It’s been a while since I have posted, unfortunately bad luck has struck me again and I got my laptop stolen. They got in through the back door which although I locked had stupidly left the key in the back and after burning a hole in the mosquito net, managed to find something to push the key down. Even more stupid, I had left my laptop on the hall table where lay a guest who had passed out on my couch, but didn’t hear a thing. I only realised when he burst into my room asking where his Iphone and I walked into the hall to realise that my laptop had gone. I have reported it to the security people, but I am still waiting on the money from the last burglary, so I am not surprised that almost 3 weeks later I have not received any type of response.
I did have my old laptop somewhere in the back of my wardrobe which I can use, but it has taken me this long to bring it out in plain sight, but here I am back online and ready to tell you how it is.
So I am still working on the Cave, trying to get it up to a point where we can have a big re-launch. I have to admit, I am not 100% committed like I should do, while I am doing what I can in terms of staffing, finding a DJ, getting some advertising space (at a low cost). My problem is focus. Just when we have finalized what we need to do, the owner adds another 20 things he wants to do in addition, another 5 things he wants to add to the menu and now he wants to bring in a jazz artiste into Ghana which is a great idea, but he wants to do it over Christmas. Knowing from experience, most marketing budgets are near on exhausted by now and even if you get one person who will be willing to part with the companies cash, it might not meet enough to cover the costs. Plus we are no Charterhouse that we can pull something together in a couple of months with no proper planning, but I learnt that some things you give your opinion, but if the shit hits the fan, don’t say I didn’t see it coming. We have now got an events planner, so I am concentrating on the day to day activities. There is no point bringing in the people and the food and service is a load of shite that they don’t want to come back again.
The other reason I am not jumping up and down and looking for a job is that he can’t afford to pay me. During the day, the staff are more than the customers, then maybe the owners friends, he barely has enough to cover his own overheads so it’s a part time gig from my house for ‘chop’ money. So we have agreed that for now I will assist, making sure everything is in place. This I can do from home, when we launch the club then we can talk about real cash.
In the meantime, I am still on the job trail. I am looking for something with the convenience that i can do the two jobs, so where I can be out with clients and give them a twofor in my discussion (I market my company while marketing the club). Alternatively, I would like a job that it is located close to the club so that I can dip out at lunchtimes and can get to the club quite easily after work. It would mean I would practically be working around the clock, but hey, I’ve been at home for almost 4 months, and PVR would mean I could catch up on all the shows that I have become addicted to so I can deal with it.
So how’s it going so far, I got a job offer, well two actually, the first was with Standard Chartered Bank (they offered me a bit more money). Call me arrogant, or call me brave but I turned it down. The original offer of 750 came with the promise that in 3-6 months I would be made a permanent member of staff with all the perks that come along with it. The second offer was for 2,000GHS per month (Gross), but the timeline was extended to 12-18 months. With that I would then be made a lower grade than my colleagues who I would be doing the same job as within that time, with the potential of going up to the same grade, for which I would be locked into a contract of no way out. Now if you take out tax and social security it would work out to around 1600. Smother, God bless her sent me £500 to see me through the year, which is 100GHS shy of what I would have got for the month. I have paid my phone bill, bought my feminine products, about to pay my DSTV bill and my mortgage, which leaves me with exactly 135GHS (if I forgo food for this month). I would be working long hours which would mean that I would have to sacrifice the Cave and well I would be back to square one, looking for the next big break. So I declined, a week later, I got an offer from Antal International. Can you believe it, the people who took my 40GHS and well basically ignored me (except for one follow up phone call 3 months later) offered me a job.
When the director called, I didn’t quite hear her initially, I thought it was another one of those follow up calls that would build my hopes up and then let me down once again. I have to admit, was one sentence shy of dropping a couple of F bombs when I gave her stick for the silence since April. She apologised, told me that during the course of moving offices they had encountered IT issues (poor IT, they always get the blame), and then invited me for an interview.
The position was for a consultant, we had a chat, and actually it would have been a good networking opportunity for me. However, long story short, I got the offer letter, bumped up to Senior Consultant at a salary of 18,000 (gross) per annum with a clothing allowance of 1,200 (gross) per annum. Alright, I would get my commission on top but in this economic climate and the commission structure (which I didn’t fully understand but it was like 10% of 10% of invoice price or something like that). Take out fuel to travel to clients, mortgage, bills etc…, and the fact that the first month’s salary is withheld, I’m running on the negative even before I started. If it had been 2,000GHS per month, I could have lived with that, it would cover my basic costs and my commission would add as a bonus to actually live a little and not pay bills. But when my commission would end up paying my basic living expenses, again, back at square one. On the plus side though, it is giving me new found hope that I am actually employable and I am worthy of a senior position based on my CV.
Now when I think about Franklin Sowah and co, I have a new found sympathy for them. Now my theory could be wrong, but I would like to think this is the reason why they are selective in whom they look out for jobs for and who they simply ignore. If a Senior Consultant is on a basic of 1,000GHS a month I dread to think what a Consultant is getting. Even if he is Senior, he probably has a wife and kid(s) at home, he maybe building his dream home and he has parents and in-laws to consider. So what does he do, he goes after the sure fire hits, the ones where the person is certain to get the job and carries a huge salary. He uses the rest of his time doing his own side business to make some extra money elsewhere. He will not consider an accumulation of mid-senior management positions because that would take too much of his private business time, so he goes only for the Executive Management positions. I could be wrong, but I suspect that’s why after you have registered, you are not likely to hear from them again.
What I do know for definite though, if you are an expat, looking for a job, you may be better off speaking to an Antal agency if you have one in your country. I was told that there was nobody dedicated enough to take on this role because the local clients are many. So at least, I managed to get one question answered, and now all of you that have not had luck with Antal/BJ Consulting, today you know why.
So, waiting on a response from another interview, had to do a presentation and I hate presenting, but I think it went well, so fingers crossed. It is right around the corner from the club and also offers networking opportunities, so fingers crossed…
In the meantime, I am here, hoping, wishing and praying for my big break, the people around me think I am crazy for not jumping at the first offer that was given. But it is like marrying the first guy that says you look cute, it isn’t going to make for a long lasting relationship if the heart is not there. Ok slightly different as I have bills to pay, but as always, I will survive.
My life is like the roads in Accra. Full of potholes, and bumps and it seems like I am spending ages in traffic, but I am already on the road so I will make it to my destination.