Labour joke / J.C. Alexim

Labour joke / J.C. Alexim

In the world of work there is a limitless wealth of human relations. An episode that I’d like to recount here shows how the mood at a given time helps to make the workplace an evocative and creative environment. I participated in a meeting of ILO directors in the South American region, held in Lima, Peru. Elimane Kane, Deputy Director at headquarters, headed the meeting. Among other directors, Carlos Alberto de Brito, Director of the Brasilia Office, was present.

It was the month of January, near to the Carnival in Rio, one of the most famous festivals in the country. In casual conversation I commented that I would certainly spend time at the Rio Carnival.

When I arrived in Montevideo, my secretary reluctantly told me that I was officially unable to go to the Carnival in Rio. We discussed it first, and eventually she showed me a telegram (it was not yet the time of digital communication) that Elimane Kane had sent. Elimane argued that the Carnival was a party perpetrating abuses of all sorts against human beings, and was incompatible with the character of an international official. He recommended that I didn’t attend.

Maria Elisa, a dedicated and perceptive desk officer, was very upset about the situation, because she knew that this went clearly against my wishes. She was relieved when I laughed, with good-natured ribbing of Mr. Elimane Kane.                                            

J.C. Alexim

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