Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I like to think of myself as a calm and rational human being. I like to think that, while I am easily angered and annoyed by ineptitude and incompetence, I generally have the capacity to smile and pretend things are ok. I have completely lost that capacity.

At 9am today, my day began with a sit-in at UNICEF where I situated myself in their guard/waiting room and refused to move until someone met with me and straightened out all the issues that they seem to have a special tendency to perpetuate.

Then, when they agreed to let me in I launched into, what can only be described as, a tirade. I began with a calm explanation detailing their uselessness, ineffectiveness, ineptitude; added to that the reasons why I think that it is futile to partner with them; building to a crescendo with my step-by-step plan to persuade every one of their donors in Darfur to withdraw their support; and concluding with my plan for a hunger strike in solidarity with the children that are starving in our field site due to their internal bureaucracy.

One of the best kept secrets about men is this. There are only a few - maybe five - on this entire planet who know how to deal with hysterical women. Thankfully, none of those men were in the room and the ones who were went immediately into the classic, "pacify at all costs!" response. "Good God!" the looks on their faces said. "Make it stop! Someone please give her what she wants!"

So, I have finally won with UNICEF. It may seem like a minor victory. It may seem petty and unprofessional...but I don't care. It was a beautiful moment that still makes me smile just sitting here reflecting on it. That, and I don't have to start a hunger strike.

1 comment:

frida said...

Can't tell you how much I love this post. Well done!