By Disillusioned Public Servant
I am a public officer. I love being a public officer. Or rather I used to. Now, remaining an employee of the state is one of necessity and not of choice. I am a hard-worker and I have bills to pay but that does not take away from what I have endured to do so.
My journey through the system has not been an easy one. It has truly been one of service with little to no reward. I often wonder if my circumstances are particular to me or if there are others that experience(d) the same things that I do/have. If the latter is the case, then I expect that the system is just a cesspit, bubbling up, waiting to overflow.
I entered the system many moons ago — bright-eyed and bushy-tailed — ready to serve the people of my country. I was young, inexperienced, just out of school and ready and willing to learn. I wanted and still want nothing more than to help improve and add to the system — and, in doing so, improve the lives of Vincentians everywhere. If I were to give advice to any young person seeking entry into the system with the hopes of doing the same — it would only be one word: RUN.
You see, I’ve experienced many years of mental, emotional, and physical abuse at the hands of the system. The very system that I wished to contribute to has literally shoved me around, gas lit, sexually assaulted and raped me. The latter is one that I write tentatively about because when it comes to the abuse of women’s bodies, who really hears or cares in this place? To say that it has left me shell-shocked and disillusioned is an understatement and I often do not pay attention to it to unless I have to interact directly with my abusers and unfortunately for me, I have to do so often.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded me of just how ungrateful the system is to persons who have literally given their lives to better it. As the pandemic rages on — vaccine mandates included — people find themselves being overworked (because working from home meant that the work never stops), underpaid, overtaxed, mentally drained, verbally abused while expecting to save the ship for the glory of those who take home the biggest pay cheque with little to no responsibility when sh** hits the fan. The fingers (and the blame) always point back to the least of the apostles while those who slid in on favours, last names, connections and the relevant isms pass the buck when everything goes belly up.
The comment section of any seemingly negative press or any indication of a person speaking out is always met with a defence, an excuse, a rally-around to protect folks that only care about themselves. I expect that this will also be met with the same type of echo-chamber-like noise. I always think about those 3,000 persons on 2020, though and wonder if their numbers would double by 2025. I think they might. Sometimes the best way to take action — is by taking no action at all.
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