Should I Quit My Job?

Image: Google Plus Let me start by making this broad statement; I believe that many people are sick and tired of their jobs! Yeah! I said it! I can also go further to make another broad statement. It doesn’t matter whether you are working for someone or you are your own boss: there comes a time when everyone feels their job sucks! And not just the I-hate-my-job-but-I-will-manage kind of suck but the I-hate-my-job-and-desperately-want-to-quit type. I have been at both places. When I went to serve in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria, I was the doe-eyed optimist who believed that I had the Midas touch. I believed I could always find something to do. And true to that, I got something to do barely three months into my stay in Yola. I started ‘working’ at a broadcast media firm. By October that year, a little over 8 months after I started ‘doing stuff’ for the company and the month I finished my service, I was co-opted into their system; I received my first pay as a freelance presenter. For me, it was doing what I loved. I was on radio and I was increasing my sphere of influence. The fact that they were paying me was a plus. Even though the pay was not great, or even good, I was excited doing what I loved. I woke up every day with a burning desire to do well, to be better than I was the previous day, to achieve better than I had done in the past and to dish out new information in newer and more innovative styles. I made sure that my shows were well researched and different from what was the norm at the station. I wanted people to hear a playlist and just know that Ramat was on duty. I wanted my own signature and I worked really hard to ensure I got it. I soaked up all the information I could get from my friends and colleagues and from rival stations in my quest to standout. As long as there was information to be learned about radio program production, you can be sure that I was learning it. As I improved my skill, I took up more and more work until I was spending almost all day at the office. I wanted a scenario where my work would stand out so well that the company would have no choice but to fully employ me; instead of just paying me for my shows. A year went by and I wasn’t given an appointment letter. The disillusionment started to set in. Was I not good enough? Did I not meet the requirements? Did I just have an over-inflated view of my capabilities? These questions plagued me and made me unhappy and unfulfilled. The love for my work gradually began to wane and my passion started to die. This made me take up even more work. I felt like I needed to do more and give more to be good enough for the company. My bosses would praise me for the ‘good work’ I was doing, random people would see me on the streets and appreciate me and some would even pay for my stuff in the market. In spite of all these, the full employment still didn’t come. Here I was living in a backwater town that was so far from all I knew and held dear and to whom I was giving my all and yet, I couldn’t even get employment. Soon enough, resentment began to build up. It came to a place where my self-worth was tied to whether I got a letter or not. You can imagine how bad my life became. I kept sending out job applications but had become so busy at the office that when I got called for interviews, I couldn’t go. This was because my responsibilities were as though I was a full staff of the organization; though my pay grade was notthat of a staff. I was worried that I would lose the little I had in the process of finding something better. I was also worried about the economic situation of the country and when I thought about how many of my friends didn’t have jobs, I just stayed put. And felt trapped. The more I felt trapped, the less happy I was with my job. I kept wondering if I should quit my job and pursue something else or continue to hold on, hoping for a day when my bosses felt I was good enough to be employed. After three years of the same routine and no letter of appointment, I knew I had to borrow myself some sense. For whatever reason, the company didn’t think keeping me was a priority and I knew I couldn’t keep on working like a donkey and getting very little pay. So I knew I had to leave. I couldn’t continue to give a lot of my time, money and energy to a company that didn’t value me. In June of 2016, I packed up my stuff and left Yola for good. I realized I was not the only one with such stories. One of my besties was also going through issues like this. While it was my choice to be overworked, she was forced to work overtime every day and wasn’t paid as much as her work demanded. Recently, she found out that her boss paid members of his staff who were his tribe more than he did her. Truth is, she worked way more than others and was the most trustworthy staff. Finding out she earned way less than her colleagues really broke her spirit. She was at that crossroad where she wondered whether to continue to stay or to leave the company. Another lawyer friend got to that crossroad and walked away from the firm that was overworking him. It wasn’t that the pay wasn’t good but that he wasn’t just growing there. He knew that he could do more, be more, and achieve more if he just wasn’t working with that firm.

Calling the Kettle Black

Blacked pot and kettle.Image: In-Sights A while back, I spent some time with some missionaries in Zaria. The house was a warm and loving environment where one couldn’t help but feel at home. It was a family of 5, with the only female in the house being the mum. The boys are between the ages of 7 and 13. Though they were 5, you would never find just 5 people in the house. There is always any number of people at any given time in that house, whether they are living there or just passing by like I was. What should have been a two day visit ended up being a four day visit. It was on one of those days that something remarkable happened. The kids were having their breakfast while their mother studied in the living room. I was doing some chores inside when I heard the boys arguing. They were, like most boys that age, putting down their female classmates. The conversation went thus; ‘Mummy, the girls in our class as SOOOO dirty!’ the second son said. ‘And very annoying!’, the third son punctuated. Their mother looked up from her books and asked why they said so. Since I was out of view of the boys, I stopped what I was doing to hear the argument. And no, it was not because they were bashing girls….or maybe it was. The boys described situations where the girls would sit together at lunch break, all eating from each student’s food warmers until they were all done. They went further to say the girls ate with their hands like ‘local people’ and that they didn’t even bother to wash their hands before doing so. The breaking point for the boys was that the girls would leave the place they ate messy and disgusting. I held back a chuckle as their mother chided them. She told them they were no different from the girls in their class. She reminded them that she had to pick up after them whenever they came home, ate or studied. The boys were not pleased with their mother’s stand and said she always supports women. Their mother said she only spoke the truth. The back and forth made between mother and sons got me thinking. We (generally) judge people harsher than we do ourselves. Let me use a relationship to make my point. When couples fight, it is always about what the other person did and never about what you did. Adam blamed Eve who in turn blamed the snake. President Buhari and the ruling government blame the previous administration for everything wrong with the country. Husbands blame their wives if their children turn out poorly and mothers blame society for corrupting their children. Why do we judge people harsher than we do ourselves? Why don’t we take the blame for our contributing actions to problems? Why couldn’t Adam say, ‘Father, I did wrong. I am sorry.’ Why couldn’t Eve say, ‘Father, I convinced my husband to go against your word. Forgive me’. Why can’t Buhari say that Nigeria has problems but he came in ill-prepared for them? Shouldn’t a father say, ‘I play a role in ensuring my children turn out well and if they don’t I take some blame?’ I want to assume that we were created with an innate desire to blame ourselves less but that will scratch out my entire ‘choice’ ideology. However, I do believe we view the world through clear glasses and ourselves through jaded ones. And it is not just with bad things. We always see the grass as being greener on the other side. The question is, why? As I pondered on these things, I finished my chores and went in to rest. I was brought out of my reverie when I heard the mother shouting at the boys. Turned out, the boys left their plates where they ate, with pieces of food strewn about and the entire living room in disarray. It was a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Who would have thought yeah?

