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Each and every one of us matters

Some visitors to the Ombud’s office tell me that they are “too insignificant” or “too low” in the chain of command for their opinion to really matter.

Or they tell me they feel that, because they are an assistant or a technician, there’s a difference in attitude towards them. They’re sometimes given instructions without the usual courtesies, while their superiors or colleagues who are engineers receive the “pleases” and “thank yous” that so ease interaction and grease the wheels of the Organization and of society at large.

Something else that I hear people say in the Ombud’s office is that, because they are “only” in charge of a small area of operations or are not involved in high-profile projects, they feel that they’re not listened to or even respected.

Perhaps these are isolated cases, and we’d all like to believe that they are few and far between, because it’s painful to hear.

No one is insignificant everyone matters!

Everyone working at CERN, whatever their activity and their position in the hierarchy of the Organization and its projects, should be treated with respect and consideration and should be listened to.

Let’s not forget that it’s our colleagues in the thick of the action who are in a position to come up with the best ideas for improving tools and processes or to raise the alarm about any risks they might spot.

CERN’s successes rely on the activities of everyone – from the sub-contractor’s technician to the Director-General or a collaboration spokesperson – and on the combination of all our interactions. We all play our part in furthering CERN’s mission when we perform our duties with integrity, professionalism and commitment.

In the lead-up to the end-of-year celebrations and the holidays that will give us a chance to take a breather and recharge our batteries, it’s important to remember that we all have an important contribution to make and that it’s only the sum of all our contributions, in all their diversity, that makes our wonderful Laboratory function so well. We’re all entitled to the same respect, to true equality of treatment and to pride in our work!

That, in any case, is how things work in the Ombud’s office, where every visitor is treated equally and with equal regard. We all matter!

I hope you enjoy your end-of-year celebrations and look forward to seeing you next year here in the Ombud’s corner or – if you wish – in my office! If you need to contact me during the Laboratory's end-of-year closure, I remain at your disposal (ombud@cern.ch).

Laure Esteveny

I want to hear from you – feel free to email ombud@cern.ch with any feedback or suggestions for topics you’d like me to address.
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