Revelations from Working Over Time

      Last week, I worked overtime to help finish a report for the ADB. I did not mind, considering I had taken several days off in April to entertain some family members in Manila. So I figured, I could make up the hours.

      While I was editing parts of the report, I overheard my co-workers in the background talking about how frustrated they were with the lead consultant for the project. Apparently, this person could not submit his/her material and required documents on time and as a result we, my co-workers and I, had to stay back after working hours to format and put together all the documents.

      Similarly, when I first began at this company, I had to edit several reports and drafts submitted by a few consultants we hired for a project. The reports had so many grammatical mistakes, run on sentences, incoherent statements, and MISSPELLING.

      Even though I was not an expert in transportation or sanitation, I am pretty sure I could have put together a better report than what was submitted, and I am just MERE fresh undergraduate. I spent the entire day trying to paraphrase the document, correcting grammar mistakes, and spelling errors. It was the most brain-numbing experience of my life.

      There are so many consultants who get paid so much money for the work they do but their submissions are below standard. If I was in charge of the project, I would send their work back and demand that they learn basic grammar before they submitted it to us.

      Alas, I have no pull in those concerns. I just do what needs to be done because in the end it is the company who will be turning in the report. Thus, it is up to us to clean it up and present it in a professional manner.

      Regardless, I am just amazed at how many “experts” and “specialists” get paid so much money to provide their advice and observations on how things work, should be done, or must be done in the developing world and yet, at the same time, the quality of work they provide is sometimes disappointing.

      In the academic world, our professors hammered in to our brains the need to turn in a paper on time. They grade us on the quality of work we provide. Any grammatical errors lead to a decrease in points. However, I am beginning to realize those rules are barely adhered to or followed in the real world. Everything has flexible deadlines, several drafts are turned in, and regardless of how many spellings there are in the document – that does not automatically mean a decrease in pay.

      I guess that is why people say it is harder to go back to school after working for many years.