I didn’t have time to blog yesterday as I was ‘hot’ preparing a presentation for a meeting on Tuesday. While others took a whole week to prepare, I managed to do anything other than my presentation and left it to the last minute. We have to consolidate all the sales figures for our categories from the countries and the outlook for the current year, draw graphs, write down a lot of grammar, and highlight any possible issues in demand and supply across the countries. Usually it doesn’t take me long as I only have 5 countries and about 20 products so normally I can do the consolidation in a day and the presentation on the second day. However, I forgot that we are entering into a new year, so templates have to be amended and formulas have to be changed, so spent most of the day doing that, then got myself confused with the basic things that I have been doing for the past 2 years without even thinking. I got to the office at 6am yesterday and didn’t leave until 7pm and I am back in the office once again just finishing off the presentation.
If the meeting is on Tuesday, why am I rushing to get the presentation complete. Because this morning we are having the pre-meeting with Supply Chain. In the afternoon we are having a pre-meeting with the Technical team. On Monday, I will have the pre-meeting with the Business manager. All this before the actual meeting on Tuesday.
We love our meetings, meetings are called for everything and with every meeting there is a pre-meeting before hand. You want to use the bathroom, let’s have a meeting and let’s have a pre-meeting to see how we are going to handle the actual meeting.
Today I have three meetings. I have been roped into a meeting which I have know nothing about, but just know that I am on the relocation committee. We are changing the location of our current office at we are well above maximum capacity and well a committee has been formed and we are having a meeting. On Monday, we have two meetings, one to talk about the price of milk and then the pre-meeting meeting. Wednesday I have to go to Tema for a meeting because somebody’s tiny mind can’t understand a simple instruction. Thursday is free to actually do some work, Friday morning, yep a meeting.
At the meetings where the obroni boss’ attend, the meetings usually start on time, however because of question upon question it usually drags on. Supply Chain especially, they confuse you with many jargons and believe in the policy, why use 1 sentence when I can use 15, so you are there, listening to slide upon slide, trying to keep your eyes open (I have nearly mastered the sleeping with my eyes open trick). Here a thirty minute meeting could last anything from an hour to three hours depending on how many questions and endless discussions occur.
If it is a purely bibini meeting, don’t expect it to ever start on time, and take your mobile phone as you are likely to have to call each individual that they have to attend. The person who called the meeting is most often late. This is something that really grates me as I still have the ‘time’ gene I inhereted from being brought up in London. Even when I am fashionably late I am still the first person to turn up for a meeting.
Once the meeting is over (finally), the last words are, ‘so I’ll send you an email’. Most of the time I’m thinking, why didn’t you do that in the first place, I would probably pay more attention to it, but the average African loves the feeling of calling for and being in a meeting so when in Rome.
It’s 8am, people are starting work and I’m already tired. Time to get my ‘I look wide awake but I’m actually sleeping’ look perfected before this meeting starts.