Fighting to Keep My Job: A Case Study of a United Nations Retiree

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AuthorHouse, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 187 pages
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Fighting to Keep My Job highlights an unpleasant episode during the author's 10-year career with the World Food Council. On 12 June 1989, the Executive Director of the Council notified him of his intention to terminate his employment by 31 December 1989. The author recalls his shock at the news. "I was speechless. This was a letter from my boss. It was the last thing I had expected. What had I done?" The author was at the time Chief of the Council's Liaison Office at United Nations Headquarters, New York. No reason was given why such a drastic action was being taken against him, beyond a vague allusion made to Mr. Annan, Assistant Secretary-General, Office of Human Resources Management (ASG-OHRM), that he had "not been successful in representing the Council or the Council's interests." A moving narrative of the author's entire 35-year career, the book recounts vividly the steps taken by him in his successful bid to save his job. The case is well-documented in correspondence between himself, his legal counsel, the ASG-OHRM, and the Executive Director; and in the proceedings of the Joint Appeals Board. Pleading with his boss, the author says: "I know that I am in New York at your pleasure. I will continue to serve the Council loyally, take criticism in a constructive spirit, and always strive to do better.. But dropping my job is an entirely different proposition, and I crave your understanding not to pursue it." But this fell on deaf ears. The Executive Director's single-minded aim was to be rid of him. In the ensuing struggle, the author draws inspiration from memories of another successful fight he once had with his Permanent Secretary in Tanzania. He vows to himself: "I will fight this one too. And I will win." And win he did. The author was reinstated, returned to Rome, and - ironically enough - was appointed Officer-in-Charge of the Council, on the expiry of the Executive Director's contract! Read on.

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