My friend is no longer enjoying his job! The only question which obtrudes itself upon his consciousness every day he goes to work is- “When will this madness be over?” His dominating mood now seems to wear the face of self-pity, or arrant disillusionment, or both. He faces a career of frustration and pain, of agony and dread. When he secured the appointment over 3 years ago, he started with very high hopes in the multinational environment. The job seemed perfect. However, three years down the line, he feels like in an alien environment, so demoralized, dehumanized and “micro-managed” (whatever that means). I am convinced that something is inherently wrong somewhere…..Hear him “Big Law, even though l work very hard and earn relatively good salary, this place sickens and tires me. There is no definite career path here. l feel exploited and patronized here. Morale has sunk to an all-time low and productivity is at its lowest ebb on account of the way this company treats its workers”.
I feel his pain and anguish….But he must not quit, and l shall tell you why in a postscript!
Nowadays many people go to work with goose pimples; just a tiny few go to work with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Many happenings in the offices provide for a lot of people an excruciating agony of the spirit. In a lot of companies and organisations, we see a lot of employees watch their dreams cease and visions vanish; they watch helplessly as their hope flickers to vanishing point. Many people, like my friend, fear each day they have to work on account of the way they pine away in servitude and wanton un-fulfillment. The workplace now strangles employees’ souls instead of feeding those souls. The corporate environment has become a bubbling cauldron of entrenched barbarism and demoralized individuals. We sometimes watch helplessly as fellow workers are laid off in an arbitrary manner. Some are forced to resign without any discernible reason. We see a situation in which every announcement, every staff meeting, is greeted with suspicion and fear; hence we see employees who are too weary, too cynical, too spineless to question the prevailing culture of uncertainty and hopelessness, and too fearful to risk resigning and leaving…
I am of the view that challenges like the one my friend is facing abound in virtually
In many companies, you find a lot of people working under pressure, in Nigeria’s tough economy, yet their efforts are constantly being eclipsed and sabotaged. We see people’s jobs draining them of the very wellspring of their souls, in a climate of hostility, fear and odium, yet they are harassed and criticized for not doing enough. Many more people forsake family lives and love lives for their organisation but what they get in return is stagnation, demotion without cause, salary deduction, discrimination, overwork, harassment, dismissal and, sometimes, systematic humiliation, such as reporting to your subordinates. We see many line managers being hopelessly vague on the proper ways to manage effectively, yet they merely make their superiors think that they know how to feel in control. We see, we also see every so often, how corporate heads and chief executives take home compensation packages and allowances 70 times higher than the salaries of their average employees and how they rob the middle-cadre employees of all reasonable allowances through penny-pinching and mindless cost-cutting. Also, some other different weapons wielded exist in form of ruthless downsizing, right-sizing and restructuring. On behalf of my friend, l ask why!
I said at the beginning that l would explain in a postscript why the current company vibes now pervade the air. I should try to explain what l think is to blame for most companies’ arbitrariness and seeming wickedness…..Our parents had it so easy. Before graduation they had jobs, good, remunerative jobs. Some had even secured scholarships to study abroad at the drop of a hat! And once they had jobs, they chose to stay if they wanted to, and they were seen as hedonistic mentors of fortune in their places of work. And if they wanted to leave, some other job opportunities were already waiting for them to grab. There was nothing like the “fear of the unknown and of the future”.
Pathetically, however, time has indeed changed. Jobs are many but good jobs (emphasis intended) are so scarce in the present-day Nigeria. Unemployment is so rife that my friend should even be happy to be drawing a salary! My friend should ask the graduates who spent close to 7 years (or even more) at home before securing a job and he will appreciate my position. Staying idle and rotting away at home after NYSC programme can be demeaning and frustrating! My friend should ask a graduate of 10 years who is earning less than N100,000 with 5 kids in the present battered economy and he will cry blue murder! Worse still is the case of another friend who, even after 6 years as a Masters degree holder and MBA ceritifcate, is still earning N80,000 with 6 children in school and hoping that it gets better for him soon. While it is good to garner academic credentials, they no longer guarantee good jobs in most cases. You try to acquire academic and professional qualifications but what you fail to realize is that no matter how fast you run, there are some people out there who are running even faster! But it does not mean that they get better jobs. Competition for jobs in Nigeria is fiercer than ever, and your employers know this much! Scientific evidence shows that 97% of what you discover in the corporate environments can be mind-numbing and alarming vis-a-vis the treatment meted out to employees. One fact responsible for this galling situation is that the organizations you work for themselves know that there are many people out there who are desperate to take your place once you step out, forgetting that an exhausted and unhappy employee does not make up a proactive workforce. So, they use that singular fact as a sword. In their wicked efforts to control workers, some organisations even use fines for lateness and absenteeism while some use low salaries and wages, so that hunger will keep their employees at work by all means! After all, school fees, PHCN bills, accommodation bills, among others, must be paid.
Without pursuing the matter any further, I therefore advise my friend to plod on, being buoyed with the spirit that his is not a final destination. He should desist from the languid feeling that he faces the worst peculiar cold in his place of work. To my very good friend, l say while it lasts please endure, and be strong, for history. Whether we like it or no, it is bound to get worse before it gets better!
I hope my friend reads this.