Monday, May 27, 2013

A changing ME- The office

So after my session with my coach, David, I realized that I had set off my career on a wrong foot. In fact at the end of the session, I wished I had heard all that he said in my earlier days. But the truth is I probably would have heard, but never thought it was important.

Please don't ask me what I learnt because right now, I have forgotten, but one decision I made yesterday was to change my sitting position in the office this is so i could dedicate more time to office work instead of always face-booking and twitting and blogging (just like I'm doing now). That is what I learnt. Yes! Adding value to the company! With his help, I arrived at some ways I could add value to the company.

My former self (I pray I never return to her) would just feel bitter inside because, I feel I'm not earning what I deserve, that anger and bitterness of course will affect my output, because, I'm going to exhibit a nonchalant attitude to work, and you know, employers see all these, why then should they bother increasing my pay? When all they think of is profit, and I'm not playing any creative part in the whole process?

Dear Lord, give me the grace to be an assets to the company and not a liability  Please, let me be one, that when I ask for an increase, they increase, in short someone that is almost indispensable to the company.. Amen.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Going Natural.

I really can't remember the last time I used relaxers on my hair, But I remember wanting to lock (artificial) my hair for the Christmas last year 2012. I ended up not locking it anyway, can't remember the reason, probably, my hair wasn't due enough to rock the hair style. Anyway, I'll assume, the last time I retouched was in September 2012. This is because, I bought the attachment I intended to use for Christmas  way before the season (cos of the usual outrageous increase in prices prevalent within that period). Funny enough, I got the wrong attachment for the dread lock, instead the one I got was for Kinky braids. In January when I thought my hair was due enough to be locked, I went to the salon, that was when I discovered my mistake. I however still went ahead with the kinky. Before this though, I met, a Naturalista at a religious function, and told her about my intention of locking. She however advised me not to lock, but rather, just go natural, so that I can be at liberty to play more with the hair. I reasoned with her. So on January 15th 2014, I made, my kinky braids and loved it. 

Below is a picture, immediately after I made the hair.

The following is me rocking the hair at work

I did the Kinky thing for the second consecutive time, this time wasn't as nice as the first, because I used the same attachment. The first I carried for two month, The second for a month. Then I did the Ghana weave of my previous post

I took off this Ghana weave on Saturday morning. Washed my hair  myself on Saturday night. While conditioning, I grabbed a scissors and started trimming the relaxed ends, not the tiny trim I normally do, but large chunk of hair. I guess I just couldn't wait to rock just my natural hair, Was already tired of the transitioning thingy,

Anyways, I ended up with this



Finally, After trying out how I would wear the hair to work, I settled with this.

...and Yes, I got lots of complements and stares. lol

Natural hair Rocks baby!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ghana Weaves and Natural hair

Over a week ago, May 1st to be precise, I went to the hair salon to make myself a nice braid.  I settled for the Ghana Weave, "shuku" style. Actually, this hair was in preparation for an interview I had the coming Friday (Will gist you more about it here).

I went there with my own Xpression attachment, after negotiation, I was billed Two thousands Naira (N2000). The hair took me an average of three hours with one person doing the actual Ghana weave and another working on the ends. 

Shuku Ghana Weaving.
Tomorrow will make it two weeks since I made this braids. It's pretty rough at the front for a hairdo this old. Though the ends are still neat and can go another two weeks, but the front is crying "Take me off!!". Yes, I will take you off by weekend !!(That's me crying back to the hair, to please arrange herself till weekend, when I'll take her off).

My conclusion is just that, natural hair and Ghana weaves, really don't go together, that is if you intend rocking the hair for a long while.

Kinky rules!

The interview.

If you've been following my blog, I'm sure I would have numerously stated  how poorly paid I am. Well I got an opportunity to improve it and what did I do?

...How it all started....

About two years ago, when I was still with my former employer - Spacetime Consultants, I supervised some Diamond bank projects. One was in Abakaliki and another at Nnewi. Anyway, I left that office before the jobs were completed (later found out that they were never completed.) 

