Before I start I just want to say that the lights went out yesterday and to the best of my knowledge has not returned. I was then asked into the office on my holiday, I have been here since 12 and the person I was supposed to meet has not arrived. Then I had a small issue with my fender. I went to park my car the other day and there was a guy blocking my view so tried to drive around him, the security guy although helpoful was behind me saying ‘come, come, come, or as they say in twi bra, bra, bra’ while waving me to keep going back. Didn’t pay any attention to the plant in front of me who’s stalk was as thick as a tree, nearly took my bumper off. People keep telling me it is a two minute job but whatever it is, it’s an extra cost. My cousin has taken my car to the garage, and well he’s not the most reliable of people, I will not be surprised if I end up walking home because he went to sit and have a drink then forgot about it. This morning in addition, some idiots were banging at my gate to offer me a service I do not want, unfortunately they were sitting next to some bitch I owe money to (she collects payment for the trash). I keep telling her she should come at the time we agree on but she never turns up but instead arrives inpromtu 3 weeks later when I tell her I don’t keep cash in the house.
So as you can tell, I’m in a bad mood. I have a feeling it’s going to get worse before it gets better. If you have the time, please read the blog by madeinaccra unleashing a scathing attack on a lady he encountered at the A&C mall. Very amusing piece, and makes what I have to say not so bad.
I have realised what the problem is. I am offended by idiots, especially idiots who are in senior position. This is the problem I am faced with now. My boss is from Gabon. Everything for him is an argument. Even when we are agreeing on something it turns into an argument because he just has to be heard. You know the stereotype of the bullish, arrogant french, he is that sterotype. I don’t know if he thinks that is how the obroni French people are but I can only assume his wedding tackle is small and so he has to compensate by being so abusive. It has got to the point that I only speak to him when it is important (althogh I am just as comfortable sending him an email even when he is sitting next to me), or I speak when I’m spoken to and even that is very little words. Thankfully his office is at the region so don’t have to see him everyday and can pretty much ignore his emails. For example, I raised the alarm about us being out of stock almost 6 weeks ago. The supply team said they could airfreight them, I don’t know how it would have affected the financials but he went silent. Then he sends an email about checking on stocks so you are not surprised when we go out of stock. I could have responded but there’s just no point. As I said, small wedding tackle so he has to compensate it somehow and this is the best he can do.
I am making a few friends. I have a young man who had a little crush on me, he is 29 and thought I was 23 although flattered when he learned I was 35 he wasn’t so keen anymore. But I don’t blame him, he’s looking for ripe eggs, but I digress. Few friends, but strange place. It is like they don’t realize there is this big corporation with offices all over the world, as far as they are concerned this is the only office and it belongs to them. I tell you about a few of the characters:
First of all there is a HR and Corporate Affairs director, he is probably going into his 70s right now yet still he doesn’t want to leave the company. He is the first one here in the morning, and the last one at night. He is also in charge of our provident fund, and to be honest he looks shady, I hope when I resign he hasn’t siphoned my money away. He has a team, I don’t know what they do but the HR business partner sure likes to poke her nose into people’s affairs. You know I don’t think highly of HR in the first place and that’s the world over I do not descriminate to just here, but this office is a special case. The other day I got in at 8.45 as opposed to 8. She asks me ‘couldn’t you wake up?’. I didn’t answer, but later on I asked her if the regional office and ghana office policies are in conflict whose prevails. She said the regional office and asked why. I referred her tacky little comment and the fact that there is a flexible working hour in place. Amazingly apart from hello, she hasn’t spoken to me since. I don’t know why.
Then their the sales director, again long past it but refusing to give anyone else a chance. He almost looks scared when you approach him. I introduced myself to him and you would have thought I told him I had kidnapped his children. It has taken a while but at least he greets me now. I think it has something to do with me being a ‘foreigner’, plus the fact that the guy I am taking over from is loved by all and has resigned also so it’s a bit like I have taken his job away from me (he is not the only one who treats me like I’m from out of space). He does make me laugh when he gets angry because his voice doesn’t really carry far, and it’s kind of whiney but he likes saying ‘for God’s sake why are you making excuses’ and it sounds so screetchy it makes me laugh.
