the sundubu jjigae seemed to be their favorite dish of the evening.

As always, I do poach a perfect egg (see for example 5.303 Doenjang Jjigae with Egg).

I'm tired of saying goodbye.  Interns/volunteers, I'd written off from the outset.  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., James, Carmen) 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 general support staff.

For now, I'll go with the general support staff.

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