I have been soooo bad about updating the diary and I sincerely apologize about that. Feel free to discuss my punishment and we can put it into effect. I have just had the craziest block when it comes to updating on what’s going on with service and maybe we can explore why as I write this entry. It’s been over 2 months since I updated and a lot of things have happened in that time. I have been moved to the bank’s regional office in Abuja as a PA to the regional manager. I really really REALLY hated it at first and now it has been downgraded to just hating it. First day I arrived, I waited for the boss to arrive as he was not on time and my goody-two-shoes self had struck once again and made me arrive at my new place of work as early as 7:30am. He eventually sauntered in around 9am (it rocks to be big boss na) and welcomed me. He told me where I would be stationed (I have my own mini cubicle – nice) and told the outgoing Batch A corps member to orient me as to what I would be doing and what my duties would be. So basically I have been moved from doing teller job and meeting with customers and such and I am now in an office, in front of computer and a phone doing secretarial duties (kinda hate that btw).
The first week went by in a blur since the batch A corps member was there and I was just learning the ropes. That meant I just came in and sat in front of him and did the bare minimum. Unfortunately, he left after the first week and just chilled until they actually passed out and I got the reins. The cool thing about my job is that being in the regional office gave me access to communicate with all the branches and get to meet and know more people. Also the regional office is in a building which has a branch in it as well as other operational offices and such so there are more people around than would be if I were just in a branch on its own. It took a while to get used to the place and the people. The first month, I was always online reading blogs, updated on some really good ones and that was all I did with my time. For someone who is used to always being active, this really sucked! I started talking about it though and people in other departments heard my complaints and so they told me I was free to come to their departments and see what they do there so I tend to go to other departments and check out what they are doing and such. I also go to the branch on the ground floor and continue to learn the ropes and help with operational stuff. I also get more leeway with going out and such, as long as I have done the work I am given, I can go out with the bankers on sales and account openings. This allows me to interact with people and that’s something I missed about being in the bank. It is now over 2 months that I have been here. I know the ropes, know the people and know the work relatively well. I am basically a jack of all trades and I love it because it helps me learn just about everything about running a branch but also seeing the backstage stuff that occurs before the bank can run smoothly.
My schedule is rather erratic. There could be days where I would do absolutely nothing, just sit in front of a computer and peruse available websites and blogs (all the good ones are blocked – even yahoomail and gmail no gree enter). Then there are days where I barely remember to eat (until my stomach screams that is). There is some sort of sense to it I guess. The beginning and end of every month is very madly busy as we have to compile many reports and send them to the head offices, as well as prepare for trainings and meetings where some of the reports would be broken down and analyzed and new sets of instructions given to us to relay to the branches. As PA to the regional manager, I get to attend all these meetings and it is pretty cool getting to see all these big Whigs in their element and also getting to go to trainings I usually wouldn’t even see the inside of and learning many things it would have taken me years to learn normally. But the disadvantages of those times are that I am usually doing ten things at a time and there is still stuff waiting to be done. Also, I am usually in the office till way late. There was a week where the earliest I went home was 8pm and I was in the bank till almost 10pm once. I wanted to curse my boss to the lowest hell that day!
On March 28th, Mr. Aribaba wrote an article about hypocrisy, focusing on married men having affairs smack dab in front of everyone and not keeping it hidden, it was a well timed article, coming right after I had just insulted one of my co-workers who basically propositioned me outright! The thing about this branch is that the people who told me that the biggest whores are in this branch knew what they were talking about. Almost every guy here is always running after the ladies, married or not. They have the ring very obviously on their fingers and they don’t hesitate to ask you out for drinks and such. Of course, no issues with going to drinks with co-workers and I have gone before when it was a big group of us but when it is just you and I, and you are asking me to come for drinks with you at Transcorp Hilton, and to go clubbing with you afterwards and when I ask about your wife, you tell me that I should not worry because she is in UK and what she doesn’t know won’t hurt you, I know that it is time to run away from you. The guy now had the guts to ask why I was running away from him and that all he wants is to show me a good time. How else can I tactfully tell you I don’t roll that way (they don’t understand tact unfortunately so sometimes, you gotta spell it out outright). Unfortunately, many of the ladies at the bank DO roll that way. The sad part of the thing is that I even know people who are dating married men in the bank (with proof sef) and I know others who are taking stuff from these men and even though it is not to the point where they have slept with each other, you know it is going to get to that stage. Now I am not judging anyone because heaven knows we all have our vices. And I don’t think the bank has an issue with co-workers dating each other but I am sure even the bank will have issues with a married man dating his colleague. Since I came to the branch, a lot of the men there, single AND married, have asked me out. It is even worse because it is not limited to the people in the branch alone. Since I liaise with other branches as well as other regions in the north, and they tend to come to FCT for trainings and conferences and meetings, I get to talk to managers and bankers all over the north. There have been several instances of these people finally meeting me, maybe after I have called them a couple of times and then immediately asking me out. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some very cute and nice people in the bank and I have accepted offers for drinks and such with some who impress me so I am not knocking every single one of them. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with a little office flirting as long as both parties are single and everyone is on the same page. It’s the married men who won’t face their homes I get pissy about!
