Tuesday, June 22, 2004

ORB Extended!

Yippee!!!  Our one-week "free" vacation has been extended until the end of this year!  A one-week ORB (Occupational Recuperation Break) is given to international staff in the Kosovo mission  for every three consecutive months they spend in the mission area (Kosovo, Skopje, Albania).  It is a one-week salary-paid vacation basically to ensure that staff members don't go crazy :) 
At the beginning of 2004, some bigwigs in New York decided that Kosovo was such a wonderful place that we no longer needed the week break from duty.  So we received an email in late December saying that effective immediately, we would not have any more ORBs.  Then in March, through a lot of hard work on the part of our Director of Admistration, a true staff member champion, our ORB was reinstated until the end of June.  The DOA again went to request continuation and we received the confirmation email last week that it was extended until the end of the year :)

Of course, the bigwigs in New York were also the ones who decide on the rate of our living allowance.  Due to the low dollar value, the staff members have lost around 700E from our allowance a month.  When a delegation came from New York to visit the mission and re-evaluate the allowance, it was discovered that they did not realize that Kosovo has been on the Euro since 2002.  Um, yeah, they're in touch with the conditions of the field missions :-P~