I have received, and turned down, my first job offer. The position was a 30-day consultancy with the U.N. Development Program’s Security Sector Reform project, to write a “how-to” manual on how to form and run a Community Problem Solving Group. A CPSG is a citizens’ group that works with its local police force to identify and solve problems. These groups are the building blocks of community policing.
Since I had worked on a community policing project when I was with Booz-Allen, I was interested in the job, until I learned that the 30-day project had to be done in exactly 30 days, from 23 October through to 23 November. When I asked for clarification on this point, the project leader told me “Well, if you work, say, 10 hours on Fridays, you could take a Sunday off.” And there’d be no room for a five-day trip to Egypt in the middle of it, as we have planned. I declined.