While handling those project, I had the opportunity to correspond with some staff of the Diamond bank  (They represent the client). There was this particular one, I'll call him SU, who was the client's rep in the south eastern zone. So he was the one I was in contact with most of the time.

When I left to my present work place, I heard from a former colleague that Diamond bank too had relocated their Property Department from VI to Lagos Island, somewhere not far from my office building. 

Some weeks later, at the canteen I go to have lunch (with a colleague of mine), I met, this SU, We exchanged pleasantries and all. He paid for my lunch that afternoon. I met him  two more times or thereabout till I stopped going there for lunch- I had discovered a new eatery, that is if I didn't bring my own meal.

The story continues...

I still do go for  Morning mass at the cathedral sometimes. There is this chap I know who goes there too. He went to my university, actually he dated a friend of mine, and he works with Diamond bank-I saw him there those time I went to Diamond bank "years" ago. On this particular day, we left the church the same time-we rarely do cos he usually stays behind to say extra prayers, So while chatting, I asked after colleagues of his who I knew, that was when I found out that SU was no longer with the Bank. I learnt he was now into construction on his own. 

I always had his contact on my phone, so I gave him a call, actually to advertise my interest in getting little jobs from him. Somehow, I can't remember how I said it , but I asked if I could replace him at the bank (I was actually cracking a joke) but he told me to give it a try, that the bank actually needed more hands. He told me who to contact at the office and off I went with my CV.

I'll call the new contact person CY. When I got to the head office, after waiting a while I was ushered in to see him. He was a nice guy and we chatted and he told me that I had to come back to see his boss, who was leaving that day on a two weeks vacation. Two weeks later, I came back and still the boss was not back. I tried again and was in luck. I met him-another nice chap and he directed me to CY for a small interview (earlier CY had warned me not to act like I had met him before, he gave his reasons though). So CY just chatted, nothing like an interview but he told me, I'll be called back for the main interview. He said it might be weeks, it might be months but I'll be called. Although he told me that if I didn't hear anything in two week, I should come back and see his boss. Two weeks later, I came back to see the boss, cos I had not heard from them, the boss told me not to worry, that he had not forgotten me. I asked for his contact number or email but he refused to give it to me, telling me not to worry.

Weeks later on the 29th of April, I got an SMS from the bank calling me for an interview.

"INTERVIEW INVITE- 3/5/13, DB Training Center. 
161D, Raufu Taylor Close, Off Idejo Street, VI, Lagos. 
Pls come with 4CVs, originals&copies of birth cert, O'Level Cert,Degree cert and NYSC cert."

The time was later moved to 11:30am.

I immediately sent CY an SMS telling him that I had been called and asking what to expect on the day. He replied that I should just do my best and everything will be fine.

On the 30th of May, during lunch break, I went in search of a befitting dress for the interview found one but when I tried it at home, I realized it was too short to be decent, so I had to call up the shop and asked if I could exchange. Thankfully, they agreed. The following day 1st of May, when we had a public holiday, I went to exchange the dress for a more decent one and also to purchase a shoe, also got hair extensions because the kinky braids I was on was too old and not-too-presentable. 

While all this was going on, my Aunt who I stayed with at Lakowe, after Ajah, was suppose to be entering the theater for a CS operation. Somehow, she told me not to bother coming that day which afforded me time to do all this running around for my interview. So When I came back from the market,  I later went to the hair salon, made my braids and I believed I was ready for the interview on Friday.

(Thursday My aunt called me that she had been delivered of twins and i could come, I left the office and went over, stayed a while and returned to the office because, I would be taking the next day off from work)

On the Friday  I skipped work, No excuses taken either. While dressing, I was in consultation with my Sis, via Whatsapp, till I thought I was good to go. I got a cab to take me there.

When I arrive the venue and opened the entrance door, behold, I was not the only one who had an interview that day. Mine though was special because others were there for the second phases of their interviews and this was my first time. I waited a long while till finally it got to my turn.

