Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nama Jassica or Jesicka

I'm going to change the spelling of my name. It seems too difficult for people here to get it right even when it is printed right in front of them.

A few weeks ago I took the initiative to instigate the creation of business cards (or visiting cards as they are called here -- how 19th century) as no one here seemed to be willing to do this for me. So I wandered aimlessly around the office to see if anyone could inform me of the process to obtain business cards. Generally, I'm not a fan of business cards, waste of good paper if you ask me, but I've now been caught at too many meetings without them and it just looks unprofessional.

Finally, Ms. Kumari told me to talk to Mr. Aruna. Mr. Aruna told me to write exactly what I wanted on my cards and give it to him. No template with the office address, etc. already provided. So I did this, using a coworker's card as a model. A couple weeks later someone comes to me with a proof to review. My title was misspelled, my telephone number was incorrect, my e-mail addresses were wrong, and the website didn't have the .org. I fixed all of these and returned it. A week later another proof came by and I fixed the few remaining mistakes and gave it back.

Somehow I missed that my name was spelled Jassica O.Leas (notice the lack of space between O. and Leas). I guess I didn't think of reviewing my name, which even as I write this sounds insane as so many things were incorrect. So now my business cards, received yesterday, say Jassica O.Leas. I'm not going to print a whole new box just for this mistake, I'll just live with it.

In a completely unrelated event, we are now getting our salaries via check. So accounting walked around today (today is pay day) with checks for everyone. My name is spelled Ms. Jesicka Orene Leas. Hopefully the bank will still cash it.

I don't get it, I've written my name on about a million official documents for this organization (I'm not exaggerating or anything) and yet, they still misspell it.

In other news of irritations -- our paychecks were 4,000 lkr less than usual. Now, I'm a frugal person. I'm not extravagant by any sense of the word. I'm really working very hard to stay on budget here and each month I just barely make it. I can't have a 4,000 rupee reduction. Apparently this money is the taxes that Sewalanka should have been deducting the entire time. So in other words, the government is cracking down on taxes because of this stupid war. It seems very, very unfair to make me finance this conflict.

I've already told Ms. Kumari this is unacceptable. My contract says 25,000 lkr and I will not work for less. I was actually thinking about insisting on more as inflation is here to stay. Of course, Ms. Kumari has no power, so I have to wait until Amanda is here. I never catch her when she is in the office. I don't want to write an e-mail because I just wrote one complaining about the car debacle last week.

And finally, update on the car. Amanda is in total agreement that this situation is absolutely unacceptable. There is supposed to be some huge office meeting about vehicles. Of course, Chamika is mad at me (heard through Mauneri) because I wrote an official letter about the situation. I did not target any one person in my letter, but I did tell the story as known by me in full. Chamika is basically off the hook now anyway because Amanda and I spoke and apparently a great deal of the problem was due to Dr. Lionel and not the vehicle situation itself. I will most likely never know this entire story, but apparently Dr. Lionel is one of several men that work at Sewalanka mainly because they agreed to come over from another organization 14 years ago when Chairman created Sewalanka. These men do very little now, but occasionally they have to show they are still in charge and this car episode was a huge part of that.

Dr. Lionel doesn't generally go on these trips, so this shouldn't happen very often. I think he has been informed of my response to this episode as he totally ignored me today when he came into the program office. Hopefully he'll think better of kicking me out of the car next time.


Ben said...

Hey Jesicka -

We are worried about you over here with the violence in Sri Lanka, however it looks like it is in the northern part of the country and not in Columbo.

Jessica L. said...

The fighting is almost exclusively restricted to the north. Occasionally something happens in the east, but that seems far more stable now. Only once was Colombo bothered and one person perished in that attach. So no worries!

Jen H. said...

Jess, a rose by any other name...