3 January 2016

Hafiz Adewuyi

2015 is gone; alas!

The reason I headed over to my blog today was to write something entirely different from a new year's note. However, when I opened the blog homepage, one of the first things I noticed was my blog archive (shows summary count of blog posts). 

Blog Archive; disappointing performance (18/38 or 47%).

In a flash, it dawned on me how I'd failed woefully at reaching my goal of twice the number of posts from 2014. Yes, I had set that goal quite early in the year. I even documented it but am unable to locate the post where I'd done that.

Anyway, I'll start with my rather poor excuse for falling so short of my target. Kindly allow me that privilege, even though I've learned there are no valid excuses. It's my job, my career. My work responsibilities have filled every waking slot of thinking time I've got since, say September? Yeah. That's my excuse. Take it, or leave it!

It goes without saying that there's been a lot of noteworthy experiences/events this year, which (by virtue of my shortfall) have gone unrecorded. So you can take this as my final attempt to salvage some of my lost dignity. Each following paragraph would have been a blog-post, but... shit happens.

In 2015,


After months on end of considering quitting my job, I finally mustered up all the conviction I needed to take the step. I tendered my resignation letter, and it seems there was something about it this time that made it come across as final. 

You should know that I'd previously tendered resignation, a couple of times before this and had somehow been persuaded to renege. But not this time. Perhaps, it something about the number 3. Or about the wording of my resignation letter. Or maybe it was just the simple fact that by my very conduct, it was clear that I was no longer with them in mind.

You will have to see me personally and do something akin to sticking a spoon down my throat to get more granular reasons for why I quit. But I like to summarize it as discontentment with my working condition on so many levels. Discontentment that was so much, I was willing to sacrifice my salaried income without a waiting job. I don't know, but I was 100% convinced, that having my free time to myself to focus on personal development activities was a better alternative to enduring what had become my daily work situation.

I TRIED TO SUCCEED (on my own)
Yes of course, I had a plan before quitting. A couple ideas for web applications I thought if I could completely implement, had the potential to add the following to me:

- Bragging rights of having built a working software solution, completely on my own;

- Improved programming skills

- Residual income

Somewhere along the line, I got lazy though. I was rather motivated for the first few weeks. But then, I caught the lazy flu and started spending most of my waking time on some rather unproductive activities. Cos of course, I had all of the time in the world on my hands. 

And I never recovered my initial momentum, especially when it became certain that I was going to get a new job before long. I was like, "hell! I'd better relax before the hell of the daily grind resumes once again".

Yes, I added on some degree of programming breadth in my three months of being unemployed. Of course, little, when you consider all the time I had on my hands. But still, there was something. 

So much for the other two endings I had in mind. You know as well as I do that an uncompleted project is a good as no project. Heck! It's damn hard to complete anything meaningful; even something as simple as this current blog post.

I GOT A JOB and a couple of other offers

Within my three unemployed months, I got three work offers:

- one contract based, with relocation and accommodation opportunity, even though, for a limited period;

- the other two full-time, each from a different Nigerian bank

I went with the last bank offer I got, not only because it had the highest price tag of all the options before me, but because I felt it provided the best platform of all to develop my career in the IT line. 

In hindsight now though, I think I should have gone for the contract-based job, and if not that, the initial bank job offer I got. Yes, I was not all that wrong about the environment of my current job having ample desirable learning opportunity for me. However, I never envisaged how much difficulty I'd have to surmount to learn the most basic of things in my new environment (i'd rather not expatiate on that here).

And then, I wasn't anticipating yet another experience that snuffs the living daylight out of me; everyday. One major reason I jumped ship on my last job was I thought it infringed too much on my personal development time, and non-commensurately so (if you know what I mean). Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine that this situation which I detest so much would become twice as worse in my new job. 

It just makes me feel really vulnerable and fed up when it becomes clear to me that I'm expected to hold my job (not my career cos' job != career as far as I'm concerned) as the most important thing in my life. This means:

- being ready to show up whenever your attention is needed, with no guarantee of commensurate compensation for the inconvenience;

- being ready to spend overtime virtually everyday, of course, with no extra pay. And of course, the employer more often than not has the justification that you have to do that because you're an under-performer

I get in before dawn, and I leave work when it's dark. The few times when I leave work 'early' (6 p.m.), the feel of the sun's residual warmth in the evening breeze is something that warms me up from the inside out. It's so bad, I feel like it's a privilege to close one hour later than the contractual closing time. Would someone be kind enough to show me the way out this mess, please? I'll trade job-time predictability over higher but non-commensurate financial reward any day.

All the time, I wonder if it's unrealistic of me to expect a decent job which sticks (more or less) to agreed work periods at this stage of my career. I personally am convinced that this is not true, but I'm not sure if the general situation in Nigeria is line with my conviction. Is overworking just a bug of the financial industry in which I'm unfortunate enough to find myself near the bottom of the ladder, or a trend in the Nigerian working landscape? Perhaps, a necessary consequence of the poor state of the country's economy, and which only a privileged few are able to escape.

For now, while I keep wondering, I work with knowledge of a newly learned fact: as a worker in the Nigerian financial industry, your time is not your own. Armed with this key knowledge, I'll ensure I factor in unpaid overtime into my next salary expectation before accepting any other job offer in the industry. And I'll have my valid points to back it up, when I get asked why I have such ridiculous expectations for a salary. 

God bless the writer of that article I read back then for giving me a good idea of what work-life balance should really be. Too many times, I find myself introspecting, "What are you even looking for?", when I consider how much abuse I make myself available for on a daily basis. It's as clear as the writing on the wall that there won't be any direct rewards that will compensate for all this lost time and dignity.

I almost got a car

It so happened that I narrowly missed the opportunity to own a Nigerian-used 2009 model Toyota Corolla, sometime in October/November 2015; at a pretty good bargain too, I must mention. At the last minute, just as I mustered up all the funds and was ready to pay, the seller decided they were too emotionally attached to their car to let it go *tears*. 

In a rather long while, I've not been as heartbroken as I got upon hearing this news. I hope I won't again anytime soon. Damn, I wish I could have cried but the tears just wouldn't agree to flow.

And then, again, as I was going to muster up enough funds to get my own brand-new car in the first quarter of 2016, I met the most frugal (and amazing) person ever yesterday who has all but convinced me that buying a new car is not a good decision, economically speaking. 

Can't wait to see what else this car-owning drama has in stock for me? Me too, just stay tuned!

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