Bad Applies Exist in All Sectors

After the Covid-19 situation become less of a nation-wide concern, Samnang and Sothie began switching their discussion toward the work processes of the government employees, NGO employees and the employees of private sectors. 

Sothie:
Eh, Samnang! Who exactly are you working for these days? 

Samnang: Well, before I used to work for the government, but then, I switched to NGOs. After that I joined the private sector. Right now, I have no actual job and to be honest with you, I have become a bit old, so I like to spend part of the day just following and analyzing the news. 

Sothie: Wait a minute! You have worked for all sectors; government, private sector and for NGOs, but why did you stop working in all these places? 

Samnang: It is a long complicated story—one that is better for me not to tell. 

Sothie: That’s alright, Samnang, but can you do me a favor? Just give me some of the negative aspects that each individual sectors suffers from? 

Samnang: Alright, but only as a favor to you. It’s worth remembering that these are generalizations and not true of all the people who work in government, for NGOs or in the private sector—these are just some of the problems I’ve experienced.

Sothie: Sure thing, you do not need to elaborate too much. 

Samnang: Well for government work, I would say it is a very good occupation to have because there is an opportunity to work for the betterment of Cambodia. Not all employees take this opportunity however, in fact a large number seem to use their government offices to run their private businesses. They spend a minimal amount of time governing and are always looking to profit from their position—again, this isn’t every government employee, but sadly this type is not as rare as you’d hope.

They work just for the sake of working. They have no exact ambition to really promote the development of the institution that they are working for. Perhaps, some government employees simply forget that the salary they receive every month is actually the tax money they get from the people. 

Sothie: How about the NGO work? 

Samnang: NGO work is also nice, there’s a chance to work about the specific causes you care about and there are plenty of NGO employees who really are very good at what they do. Of course, there are those who focus more on money than work. Salaries that NGO employees receive originate from the taxation of people who live abroad, with much funding coming from donors as part of foreign aid projects. Some NGO employees spend this humanitarian money without much consideration and some have even been suspected of manipulating their expenses. Sometimes, they use the NGO’s cars as personal vehicles. I’ve met some employees who show up late and leave pretty early without getting much done in between.

Sothie: And… how about the private work? 

Samnang: Oh! Inside private companies, lazy employees will be fired much faster and much easier than those in government or NGOs. What I appreciate about the private sector is that they try their best to make more money. They get the idea that without revenue, there will be simply no paycheck. This is what makes them a bit different from government and NGO employees. That’s not to say that the private sector is perfect, because the pursuit of riches and revenue can be blinding, especially to the consequences—whether they be environmental, human or social. 

At the end of the day, all three sectors need to work together and have much to learn from one another in terms of management style, productivity and transparency. There are bad apples in every sector and there’s no simple solution to dealing with them.


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