Not Working But Networking

06/07/2000
With the "end of history" at the UN, the classification of the staff within the current Secretariat seems to be between the majority who are working and a minority not working but networking. It is not between General Service and Professionals, nor between Professionals of various levels. It is between a number of "professional networkers" and the rest of the frustrated staff.

The workers promote the UN, the networkers promote themselves. The workers try to be as discreet as humanly possible, even when they observe scandalous behavior by few individuals who exploit their transient influence. The networkers spill the beans to anyone who could help them get anywhere, even to a retreat in Aspen, Colorado. And while devoted staff uphold faithfully the oath of civil service, networkers boast about their keen interest in following instructions from influential governments. Instead of faithfully serving the Secretary-General, they use his name and office to connect, get on the invitation circuit and pontificate on any question except UN pressing issues.

Workers perform as members of a team. Networkers operate like a pack of wolves. Instead of helping occasionally vulnerable colleagues, they would help themselves to potential spoils; they seem to be constantly searching for shifts in power.

Workers bring forward positive proposals. Networkwers take credit for them. Workers take responsibility for their staff's work, networkers take credit for it.

Workers give the United Nations a good name. Networkers give networking a bad name.

Samir Sanbar