Saturday, 9 February 2008
I. Thou Shalt Have No Other Life Beside Work
II. Thou Shalt Not Download Any Craven Images
III. Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of The Manager Thy God in Vain
IV. Remember the Sabbath Day to Work and Keep it Holy
V. Honor Thy Punctuality and Confidentiality Agreements
VI. Thou Shalt Not Kill Time
VII. Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery On Office Furniture or Equipment
VIII. Thou Shalt Not Steal Thy Employer's Yellow Sticky-Notes
IX. Thou Shalt Not Wantonly Xerox Thy Posterior
X. Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Cubicle, Nor His Stapler, Nor His Three-Hole Punch
FOURTH-WEEK… Oh la la…Pay-day approaches! The first day dragged on like one over-bloated dragon breathing smoke instead of fire. Yet, it sure dragged over and became yesterday. Day-two was tough and tempting…Third-day was ok. Pay-day appeared very much on the horizon. I was in total ecstasy, body and soul. Then my cell phone rang… “Y’hellooo!” I responded. “Hey, smart guy…” the voice began. “Who you?” I asked. “It’s Phoebe. Am coming down to your office tomorrow!” First, I was enraged. Then confused…what adjectives could I use? My vocab failed me. I had flung my cell phone-o mercy! It landed safely in a bin. “It wasn’t me. It wasn’t me. Phoebe-it wasn’t me!” I said sobbing. And tomorrow arrived…. Phoebe would soon arrive. I was stone confused. But, who is this pest pestering my life? God knew I did not know… 6p.m., ready to go home. Phoebe never showed up. Indeed, she called the wrong number. Back home. “Hey, kaabo-bawo ni office?” “Where’s the bullion van that brought you home?” “Is it Ghana-must-go-bag that you used?” “Pleasssse, can everyone just relax-what’s happening?” “Wey ya salary?” my little nephew finally asked. Salary? Could you believe-I forgot to collect my first salary ever in life! A month has just ended…but, the future lies ahead….
THIRD-WEEK…Home-front has begun to fade out. More time now spent in the office. I was privileged to be drafted into the organization’s editorial board. There were articles to write and submit. I tried hard- very very hard to put pen to paper. Nothing surfaced. I scratched my big contorted fragile head the very way a fowl would scratch a clean concrete floor for bits to peck- how futile! O is this my first fumble for Grand Dome? I hope sey I no go lose my job for this. I began to say a silent prayer: Holy Father, begotten Son, take this cup from me- I no fit drink wetin dey inside!” “Wetin dey inside-olodo”, a voice boomed. “No be mass comm. you read? Drink am- and be ready for more.” I began to whine: “unholy Satan, why hath thou cometh here to look for me- dem send you? Get thee behind me, now now”. It was a tough moment. My entire system was in feverish disarray. I had to go unwind in the gents. Oh why! Why has everyone forsaken me? Thursday - Saturday. I began facing reality- the present reality-more than ever before. I was getting involved fully…how inspiring to work with loving, hardworking colleagues. Yahoo!... “Hello?” I picked up my phone saying. “Bawo ni dear?” Asked the voice at the other end. ”Who’s speaking please?” “Phoebe lo nsoro…” “Phoebe?” “Why are you sounding like Thomas,” she retorted. “I just want to tell you…it has happened o!” “What?” “Ti e serious fun one minute jo…am pregnant for you!” she gleefully announced. “Wrong number!” I ended the call. Imagine, how could I impregnate someone I have never met before - my brother, tell me.
