everyday's tidbits

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Nepotism. Sometimes it's not a bad thing.

Today I was invited by phone by some NGO to attend their meeting. The objective was still vague to me, but since it's a health-related popular NGO, I said I would come. No, I won't say what's the name of the NGO.

I came a little late, it rained very heavily. But as usual in Indonesia, everyone was late. The meeting began with lunch: soto banjar. Yummy, but not as yummy as the one popularly called as Soto Pak Amat (under the bridge).

The one who invited me introduced me to the Chairman, er, Chairwoman, I mean, and who is she? The wife of our popular ex-governor. I looked around (not so many person present, and all of them are women, ah no feast to the eyes at all) and everyone seemed to know each other.

Turned out it's a meeting for appointing new management of the NGO. In their draft, I am the chief of one of the board: Cancer research and registration. Whoever put me there? And guess who my team are? One of them is my lecturer in medschool, the one I am so adore and respected: the district chief of our professional organization himself! What on earth?

I looked more closely into the draft while the meeting slowly elapsed (boring and one of the members of the board was so intimidative she took all the decision by herself, but then again, who cares?). Seemed that almost all (except me, of course) are in some structural position in some department, or the wife of someone important, someone "up-there", or someone very rich: the wife of the ex-governor, the wife of a big hotel owner, the wife of a contractor, the wife of specialist doctors (they sure looked smug), the wife of a hospital director, the wife of the head of governmental department, etc. I assume that a NGO must survive, and survival needs fund. Besides, those wives are so enthusiastic (being the wife of someone important) to do something social-related (this is a volunteer job) and some of them just have nothing to do.

And what's more: a lot of the people in the new management are relatives or at least in close relationship. The chairwoman and the vice chairwoman No I are sisters-in-law. The chairwoman and the secretary No I are sisters-in-law, also. Me and the vice chairwoman No I are relatives, through marriage, although I am not so sure how (now I understand why they pick me!). The vice chairwoman No I's husband and one member of the board are brothers. And lots other example. Nepotism? so New-Order-like. But then if you think again, in a volunteer job like this, you always want to choose people you really know in your team, people you know would work hard and have competence in their own "expertise". And which other people that you know better than your own family? Maybe nepotism sometimes not a bad thing at all.




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