I am now in Lagos, been here a day, and where I am staying, there is only wifi in one particular area of the house, hence the reason you have not heard from me in a while. I also had a bit of writers block prior to this so decided to live by the rule that if you don’t have anything to say then don’t say anything at all. Then as luck would have it, I had a whole lot to say, and no outlet to say it. But here I am. I will try and get in as much as I can today, might be in the course of a couple of blogs, as well my Nigerian colleagues have given me a lot of amusement and many stories to tell, especially right now as I sit here trying not to laugh where an incident happened last week (don’t know exactly what) and the factory hand is making all kinds of faces trying to recall the events (or trying to come up with a story to cover his arse, as he keeps stuttering and squinting his face, I wish I had a camera), but I will get to that later.
On Monday, it was pretty quiet, the usual preparing for end of month meeting but Tuesday, from 6am when I left the house to 7pm when I left the office, it felt that my BP was going to go through the roof. If anyone has read my facebook rants, you will know that what I hate more than sitting in Accra traffic is waking up at crazy o’clock to avoid the traffic and getting stuck behind some idiot who doesn’t know that stepping on the accelerator pedal makes the car run faster. Notwithstanding the slow driving, having tacky plastic flowers at the back of the car, well you have just killed me finish. Plastic flowers and that ugly looking dog that bops his head up and down, who came up with them, they are an eyesaw. I remember a friend of mine had those tacky flowers at the back of his car. I am sure that it was his wife’s (then girlfriend) idea, she dresses like a rainbow got drunk and threw up all over her.
Suffice to say, we had an intervention one day, the wife had travelled and we gave him an ultimatum. It was the plastic flowers or his friendship with the group (unfortunatley we could not get rid of the wife that easy but, hmm, I shut up now). Eventually managed to get passed the slow moving vehicle and in the office, the only time I managed to sit down behind my computer was in the few minutes after the first meeting and before lunch, the rest of the day was filled with meetings.
I did though have my interview. The position is for a Brand Manager, not with the category I am managing but with a very difficult man from Lebanon who interogated me rather than interviewed me. You would have thought that I was being vetted for a position in the CIA, he kept trying to trip me up, and twist my words. He asked me why I wanted to leave my current position, I said I wanted to learn more about the business, managing the profit and loss sheet, building a brand that kind of thing. “Why don’t you stay in Supply Chain, there is plenty of opportunity, why do you want to be in Marketing”, he hit the questions out, I batted them back. He asked me what my strengths and weaknesses were, obviously I am going to say more strengths than weaknesses, I am not going to shoot myself in the foot. He asks me if I am too over confident as I didn’t put enough weaknesses. I mean come on, what am I going to say, I am a scatterbrain, who comes into work late, puts my feet up and am out by 5. It got better in the last 10 minutes, he managed to crack a smile when I told him that I could work under pressure, I had worked with a colleague of his who was also very difficult and we got on very well. His last words were he can’t really tell me what the position is, where it will be, but he would let me know by the end of the month. I didn’t tell him that the HR recruitment manager had already told me assuming that I already knew as he was venting his frustruations on how crazy the guy was.
So I have until the end of the month, the Innovations manager position, they need somebody now and I don’t want to wait until the end of the month only to hear that the position went to somebody else and then I am left with nothing. I will ponder over it on the weekend and then make my decision, but I am really somewhat confused still.
The interview finished at 6.30 just in time for a colleagues leaving do at Captain Hooks. I didn’t really want to go, because I was travelling the next day, very early and was very tired after the long day plus the interogation/interview had taken a lot out of me. I also didn’t have any petrol in my car, it was a struggle this month, don’t know where the money went but I was broke (still looking for business ideas capital is in the red for the first time in my life). This particular colleague is a good friend of mine, and knowing I had this interview, myself and the French lady took him out to lunch. She has a kid to look after and lives quite far out of town so we decided to do something just the three of us, it was nice and we didn’t have to make small talk with people that we didn’t really want to talk to.
I did go in the end, man child boss was still in the office when I was leaving, and he offered a lift so I thougt might as well. Captain Hooks, well what can I say. The food was alright. I couldn’t tell you what the menu is like as school prefect had already pre-ordered everything. A seafood platter, some lobster and some chicken dish, it was ok, not great, not bad, just ok. The seafood platter was full of fried breaded things although the tuna looked nice (I didn’t get to taste it to tell you the texture) and for what was ordered there was enough food to satisfy everyone. There was a lot left over too, school prefect asked for it to be packed away, I saw two bags full of the leftover food for which she shared with headmistress. I could have done with just one pack as I did get a bit peckish when I get home, but I am too proud to beg and so said goodbye and left. The next day apparently man child boss had a go at the french lady for not turning up, I don’t really understand why. Going to an after works function is not exactly by force, and knowing she couldn’t make it went out for lunch with him, so what exactly is the big deal. He obviously needs to go and read the constitution, I am pretty sure the Ghanaian constitution has a similar article to the right to a private and family life. But I sent her the article 8, just incase she needed it (apparently he is also reluctant to give her a months leave so she can go to see her family France because we have our end of month meeting.)
Well anyway, I got home around 10 feeling too tired to pack so crashed out and did the usual struggling to get out of bed in the morning but managed to do everything with some minutes to spare before the driver came to collect me to take me to the airport.
My intention was to sleep in that 30 minutes between my house and the airport where for once I was not driving, but I happen to get a talker. You should get married he said. Another one who thinks I am turning down marriage proposals every day. I just ummed. It was too early for a conversation. If he had a colleague degree he would marry me he said. I laughed that one off, my driver before joining the company was a taxi driver, and he looks like your typical taxi driver. Although he’s done well, he has managed to buy land and build himself a small house he told me, which is more than so called colleague graduates. But no offence, he just looks like a taxi drier. He also drove like one, at one point I did wonder where he was speeding to in the dark of night (this was all before 6am) but he was friendly enough and it was quite an enjoyable conversation after the semi marriage proposal. He told me that he and his colleagues thought I was cool, always with a smile, didn’t hang out in a large crowd or show off, so when I ask for a ride somewhere they don’t mind taking me. There are other’s in my office, who if they asked, would always get turned down. They would always make out that they are busy or they are waiting to take somebody else out because these people were not very friendly. He didn’t tell me who but it will give me food for thought the next time I hear someone say how difficult it is to get a car.
He then invited me to his church. He belongs to the religion of Eckumkam or something like that, can’t remember exactly what. It teaches you to pray, they have this special chant, it goes’hunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn’, then you say blessed be to God, or something like that. then you listen to your inner voice, it is not a cult he assures me. They have a spritual leader, some guy from the states and there is a pamphlet, and you can pay some dollars and get a quarter, half-year or years subscription for some kind of teachings. I haven’t actually read the pamphlet yet but I will let you know when I do. But I do know they believe in the laws of Karma, and that whatever sin you throw out there it comes back to you, the same with good (although it talks mainly about the sin from the little I skimmed over in the car when the driver put the light on for me to read). It is about love, God is love, so you must love one another, but he assured me once again that it was not an occult (he must have read the expression on my face).
So that was my journey to the airport, next blog I will tell you about my adventures from Kotoka to Mutala Muhammed International Airports. Oh Africa!