Quote Today

    If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.
    - Oscar Wilde

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    When Heels Break Chasing the Circus Share

    Ever wonder why things don't get done as quickly as they should be here in Brunei?

    Why important tasks or information always get delayed or never reach us on time? (well..except for unruly gossips)

    Why we should never wear heels when we have errands to do when in government buildings?

    Each department hasn't a clue what the other departments are doing.

    I swear to you this isn't the first time it's happened. I was subject to the same circus-chase back in UBD when I was dealing with my course continuation.

    As you'd probably have heard, I recently landed a teaching job and being a new teacher there were administration matters I had to take care of. One of them was to fill in the Tafis form (so I can start getting paid) and send them in to the ministry. The clerk was supposed to send them in but I guessed she thought I could do that myself. I didn't mind going up Bandar - it gives me an excuse to see The Boyfriend.

    So yesterday, 1:30pm on the dot I was at the lobby of JSS (Department of Schools) booking myself a lift ride up to the 12th floor to send in a letter (not the Tafis). Letter given, I asked the clerk there if he knew where I could send the form to. He said to try the 10th floor, which is the Finance Dept.

    Off I'm down to the 10th floor,

    me: ah..slamat patang. disini kah tampat ngantar borang Tafis?
    clerk: apa tu...borang Tafis (with a puzzled look)..bukan sini tu..kita cuba tingkat 9 ah..
    me: ok bah..trima-seh..

    Off I'm down to the 9th floor, only to find it was the Books & Supplies Dept. I'm thinking, this is not right. So I decided to go down to the Reception Desk on the ground floor and asked, for sure.

    Lobby, receptionist say I'm to go to the 10th floor. I asked, "Sure?" Receptionist nodds and types away.

    Up to the 10th floor I was again, and this time I showed the form to the clerk to make sure he knows what I'm referring to.

    clerk 1: ..borang apa kan ni?...Tafis?...kita apa kan?..guru menengah kah?
    me: awu..kana suruh ngantar borang ani lapas ada surat penempatan dari UPG...tapi inda tau ngantar kemana.
    clerk 2: ..bukan sini ni..cuba kita cuba di..tin..
    clerk 1: awu bukan sini..mana kami tau ni borang ani..
    clerk: bah kita cuba ja di tingkat 4 arh UPG atu ja ah..
    me: ookkeeyy...trima-seh

    Down to the 4th floor, I shoved the Tafis (well, not exactly) into the clerk's face without a word, and the nice clerk said,

     "..borang Tafis?...bukan sini ni ah...di MOE di Berakas..blok B, tingkat 3 ah.."

    I could only smile back and say, "okey, trima-seh."

    En-route MOE, I was thinking this time shouldn't be so much of a trouble. I know where I should go, I just didn't know where Block B was. Ask receptionist, just to be sure.

    clerk: kalau borang ani, kita antar arah tingkat 1 ni ah..
    me: bukan tingkat 3?
    clerk: inda. ani untuk begaji hari tingkat 1 ni..

    I went to Block B and just to be extra safe, I asked the security desk. He, too, said I should go to the 1st floor.

    Pushed the swing doors and found a label that read, "Unit Bergaji Hari". I sighed the biggest relief and pushed my form through the small window counter.

    The lady behind the counter smiled and said,

    "...bukan sini kita ngantar borang ani..."

    I swear to you my heels broke - eventhough I wasn't wearing heels.

    clerk: borang ani kita antar arah unit keanggotaan di tingkat 3 ah..balah kanan pintu nya ah.

    So I dragged myself up to the 3rd floor, all the while swearing this would the last of my circus-chase for today or I would definitely lose it and tear the form into half.

    Bless my luck, I found the counter and for the last time asked the clerk if that was where I should send in my Tafis form. The man smiled, and to my heart's delight, he nodded.

    A simple errand speaks volume of how things get done (or not) around here in Brunei. Workers complain that people are constantly complaining about them, but can you really blame us?

    Is this the Bruneian way, even in the professional areas of how things are governed in a government institution?

    I suppose the Ministry of Home Affairs hasn't a clue what's going on in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?


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