Talkin' First Day Working at the UN Blues
by Tom Flannery copyright 2004
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Got a job at the UN the pay's pretty good
nice place in a ritzy neighborhood
the year was 1994
I'd finally found what I was looking for
I think Abraham Lincoln said that or maybe it was Bono I'm not sure
I just saw Bono in the hallway here outside my door 

Peace Keeping missions that's where I worked
had a phone and a fax and a filing clerk
nobody there looked like me
they all talked kinda funny from what I could see
they told me I talked funny too but I didn't believe 'em 'cause I'm an American after all

We had some guys from Rwanda on the ground
sounded like a nice enough little town
had an African map hanging on the wall
but I couldn't find the's too small
gotta make them borders bigger....either that or make the name smaller

Faxes started piling up ugly things they'd say
I went to my boss he said "son it's your first day
it's always like that 'round here
lets knock off early and I'll buy you a beer"
I asked him about Rwanda and he said gorillas lived there ...make a good movie
but the lady dies at the end...hope I didn't spoil it for you

There was a guy named Romeo Dallaire
kept screaming that folks were dying there
he needed guns and more of them helmut heads
so we sent him some pens and some staples instead
hey, he said he needed them too and they're cheaper
can only do so much you know

I guess now I'm part of the bureaucracy
after all I went to college got myself a degree
if you need me leave a message or stay on the line
but just remember that I always knock off at 5
so I'll get back to you later



We've all dealt with bureaucracy and know firsthand the frustration of red tape and incompetent people. Lucky for us, we're dealing with things like taxes and insurance.

Imagine if the person who answers the phone at the 1-800 number you call to check an insurance claim was the same person you had to deal with while you were in the midst of a genocide half a world away. Wouldn't that be interesting?