Today is the day I’ve been waiting all my life. This is first time I’m joining my service; yes, a civil service job as an officer. And you can’t guess how excited and proud I am. My parents and relatives are also equally happy for me. After all, the 16 years of education, one more year sitting for the civil service exams and another year for the diploma management at RIM has finally come to reward me.
I’ve my good haircut; dress in my best gho. And I schedule in time in the office. Six other mates are also placed under the same ministry. First, we meet the Chief HRO. He takes us to meet the Secretary of the ministry as it was a part of the introductory program.
We line up inside the Secretary’s chamber, holding our kabney and rachu and taking a deep bow as the Chief introduces us to the Secretary. The Secretary is seated on his jigs leather chair. Behind him, a kuthang hangs. On the table, right in front, his nameplate is placed, “Dasho……..”
He is a stocky dark man in his mid fifties, possibly late fifties. Old. Clearly an unattractive man once.
He doesn’t greet us. “You all are RIM graduates? Errm…you are placed here?” he inquires us.
“Yes la,” we respond nervously.
He looks full on our face and unleashes a loud hectoring voice, “You are nothing!” Oh my gosh, the rage instantaneously spirals him. We’re shell-shocked. We didn’t expect this, by the way. I feel that we’ve entered a realm of absurd – perhaps the Doomsday has come finally, the world’s going to end.
Our arrival maddens him? I don’t know. But a naughty thought runs over my mind, Maybe his wife would never let him sleep with her and he has to masturbate all his life.
He uncaps his pen and shows to us, “Look at this pen!” Pointing at the pen’s nip, he barks at us, “You see this nip?” we nod, confused.
“Mind you, you’re only this nip. You still have a long way to reach the other end of this pen,” he continues, tellingly, more agitated and furious. Now I understand that he is only trying to wreak terror and demean us. And I concluded that all his life in civil service he has learned only to extract pleasure from terrorizing people.
We just feel overall disrespected, insulted, intimidated and the feelings of inferiority. Our excitement and hopes are brutally demolished. We’ve become dispirited and broken. It hurts worse. Tears begin misting in my eyes, my throat painfully choking. And I know I’ll cry, definitely.
He pushes inside his goddamned mouth a doma khamtoe. And his chin and neck abnormally swell, growing bigger than his bald head.
“Don’t ever think you are officer here. Demolish your ego. You’ve to learn from even the peons, office assistants or drivers,” his abuse continues.
We are still standing. He never asks us to sit on the divans. He stares at us, menace in his eyes, as if we fucked his wife. I say, “Jedha Jandey, shut the fuck up,” through my clenched teeth.
His voice takes on a new rhythm, “Do you know what Driglam Namzha is?” Aw, now he starts tutoring us. We nod, irritated. He keeps on saying that it’s very important to know, upgrade and never to forget the ‘precious’ Driglam Namzha.
He questions us, “You know what integrity is?”
We murmur, indifferent, “Yes la.”
“Tell me, one of you. Fast!” he demands angrily. “As a civil servant, you must inculcate this value. Else, you’re no good here,” his voice rumbles low like lightning.
I feel that I may lose my sanity living in a constant abuse and chaos. It’s sickening, you know. I dare now and look straight at his face. And I feel like throwing a much needed punch in his fucking nose to bring him back to normal.
“Corruption has no place here. Don’t ever think of doing it. If you dare, it’s genesis of nemesis of your career,” he whines. We agree with him lamely, restless too.
Huh, ‘genesis of nemesis’? What’s this? Fuck! Neither of us understands this. Wait! He explains, “It’s ‘beginning’ of the ‘end’…of your career as a civil servant.” Ha-ha! I know it sounds ludicrous but I’m not making it up, there really is such Dasho and he says all this.
He is going on, hour after hour. Just like this three hours gone, oh god. It’s very interesting, you know, when you listens to scolding for such long hours, you don’t take it anymore as scolding. You become immune to it. The terror and sadness is gone. His scolding comes to my ears like a bad rap which needs ignoring, right away. And this miserable old man, still pattering, appears to me like a headless chicken, unnecessarily raving and ranting.
After this draconian meeting, we’re to meet the Minister. But to my pleasant surprise, the Minister appears the perfect foil for the Secretary. As we walk in his chamber, we’re greeted by a beautiful smile and kind words. The Minister leans forward and shakes hands with each one of us. Some tea and snacks and he delights us with his frank talk. As we leave, he wishes us the best in our career.
Ha-ha, this is the sheer difference between a bureaucrat and elected parliamentarian (politician).
Note: One of my friends who recently joined the civil service shared this incident to me. His identity is kept incognito for some reasons.