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After Sandy, UN Left Staff In Water-Logged Chairs, No Printers, Raid Overground

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 1 -- In a sign of UN management's dysfunction, and staff resiliency, after Hurricane Sandy work continued without proper ventilation or even chairs in the UN's third sub basement (3B) by the Logistics Unit of the Office of Information and Communications Technology.

  As recounted by staff in e-mails exclusively obtained by Inner City Press, OICT higher-up did not provide them with toner or a printer, but told them to return to water-logged chairs in 3B.

  After the UN's insurance company seized damaged goods to assess the UN's claims, the Logistics Unit organized its own fundraiser for such basics as chairs and toner.

  Meanwhile from the floor of a Staff Union meeting, above ground, a resolution expressing “no confidence” in Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was passed. Ban now is in San Marino then Andorra, then finally to a meeting of the UN system's Chief Executives Board.

While the gap between these high-fliers and the staff doing their own fundraisers to continue to do the UN's work, water-logged and underground, be discussed there?

  There is a final sub-irony: while the UN as a post-hoc pretext for its March 18 raid on Inner City Press' office used the concept of safety, and allowed the taking of photographs which were then given to BuzzFeed and published on March 22, it was on the same March 18 that the e-mail below was sent out.

One difference: while the UN allowed the taking and then anonymous distribution to BuzzFeed of photographs of Inner City Press' office, desk and bookshelf -- and has refused to say who it let in, and who distributed -- Inner City Press is NOT here publishing the damning 3B photographs.

But here is the e-mail:

Subject: Fund Raiser for Logistics Unit
Date: 18/03/2013 12:02 PM

Dear All! Welcome to our first fund raiser for the Logistics Unit!!

When Sandy hit at the end of October 2012 we lost all of our desks, working tables, shelves, supplies, tools, power, air, LAN, etc., etc. Well, you get the idea...

However, we had to stay and do our work since it was SOOOOO IMPORTANT that all the losses be properly recorded lest the Organization not get reimbursed by the evil insurance companies, bla bla bla.

So, our job was done to the complete satisfaction of all concerned; in fact, we were asked for far more than what we were responsible for because, and I quote, "...You can be trusted to do things right... ...You guys care... You know what you are doing...", and other such BS.

Meanwhile, we got tired of the lack of power and air and phones so we managed to get space in a copier room in 2B. Of course, being a copier room, it was small, had no air and was/is used by many to print their documents. So we had to go back to 3B.

In the last 4 weeks; however, and through the help of individuals, (very few), in a private capacity, the Logistics Unit room in 3B has reached several milestones:

1. The air conditioning sausage has been extended so now we actually have air inside the room. Imagine that.

2. We have ONE electrical circuit, (15 amps I was told), that is used to power everything. We have daily contests to see what we will power that particular day without blowing out the fuse.

3. We have LAN and telephones!!! Woohoo!!!

4. We have 4 small tables that we use as desks and had, until last Friday, chairs to sit on.

BUT THOSE CHAIRS ARE GONE!!! They have been taken by the evil insurance companies!! (No kidding).

Before you ask, yes, we did request, (through the proper channels and procedures), 4 USED desks, 6 USED chairs and 6 USED work tables so that we could actually work like human beings; however, FMS said NO. Why? I'm glad you asked. Apparently it has something to do with us, (Logistics), not having a "Project Manager", (whatever THAT is), and/or no one wanting to be liable if we get sick or who knows...

Bottom line: NO CHAIRS. Oh, yes, the same people that took our chairs gave us a set that is in even worse condition than the stuff they took. I dare any of you to sit on them day in and day out.

Which is why we are having this fund raiser. Wait you say! Why not ask OICT?? Well, maybe because we asked for toner, (really, toner, for the loaner printers), 4 weeks ago and we are still waiting. We requested for our use a Managed Printer, (or whatever that nonsense is called), 2 weeks ago and we are still waiting. So what did we do? One of our guys found a discarded scanner; brought it back to life, connected it to "our" LAN and to a little network printer and voila! We now have a scanner and a network printer.

So, if you find it in your heart please contribute generously so we can go to the nearest Salvation Army thrift shop and get what we need.

Incidentally, the attached photos are real...

See above. And, watch this site.

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