Among my former colleagues, government officials, there are many people who perform their duties conscientiously. In their service they think only about the public interests. I call them “state-minded people”. I treasure the friendship and respect of such people.

         Also, there are other officials who see civil service as a source of income. Most of the time at work they think about their own benefit. They ask their colleagues to help their relative receive a government contract, wangle a friend into a good job, get a loan, etc.

        I call these “businessmen in uniform”.

        I had an acquaintance like this. He called me about once a month and each time he had personal requests. He never called me to discuss how to improve the state subsidy system as a whole. He asked for a personal grant to his brother. He did not discuss how to make loans more accessible. He was worried only how to get a loan for his firm. He discussed only how he could “snatch” a fat sum from the state “gravy train”. His favorite saying was: “As long as there is an opportunity, one must use it.”

       After receiving several refusals from me, he seemed to have disappointed in me and cut off contact with me.

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