Sunday, July 4, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
To Be Continued...
Friday, May 21, 2010
Good morning, I say from my desk, acting all chirpy. He replies and begins settling down opening laptops and things.
No call to come round for the meeting. I’m still waiting but it's 45 minutes gone since he stepped in. I’m practically hyper-ventilating in excitement at the thought of no meeting today.
Lunchtime and still no word! Wow! He probably got tired of answering his owns questions or watching me glaze over while he unraveled his plans for the future. I’m sincerely hoping they work out for him because I’m seriously looking forward to my lunch.
Now don’t be too hasty to imagine me the worst employee in history. The most challenging exercise you could put me through on a Monday morning would be to open my eyes. It’s neither the thought of going back to my mind-numbing job after an equally tedious weekend nor the hassle of avoiding oncoming pedestrian traffic and screaming conductors. I’ve often wondered why everyone else seems to walk in a direction opposite to mine and I end up nearly losing my shoulders to Lagosians.
This is not your usual Monday Morning Meeting held in the boss’ office with the rest of the staff or the type held in a boardroom where you get to act like you’re not noticing the cute guy from IT across the conference table.
Because the only person I get to not avoid watching at this meeting is… my Boss. Yes. Monday Morning meeting attendance is just me, and my boss.
Before you start shaking your head in wonderment let me enlighten you slightly. I had known Mr. B long before I came to work for him. When I was putting together an event for an NGO I worked for during one of the numerous ASUU/NASU/SSANU strikes, I met with a number of sponsors. He was very helpful then, and at the end of the meeting he gave me his card and asked me to keep in touch. I didn’t. But he did so I came to work for him right after school.
You can imagine my surprise on resuming work only to find I’m practically unlocking the office doors because there’s no one there. I thought there would be other people but he reassured me that they would join us at the end of the month.
Well… it’s been FOUR!
Monday Morning Meeting started two months back and I begin to imagine even Mr B has begun to see the ludicrousness of the whole thing. We have no accounts per se, we’re basically pitching left, right and centre. It appears as though other agencies are three steps ahead of us because just as we get to the prospective client, we learn that they’ve just bought the idea of the last company but would consider us gladly next year. The world of marketing communications in this country I have come to know is a boulevard of man-know-man.
Your idea could be as popular as sand or as refreshing as bottled water, if you have no insider, your proposal is as good as dead. And my boss the ex-engineer is not exactly a people person.
Ok, maybe we needed to review our progress but did we really have to “meet”? We shared an office for crying out loud. So meeting would involve me dragging my seat over to his desk and sitting poised with my pen and paper, ready to take notes. Oh you didn’t think I actually said anything did you?
I read the minutes of the last meeting, he asks where we are on so and so and I pretty much answer that I am awaiting so and so response from blah-blah about this and that and what not- Which is not always a lie!
Or I reply that the job is at Mr. Iyke’s, our unofficial creative person, by the way. You see, I pass on frameworks of the proposals I’m working on so he can mix in some colour and graphics for presentation to clients. That is pretty much how we get our work done. Mr. Iyke still has his regular job and he is not about to quit so we depend on his schedule a lot to deliver our presentations.
Did I say “our”, I meant MY presentations. I go alone on all these marketing runs. All this is apart from the magazine subscriptions I have to sell also!
I forgot to mention. Some South African magazine wants to break into Nigeria but they intend to sell only subscriptions. Guess what the magazine is all about… Diamonds. It brings to light all the latest discoveries in diamonds, where to buy how to spot the flawed ones. Very informative you’d say. But would you like to subscribe for a year? I didn’t think so.
I’m shutting down now, ready to skip off to lunch and he summons me with his index finger. Index finger!
What?! A new prospect, come up with an innovative idea that could turn around the market share and generate… Sigh. I can't possibly hate my life more than I do already can I?
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Stuck at a table occupied by married men and their wives, I feel awfully invisible. Men! I hate coming to weddings on my own. I would have come with Ivy but she is busy playing house with her boyfriend this weekend. Not that I begrudge her being with her boyfriend…
Who am I kidding?! Of course I do. She is one of my closest friends afterall and official ‘handbag’ cum arm candy for such occasions.