SECOND-WEEK…Sunday. My folks were calling me on the phone from everywhere: “Junior, congrats. You have done it again!” “Ah Jay-I thank God for you o!” “Ol’ boy, you are always the man- just believe…gbabe!” The calls came in different shapes; from the sublime to the ridiculous. “Don’t you think our friendship should blossom this season”, Aisha suggested. “My man, better get down with one slim-shady or is it slim-lady!” said Titi. “Ah Jay, this is the time to enjoy what you sorely missed on campus and in camp. Am sure you’ve got pretty birds in there-your office men!” Jide advised. Oops! Where did these crazy folks drop from? I was still wondering when another voice popped up from phone: “Congrats! Big boy - Jay, don’t forget to send me MTN 3000 Naira recharge card. And here’s my bank account …sweet day!” What on earth is happening? Monday. I got to office with more confidence than anxiety. Last week during my attachment I learnt about some high-sounding words like: fluoroscopy, angiography, accuson sequoia, sonoline g-20 and the list was endless. It was a moment of learning new things. Tuesday - Saturday. I was still learning the nitty-gritty of my employer’s awesome organization. All the employees are understanding, friendly, patient and hardworking. The smiles on their faces reassured me that: I can…Now I felt gusto of ease surrounding me. When Duke, my good pal visited my workplace- Grand Dome Place-, he was overwhelmed by what he saw. “Wow! It is a delightful aesthetics’ masterpiece”. “Junior, I love this place!” Duke said.” You are pretty fortunate. First job- fine place!” He paused for what seemed like eternity and asked: “Can I stay here forever!?” I looked at him in surprise; he sure knew he could not. How I wish he could! I thanked him for coming. Or what can I do without you well-wishers out there- praying, fasting and fantasizing on my behalf? “But,” he said as he was leaving, “don’t forget your guys o!” What a Parthian shot….
FIRST-WEEK…, “It’s 5 o’clock, dear!” My mom announced. She switched on the light in my room and left. “Oh, no!” I muttered, rolling off the bed. “Omo wase, omo rise!” Ayo, my younger sister sang from her room opposite mine. “Wait till I get my first salary…” I replied. In no time, I was in and out of the bathroom. What to wear? Black suit, white shirt is formal. It took me ages to get dressed. “Let’s say a prayer before you go”, dad said. Everyone was excited: Junior is starting his first job….As I stepped out; all the confidence in the universe deserted me. Anxiety suddenly became my companion. Soon I was lost in the throng of some faceless majority- hustling and bustling. And I hated Lagos again for the uncountableth (sic) time. “Mr. Ben Tiwa, jnr?” Yes, no other birds are the hawk- I nodded in the affirmative. ”Please, come with me”, the well-structured feminine figure said. Without querying her, I followed like a lamb being led to the slaughter. Who wouldn’t? “Welcome to our Organization…” a sonorous voice announced after taking me on a guided tour of the company’s facility. “Thank you. It’s a pretty place,” I said. “The faces I saw are lovely too!” “Come see your office…” the voice requested like the voice of a kindred spirit. From the 6th floor, we soon arrived on the 1st floor- my domain. “So have a nice day ahead!” she said and shut the door. I was now alone- with question and exclamation marks hanging over my head-in my first office ever…Suddenly, I began sweating profusely in the air-conditioned office. Has work already started? This is just the first day-can’t they see? I pondered sheepishly. Soon I was placed on attachment to get acquainted with the organization’s six companies. It was an inspiring exploration…
Cigarette : A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper
with fire at one end & a fool at the other.
Marriage : It's an agreement in which a man loses
his bachelor degree and a woman gains her master
Lecture : An art of transferring information from the
notes of the lecturer to the notes of the students
without passing through "the minds of either".
Conference : The confusion of one man multiplied by
the number present.
Compromise : The art of dividing a cake in such a
way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.
Tears : The hydraulic force by which masculine
will-power is defeated by feminine water-power ..
Dictionary : A place where divorce comes before
Conference Room : A place where everybody talks,
nobody listens & everybody disagrees later on.
Ecstasy : A feeling when you feel you are going
to feel a feeling you have never felt before.
Classic : A book which people praise, but do not read.
Smile : A curve that can set a lot of things straight.
Office : A place where you can relax after your
strenuous home life.
Etc. : A sign to make others believe that you know
more than you actually do.
Committee: Individuals who can do nothing individually
and sit to decide that nothing can be done together.
Experience : The name men give to their mistakes.
Atom Bomb: An invention to end all inventions.
