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Ten Reasons You Know You’re Working At An Aid Organisation

[According to David Letterman (The Late Show on CBS)]

1. You just had a pre-meeting to discuss your strategy planning session for the new initiative to reduce poverty by increasing access to safe water/credit/food/health care through fair and equitable distribution to those with the right to said good or service through engagement with duty bearers in the government and other stakeholders and civil society organizations.

2. You just repeatedly slammed your head into your keyboard after spending the last 20 minutes trying to get your Skype conference call between Port au Prince, West Bank/Gaza, Delhi, Nairobi and New York to work only to fail miserably.

3. You realize that you can no longer squeeze into your cubicle past that cool hand-woven cloth from Mali, the wooden mask from Congo, the elephant figurine from Thailand and the rug from Afghanistan.

4. You just completed an annual report to your donor explaining that you’re very sorry that you only managed to accomplish 2 of your 14 objectives due to sudden onset of war, drought or an invasion of futuristic nano-robots.

5. You just finished explaining to the donor that you are likely to need a two-year extension and an extra $200,000 to hire an independent consulting company to come up with a plan to fight off the nano-robots, carry out said plan and then finish up the original activities.

6. You realize that you just used cheers, karibu, Insh’Allah or namaste in casual conversation despite the fact that you are neither English, Kenyan, Arab or Indian.

7. You realize that your favourite and most frequented cafe is located in Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

8. You just finished depressing a volunteer caller from the Red Cross for the 12th time this year who reluctantly agreed that you are not eligible to donate blood because you just got back from the Congolese jungle.

9. You’re pumped with antibiotics more frequently than a cow in a concentrated feeding operation

10. You tell yourself it’s not failure if you turn it into a lessons-learned document.

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