Thursday, March 12, 2009

Aukje de Vries' Diary Day 53

Checking my e-mail I discover that I have received a second reservation for the plane to Germany. So the second attempt to book was successful after all. Does this mean they are charging me for two seats? I had better check.

On the website I am directed to a page where I can find my bookings and I see they have retained only one. Maybe they have not yet processed the second booking, because I received the confirmation only a very short while ago. I find a telephone number and I am pleasantly surprised to find a friendly person answering my call who tells me the company has discovered the mistake and has already refunded me for the second booking.

Later in the day I have a rather difficult telephone call with a member of one of the boards I am on. I know I am not the only one who thinks that this person - in her rather influential position – is not functioning well. She takes few initiatives, but when she does, it is mostly the wrong action at the wrong time. Obviously she knows little about policy making and about which decisions are made at which level (local, national, European) nor does she seem to realise that politicians and civil servants play different roles. I suppose that it has to do with the fact that she is a practitioner herself. When we disagree with her and give her our reasons for a different point of view she often just ignores what we say. It has been quite embarrassing at times. Most recently she has overruled us all and decided that she is going to give a presentation on behalf of the organisation, whereas several others thought it would be preferable for someone else to do it. She must have noticed I am quite annoyed with her and wants to talk to me. When she calls me I try to explain to her why some of her actions were inappropriate, but she does not seem to understand. She keeps thinking she was right and the others wrong. At the end of the call I get the impression she is slightly less self-confident than before.

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