Just to update you on my career plan. A colleague of mine yesterday observed that I have been unusually quiet lately. Usually where there is an injustice in the “process” they call work I am the first one to voice out and then the French lady followed by school prefect who turns everything into some kind of drama. She is one step away from saying the witches in the country are purposely doing her juju. Yesterday she was hollering about something, why are “they” doing this to her, I don’t know exactly who it was exactly as the minute she opened her mouth I pressed play on my Ipod or run off to a “meeting”. The closer it gets to me moving the more anxious I am becoming but the quiet I become very soon it will not be my battle so why should I make a fuss now.
Man child boss also had a bee in his bonnet over the leaving dinner of my Nigerian colleague. He was supposed to be gone end of December but they begged him to stay another 2 months, as predicted he asked the guy if he would stay a little while longer but for the sake of his career in his country and his family he refused. I am sure his wife would have Boko Haram’d him had he not gone back after he promised her he would definitely be back by the end of February. Now the head of Region has refused an external applicant and asked him to find someone internally, instead of him to concentrate on this task he rather had a go at the French lady for not turning up for the dinner last week. Now she is having some personal issues at home, she only told me the full details but he was told as much as a boss needs to be told. Like me, she is not the kind of person who tells her whole life story to the people in the office, although some people don’t mind their business be spread across the company as soon as the dirty laundry hits the basket some of us will say as much as needs to be within the corporate environment.
To compensate for her not being able to come out that evening, we went out for lunch with him, even I had the interview that night and had it not have been for the ride I was getting, I would have gone home myself. Instead of him to find the root cause for which he is so fond of doing for a stock out, he showed off his bogga powers and really laid into her for not going. As if to say it was by force that you have to use those extra hours that you would use sitting in traffic to get to spend one hour with your child to go to a corporate dinner where there is only one or two people out of the ten that you really want to make small talk with. Well she bore plus um, and he was determined to make the matter worse.
Now I came in on Monday with my mind made up on which direction to take. For marketing I was going to move there whatever the case. Man child boss had already implied that where I am presently is dead man’s shoes and his plan was to keep his people in the position for a compulsory 4-5 years. Way to boost team morale. While it’s ok for him, we have to stay where we are plus compete with the people in the country as well as those in the office for the one sought after position. The most that would happen is that there would be an opportunity for a job swap with someone in the country but it wouldn’t be with the demand and supply manager who will not swap a position where he is king to come to head office to be a maid servant. So that leaves a planner. For the person in the country it would be good as they would have the coordination and managing a category experience but for the category manager it will be like going from being a co-pilot to a steward. Then for the both parties it will bring about uncertainty on return. Do we go back to our old jobs or is there a plan, or have you been totally forgotten about, replaced and now a struggle for where there is an open position to dump you. I did want to get the country experience but at least now I get to go on a few country visits and there is not so much system maintenance. Whereas there in demand and supply it is all system maintenance and the monthly business cycle whereby preparing for a meeting every week. For this reason you have guys with 70 days leave because they are planning the meetings and so difficult to take leave, if your lucky, last week of the month, but if I want to go visit my friends and family in UK, I’m not going to spend thousands of dollars to go for a week.
The brand manager position is still a bit uncertain, I would hear something by the end of the month, and although it sounds interesting in terms of managing the P&L sheet and building the brand, I didn’t want the opportunity to pass me by totally if I wait don’t get it and then someone snaps up the Innovations Renovations manager position. Also, if I were to stay long enough in the company and prove myself in I&R I could plan brand management as my next move, furthermore I would stay in the region and while I am still single with no children I will still get to do the small travelling within the region for which I have grown accustomed to. Also it is a worldwide brand which would look good on my CV, if I move back to England, move to another country, I would have the management of that brand under my belt and it will take me far. So I went to the brand boss and told him that if I wasn’t too late I would like to take the position. He said he would discuss with management and HR if it is ok with all of them, we start the transfer process.
In the meantime, I went to give my current Business manager the feedback on my visit when he asked me how the interview went. As usual he went all around the castle in asking me and I assumed he was still talking about my visit so responded when he said no, he meant the interview (why not come straight out and say it?). I told him, but he wasn’t really fussed about how it went, his real question was who was going to replace me if I was to get it (why mot come straight out and say it?).
I said I didn’t know but I would find out. Of course man child boss didn’t give anything away. He said the supply chain manager had already told him. I’m not surprised that he had been told but was still asking me this question as that’s how he is, he will ask 10 different people the same question until he got an answer he was satisfied with. For me though, I had done my part, at some stage all would be revealed it always does, getting to the close of day. I got my answer.
Now I already said the French lady was vexed with man child boss over the whole dinner well he did not make his case any better. I found out that they wanted to combine her category with mine so in effect she would be doing a double job, his spin was that it is all one business albeit split into two, however it is not like the nutrition business whereby baby food and infant formula are managed by one person, this would be two business managers, 2 category business managers, 2 I&R managers and man child boss to deal with. For me it doesn’t sound like a good idea unless the whole category were to be consolidated into one from the top to the bottom.
Just before I started, the category was managed this way but the business managers complained that the category planner was spending more time on one category and neglecting theirs. My former manager, a lovely lady from Senegal with balls of steel then put in a business case that they need to have 1 person for each category for which it was approved by this same head of region. I was employed shortly after and French lady employed a little while after me. It worked out very well because she has to deal with many of the small, small francophone countries as well as Ghana being the main source for production. My main growth country drivers came from Ghana and Nigeria so the categories suited as well for our backgrounds and language. She has done very well in the category as it was a total mess when she came to meet it as was mine, although mine is more stable right now and she still has a way to go, they are two very demanding category heads and she still has a way to go in terms of volatility in supply due to some over zealous brand managers who don’t realise that if you sell 6 months worth of stock in 1 month it’s going to affect supply and I fear that this will drive her back to France.
So I went straight to my business manager with my concerns. Outsiders will see this as causing trouble but I know how these people are, it is better they sort it out now and if possible convince the head to get someone in from outside than complaints later down the line, and they will not look at it from the point of view that she has a full load but rather a direct attack on her abilities to do the job. As predicted he marched over to the market head and the other guy to get it sorted out. I really hope it does get sorted out soon because I don’t want anyone to tell me that my move has been blocked to staff issues and then to make matters worse I miss out on marketing because they were able to convince the Regional head to employ someone from outside.
Well as they say. I leave it to God, I’ve done my part, the rest is in his hands and what is meant to be will be. In the meantime, I remain very quiet in my little corner of the office, I power up my Ipod and try and finish off the tasks I wrote down on Monday night for tomorrow before I get out tomorrow night. If you don’t hear from me tomorrow, don’t be surprised, I have a lot of things to do tomorrow. No facebooking, no blogging, no sitting by the poolside. Straight up work!