Before I start, I just want to talk about DHL. A colleague of mine sent a parcel by DHL from Accra to Gabon and we check the tracking system today. It left Accra on Friday and arrived in Cote D’Ivoire on Saturday. It stayed there on Sunday and now Monday you would expect it to be onward bound to Gabon. Instead it is back here in Accra. I don’t know if it went on a weekend vacation or what, but I figure this is why what could be a 24 hour delivery turns into 6 weeks, because your parcel is going on a world tour of Africa.
So anyway, I was watching 30 Rock yesterday. It was the episode where due to cut backs only top management were entitled to the flu vaccine. At first Liz Lemon refused out of loyalty to her staff, until she found out that her vacation was at risk. It has made me think about my own complaints about the cut backs. The powers that be have convinced us little people that we must only travel when it is really necessary, have juice or water but not both at our workshop. That it is ok if we do not get a pay rise this year and that 100GHS is enough for fuel for the month even though fuel price has increased by 15%.
Yet still, the head of the market still has unlimited use of the private jet, the expatriates have a house, car, driver, garden boy, pool man for the swimming pool and house girl. Their children go to the top private school in Ghana. Their spouses can take on a Master’s course paid for by the company. They have dinner at La Palm or African Regent and claim it on expenses. They have regular trips to their home country and are free to go to any country on a visit as long as it is justified. The argument is they are having to be inconvenienced by leaving their home country, my argument is are they really needed here.
But when I think about it (apart from the pay increase thing, nothing justifies no increase when the cost of everything around us is increasing), how much would I be willing to sacrifice. I’d like to think that I would fight for better benefits for my staff, I definitely would not let them work under unjust and unfair conditions but would I denounce the benefits attached to being in a senior position, not when I have fought so hard to get there my friend.
I recently went for an interview for a Senior Position at a competing multinational. The added benefit would be that if they are to take me on, it is very possible that I would be taken on as an expat, I would be paid as if I was back in good old blighty. Would I say then, oh I am now a local having lived here this long and it would be a slap in the face to my people if I was to be taken on as a foreigner, you must pay me as a local. No, I would wear that red book with pride and all the perks that go along with it.
The route to the top gets narrower as we climb up, but we are striving to get there in one capacity or another. In the same way my company always tells us that we are not an NGO and the company’s main priority is getting profit. I did not go to work for an NGO for the same reason and my main priority is to achieve a better lifestyle.
So I can complain, its human nature, but I can’t really complain that much because that’s where I want to be some day, no that’s where I am going to be some day. So I’ve just got to concentrate on getting myself up that ladder instead of whining about the injustice of it all.