My social life is not too bad, despite the wahala of this fracking bank. I am usually too tired during the week after work to want to do anything but go home and sleep and get ready for the next day. Weekends however are fair game and usually involve some sort of fun or party with my friends. I made a group of friends when in NYSC camp and they are the ones that gelled into my closest people. It is a strange weekend when I don’t see them, unless I travel. I love the clubbing scene here just as much as in Lagos. My favorite club is Play. The DJ is almost always on point and I usually have a blast – especially when I’m with my friends. We all love to have fun so no sitting around bumming, we always get on the dance floor and have a blast. Other nice ones are Roma, Cubana, Taboo, Aqua (not one of my favorites to tell the truth). I need to tour Abuja better because I can’t live here for a whole year and not know as many places as possible. Volunteers in this aspect are welcome or at least ideas for where to go and what to check out. I am usually jealous of Lagos because most of the big and good events are happening down there and not here. But I still make the most of where I am. I have made lots of friends and meet lots of guys thanks to where I work and where I hang out. Some I consider others I drop. There’s something about a girl who has lived in obodo oyinbo for so long then came here to serve that is a novelty for some people. I don’t appreciate being that, especially seeing as there is much more to me than that so if that is the vibe I get from a guy, I try to avoid him. There’s another issue that bugs me and that is the surprise that a lot of guys show after having a long and intense conversation with me. They start raving about how amazing it is to find a woman who is such an intelligent conversationalist. It makes me wonder why that is such a surprise (don’t crucify me ooo people, I am just wondering, not implying an insult to anyone). I mean I am always around such intelligent women so is it that the average naija woman doesn’t focus on the issues of what is going on in the world and around her and cannot hold her own end in a conversation, or does it just speak to the women these guys are meeting (again, it’s a question, thou shalt not crucify T.L.)
I have now been in naija for 7 months and doing NYSC runs for 6 months. Nowadays, when someone asks me why I left my whole family and all I have known for 9 years now to come do this, I tell them that I lost my mind. However, that is generally the frustration talking. Would I change my mind and not do this if I could turn back time? Absolutely not! It is not easy and there are days I end up cursing everyone around me, from my oga to the security man at the office but overall, I am enjoying most of the experience. I am also learning a whole lot about myself and making friendships and connections that are bound to be useful to me in the future so no matter how frustrated I might get from time to time, I am still glad I am doing this. 5 months to go. E no easy ooo! I have actually missed the US more than I would have thought (I think it is the people I miss more than the place but who knows). Once again, I have to make a change. The person I am PA to has been promoted and we are moving to yet another branch. So after getting to know these people and making friends with them and such, it is time to go do it al over again in yet another place. Looking on the bright side though, that’s a whole new set of people to make friends with and connections to be made. Hopefully exposure to the bank’s other aspects of business will also come along with the move. I will be sure to update faster about the move and not wait almost 3 months, again I am sorry for that, forgive me and know it was not by choice. Till next time people, here’s to free and fair election for presidency!
Ps – I voted for the senatorial election and will be voting in presidential. I was so proud to see that there were no hassles and such during the voting process. And also to see so many youths come out and vote, it shows that now we are passionate about the change that needs to happen in our country. To those who are in the country and have registered, please vote and to those who are not in the country, please keep supporting the initiatives for positive change in our nation, nobody is going to do it for us, we have to stand and do it for ourselves, all the best!
Image source: http://nawa4u.blogspot.com