Wednesday, 13 October 2010

On this and on that..

Some weeks ago I walked away from my job. I had endured the job for long enough and the time came when I'd had enough and I acted almost on impulse. Walking out felt good, as if it was the right thing to do. It was exhilarating knowing that I would no more have to put up with what had caused me to be unhappy with the job in the first place. And although I knew not what I would be doing thereafter I left nevertheless, trusting my instinct.

Since then, a lot has happened. I have now reverted to my former employment status, self-employed. My professional regulatory body will not allow me to practise on my own, since I'm facing some disciplinary action brought on by the actions of my erstwhile partner at my former firm, which is now defunct. However, I've been able to work out a fee-sharing arrangement with a different firm that allows me to do my own work, (through the firm of course). Giving up half of one's fee cannot be easy for anyone, as you probably can imagine. But it is necessary that one should pull one's own weight within a firm in order to have some clout. Also when one considers the firm's overheads, contributing my bit can only be a good thing.

While all this was happening, I came down with the worst flu I've ever had, with a chest infection and sinusitis to boot, causing the worst one-sided headaches I've ever suffered. In fact on one occasion, I was forced to pull up on the busy motorway for about half an hour, not trusting myself to be able to summon the concentration needed to navigate safely home through the traffic. I had a fever and the severe headache refused to go away, despite having overdosed on Cocodamol. But since I desperately craved my bed, I eventually had to brave it and forge ahead regardless, until I clambered up the stairs of my building and staggered through my front door.

You're probably wondering what I was doing driving around when I was so sick. Well, I am no longer an employee, so it is impossible to call in sick to the office. Also, I still had to attend for all of my client appointments, attend court, attend meetings and so on, even while coughing, sneezing and wheezing..and of course spreading the germs around. Anyway, the good news is that at the time of writing this I feel a lot better, even if I can't help thinking that the effects of the illness would have been considerably less, had I the luxury of being able to afford to take a week off work..

Then the Commonwealth Games in Delhi came along and provided us with some comfort in the evenings. Thank goodness for the BBC Red Button, which allows you to watch all the action you missed while you were out. I was particularly interested in the athletics. Now bad publicity is something that we Nigerians are perfectly familiar with, (not that being accustomed to it makes it any less unpleasant). So it didn't particularly come as a surprise the hullabaloo over the winner of the 100m women, Nigeria's Oludamola Osayomi being disqualified and losing her gold medal, having tested positive for Methylhexanamine a nasal decongestant, which only made it into the list of banned substances for athletes in the summer of this year.

That Osayomi was awarded the gold medal in somewhat controversial circumstances anyway, meant that its loss was not as painful as it would have been otherwise. My main concern was to see that Nigeria won more medals than Kenya at the Games. So I was terribly glad to see that despite the loss of Osayomi's gold, Nigeria was placed 6th versus Kenya's 7th place on the Medals Table, although I must admit that I always looked forward to seeing Kenya's Ezekiel Kemboi and Vincent Koskei on the track... PS. Well, the Commonwealth Games medals table has changed. Kenya is now placed 6th with 12 gold medals and Nigeria is at 9th place with 11.

And then there is the story of the Chilean miners, a story that has been making it unto the news for months now, usually as a side story about what for most of us, would have seemed like a mishap that befell some unfortunate people in a far off place. Last night I got out of bed in the middle of the night. Sleep failed to find me for some reason, although my guess is that the culprit was my persistent worrying about the financial side of things, (now that I do not receive a regular wage). Anyway, there I was at 2.35am perched on the sofa, turning on the TV, mug of lemon tea cupped in my hands. The pictures on the screen were of a paramedic (I later learned he's in fact a mine rescue expert) being strapped into the Fenix capsule before it began its first manned journey down into the bowels of the Earth at the San Jose copper and gold mine in the Chilean Atacama. I noted that all the major news channels were showing the same pictures, so I selected one, sat back and watched.

It would have been quite unnatural not to have become transfixed on the screen as I was for the next four hours, as I watched miner after miner being pulled out. The Chileans I think, have done a marvellous job in organising this feat, albeit with technical assistance from abroad. What strikes me most is how media-savvy the Chile government has demonstrated that it is, streaming live pictures from the cavern inside the Earth where these miners have been entombed for all of 69 days, the country's mining minister Laurence Golborne tweeting constantly about the rescue operation as it progressed (click here for his Twitter page). I think it is ingenious for the Chile authorities to have arranged for the orchestrated reunions of the rescued miners with their families to take place in the full glare of klieg lights and TV cameras.

As I type this, 15 miners have already been rescued and with much of the rest of the world, I am greatly impressed with the way this rescue operation has progressed. It was only a few days ago that in casual conversation with some friends, I was saying that had those miners died when the mine collapsed in early August, none of us would be talking about them now. Instead, they are now expected to become celebrities, recipients of substantial payouts in compensation. One can only wonder what the effects of their sudden celebrity status would be on each of them, some of whom we are told already faced somewhat complicated circumstances in their personal lives.

