Friday, June 27, 2008

Out of the bush, back to The Office

After a week of work, I have come to the following conclusions: a) everyone is really smart here, b) intelligence does not equate to organization or efficiency.

Sometimes in the whirlwind of high-speed internet, high profile publications, visionary strategy meetings and prestigious awards, it takes a moment to remember that I am still in a developing country. The Board of Directors of the foundation I am tasked with evaluating is a short list of some of the most accomplished businesspeople in India - Forbes Asia businessmen of the year, Fortune's most powerful women in business, Yale world fellows, chairpeople of prestigious bank boards. Staff at the institute have articles published and are considered area experts in almost all of the major national media sources.

Fortunately, that "developing country" reminder still appears frequently. I am supposed to be issued a laptop, but am borrowing my boss' personal computer for the foreseeable future because of a mix-up in the IT department. I am currently stationed at the desk of someone who is in the field for the week because there are no open workstations; the group was scheduled to move into a bigger office today. But, there was a miscommunication and the size of the new office was apparently measured by some metric other than "workstations", so it is unclear when we will move or when I will get a desk of my own. The power tends to go out once or twice towards the end of the day, and the phone lines are inconsistent enough that you often have to contact the operator in order to call out, instead of dialing directly.

There's no doubt this is a step up from the office environment in Kenya, but it's certainly not Boston. And again I am reminded of how precisely this experience is a cross between my two previous jobs.

1 comment:

Kenli said...

Your take on the infrastructure is interesting. I've heard that it is a problem, but considering that there is so much IT outsourcing to India, I didn't see how that was possible. I'll be interested to see how your view evolves. Also, can you do skype? It would be fun to talk. :) I hope you're having a blast!