I can still remember the day I tried applying for a position on one of the special programs of a local government unit. My only purpose then (not to mention I was a fresh graduate) was to experience how it feels to look for a job and to be interviewed. Luckily and unexpectedly, I was hired right away. That was the starting point in my life when my perspective of the government changed drastically.
On my first few months, I was overwhelmed because of the vision and mission of the office, and because it is one of the most highly active programs in the province. I was also able to acquire knowledge and skills that I did not get from school. I was full of energy and passion for work, knowing that I am part of something big, looking at ourselves as “heroes” to our fellows for making such large and vital projects possible. Putting in the bowl as well the perks of free travels around the province. Despite the pressure brought about by the demands of the office, I am still motivated with these thoughts on my mind.
Two years later, I was exposed to things and activities that changed my view of the government. (To clarify things, I don’t generalize the government; I only speak based on experience). As they say, when you look closely, you can further see the details. Two years of service was enough for me then to understand what possibly happens inside a government office – all forms and levels of dishonesty and abuse of position and power, by any chance. Everyone knows it is wrong – legally, morally, and religiously speaking. But I did not speak out – one of the things that I regret up until now. Toleration is a friend of corruption. Being young then, I was afraid to resist the system because of fear of losing job, and besides, fear of my safety. I kept a blindfold and a mouth cover until I cannot take the burden anymore. The system has been very suffocating. And when you really act against your mind and your heart, it weakens you.
Almost four years in service, I finally decided to stand my ground. I gave excuses, and I left my job, without the certainty of securing another one. Almost four years of my professional life must pass for me to fully divulge the fact that I should make ends meet without having to sacrifice my principles in life. Right now, I am trying to enter into a venture I can handle and that equates to my resources. This way I can manage to survive with dignity. I would rather support myself whatever it takes and sleep peacefully at night than to have a stable professional career with my principles and conscience being trashed out.
My experience is not actually uncommon. We only respond differently, and I respect individuality. I do not discourage people to work for the government. I still have high hopes for a better change. The bottom line of my story is the maturity of choosing moral standards over anything worldly, wherever you work, because we only have one chance to live.