At this point, I would like to say “HR- is a joke concept that only exist for customer protection and aiding unprofessional and inhuman behaviour exhibited by those in authority in the bank). My ordeal got worse in the branch with this my new boss and I was beginning to tell myself that this must be coming from my village.
‘I hope you’ve heard of me’? ‘I hope your friends in this branch told you what it means to work here’ she said. Thinking that this was a welcome message to a young staff posted to work under her, I already knew I was in for a bigger mess. “Yes ma”, I said, “the Lord will make a way”; ‘He better does’ she replied.
At first (First few weeks) it all started all smooth, no hassle, no shouts, no pressure and I was beginning to think that all I heard about her were just exaggerations, you now naija people naw. She comes in the morning all smiling, during our meetings we all felt relaxed and discussed normally with everyone sharing his/her opinion. It was more like what I wanted for a perfect and peaceful start of a banking career. But the more I commended her leadership pattern, the more I was warned and informed that this was her normal strategy with new staff. Why would anyone capable of this admirable and excellent character switch to beast mode? I said to myself. In the middle of my thought, I heard a voice scream my name like one who just woke up from a very horrible nightmare, Yes ma, “I responded”. “What have you contributed since your one month of stay here?, How much have you brought?, How many accounts have you opened?, Can you comfortably say you have paid your salary the past month in this unit?, Or do you think you were transferred to just work hard?, We don’t believe in hard work here but result!!” She yelled, “your result must translate to Naira and Kobo in the bank, What is your target as an ET (Executive Trainee)?”, “N320million growth, Ma” I replied. “It’s a lie! N320million, you must be joking, you cannot carry your target from your previous team to this unit”.
The target was reviewed upwards, like play like play, my target was jacked up to N500million as a bloody ET (Executive Trainee). This woman must be joking oh, I have not met my N320million target and she has just increased it to N500miillion. Instantly I felt a crazy pain on the right part of my head. This was no headache nor migraine, I really could not explain it but then, I told myself, “Once again, welcome to the world”. Everyone in this team had one prayer and same complaint we all wanted a change or better still a new job. It was indeed crazy, it felt like we were a bank different from the main bank we worked in, but who born monkey to complain? In fact there was really no one to complain to; everyone knew what was going on yet no one could act. It was rumored that the HR department had invited her to the head office and cautioned her but as far as we were concerned, it felt like she got a pat on the back instead.
It was 7:30 A.M and we had been seated for about an hour forty minutes, the previous night Mother Gagool had warned that anyone who comes 5minutes later than 6 A.M (the scheduled time for the meeting) will be sanctioned. After waiting for 2 hours without pre-information of her lateness or an apology (she definitely could not wake up that early and so, added some more hours to her sleep), she walks in with a mug of hot chocolate and Harrods green tea and ginger biscuits kpangolo. She munched and sipped while the meeting was going on and we watched and battled with sleep. “The next time I get a letter from HR, we will decide who really will work in this bank! It is either you leave or I leave” she blared out threatening in the middle of the meeting. After spending 6 miserable hours in this meeting (no breakfast, no lunch) lashing and bashing everyone, she dismissed us and instructed that we re-convene at 7P.M (No Jokes, this is real). The evening meeting started an hour late and lasted another 4 hours.
I grew to know that this was actually a trend in this unit. I can actually count how many times I got home before 10P.M all through my stay in this unit. Our usual closing hour is from 10PM. It was crazy, my colleagues in HR department knew about this and yet nothing could be done as she was regarded as Management pikin, abi? *coughs* Management Booty *coughs*. I lost my self, my spiritual life, social life (no new friends old friends feel person done change), family life, academic life, our time isn’t really ours anymore, and we could barely make any plans or attend ACCA or GMAT classes. My life became entangled around this job and yet I could not resign. Either for fear of the legal implications (due to a Bond), financial implications, economic conditions or just one reason or the other, I just couldn’t call it quit. We prayed, sometimes fasted and hoped for a change. Year in year out this continued, the rat race struggle and suffering didn’t even come with a promotion or form of compensation because as long as she is concerned, we were not working, not good enough for the job. In fact she paraded herself as the only one doing the job in the region. She got all the promotions, incentives and commendations and I wondered why management was never asked questions (well, they always claimed to have) but like earlier said, ‘na management pikin errm booty’.
It is a new year and by March, 2015, 4 staff members had resigned without replacement. Budgets had to be reviewed upward again. By June, another 3 had gone. Now let me make this clear, these staff members who resigned didn’t go due to better job offer per say, they were just tired of the mess and wanted some sort of life. Budget reviews nearly became a monthly thing as staff members were leaving every now and then, their target had to be reapportioned. Finally, HR decides to re-load and two senior members were deployed to work with us. Lo and behold, one has already dropped his resignation and the second has attended several employment interviews. It was crazy! At this juncture, I was already thinking of taking a bow as well. Before I took that bow, I will take a bow here and bring you more on this bitter experience in our next edition.