Don't be too confident

August 16, 2018


As a junior staff at the Foreign Ministry, I was often advised by my seniors that in doing our job as Indonesian diplomat, I should keep in mind that the job is not always directly-related to the so-called diplomatic job or activities. There would be a lot of very diverse situation and events. One of the situation was the job at our Mission abroad in serving our visiting Indonesian dignitaries or high ranking officials. No matter whether he/she was on personal visit or official one, you would likely be asked by your Head of Mission to intensively accompany and serve him/her in day-to-day programs during his/her stays or visits. 


It was natural that your relationship would increasingly become closer and closer and more personal. It could reach a point that you feel you already get close and know everything about him/her. In the end, when everything was done and he/she was happy and satisfied with your service, expression of gratitude and appreciation would come to you. You would feel like you were the one and only person special in this entire world. Usually, before his/her departure back to Indonesia, compliments would again be articulated to you with additional expression on the importance of keeping in touch and asking you not to hesitate to cantact him/her when you are in need. 


However, everything would not always be right. It was not uncommon to learn that sometime later you would meet “a stranger” that seemed familiar to you. One day when you met him/her somewhere in your own country, Indonesia, he/she would not recognize you because you were no longer in his/her memory. You were already forgotten. You would be very embarassed if you greet and approach him/her with full confidence. Certainly, he/she would greet you back like he/she does to other people. But that’s not you really expect. For those reasons, the appropriate advice was “Don’t be too confidence” of yourself otherwise you got dissappointed. 


Taking into consideration all the afore-mentioned “principles”, I kept the believe that I needed to always prepare myself for having unprecedented dissappointment when I met one of dignitaries or high ranking officials whom I had ever met during my posting abroad before. To avoid any possible disappointment, normally I would restrain from my greeting and use my “wait and see” approach. It would be nice if he/she greet me first eventhough I would be no longer in his/her mind. As a matter of ethics, normally I would greet anyone whom I met anywhere, including the dignitary/ies one. For that situation, he/she was regarded as the people I coincidently met by pretending that we had never met before.


A bad experience came to me when one day I was in a crowd inside an elevator/lift in my own Pejambon office. There was a high ranking official among us whom I knew we ever met during my posting abroad. I was with him everyday for about 2 weeks, succeeding his official visit in Tokyo. I felt we got close to each other at that time. Considering that I need to avoid from any possible disappointment, I kept quiet and restrain from greeting him from the distance. I always remembered the advice of “don’t be too confident”.  To my surprise, he greeted me by saying, “Hi Pak Djatmiko, how are you? Remember me? You were in Tokyo, right? We were together when I paid my official visit there for about two week, I believe. You help me a lot during that time..”


What should I say? You may choose : speechless, embarrassed, blank, out of mind.. or it could be a mixture. 

That was 14 years ago....







Hana Awni Abu Ramadan and 30 others


Simon Hutagaung i like your essay djat but somehow you need to balance in my term. Confident is important but some of us in Kemlu are totally overconfident i think it is much better for being a diplomat to show your modesty, simplicity, humility. a good listener, mora…See More


Maswied Wijaya Lupa aku, .....mau komen apa,..........


Achmad Djatmiko Teu sawios-wios Pa Maswied Wijaya


Natalia Santi siapa high ranking official yang disebut terakhir pak? hehehe


Tophix Ndutz It's a small world ya pak..


Wahyuni Kamah Pak Djatmiko, waktu bapak bertugas di Kopenhagen, bapak dan keluarga menjamu saya dan teman saya sepertinya kami orang penting. Saya tidak lupa tuh Pak, apalagi Ibu Yenny sempat mengantar saya lihat museum dan ke kastil Goteborg. Ronny Van Borneo juga mengundang saya ke acara warga Indonesia di sana. Saya senang kalau orang Indonesia di luar negeri baik semua seperti Bapak :D.


Rizkika Adi Rahmawati Terima kasih Bapak,tulisannya bisa jadi pelajaran buat saya. Kayanya nggak apa kalau kita yg gondok yah,daripada nggak berbuat baik duluan :)


Pribadi Sutiono Good article and it can potray in any circumstance and profession.... keep writing Pak..... my salam to Ibu Yenny ...


Achmad Djatmiko I will pak Pribadi Sutiono ....


Dadan Sidqul Anwar Itu mungkin pertanda Allah sayang sama Kang Achmad Djatmiko Kartosuhodo..he he .pribadi yang sudah otentik sesuai prinsip kenapa harus dirubah gara-gara takut orang pura-pura tidak kenal atau menyepelekan kita saat sudah tidak dibutuhkan sehingga mengecewakan kita...saat dikecewakan orang jangan jangan kita sedang dimuliakan olehNya...Allaahu a'lam..baarokallaah fiikum


Devi Purwanti hahahah ... kang, pengalamanku suka sebaliknya ... saya biasanya yang lupa .... jangankan orang "biasa", selebriti atau pejabat pun kadang terlupa dan mereka yang mengingatkan bahwa saya pernah bertemu .... tentunya saya tidak ada maksud menyepelekan, tapi itu memang salah satu dari sekian banyak kelemahanku aja .... :)


Achmad Djatmiko idiihhh..Devi Purwanti emang kamu mah kagak kenal siapa-siapa ... !!! huh..huh..huh.. untungnya.....


Devi Purwanti hehehe ....


Panitro Kalo beliaunya dulu nyebelin bangets gimana Mas....dipun sikapi menopo dipun sikati selameti....







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