(We’ll get into the why-I-do-not-have-a-boyfriend issue much later, thank you!)
So, here I am, as I said, stuck at a table with married men and their wives. The men, of course, doing all they can to ignore me and the women casting ‘pitiful’ glances at me. That is, the ones that are not eye-balling me from time to time trying to make sure I don’t slip their husbands my number just before I exit the table. As if!
Although, the husband sitting directly opposite should make a lovely dish… Oh Stop it!
There were four couples in all – at this one table oh! And it’s not like I just came in and joined them, the first two couples saw me sitting all by myself at the empty table at the very far end of the reception hall and they all crowded in around me. Soon enough their very good friends, Couple No. 3 show up and then there’s Couple No. 4.
Now this is where it gets uncomfortable because when they arrive, they assume I am a part of the other Couples’ posse. So Husband No. 4 asks who I came with, I can’t help but sense all other conversation stop on account of that particular query because you know they are all just dying of curiousity.
No one, I say, I’m here alone.
Ow! He says.
And you know that “Ow!” people say when they don’t really know what to say to you after you give a reply they are not expecting. He nods at me with a goofy grin and promptly resumes his conversation with his friend. Other conversations resume as well and I am left alone to relive my two seconds of fame. It’s that guy’s wife that’s been smiling politely at me ever since.
I’ve been smiling back… just that my facial muscles are straining with the effort!
Sure enough, when the food arrives– and this is where it shifts from uncomfortable to weird- it so happens that the two waiters trays can only take four plates so of course the wives quickly arrange themselves and their husbands leaving me, Miss Fifth-Wheel (or Ninth Wheel, or spare tyre if you like!)
One of the husbands actually wanted to hand me his plate but when we observed his wives’ compressed lips I quickly declined.
And you know how these things are- the waiters never come back!
I tried to mellow the grumbling in my tummy with some warm juice – yes, warm juice straight from the warehouse- but the juice only worsened my condition and then I needed to pee.
I ask the nice lady who has been smiling at me to help watch my sit. On my way out, the bride catches my eye and I see her questioning look so I quickly reassure her with what sign language I know that I’ll be back.
The bride immediately returns her attention to her cake and feeding her brand new husband with such speed that I wonder if I was ever the subject of her questioning look. Maybe I was. She did insist I come. She is my ex-boyfriend’s sister. I know it's a funny, weird relationship but we really did like each other so we maintained the relationship even when mine with her brother went to pieces.
I was supposed to be part of the Aso-ebi people but I couldn’t afford it, not on my “inconvenience allowance”. So I opted for a not too similar design, but same color of Java print.
There’s nothing worse than pretending to be part of what you are not so I really felt sorry for the girl who was trying to pass up her Ankara as one of the others. She was even posing for pictures with the entire crew thereby making it obvious not only to the guests present but also everyone else who will eventually see the album, that she did not buy Aso-ebi!
Why do you think I was sitting all the way at the back girl?!
After relieving myself, I’ve made my way back to my table and Oh, that lovely lady, do you know she saved a plate for me?
I smile even more naturally at her as I thank her profusely but as I make to lift my fork, someone else quickly lifts the plate out of range.
All my hackles rise up instantly to take on the culprit only for Lovely Lady to explain that the food was for Couple No.3’s wife who had to go answer a call and by the way here was my purse.
Chai! Me and smiling, trust me now? I smiled graciously and collected my purse which had incidentally received some of the spilled wine. You simply cannot imagine my mortification because the militant expression on my face made it apparent to all present that I really needed that food, badly!
Lovely Lady lived up to her appellation though as she helped summon a nearby waiter. Thankfully, the couples had gone to give presents or dance or spray money on the bride and groom.
Just as I begin to wolf down my meal, I sight my ex with his gorgeous brand new girlfriend and my throat dries up instantly.
This is really not my day!