What do you know, it’s the last day of 2018! How time flies. If you are not in prison, that is. Many good things happened to me this year. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, I made my first Creamy Shrimp Alfredo Pasta and I saw BlacKKlansman. Yes, it’s been a good year.
Behavioural scientists will have us know that the faculties that distinguish us from animals are capabilities such as reason, morality, inquiry, religion, aesthetics, aspiration, imagination, creativity, self-awareness, or self-reflection.
All that is great. But they are missing one essential faculty: stupidity.
That’s right. Stupidity.
A while back, a friend who lived outside the country told me he had met someone who knew me and worked with me in some capacity. He told me this chap had remarked about me: “Jide was a brilliant guy. A good person. But he was sometimes difficult to work with.”
Remember the movie Ghosts of Girlfriends Past? Where the sins of your past douchebaggery come to haunt you? Well, I was nothing like the philandering and Class-A insensate that Mathew McConaughey was in the movie, but still, I knew there were times when my colleagues must have felt like feeding me to a T-Rex.
Maybe to three T-Rexes.
The irony of it was that I wasn’t aware that I was being difficult. I thought I was doing my job. Doing what the job required.
Which is why I’m doing this post. To help someone out there check if they are on their way to the Jerk Hall of Fame or already awarded. Hopefully, it will help you avoid being that guy or babe.
So here are a few pointers. You may be difficult to work with if:
1. You are combustible too often. Anger is an undeniable human emotion. It may even be helpful. But if you explode at your colleagues or anyone too often, whatever the reason, you may be a difficult person to work with.
The dangerous thing about being quick to anger is that it loosens the tongue (or the pen) to say things you shouldn’t have said or act in ways you might regret later. Anger is good. But wrath isn’t.
2. Impatient with colleagues. People assimilate information or ‘get it’ at different rates. It doesn’t mean they are a doofus. If you think you’re smart or brilliant, I assure you that there is someone smarter and more brilliant than you are in your field or company. I have a hard time understanding Quantum Physics and Astronomy, which I’m interested in. Some guy at NASA may think I’m a dolt but I’d like to sit and hear a presentation from them about making people buy what they really don’t need.
Be patient with people.
3. You think you are indispensable. The feeling of being ‘untouchable’ could lead you into giving subordinates and colleagues a hard time. Please get this into your head: NO ONE is indispensable. Steve Jobs died and Apple became a trillion-dollar company.
Try not to believe you are indispensable. It’ll make you more human and humane to colleagues.
4. People don’t want to come to you. If colleagues don’t want to come to you for help because you are often technically and practically unable to help, that’s understandable. But be wary if they don’t come to you because they think you are a jerk. It is the same if a guy was assigned to you and he weeps and calls his wife to tell her he loves her.
No matter what you may have heard, you need more friends than enemies in your life. Folks whom people tend to gravitate towards tend to be better managers and hence, assume leadership positions quicker and stay there longer.
I’m not saying you should try to please everyone. You can’t. But if you could be a little more pleasant, a little more helpful, a little less arrogant or a little more accessible, please do it.
5. You believe work should be impersonal. One of the Kool-Aid we have drunk and are still drinking is the belief that the workplace should be formal and impersonal.
Until such a time when Betty the AI or George the Algo are your only workmates, you will have to deal with Chi-Chi the mother of three and Bassey the Pious.
When we believe work should be impersonal, we lose empathy and sensitivity. When people come to work, we don’t know what they may be facing in their personal lives.
There was once a colleague, mother of four, who often came late to work. She was often distracted. It affected her work. The people she worked with were unhappy with her performance. She was put on Performance Improvement Programme, a prelude to being fired if there was no noticeable change in a short period of time.
HR called her in for a chat. She burst into tears and spilt all that was happening in her life. Her husband beats her often. The fella was out of job but needed to show who was still the head of the house. There was little sunshine in her life. When we heard her story, many were remorseful, mea culpa, for the hard time we gave her.
People go through stuff in their lives. Sometimes, really hard stuff. Don’t add to it in the workplace. Before you are tempted to scream at them, be dismissive of them, write them a query or fire them, take a step back to consider maybe there’s something else going on behind the crisp shirt or slim skirt. Be a human. Screw the rule book.
As for me, I have long reformed. I realised that if I wanted to get to the very top, I could not be someone people found difficult to work with.
That and the fear of T-Rex.
They just had to do it, didn’t they? It’s in their blood, in their essence. To challenge. To inspire. To dare. It’s not a Nike ad if it pull punches.
I’m talking about Nike’s recent ad commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the Just Do It campaign. The ad headlined by Colin Kaepernick. Continue reading
So, Google released the most searched terms in Nigeria for half year 2018. The list made for a distressing read. See for yourself:
Boda Moses is a goal,
You know Iwobi no dey joke,
Make we bet,
Tear your shirt,
See, Mr Referee say is a goal,
Super Eagles is a winner,
Coca-Cola is a goal,
Omo Naija is a ginger,
Jersey wan o ma le to.
If Pepsi thought it could steal Coke’s thunder, its blood sugar must be low. Coke was never going to be last in a two-horse race.