And then of course I've recently received an invitation from Rolex to participate in a two-day event to honour the first five winners of their Young Laureates Programme taking place at one of Europe's leading institutions Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland on 9-11 November 2010, where I am informed some of the world's foremost scientists, explorers, environmentalists, doctors and educators will be gathered. Interestingly, two of the young laureates are Africans, one a Nigerian. And I am still scratching my head, wondering if I really should accept the invitation and go over to Lausanne, Switzerland, unsure if I am deserving of this honour..


CodLiverOil said...

I hope your recovery from your ill-health continues. No need to kill yourself, eat well, sleep and take some exercise on a regular basis.

I have a modest Chilean colleague at work, a quiet individual. He was discussing with me the evolution of Chile (several months ago). After speaking with him for quite a while about his country, I went to wikipedia to read up more on the country. Chile is a developed country, so it should come as no surprise that they were able to deal with the tragedy in a professional way, and that they are media savvy.

Chile for one does not conform to the stereotypes of some people tend to hold of Latin America. It has a diversified economy, and sophisticated middle-class, that have made a significant contribution in science and the arts globally.

Anonymous said...

Am glad you are feeling better now. And yeah, you deserve the honors. I think you should accept the offer.

Savvy said...

Good to know you feel better. A good always.

Anengiyefa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anengiyefa said...

@CodLiverOil, I agree, Chile is way ahead of most countries in the Third World, but developed is not the term I would use to describe her. However, the country is poised on the verge of achieving true development and this saga of the trapped miners and the way the country as a whole handled it, has only served to demonstrate that the country achieving true development is only a matter of time. I listened to an interview given by the president Senor Sebastian Pinera and I was impressed by his views on the alleviation of poverty..

@Sinia Safi, thanks for dropping in. Yes I do feel better and you know what, I'm seriously considering it too..

@Savvy, its always a pleasure to see you on here. Thanks, I am well now although I do think that its about time I gave up those bad habits that compounded the problem when I was ill..

c'est moi said...

Hey old friend,how are you? hope you're feeling much better..

Was away for a while...on my usual travels :) But you know,next time if you need advice,etc i'm only a phone call away!

You know i was sorely disappointed when the whole doping thing was announced in Delhi...being the unapologetically proud naija boy that i am,i was still arguing & making my case with friends & colleagues that something was afoot..some kind of conspiracy i thought out simply wasn't (and isn't!)in our character i protested again & again, to dope, use drugs & cheat at international events..

Well,events have since proved me to have been foolishly & misguidedly patriotic!,they are 3!!!...its just soooo embarrassing really.

And then 2 days ago,the breaking news about Amos Adamu, Nigeria's rep on the FIFA board caught soliciting bribes for the 2018 World cup vote!!

Why do the few really,really, bad eggs always have to reveal their rotteness on the international stage & disgrace the whole lot of us??? To say i am incensed would be an understament! ugh!!

Meanwhile.there's Chile and the miners story..Chile standing tall,proud,unified,dignified!


Nigeria,oh Naija,how long shall i weep for thee???

c'est moi said...

Oh & by the absoulteley must go to Switzerland!..Lausanne is lovely!

I can't even believe you're having second thoughts about it! :)

Anengiyefa said...

Hi C'est moi, thanks for letting me know I can call for advice. I almost forgot that there's a doctor in the house. :) And oh, I promise not to be like those hypochondriac patients..

About the doping issue, I'm not quite sure that I should be so angry, since the particular substance that Osayomi tested positive for was not on the banned substances list until relatively recently. As for the other athletes, I've no idea what the tests revealed, but I think it would be fair to say that none of these athletes deliberately ingested banned drugs with a view to enhancing their performance at the Games.

Now on Amos Adamu and the FIFA bribery scandal, my professional training teaches me not to jump to conclusions about a person's guilt, especially since FIFA itself tells us that the allegations are still being investigated. However, hidden camera footage aired on the news today seems to suggest quite irrefutably, that Adamu has a case to answer. Especially that bit where he insisted emphatically that the $500,000 be paid directly to him, rather than to the "Nigerian Football Federation".

When you think about it though, there are many people, even non Nigerians, who will be sorely tempted by the prospect of having $500,000 paid into their bank account. But I must reserve my judgement on this until all the facts are known and the investigation is concluded.

Yep, I can imagine that Lausanne will be really nice. Only time will tell how that pans out. By the way, its great to see you after a while..

thegayte-keeper said...

So much going on...hope you feel better by now!

Anengiyefa said...

@thegayte-keeper, greetings to you. Yes, I do feel a lot better now, thanks, and thank you for dropping in..

Waffarian said...

Ah! Story of my life, my friend. Quit my job, got flu and have been mostly feeling sorry for myself. However, I am much better now and trying to get a new job. Like you, I was terribly unhappy because of the way I was treated. Good luck to both of us! Hugs

Anengiyefa said...

Hello Waffy, its nice to see you. Yes o, its as if we both had similar experiences. I did read on your blog about you quitting your job, (even before I quit mine), and I read about the flu too. Lol.

I pray that you find another job soon. As for me, I'm quite content to remain just as I am now, working at my own pace and not being answerable to anyone, (except of course my dear clients who have to fork out the dosh to pay for what I do for them), lol.

No, but its great that one no longer feels unhappy about going to work in the mornings. Please keep us posted on that job thing and take good care..