Philosopher : A fool who torments himself during
life, to be spoken of when dead.
Diplomat : A person who tells you to go to hell in
such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.
Opportunist : A person who starts taking bath if he
accidentally falls into a river.
Optimist : A person who while falling from Eiffel
Tower says in midway "See I am not injured yet."
Pessimist :- A person who says that O is the last
letter in ZERO, Instead of the first letter in word
Miser : A person who lives poor so that he can die
Father : A banker provided by nature.
Criminal : A guy no different from the rest...except
that he got caught.
Boss : Someone who is early when you are late and
late when you are early.
Politician : One who shakes your hand before
elections and your Confidence after.
Doctor : A person who kills your ills by pills,and
kills you with his bills.
Computer Engineer : One who gets paid for reading
Four friends, who hadn't seen each other in 30 years, reunited at a party. After several drinks, one of the men had to use the rest room. Those who remained talked about their kids. The first guy said, "My son is my pride and joy. He started working at a successful company at the bottom of the barrel. He studied Economics and Business Administration and soon began to climb the corporate ladder and now he's the president of the company. He became so rich that he gave his best friend a top of the line Mercedes for his birthday."
The second guy said, "Darn, that's terrific! My son is also my pride and joy. He started working for a big airline, then went to flight school to become a pilot. Eventually he became a partner in the company, where he owns the majority of its assets. He's so rich that he gave his best friend a brand new jet for his birthday."
The third man said: "Well, that’s terrific! My son studied in the best universities and became an engineer. Then he started his own construction company and is now a multimillionaire. He also gave away something very nice and expensive to his best friend for his birthday: A 30,000 square foot mansion."
The three friends congratulated each other just as the fourth returned from the restroom and asked: "What are all the congratulations for?" One of the three said: "We were talking about the pride we feel for the successes of our sons. ...What about your son?"
The fourth man replied: "My son is gay and makes a living dancing as a stripper at a nightclub." The three friends said: "What a shame...what a disappointment." The fourth man replied: "No, I'm not ashamed. He's my son and I love him. And he hasn't done too bad either. His birthday was two weeks ago, and he received a beautiful 30,000 square foot mansion, a brand new jet and a top of the line Mercedes from his three boyfriends."
Kudos to the paltry 14% of us who keep New Year's resolutions. The vast majority -- a full 86% -- go right back to our counterproductive ways as it relates to personal health, careers, relationships, and otherwise. Forgo the ever popular New Year's resolution to lose weight and, instead, commit to avoiding a simple list of career-killers that so often result in hearing the feared words, "You're fired," again and again in the course of a career.
Avoiding these seven deadly sins will also help individuals balance their "whole life" and assure they are ready to take on new workplace challenges as they are presented -- and execute them well.
Peter Drucker, the famed management author, guru, and teacher said it best: "Lifting a person's vision to higher sights, is the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard." Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes.
Deadly Workplace Sins
At least seven "deadly workplace sins" detail key emotional offenses professionals should avoid at all costs to better assure upward career mobility. A few common sense tips will help aspiring pros get on the path to the ever-elusive paycheck promise land.
First, there's pride. Far too many who experience "workplace wins" take full credit for these achievements, regardless of any support or assistance received in the process. What often goes unrecognized is that people around, and especially below, the serially solo-successful resent the egocentricity, and may actually begin to actively undermine that person's efforts in the future. While one's pride wants all due recognition, a team philosophy can build the grass-roots support that can fast-track a career. Indeed, a dose of acknowledgment of and appreciation for one's peers and subordinates, so they may share in some of the glory, can go a long way to foster one's long-term success.
Moreover, while it's OK to recognize other individuals or organizations as they achieve, lamenting "what should have been yours" can be destructive and can adversely impact your own ability to focus on the job tasks at hand. Becoming envious of others in the workplace can sabotage your self esteem, which is one vital characteristic of every successful worker or executive. Rather than being envious, let the accomplishments of others become motivational fuel for your fire in working toward your own successes.
