In 75 years of its existence, Pakistan has never really had many instances where talent and dedication have solely determined an employee’s success in offices of public and private organisations. Politics and corruption have almost always reigned supreme.
In today’s times, however, these scourges are shaping the working milieu like never before. In one such office, my friend, a newbie, is indubitably the brightest asset. His productivity and sheer capability bowled over the high-ups and they rewarded him with an enviable section of the workplace.
Since this was a rare case where no money, connections, plotting or sycophancy was used to make the grade, other employees, who were not a patch on him, felt insecure. Seeing him galloping, they feared losing their dominance.
Politics came into play, and, in no time, he was stripped off his newly-assigned work without any intimation or explanation. Had he also treaded the same seedy route, he could have settled the score with his detractors. But he chose class over crass.
This is just one regular feature of office politics. A cursory glance at the manner in which public and private offices as well as national institutions function is enough to confirm the sorry state of affairs. Painful sights of ace employees forced to toe the line of inept fellow employees whose only claim to fame is corporate malfeasance is not uncommon.
Individuals with little credentials are holding higher positions and performing tasks that are well beyond their capacity. Private persons with aptitude are illegally hired by official employees to make up for the latter’s inaptitude.
When an employee is subjected to injustice or discrimination, co-workers secretly gloat over it. If one dares taking a stand for the aggrieved, one should be prepared to put one’s own career at stake. Greed is the real creed. If their palms are not greased, staffers refuse to do what is essentially their job. The honest and the dutiful confront the slaps, while the dishonest and the abusers get the claps.
Materialism and hunger for power are ruling the roost and, thus, public interest is getting no boost. Worse still, graft has outdone craft as the tool of progress. Malpractices are in action whereas merit and rule of law are not gaining traction. Conscience in workplaces is scanty. Office laws and accountability measures condone the corrupt and browbeat the honest and the efficient.
American writer and philosopher Ayn Rand rightly said: “When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice, you may know that your society is doomed.”
Alas! Our society is in dire need of drastic course-correction, or else, we are doomed.
ASHRAF AHMED SHAH