There is Queenie, I call her that because she has a fancy title and struts like the queen but I don’t know exactly what she does. She is the marketing services manager. Now not marketing manager, just services. She’s all hair and heels and sometimes I see her, sometimes I don’t, but she has the potential to piss me off. When I met her she did me a fake smile you know that over zealous one that girls give to one another when they think they have competition. We haven’t interacted since. I understand they gave her the job because they couldn’t find anything else for her to do. They could have sent her to another market but am probably sure that they were afraid she will disgrace the good name of the company, so these people stay here and will do so until retirement or in the case of HR and Sales Director when their souls retire. You know people like these have a lot of skeletons in the closet and so they stay in the same position until they die, in that way when a new person comes in and uncovers all what they have been up to, they will be long gone.
The office too is very old school. I am now country management and as such I have an office which I share with the other manager for my category, everyone’s door is closed and every category has an assistant to do the running around. The MD has his own toilet and so do key staff. For me, I use the ladies closest to my office because my pee doesn’t care if I am key staff or not.
The guy who I am taking over from was supposed to be in the same category albeit the larger one but as I said he resigned. He reminds me of my former boss Mark in UK, walks with a bit of a swagger, can bullshit you and make it sound good, but he was alright. The difference between Mark and this guy is that he too has the potential to try my nerve although I cannot fault him in the job, he has done a good job. Some say he’s arrogant, he says he’s confident, I think he’s alright but sometimes I just want to punch him in the face. For example on Monday I left at 5pm (the time office officially closes) and he said he was upset that the boss was around and I left when he who has resigned was still working. For one, I had to go, for 2 it was 5 and for 3 people here spend half the day out of the office doing their own thing and end up actually starting work from around 4.30, they also stay late to avoid the traffic. There is no way I can adopt that lifestyle because where I come from you start at 9 close at 5 if you need to do anything you do it in the one hour provided for the lunch break but for your allocated work hours, you work. I am not going to come in at 7am leave at 8pm just because it looks good to the boss. If the work doesn’t speak for itself I don’t know what does. Anyway as I said he is good at his job and I need his knowledge so I have not told him to go and procriate with himself, and after today I don’t have to see him again.
The other thing that pisses me off is his time. We make arrangements he goes around town doing his own thing and I am left waiting. We could have finished the handing over 2 weeks ago, but due to his lack of respect for the time we are still dragging this process along. Well my car is in the shop but as soon as it arrives I am gone. He can put the rest in an email.
Lastly there is the team in Tema, the planning manager I used to work with, she is a lazy cow if ever there was one. When you ask her for something it is like you asked her to sell you her family, her big gob travels miles but her arse is always in the seated position. Unfortunately she has trained her team to be as unhelpful as she is. The other day I asked one of her brats for some information. He had sent a file and I asked him for verification. His respnse, I should look in the file. This one I did not take, it is just a matter of respect, like am I blind to not see the file. So I asked him straight out, if it was the MD asking would you tell him to look in the file. Then gave him a harsh lesson in respect. I can’t abide by such insolance, I have a lot of patience and I take a lot of crap but disrespect me and you pay the price. To be fair he did apologise and then an hour later called to ask if we were cool. As for his lazy boss. There is nothing I can do about her, so I leave her to wallow in her laziness.
So in a nutshell, until I run my own business or am in Senior management of a company where the majority of people are foreigners I am forever going to have an issue with my dear people. It always makes me wonder about this Ghanaian hospitality it is out there I’ve experienced it, but rarely with the people I work with in the office. As a black person here I don’t see it the way the white people do. I guess it’s only reserved for them. Although I could be wrong, I might just have one of those faces that people don’t want to be hospitable to, or I just see through the fakeness. Who knows I could be wrong, as I said it is not all bad here. It could just be because they sit in air conditioned offices they feel giggy and too above being nice to people. Who knows. But interesting characters and more food for my blog.
Speaking of interesting characters, smother is coming back, not for long just for a month or so. Kind of missing her though, although I probably wont be on her return….lol