Anger is another motion that needs to be held in check. Begetting nothing but disagreement, dispute, tension or conflict, anger provides no benefit in the workplace. There is simply nothing productive about anger, which impairs one's objectivity, poise and self control. Don't let a bout of righteousness damage your reputation and image in the workplace. It's fine to feel passionately about your job or a project at hand and to disagree with others, but learn how to channel those emotions into actions that will work to your benefit in the eyes of others -- especially your superiors -- rather than against it. Those prone to angry outbursts rarely get promoted; they are seen as being poor leaders who cannot inspire or motivate others.
One's selfish desire for "more, sooner" is what motivates many in the Western culture to achieve their career goals. But taking this notion to the extreme can and will be self defeating as core values become misguided and life becomes unbalanced in the process. The road to success requires a long term approach in all aspects of one's job duties. Those laser-focused on quick, short-term gains may do well for the moment, but will be ill-prepared to take things to the next level.
At the other end of the spectrum, sloth, or simply put, complacency and laziness have no place whatsoever in the workplace -- especially for those with high aspirations. Expecting one's past achievements and successes to carry them forward in their long-term career is imprudent. Today's uber-competitive global marketplace ensures that only those who continue to grow, evolve and make fresh contributions of value will succeed. In a global environment where outsourcing is becoming a norm, everyone at all levels of the employment "food chain" is now replaceable. So treat every work day and every project as if your job, and your future at large, depends on it. It very well may.
Many individuals move up the corporate ladder so fast that they actually end up failing as a consequence. More isn't always better -- especially if you're not ready for the challenge at hand. It's important to ensure that you are not only professionally ready to take on a new and bigger challenge, for which expectations are equally bigger, but also that your personal life is ready for the new demands and strains to be placed upon it. Achieving career success also includes maintaining a life balance, and a misplaced professional desire can create a backlash both at home as well as amid peers for your perceived obsessiveness.
At times this can spill over to lust. An overly intense desire for what others have achieved at work, or being chronically dissatisfied with one's own status, is a surefire career killer. Spending an inordinate amount of time fixated on what you don't have rather than what you do will foster a bad attitude and negative overall demeanor.
Above all, one's overall "presence" in the office plays a big part in who gets promoted and who doesn't. No matter how ambitious, it's prudent to be present and make the most out of your current position at this moment in time. Organizations recognize and reward those with a good attitude who make the most of a situation. Winners recognize other's success with sportsmanlike conduct, while at the same time exhibiting an air of confidence that they, and their team, will realize their own great achievements.
John McKee, founder and president of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, is the author of "Career Wisdom - 101 Proven Strategies to Ensure Workplace Success" and "21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot."
A man traveling by plane was in urgent need of a restroom facility. But each time he tried, it was occupied. The flight attendant, aware of his predicament, suggested he use the attendant's ladies room, but cautioned him not to press any of the buttons. There next to the paper roll were four buttons marked: WW WA PP ATR.
Making the mistake soooo many men make of not listening to a woman, he disregarded what she said when his curiosity got the best of him. He carefully pressed the WW button and immediately a gentle flush of Warm Water sprayed on his bare bottom. He thought "Wow" these gals really have it nice!!
So a little more boldly he pressed the WA button and body temperature Warm Air blew across his wet bottom and dried it comfortably.
"Aha" he thought, "no wonder these women take so long in the bathroom with these kinds of services!"
So he pushed the next button PP with anticipation. A soft disposable Powder Puff swung below him and dusted his bottom lightly with talc.
"Man, this is great," he thought as he reached out for the ATR button. When he awoke in the hospital, the morphine was just wearing off...confused he buzzed the nurse to find out what happened.
He explained the last thing he remembered was intense pain in the ladies room on the plane. The nurse explained, "Yes, you must have been having a great time until you pushed the Automatic Tampon Removal button." *******
A husband and wife entered the dentist's office. The husband said, "I want a tooth pulled. I don't want gas or Novocain because I'm in a terrible rush. Just pull the tooth as quickly as possible."
"You're a brave man," said the dentist. "Now, show me which tooth it is."
