There is considerable disadvantage to being in management. Often it means that you aren't doing the hard (and rewarding) technical work of the sectors and interacting with beneficiaries. You just deal with the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy in Darfur is astounding. Take the normal inefficient bureacracy of a developing country. Throw in the antipathy of the GoS. Add several doses of insecurity. And finally, top with the entire bureaucracy of all of the entire UN and their subsidiary agencies. It's a nightmare. I have spent the last two weeks battling someone. Battling UNICEF to get our agreements with them signed. Battling UNICEF to get them to give us soap. Battling the Ministry of Health to get them to build the addition to the hospital they promised. Battling UNICEF to get them to give us food for starving kids. Battling WFP to get them to give some food to the communities so we have less starving kids. Battling our friendly GoS to get them to not shut our programme down because we don't have 4 pieces of paper signed, stamped, in triplicate because....why!?!?...they keep losing them.
And all along the way it is necessary to smile and cajole and laugh and joke ("Hah! That's so funny! You've lost our paperwork for the third time! Imagine that! You guys are such a hoot!") when mostly all you want to do is kick someone in the teeth. That little voice of rage in the back of my mind is getting louder. (Driving down the street yesterday I was passing a group of about 15 teenage boys who saw me coming and all started picking up rocks. My initial reaction was not for security it was, 'C'mon suckers! Throw them! You stone my car and I'm going to run you over! Try me!')
However, I think I've now passed through rage and straight into apathy. I was overwhelmed this morning by how little I actually care. I'm finding it hard to remember why I care.