How time flies! Just like that, it’s been SEVEN years? Who would’ve thought that he’d still be working at the same place in the Private Sector for Seven years, at a time people are more into moving to bigger things and challenges, many times for more pay and position, including visibility after shorter periods of allegiance to one company where one could never rise to be boss (well, except by killing the boss and taking over the firm), and to even consider that he’s got no plans to quit yet.
He didn’t fathom it either, infact after his second year, he had for the next three submitted applications at the beginning of the year in a bid to move on, and had been made an offer, in which he was to be among a set to be employed on contract to fill in the spaces abandoned by striking workers which the government intended to eventually fire, but he couldn’t bring himself to take up the offer, as he wouldn’t like to go through life as one who gained a job from backstabbing his colleagues, especially as the government parastatal didn’t consider him good enough for employment months before the time when he had applied for, and had attended written exams and interviews for the second time. He had also rejected an offer to strike out solo to become a competitor to the firm where he presently works, with some friends who were poised to provide funding while he joined to provide expertise. He had even armed himself with an MBA while at the job, in order (as he then thought) to seek greener pastures with it, only to think better of it and use his built capacity in other ways.
Now, many would think that the only reason he could be this loyal to a firm (a small firm for that matter, that could easily fold up on the demise of the owner, or just bankruptcy) was probably if he earns top dollar emolument or as with the pervasive corrupt culture in Nigeria, it was a place where he made much more from kickbacks than he could ever make from his salary, as is with some workers in the public (and sometimes private) sector where they manage to continue working for months while being owed salaries (they never depended on anyway), or where some will reject promotions from an office or position which allowed them leeway to corruptly enrich themselves to another “less juicy” one without loopholes to exploit, though with a raised salary and position. He’s not even married to the Boss’ daughter, neither has he attempted or attempting to have the boss ink his name to the last will and testament, to handle the firm at the formers’ demise by employing arse-kissing antics to endear himself to the boss (a no-nonsense, bootlick-hating but very understanding believer in the right of an employee to make mistakes and be softly but firmly corrected), as you would see in some Nollywood movies, and of course many times in life.
He had worked elsewhere before this, one where he spent a year and was never paid his full salary, with the proprietor coming up with one reason or the other, and another where the salary wasn’t what one could consider a living wage. At the time he got this one, he was desperate having been out of a job for close to six months (you would say he never really suffered looking for job, but he had infact worked another job without pay for a year) and had to call this would-be employer twice after the interview to find out if he had been considered for the job.
One thing this job provided him was a REST OF MIND that he hadn’t gotten anywhere else, though he couldn’t ba said to have garnered as much experience as those who had been in more places, including well established conglomerates and heavily staffed establishments, where coupled with the job’s demands was the exasperating office politics to play alongside. He never thought that working in a place with a staff strength of ten will also come with intrigues, but it did, and still does. He got entangled in webs spun by those who felt it is their destiny to live and die at the firm (mostly because they were very unemployable outside of the place) at the initial stages but he overcame their antics, and many times played the game to his advantage, even indulging discretely for a period of time in office romance that affected his work negatively, especially in periods of falling out, and positively in periods of “cool runnings”.
From the days of earning above subsistence pay, he got to a place where he could determine to some extent how much he would and could earn. And because his contributions gradually became invaluable he found that he couldn’t take the official leave of absence for considerable spells because he was more likely to be called back, therefore he resorted to having short spells of absence as the time allowed, especially when patronage is low.
If you asked him why he remains at a place for seven years without seemingly acquiring wealth, on a massive scale as would be incentive for many who do so at other organizations, to risk not being called a go-getter and an ambitious and adventurous person, he will draw your attention to the fact that the STABILITY that this job provided for him within the years he worked there and still working made him a man, from the “boy” that he was when he started, and in that time he had laid the foundation of almost every aspect of his life, and still building. He doubts that this view will change if according to circumstances, he has to leave the job tomorrow on an acrimonious note.
For now, he is content with the contribution the job has made to his life, he knows that the challenges ahead remain enormous and in the years to come he will ultimately have to make that decision to chart a path different from the one he’s on now, but how and when it will be will depend largely on what he does now, and the attitude and renewed vigour he will employ into his work, so that when it is time to move on he will be more equipped to weather the storm of going solo.
Yes, that is what it’s become, as he couldn’t now fathom seeking salaried jobs, but he doubts he his strong enough to strike out now. His intention for doing an MBA was to seek jobs with higher pay, but at the end of it, it occurred to him to rather be a job provider than a seeker, and once he had the space and funds saved up, he gradually moved into it while keeping his day job. What he must do now is well cut out for him, and he’s sparing no opportunity to enlarge his coast until such a time it becomes imperative to cut the umbilical cord with this place he’d grown to love in these Sabbath of years, for the sake of his weekly SABBATH, which going solo will provide him the opportunity to observe to it’s fullest extent, the inability of which at present remain his one and only regret.
The path he’s now charting is such that if all things go according to plan, becoming a competitor to his present firm, will only become the option of last resort, and probably because of the overt love he has for what he does, especially seeing that it has afforded him much. He may also decide to consult at his leisure at these places springing up by those courageous to have struck out while he decided to stay put, so as not just to have the skills gained over the years simply go down the drain, while spending most of his time tending to the “plants” he’s painstakingly sown over the years.
Delightfully, he can think the way he does now, because of the enlightenment and illumination working at his job these seven years has afforded him, and he’s grateful for that, above all the incentives (which is even more otherwise, than financial). This is why this Sabbath calls for celebration (in Judaism if he made seven of such Sabbaths either at his job or profession, the next year – the fiftieth will be declared a JUBILEE), but true to his nature he wouldn’t be breaking bread over this milestone, rather it will all be in his head, while the changes that must be made will be on ground. The past seven years were some of the most memorable of his life, he hopes the next seven, with (or without) this job will surpass it, only time will tell.