No story remains alive in our minds
unless we remember it. So a story that is run in a series, lives when we recall what and where its last portion ended.
Contrary to his fake excuse to get out of the interview in order to avoid giving questionable answers, the mayor didn’t have any meeting with the mujahids and was seen sitting in a coffee shop minutes after his collegues, other councillors, took a break from the first round interview.
“Thank you for being on time for our second round interview, gentlemen”, said Hanad.
“Welcome”, replied the councillors.
“A good advice to start the interview again is: Try to remember to do what God loves and avoid what He hates most before He would say to His payday someday ‘BE’ – accountability day. That makes sense in all the time”, said Hanad.
“May God reward you for this nice advice”, replied a councillor
“Thank you, Mr. councillor.”
“Would you please turn off your cell phones to limit distraction and wait until we are done to use your cell phones, honorable councillor?”
After ensuring that all cell phones were turned off, Hanad said, “Good Governance is measured by many factors. Responsiveness, effectiveness, efficiency and transparency are, among others, the elements of good governance. Mr. mayor, how often do the local government employees respond to public requests and requirements? I am talking abou the effectiveness of the LG (Local Government), which is measured by staff engagement, employees skills and experiences, tools and technology in use,
and innovation and openness to change.”
“The members of the municipality council, under my supervision, work with the LG employees to create a workforce able to respond to public requests and requirements at the required time”, returned the mayor.
“Mr. mayor, how quickly an employee in the LG should specifically respond to a citizen?”
“‘LG employees respond to all citizens in a timely manner, without wasting time, specifically, because they basically understand that prompt response to public services is the only way in which higher revenues are generated. I personally keep an eye on how LG employees perform their work effectively.”
“If LG effectiveness is always under your watch, why citizens always complain that they face problems with LG empolyees, and more importantly why are you not reachable in most of the time?”
“Mr. Hanad, you are completely misinformed. Who told you that citizens complain about poor performances in the LG and have diffuculty in reaching me. Have you ever
tried to reach me, Mr. Hanad?”
“I have witnessed many people standing in long queues waiting to meet you many times and many others who move from.office to office and curse the LG and whoever is in it.”
“The long queues show the magnitude of work that LG handles on a daily basis. Workload causes long queues and makes citizens move from office to office.”
Even though we cannot consciously distinguish liars from truth tellers, we have
a sense, on some less-conscious level, of when someone is lying. Despite this, Hanad knew that the mayor was telling lies without any hesitation, but he didn’t argue with him. Instead Hanad explained how lies affect ethics and erode trust in general.
Hanad said, “Integrity, the quality of being honest and upright in character is what makes us good humans. Integrity is what
we want to celebrate with being good
people, probably the awe of being alive and the thrill of discovering what it means to
live in an honorable life.”
“Living in an elegant life”, continued Hanad, “means being conscious of what we tell and do. It means refraining from doing what harms a humanbeing. God blesses us when we live our life with integrity. But God never blesses us when we lead our life with lies. Instead God punishes us.”
“God detests lying lips, because lying is morally and ethically wrong. It erodes trust; it injuries one’s honot; weakens one’s dignity; it creates selfishness that causes arrogance, the characteristics to disregard what others feel, the unwillingness to help a human in crises”, Hanad concluded.
The councillors listened to Hanad attentively. Hanad’s message was powerful and touched the councillors hearts, as if it was a sermon that is delivered in mosques on Fridays. As there was so much that was thoughtful in the meaninig and moral of the message, some of the councillors tried critically to absorb the meanings of the message, while others were wrestling for a while with whether Hanad was a religious preacher or researcher whose aim in the interview was to write a story.
Hanad noticed the trial by the interviewers
to get a grasp on the message. With the diligence of a doctor who identified the symptoms of a serious illness, Hanad immediately went on and said, “Mr. mayor, how do you increase and encourage staff engagement?”
“It is compulsory that all employees stay in offices during office hours”, returned the mayor.
“Everybody understands that there are
office hours. My question is do you care about the employees’ wellbeing, build their capacity to grow; give them incentives that can improve morale, job satisfaction, motivation to support LG in achieving its goals?”
“The local governmrnt has not yet reached the stage in which it could generate the budget to build the capacity of its employees, leave alone the possibility to grant employees incentives to raise moral and motiivation”, replied the mayor.
“Mr. mayor, how do you ensure employees to take responsibility for their own work?
“Every employee knows his job. A cashier, for instances, knows how to receive tax and then deposit it in the LG treasury.”
“Understand from your answer that you
don’t invest in LG employees, supply
them with the right tools and technology,
and encourage them to grow. Do you just
use them as tools to do jobs as you want manually, Mr mayor?”
“‘Employees are not empowered to do their assignments as they want. Things are done according to the guidelines given by the mayor”, returned the mayor.