The Pepsi Naija All The Way spot is the shiznit! Check it out below:
Neat, isn’t it? It’s trendy, bouncy and pumps you up. Makes you want to believe in Nigeria again. The spot reminded us of one of the reasons we are Nigerians: bagful of self-belief and swag.
Well, yea, the Naija spirit also sometimes turn into snakes and make away with money, and may even ask bribe from an archangel. But this spot is not about all that. The spot rather reps us in a positive way.
Recently, a few Nigerian advertising agencies won ‘big’ at the African Cristal Festival in Marrakech, Morocco. Nigeria’s Noah’s Ark won ‘Agency of The Year’. X3M Ideas, DDB Lagos and Insight Publicis all had a decent showing too. There have been a lot of congratulations and reportage across the media.
There have also been questions about the prestige and worth of the African Cristal Festival. Some folks have therefore asked me to shed light on this matter, and on the subject of Nigerian advertising at the global stage.
The MTN ‘Blind Bride’ and the Guinness ‘Goodluck Obieze’ TV spots are the two best spots I have seen this year. They struck a cord.
Ah! What indescribable joy to rain on Manchester City’s party yesterday. The cheek! Fixing to be crowned champions via a derby win. Not on your life, Pep! Even Liverpool dare not be that impudent!
Torturously, City will still win the league. Their third in seven seasons. A galling state of affair. I blame filthy lucre. It’s what happens when you give a Black Hawk to people used to warring with bows and arrows. No more justice in the world.
But there’s only one guv’nor in Manchester and he determines when a party holds. And it wasn’t going to be yesterday. Maybe they can have it against Spurs on 14 April. But there was not going to be any din in Manchester yesterday, except for anguish of broken City hearts.
Yea, that’s how far United has fallen from glory. Rejoicing at beating Man City. How the times have changed. But it is fitting that the only team to beat City this season at the Etihad is, you guessed it, Manchester United. The Manchester United.
And Paul Labile Pogba! My! I always knew we got that lad cheap. Perfect riposte to all the haters. Gary, you there? You are slowly but surely delegendarizing yourself at United. What was that about Pogba’s hair? Watch it, Gary. Thin line between hate and hate.
‘Blue half of Manchester’ my foot. There’s only one side in Manchester. And there’s the devil to pay for slights.
I don’t fancy myself a serious writer. However, if there is one writer that has had the most profound influence on my rather facetious writing, it is Wole Soyinka. Of course, Kongi will probably be horrified at my farcical writing, but I don’t care. I love the man. We share the same birthday. And true love lasts a lifetime.
In the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, I have thought about how much of my personal data is out there. Data waiting to be harvested by some sick psychologist or ethnographer and deployed to warping my mind. I like to think that I have an iron-clad mind. But at the rate I give in to pepperoni pizza, maybe having an ‘open mind’ is not such a bad thing after all.
Jimmy Kimmel in his opening monologue at the 90th Academy Awards remarked:
“…and thanks to Guillermo, we will always remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly women started dating fish.”
He was, of course, referring to Guillermo del Toro and The Shape of Water. Guillermo later won the prestigious achievement in Directing for same movie which also went home with the coveted Best Picture.
I’m absolutely delighted with Black Panther. But I’m not getting carried away with the gushing about Wakanda.
Look, there’s no way Nigeria and many African countries are going to turn into a Wakanda very soon. Not with reptiles and apes stashing away money.
By the way, that’s some real Snake In The Monkey’s Shadow stuff.
There’s only one reason man eats fish. We eat fish because we can. Fishes are dumb and we are smart. We are at the top of the food chain and we take whatever we want.
I therefore don’t take kindly to anyone who tries to rearrange this balance. Boston Dynamics may think it’s a cool company. But I’ll tell you what a cool company does; it doesn’t make robots that can open doors!
Come June (or thereabouts), beer drinkers in Nigeria will have a new brewski to add to their repertoire:
“This is the famous Budweiser beer. We know of no brand produced by any other brewer which costs so much to brew and age. Our exclusive Beechwood Aging produces a taste, a smoothness and a drinkability you will find in no other beer at any price.”
Yes, “The King of Beers” will be competing with other suds in the land to help tipplers wet their whistles.
Aside from his use of an obscene term, I really do not understand the rage on the continent when President Trump referred to our beloved patch as ‘shithole countries.’
Emmanuel Macron yesterday said he shares the outrage of Africans on the disparagement by President Trump.
If by ‘shithole countries’ the man meant countries groaning under the weight of corruption, nepotism, abuse of power and disregard for rule of law, the social contract and the human condition, then he clearly wasn’t talking about the African continent.
I have always suspected that I was special but didn’t know exactly how. Now, I have a fair idea. Boy, am I one cool glass of water!
Now, don’t be hating. Turns out every human being is special too. That includes you. Yup. You are just as cool a glass of water as I am.
Only I am a chalice and you are a jug…
It’s barely four days into the new year and I’m already calling it quits with a New Year resolution. That’s a full month ahead of the time researchers say most people abandon their New Year resolutions. Great to start the year breaking records. Going to be an awesome year.