Friday, April 22, 2011

I Hate Public Welfare

(Pre-Script: Many people I know, don't consider Library Secretary a worthy enough post of narrating the account and would rather enact Mess Secretary supervising the kitchen and utensils because it enables a higher scope of money-making. This post is for the others.)

Now that my term as Library Secretary officially terminates, this is what I have to say. My SOP itself stated “Welfare, I believe cannot be accomplished without a selfish motive”. So true, so true. But worse, the selfish motive I meant then is totally different from the selfish motives I seek today. It happens something like this. I enter public service considering myself a visionary, seeking to cause some reforms and 'spread literary culture'. I swear, this is my aim then. There is someone else as well, who maybe considers himself the same or has some other aims from this position of responsibility. The system, being that of a democracy, demands we would contest an election and the one with maximum votes wins, meaning I join an alliance which would grant me votes and beg people for votes so that I can win. Now you may ask, if improving the system was my aim as well as his (if it was), how did it matter who did the job? I make myself clear- I seek to change system according to my own vision. Majority grants me the vote and I win. Now starts my task.

I create a Google Group with keenness, start creating a transparent system there about the magazines. Disappointment catches up with low participation from the beneficiaries. I also look forward towards a portal creation facilitating hostel students to exchange books amongst themselves by providing information on the books with each student. This would spread the literary culture. Soon, I meet a guy my age who has created a start-up facilitating a similar portal in his college, and earning revenue out of it. I put in the same efforts as does he, but his payoff is much higher than me. What do I get if I implement it – satisfaction, you would say? I apologize, but I am no zealot.

Now starts the bulk of the task, where new books are to be bought. Meanwhile, I have documented the books in the library already and pasted them in notice boards. Same for the list of magazines which have been subscribed. Procedure for books demands an initial budget to be passed, taking a considerable amount of time, to be followed by visiting vendors, bringing multiple quotations following through with delivery order. The work definitely involves lots more than few signatures and compiling a list. So, do remember at all instances the cost of welfare is not zero and needs a lot of investment of time and energy. Some complaints have started coming about absence of new books, even though the budget hangs in a limbo whilst others complain about disappearing magazines from the library. That frustates me, I swear it does. First, the people shouldn't be stealing them. Even if we forget ethics for a while, I am not a damn police officer. So the cost of welfare is increasing- enduring foul words to help these people eventually. The inevitable question haunts me- what do I get out of all this? Satisfaction- bullshit! There is no joy in helping people, who aren't willing to help themselves (minute steps like joining the Google Group). Certificate? I'd rather doze off, and still manage one. But then, I do get an answer- someone tells me (not my conscious). I am obliged to them since they voted for me (and I asked for it then). True, true.

Analyzing things by give-take relationship, the topic is highly subjective. How much to work am I obliged? I've got lots of paper-work done, made numerous phone calls, even trips, maintained databases. I even make myself transparent, putting up lists of books everywhere and displaying bill as well to interested people. I take a vote. I may draw the barrier myself to where the giving terminates. I feel I'm not obliged to work infinitely, since there is no intermediate return and the work ends up being taken for granted- “What's the big deal if you worked? You were obliged to!” Thus I seek personal benefits in the work I do- more than satisfaction and obligations, as I've already drawn the line. I realize the books still remain pending, partially due to the ineffiency of the dealer, partially due to the delayed budget approval and the rest I own up, due to my own unwillingness to work day-night. It is an unfair system, where the person responsible has no bonuses and a fixed return, irrespective of the work. I believe, the secretary for instance should've an official quota of books he can keep for himself- a proportion of the purchase. I see, selfishness is being an increasingly accepted norm and rather neccesitated in the name of competition especially in the private sector. On the other hand, in public welfare where returns are considered immaterial and the people expected to be altruistic. They are expected to selflessly serve the selfish ones. What a farce! Selfishness should be an accepted norm in public welfare as well. Till then, I hate public welfare!


Anonymous said...

dude, please go to some island in Andaman and please be there. There will be no fucking civilization to haunt you there.

P.S. - Don't live near the Airport area because they may be some social beings there.

Siddharth Bhattacharya said...

@ whoever commented: I don't object to seeing such a hostile comment, and that's why it is approved.
However, I'm pretty sure you didn't read it and dropped the comment from seeing the title or reading the Pre-Script.
Such is the bigotry which ruins the world.

Stupid said...

I hate public welfare too. I find myself in a similar situation, being a convener sucks. It is indeed a thankless job. But then, this is life.

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