“‘After all, the way in which you tend to lead and govern the LG boils down to, the less chance there is for innovation and opennes to reform the LG, the more chance for you to have more power and privileges. Isn’t it so, Mr. mayor?”
“‘Mr. Hanad, your assessment is nothing more than complaints that just raise serious allegations against me”, returned the mayor angerily.
“Every nation, developed or developing, links its future with the status of their people. If governments don’t invest in their people, where the resources of the countries
would come from? Humans are the
revenue generating sources. Ignoring
human resources equals ignoring human
life. This clarifies that my assessment is to enlighten your profession and elevate
your critical thinking and leadership skills rather than accusing you of finding maladministration in your governing
system, Mr. mayor.”
The mayor didn’t say a word. He kept silent, not really absorbing the gab between investing in people and ignoring them and cataloging the minutiae in the library of his mind, but trying hopelessly to make explanations out of nonesense to refute Hanad’s argument. However, the mayor swayed from side to side while sitting,
unable even to reach the decision to get
out of the interview, for he was fearing the possibility that some of his collegues will undermine him in his absence.
Of course, local government is a government within a government. It is the adminstration of a particular district, with representatives elected by the population living in that particular area. The local government creates and enforces laws, manages services and activities which are adapted to the demands and needs of the community it serves.
Drawing always the centrality of the interview from that understanding, Hanad said, “Mayor, working in local government is about providing a public service and public service is sometimes about what you give rather than what you receive, to put the collective good before the needs of individuals. In view of this reality, how do you decide to hire a local government employee, particularly those who hold higher posts, like Chairmen of local government branches?”
“Local government employees are usually hired through interview process.”
“Don’t you hire some employees through relationship or referrals?”
“Yes. We hire the individuals that come from the mujahids.”
“What should you focus on the interview with the applicants?
“Experiences and skills of the applicant.”
“How citizens get to know LG vacancies?”
“‘Vacancies are published in LG website.”
“Who has the final say as to who gets hired
and who gets rejected?”
“What does the HR do?”
“What is HR?”
“‘HR is the human resources department that manages the ethnic make up of workforces of an organization.”
“The LG doesn’t have an HR department.”
“Who determines how much a worker can be paid?”
“There is no minimum and maximum salary for every job. Salary determination is based on pay grade, which is the range of amounts that someone can be paid when they are at a particular level in an organization or job.”
“Is there a labor law that primarily sets out the basic standards of minimum and maximum pay rate?”, asked Hanad.
“No”, replied the mayor.
“That means there are no labor standards of pay grades made officially to guarantee a number of rights, primarily aimed at ensuring that workers get paid fairly for the time they work. Correct?”, asked Hanad.
“Yes, that is right”, replied the mayor.
“Can employees negotiate a pay raise, especially who are underpaid?”
“Hanad, 99% of Somaliland citizens, of whom 80% under the age of 30, are unemployed. Most of them are ready to work without pay and you are talking about a pay raise negotiation.”
“Mr. mayor, there are instances in which you make an employee inactive, though he or she still gets salary from the LG. How on earth someone you have stopped from work gets paid?
“There is an ordinance, a local act by the city council that givies the permission to pay inactive employees.”
“Issues that are subject to manipulation.”
“Come again”, said the mayor.
“Mr. mayor, which of the following criteria do you use in selecting employees for a workforce reduction? In other words, which of the following grounds can a government employee be terminated?”
a) Employee’s attitude
b) Employee’s education and experience levels.
c) Employee’s quantity and quality of work.
d) Employee’s attendance history.
e) Last hired first fired strategy.
The mayor has gone through all options thoroughly and couldn’t decide on which option to take, because he didn’t understand the last option.
“Excuse me Mr. Hanad.”
“Yes please”, replied Hanad.
“What is versatility?”
“The ability to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities.”
“I see. The criteria we mostly use in firing a local government employee is versatility”, said the mayor.
Hanad looked at the mayor with piercing eyes. He couldn’t be able to figure out how versatility could be a reason to terminate a government employee.
“Mr. mayor, are you sure that the criteria you use in firing a local government employee is versatility?”
“Yes. I am sure.”
“Why do you choose versatility as your final decision to fire a highly skilled employee that has the ability to perform numerous tasks and roles throughout the organization?”
“We don’t like Nagnaglayaasha”, replied the mayor.
“What do you mean by nagnaglayaasha?”
“Those who claim that they can do everything to overshadow all others.”
In the country of “‘I have been a mujahid”, most of those who hold political posts don’t like to see highly qualified citizens because they are afraid of anything that might result in experts seeing through their charades.
In the reign of the mujahids, most of the individuals who get appointed into political posts are under qualified, some of them are even semiliterate.
To be continued….
As per usual the opinions expressed in this articale are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of qarannews.com
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