So it’s official, after 34 weeks my gig as Technical Consultant with TIEZA has come to an end, no doubt helped by government austerity measures particularly in relation to tourism. A few days ago I received a copy of my final contract.
It is not hard to explain how I feel. I feel nothing but pure unbridled gratitude. I am deeply appreciative for the opportunity to work on the country’s online travel tax collection system which I personally adopted as my baby. I appreciate the chances I had to meet some really good people and to see and appreciate up close the challenges they face.
Government gets a lot of flak but once you see their work up close it doesn’t take long to realize the dedication and professionalism needed to do a decent job. Unfortunately the bad apples get the press but the legions of good workers just toil in the background.
All of last year my life revolved around getting that system up and working. Looking back at emails on my inbox I was hard at work trying to get third parties to work together and in the specific manner I wanted them to. It was like herding disinterested sheep with conflicting agendas but I was determined to get it going.
It was very easy to just sit back submit my monthly Acknowledgment Report and collect my pay, but here’s the thing: I loved Tech, and I love the idea that I could put to good use knowledge I had in my head to produce something valuable. Knowledge I use to make my living can help the government. I would wake up excited to get to work everyday. I felt like a kid again and it kept me going.
Now looking back at the finished product (or up to my part of it at least), I look back with great pride. There were moments when parties would have wanted it done their way for their own benefit but we persevered and it now functions as well as it should.
If there is every a negative it would be that I now weigh all current and future projects against the enthusiasm I felt working for TIEZA. I have had many government consulting projects in the past and I am proud of what I’ve done to those whose results have lasted, but they all pale to my work the last three years.
I just got off the phone with the COO to whom I expressed my gratitude. I do not envy him, he has a mountain of challenges to overcome. But should he need me back I will not hesitate one second.
Footnote: let this not distract you from the fact however that I am also now unemployed. If your company or government agency need consulting services for setting up payment gateways, please consider me!