The world over, I have found HR to be an oxymoron. They are not resourceful, and I sometimes wonder if they are even human at times. Now I will not say it is all of them, just a large percentage of the ones I have come into contact with. It appears more that they are the mouth piece for management than for the people but I could be wrong. Furthermore it would be a welcome challenge to prove me wrong.
So what is my gripe today I hear you say to yourselves as you read through my prose. Well, I have had a couple of opportunities come up and well I am contemplating which one is the best.
When I came here, I was just running, I had a clear understanding of where I was going to, but I just didn’t know what direction to take. So it was the case that I knew where I didn’t want to be, but wasn’t quite so sure where I did want to be once I got out. So I kept on running until the tank was empty and I came to a standstill. The last year gave me a chance to figure out a clear path of where I am going to and what route to take and I take my current pit stop as my refill stop rather than the final destination.
It is a bit of a struggle though, it would be so easy for me to quit and take the first opportunity that came my way, but I really don’t want to find myself in the same situation I found myself last year so I am quietly biting my tongue while my compatriots patronize me and look down on me like some well don’t like to use the word retard but they do. It feels like they are looking at me like, with all she claims she did in England, what the hell she is doing here, so there is obviously something wrong. The incident of the past year confirming it in their minds, but I know I have been and always will be a rockstar and I am sure even Richard Branson had a few bumps in the road on the way to the top.
So how does HR fit into all of this. Well, this position was offered a year ago. I knew that I didn’t want it, and I knew the reason why (as you have gathered), but a year after sitting in the house I thought I better get used to the early morning call before I end up a 400 pounds nappy haired hermit. Now the way my HR friend talked, you would think that he was the HR director but I find out he is a business partner, sounds irrelevant, well this is the first of a relationship with a man who talks the talk but when it comes to executing the walk, I end up floored.
So anyway, I got the job, however I made a wrong move, I decided to be completely honest about my problems with last year and the functional director decided that he was not sure of me. I don’t know if his problem is the ability to do my job or if he thinks that I would leave due to poor health or what, but anyway I was now supposed to be indebted to “the boss” and the HRBP for fighting to get me the job.
Now I may sound very arrogant for saying this, but I don’t really care, but from what I can see is a man who is quick to discriminate. The fact of the matter is that these two being HR and the boss, knew I was the best candidate for the job. In fact I am over qualified for the job, so they really didn’t do me any favours. In fact I wish they hadn’t because I don’t actually see any money at the end of the month.
Nevertheless I started, whatever way you look at it, I am cheap labour and the only reason I am is because they had me over a barrel. In the meantime, the boss is showing her bogga powers and borderline insulting. A couple of weeks back there was a lady on leave so I was covering for her as well as doing my own job. She had forgotten to give me some information and to be fair, I don’t really know what she does (the induction was a 5 minute rundown of what she does and then we went to being individuals under the guise of being in a team). So trying to figure out what she does, while trying to solve the problem was not an easy task. Did I get any assistance from the boss? Of course not, in fact her words to me were “this is the time you are supposed to be proving yourself, but I can’t see it”.
This was HR’s motivation for me taking the job at entry level pay. He told me that it is easier to get promoted from the inside and that I should look at it as starting my career again. If I can prove myself, in a couple of years, I could make it to manager.
Now if I was a naive 20 something or even if this was 6 years ago when I got off the boat, I would say that was true. But it’s not, at most, they will tell me to do this job for 2 years, then I would have to do a couple of sideways movements before even being looked at for promotion. I am looking at 5 years in the very least before I am considered for promotion. In the meantime, there would be some dick picking holes in everything I do, telling me I am not good enough. Yeah right.
So I sent an email to HR, outlining me and the boss’ history and the issues we are facing today, if she was to turn around and tell me that she would not confirm me, at least I would have a legal case out of it. What did HR do, probably filed it under “another moan from Efia”. I am not so bothered though, I just know from a legal standpoint, I need to ensure that if I go out not of my own free will, I get adequately compensated for it.
Underpaid and Overworked
Although we both knew I was being shafted, with the depreciating Cedi, working here is becoming increasingly less worthwhile. So much so I decided to start looking back home, my thought was, if this is the pinnacle of my career, then let it be in a country where I can live a bit comfortably then once I have paid off my house I can come back and at least I have advanced in my career. I have to say, it is still in my plans if my Plan A and Plan B fail through. In the meantime I needed cash so I went to HR. What was their response, well times are tough on everyone, and with the history between you and your boss there is a question mark over your head. However, after the probationary period, it may be a basis of discussion again so have patience.
In other words no, you took our offer so deal with it. You had two choices, take it or leave it, you chose to take it so suck it up.
In negotiations they talk about a win-win, in that it never truly is a win for both parties, one party always have an upper hand. In this case it is the company. However, they have got me for now while I haven’t got much choice (or am weighing my options), but one thing I do know about myself is that my talents, well put it this way, it’s being put on hold. There is something bigger for me but it is not going to be after 5 years lounging around here for a minimal salary.
I honestly think that HR thinks that a few sweet words will inspire some kind of loyalty. Unfortunately my mind is not wired like the average Ghanaian and is giving me more motivation to climb up the ladder all the more quickly.
Word to the wise, if you want someone to stick around long enough, at the very least give them what they are owed, if you tell an experienced professional that you are going to give them less than their neighbour, that neighbour being fresh out of college. It is not inspiring or motivating and you are not going to expect any kind of loyalty except for what they are contractedly obliged to do between working hours.
I am not taking this too much to heart though, it gives me time to pick the offer that is going to enrich me emotionally, intellectually and of course financially. Right now, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain so I am taking it easy and biding my time.
I will keep you posted on my new ventures. I have a good feeling that something is coming up, but don’t want to jinx it until I get the green light. All I do know is, now that I know the direction I am heading in, the good lord is clearing the path.