The husband turns to his wife and says, "Open your mouth and show the dentist which tooth it is, dear." *******
Doctor: I have some bad news and some very bad news.
Patient: Well, might as well give me the bad news first.
Doctor: The lab called with your test results. They said you have 24 hours to live.
Patient: 24 HOURS! That’s terrible!! WHAT could be WORSE? What's the very bad news?
Doctor: I've been trying to reach you since yesterday. ******
A man walks into a doctor's office. He has a cucumber up his nose, a carrot in his left ear and a banana in his right ear.
"What's the matter with me?" he asks the doctor.
The doctor replies, "You're not eating properly."******
Dazed, he just stood still like a mosquito transfixed by RAID insecticide that “kills insects DEAD”. The trained, strong hand of the cop positioned the gun between his eyes. The end had come. The muscles in the man’s hand were taut. The pellets of death gathered in attention waiting for his cold finger to send them on death’s errand. The pellets were cold and wanted to be fired into some warm blood. Ozi did not give up in his mind. He left everything for providence. Handy pulled the trigger…
Ozi Francis slumped.
“…the violent shooting of the young brilliant writer of The Conscience newspaper has continued to generate interest, rage and bizarre revelations. In the eye of the storm are the Police High Command and their goons. The suspect of the violent shooting who has been on the lam for five days was finally apprehended trying to cross the Lagos-Seme border. But his capture was not achieved by the Police Force, it was done by a local ethnic vigilance group known as Odd – a vigilance group that is notorious for violent justice…” the famous ETV news caster, Jide Mobor, reported. “Don’t go away as we give you more update of this celebrated shooting incident. Now we take a break.”
Funki groaned mournfully in his seat as he stared into the TV set. His eyes were red with tears as he kept muttering “twenty kids, twenty years…twenty children, twenty years”. Sometimes he would jump out of his seat and let out a shriek. He was weeping uncontrollably, a man distraught and inconsolable. “Tell me this is not happening. Wake me up, it’s a nightmare!” Even with dark glasses on, he could not hide his mournful state. He was like a woman violated and left alone to face her humiliation. His body heaved under intense sobbing. From time to time he had to clear the mucus dripping from his nostrils with his kerchief. Sometimes he behaved like a man possessed uttering unintelligible words.
“Please, tell him to stop writing. Policemen are coming! Tell him to stop o!” he would rant. “Ah-ah, that man has a gun…please, don’t shoot Ozi. He writes very well. He loves only pen and ink. Not gun and blood…olopa, abeg sir!” Then he would say again: “Ssshhh…Eyi’s sleeping. No noise. Nobody wakes him now. Listen to the rustle of papers…he’s not sleeping on a mattress; he has plenty of papers to sleep on!”
He became silent again as soon as the news caster appeared on the screen again:
“…the Odd vigilance group has told the government authorities in plain language that Handy was their ‘sheep’ and they will ‘shepherd’ him accordingly with their ‘rod’ of justice. When our reporter asked the Odd spokesperson what they meant he said: ‘Soul for Soul’. The group warned that the authorities should not interfere. However, the group charged the government to deal decisively with the likes of Handy in the force. Warning the authorities if they failed to do that on time they will take the laws into their hands.
“Still on the violent shooting, rumours have been rife that Ozi Francis, the shot journalist, is still alive. One of his close associates, Funki, a celebrated journalist and an activist, said on the night of Ozi’s shooting the SSS took away the body to an unknown destination. Claiming that since then no one has seen the remains of the shot journalist. As the day goes by, more dusts are being gathered rather than settled. Even government agencies having oversight of Crime and Security have pointing accusing fingers of complicities against one another….
“Once again, the nation is the focus of the world, not for good but for evil. There is a strong outcry of condemnation, to the point that a famous international human rights activist called the nation’s Police system ‘an abattoir of inhumanity’. The nation’s president is under intense pressure. The IG has been fired. Other heads are rolling. Pockets of riots are reported in some areas. There are bonfires on many streets,” Jide Mobor, the news caster, informed her news-starved viewers.