On Human Life, Destiny and the Place of Free Will

Rob Wanders: Puppet on a String I had a discussion with a woman recently that got me thinking. The discussion revolved around marriage and having children. I was (and still am) of the opinion that marriage and childbirth is a part of a woman’s life and not the entire reason for her existence. I believe that I am complete whether I decide to marry and have children or not. The woman however was of the opinion that we are destined to be wives and mothers (or husbands and fathers). In her view, God may want to teach us patience and understanding via a mate and children. I said patience and understanding can easily be learned at the work place as it could at home. The argument went back and forth until I said that patience and understanding can also be learned from adopted children. She went into a fit at that point. She made a bold proclamation that adopted children can never be the same as biological children; that one could never love an adopted child as much as they loved a biological child. I was shocked at the statement. I know families where, unless you are told, you wouldn’t know that there is an adopted child in the house. But I digress. When she made the statement, I shut down my mind to her. She went on talking for a bit and it wasn’t until she made one statement that I returned to the present. ‘God may have, for example, destined you to have two children, who may in turn have three children each. If you refuse to do your bit, what do you think will happen?’ The word ‘destined’ stayed with me even after I left the woman. It is that word that set me mulling over some things I will like to share with you now. First off, a quick look at the meaning of the word. Destiny (noun); “the things that will happen in the future.” The destiny of our nation depends on this vote; “the force that some people think controls what happens in the future, and is outside human control.” You cannot fight destiny Culled from Cambridge Dictionary. I believe the woman was referring to the second definition above. So here is why I got rattled. Most religions preach of a deity who created and rules the world. They preach of a God or a couple of gods who created the universe and control all life on it. This is such that universally, being good means your God rewards you and being bad means you are punished. Religion has thus, kept man in check with the promises of an afterlife that is a consequence of our present lives. Some religions even preach that God controls everything that happens to each individual; from the time of our birth until we are returned to the ground. So the question is, ‘Are our lives pre-destined by God’? If yes, I have some follow up questions. If our lives are pre-destined by God, why does He hold us accountable for our actions? Has He predestined those who will get to heaven/paradise (depending on what you believe)? Does that also mean that He has destined those who would go to hell/lake of fire? If He plans our lives, why do I have to be faithful or moral or right? Why shouldn’t we be allowed to roam and kill and pillage? What will be the point of toeing the straight and narrow if there is no guarantee where we will end? Or if we have no choice in the matter? The next question is, ‘If our lives are pre-destined, why are we given the ability to make choices?’ Why do we have freewill? Shouldn’t we just be programmed to function a certain way and be placed on the earth to do just that? Can we refuse our destinies? If that is the case, is our refusal then our destiny? This is what I mean; If God ‘pre-destined’ me to be a doctor and I chose to be a media person, does that mean that I was really destined to be a media person after all? That my refusal was part of my destiny? That I really was acting out a script? Does God pre-destine that the African people be poor and others races rich? If so, when certain Africans break that jinx, does that mean they are refusing their destiny? Or does that mean that they are acceptingtheir destiny? Hmm……this destiny thing is becoming more confusing the more I ponder on it. Are you equally confused? Does God pre-destine that a 10 year old girl be married? That a woman is raped? That a boy is shot? Does God destine that people have and die of cancer? Of the common cold? Of Malaria? Of extreme poverty and hunger? Does God destine that some people are given birth to malformed children and others ‘normal’? Does God destine that a woman be in an abusive marriage? Does God destine that teen or that old man to commit suicide? Does God destine the murderer to kill, the rapist to rape, the abuser to hit and hit until the shattering of bones brings him back to his senses? Is it destiny that some women are prostitutes and some are forced into bestiality? Is it destiny for a person to have Down syndrome, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, lunacy and whatever other ailment there is? And finally, does God destine some to be heterosexuals and others homosexuals yet…condemning homosexuality? If that then is the case, is God fair? This is the biggest question of them all. Personally, I don’t believe each life is destined as the second definition says. I believe that destiny is the sum total of all our choices made before death. I believe we are a product of the choices we make and not some grand script written about us. I believe that doing good may not always bode me well and doing bad

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