A job at UN HQ? Goodbye principles and philanthropy, hello power and privilege!
Working for the UN begins with idealism but can end in cynicism. For one former employee, it became all about maintaining the status quo.
You have just received your first UN job. Congratulations! Granted, the whole recruitment process took 284 days, what with the written test your best friend could have taken in your place and the telephone interview your mother could have passed. And sure, nobody ever checked your references or titles, and you were asked – just when you had lost all hope – to deploy within a week. To the desert.
Still. Doped with the accumulation of indispensable but last-minute vaccinations your GP seriously advised against – yellow fever, cholera, tetanus and bad temper, to name but a few – and armed with the air ticket emailed to you barely two hours before departure time, you are ready to start the greatest adventure of your life.
Suddenly, there you are: wearing a UN T-shirt, armed with your belief in UN principles and a notebook, and braving occasional shelling under a blistering sun. You courageously and systematically patrol your area of responsibility, recording armed movements, humanitarian tragedies and, from time to time, human rights violations. You go where angels and most other people fear to tread. Largely due to the liberal spreading of landmines by rebels and government troops.