Yes, you read it correct. It has been exactly five years. May 2010 was the time when I first joined the office of Department of Youth and Sports. It went by so fast; in fact, it was an intense, overwhelming period of time.
|During my first office assignment|
I started my career as a young gelled hair boy. Frankly speaking, it was purely for the sake of employment that I joined the office; I knew nothing about the office’s mandates and objectives before. But I began my service bursting with excitement, with real gusto.
In the first year, I could perform exceptionally well. My performance and initiatives had hugely impressed my colleagues and supervisors; they applauded me for my works. The truth was that I was young, energetic, passionate and obedient. I didn’t mind taking up extra responsibilities. I didn’t mind working extra time.
That time, a senior staff told me, “Young man, Riku, a decade ago, I was like you. Passionate. Hardworking.”
Then he had listed down the initiatives he took and added, “My boss applauded me. I was super happy. Now see, I am a de-motivated person. The system killed me.”
I didn’t know what exactly he meant by that.
Gradually, I have realized that the bureaucratic system was insanely huge and the managements were cunningly unprofessional and unfair. Much of our time, we have been struggling with paperwork and administrative hurdles.
Oddly enough, most office managements lacked leadership, dynamism and vision. They still adopted the punitive approach where employees were taught work through abuse, scolding, daunting and controlling. It was really frustrating and demoralizing to work under such management and leadership.
As a fresh employee, in the beginning, I was thirsty to learn about the work and create impact as much as I can. But rather disappointingly, the system functioned in a complex manner that always tried to stop you from going forward and pulled you down morally.
Many times, I came into conflict with the system, with my supervisors. This affected me a lot, it made me nervous too. The passion and confidence had vanished in me. I became, in a word, de-motivated. And my senior’s words rang true; I understood what he had meant.
For the better or worse, some of my colleagues quit.
At one point, I requested for transfer which eventually didn’t happen. After that, many times, I contemplated on resigning from the service. For quite sometime, I have become like my senior – an indifferent disgruntled civil servant. I did not much work but often landed up complaining about the management and the bureaucratic system.
However, slowly I have realized that my reaction and attitude was wrong. In fact, my colleagues and friends gave me a word of encouragement and injected a renewed mood of optimism and positivity in me.
I worked on the communication. I rebuilt relationship with everybody around me. Likewise, I began to fit the broken pieces together one by one. And things started to become less complicated, less stressful, much more stable and more focused.
Meanwhile, I have developed an attitude that I was not only working for my boss and the system but for the wellbeing of youth too, thereby serving the tsa-wa-sum. And I felt that I am the future of my office, the future of Bhutanese bureaucracy.
The civil service rules and regulations can be amended; it can be improved prior to our own feedback and recommendations. Our bosses will retire one day, and if we (young gunners) become concerned, then in the future we can become effective and dynamic person to head any managements.
Above all, I have learned millions of things in the last five years, through my work. This July, I am expecting my first promotion; this is just a first stepping stone of my career.
Ah, I still have a long to to go!