So for the past couple years, I have attended A LOT of meetings, conferences, workshops, experts’ consultations, dialogues, seminars….ummmm whatever you wanna call it, I was there! GOOD THING this was all related to migrants and refugees b/c if I were covering oil and gas or ‘free’ trade lolz, I’m not sure I could’ve managed!
NOW BELOW ONLY REPRESENTS MY EXPERIENCE. Obvs there are a lot of different jobs out there and many of my colleagues did not share this work style.
UN schedule: official meeting times are 10-1, BREAK 1-3, afternoon session 3-6….
REALITY: 830-10 is email and office time or early meetings; break time is lunch or other meetings (lucky if you have meetings with food) and more office and real work time; after sessions or sometimes even during them, there are more meetings AND there are also receptions and later meetings as well… AND more of your own work and emailing to do….cuz yup, you do have international colleagues who work in dif time zones sooooooo…….
Sound like fun? It is once you get in the rhythm BUT man, for those with families, I can totallly see how the schedule is a bit draining…don’t get many family dinners in there So I can see why the receptions get old….
BUT HEY, there are perks. ONE OF THE BEST is that you are on the cutting-edge of international policy discussion and always hear of news from the field, from everywhere, ofen before it’s on BBC and CNN.
Basically, I had hear many, MANY diplomats and awesome civil society speakers deliver their timed statements over the years.
AND then it was my turn. WOAH! FINALLY! RAD! Yeah, I’m a bit cheesy, my sister says.
OK so I had prepared statements and speeches before BUT I hadn’t hit the mike and orated one yet.
SIDE NOTE: I like this definition:
past tense: orated; past participle: orated
make a speech, especially pompously or at length.
“Hamlet thinks, speaks, orates, and acts”
synonyms: declaim, make a speech, hold forth, speak, discourse, pontificate, preach, sermonize, sound off, spout off; More
Am I pompous? I think NOT!!!!!
But as my boss is amazing, he said, why don’t you give it a go? Usually, the most senior person ‘goes on record’ as the speechmaker and representative for the organization/government. And these things are ‘officially recorded’ as part of the United Nations record system I suppose but I’m not sure of all the rules….
Anyway, I was NERVOUS…I mean cool, I mean BUG-EYED! But I have observed a million of these mini-presentations by now and I just knew I would ROCK this thing. PLUS it was on migrant labour exploitations and protections and well, I WANNA HELP THOSE PEOPLE!
OK happy dance and big breaths all done, I sat down to write.
It was on our website but yeah, the giant photo of me has disappears!
Thankfully, we had a marvelous intern L.O. at this time and she had made this amazing document with all these very sad examples of exploitations in the world with a LOT in the Gulf region. So I had great background notes.
Usually, my boss and I strategize for like 6 minutes verbally (as in, I pick his brain) and then I go to my office to ‘reguritate’ what I have just heard from him in formal UN appropriate language.
Our results are pretty good I think. It’s a highly functioning MIGRATION TAG TEAM
To be continued…with part 2, GIVING the SPEECH….
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