When the door was opened, guess who I saw? CY himself and some others. I sorta lost my confidence then. I guess I was too tensed cos I did not want to disappoint him but disappoint him I did. Even from the onset, because the first question I even failed.

I was asked if I knew the position I was applying for and I said I didn't. Honestly I knew it was in the property unit, but the exact position, I didn't know. CY spoke up for me, and said she's my candidate. One other guy asked me why i should be hired and I began blabbing. CY, trying to help me save face, asked some easier questions but I still answered wrongly. Gosh!

Finally the guy who asked why I could be hire came out straight with me that, he was just doing me a favour  because he thinks I'm smart and intelligent, he suggested I entered the bank through the aptitude test instead of going through what I was doing now because he thinks I don't have the experience this particular job required. I tried to tell them that three years experience was good enough but they insisted that, even if it was good enough, that I didn't display it during the interview. God! I was beaten.

Couple of days later I got this SMS

"Sequel to your recent interview with Diamond Bank, we regret to inform you that you were not successful. Thank you for your interest in Diamond Bank. Regards"

That's my sad story. It didn't end here though, it got better. Catchya later, my hand hurts from typing.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I finally moved out of my Aunt's place.

Hey peeps, I eventually made the move I'd wished for so long. I tried so hard not to whine about it here on my blog, but it was something that really made me depressed. The journey from my Aunt's place to work and back everyday was not something I would even wish my enemies.

Remember, the other Aunt i stayed with in gbagada, the one whose house I ran away from, anyways, I went to visit her when we got talking. She asked me about the house search I embarked on some time ago. I told her the search was stalled because, my brother who I was to live with travelled out and beside, the money burgrtted for it has been spent on something else. She sorta suggested, since she would be moving to her own house, that I could raise the rent for her present place and take over it after she moveed. This idea was beyond fantastic. I was overwhelmed with joy, because Gbagada is a place aftr my heart. There was a dbig BUT. FUNDS! How was I to raise Three hundred thousand Naira in a few weeks, when all the money I make is virtually spent on transport and lunch? So I allowed it slid and tried to forget about everything, making up my mind to endure the transport stress till I enter my husband's house.

One fateful day, while communicating with my Sister, i told her about the proposition of my aunt, and she told me not to alow the opportunity slid but to take it. I explained to her that I didn't want to go around borrowing money from peole to pay and she was like, there was no big deal, but those who really mean well for me would give me a helping hand. I still let it slid

another day, I met with my friend and life coach and told him about everything and he too told me to go for it. Afterall this was like the first step to the better life I had always dreamt of.  After this episode, I summoned the courage and composed a text to send to people I call my friends and those I believed were doing well in general.

"Hi dear. Good Morning. Pls I'm in dere need of fund to help me complete payment for a decent accommodation I found closer to my place of work. It is for 300k, but I've raised only 150 and the arrangement requiresme to raise the cash this february. so I humbly ask yu for a loan of whatever you think you can spare to assist me. I hope to be able to pay back in 4 months. Thanks. Will call you back to get your response"

Above is the text I sent out. Most of them told me later, after I had raised the money that they thought it was a spam message. Some said they had some project at hand so wouldn't be able to spare. Some never responded, didn't even pick when I called. Anyways to cut a very long story short, I raised the cash.

My darling Friend Maureen, She's one in a billion, raised me One hundred and fifty thousand, Another friend, Chinwe raised me Fifty thousand, my dear Dad, raised me another 50. The story with my dad is another one that depressed me so much. When I told him i needed 300 thousand, if he could loan me, he was in summary disappointed that i could after years of working still be asking him for money, when I should have started being responsible for my younger ones. Somehow, i was angry that he thought that way, did he think I had the money and didn't want to help out? I was really angry with him then. Forgiven him and myself though.

I raised the money, my boyfriend delayed me in paying it to my Aunt, he said I should pray about it before going further.

Anyways, after the prayer and fasting, I paid her the money, she gave it to the agent two days later. be continued