Friday, December 01, 2006

Staff Handbook

Company policy, effective from December 2006.

I found this very amusing.
Dress Code
It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days
We will no longer accept a doctors statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Annual Leave Days
Each employee will receive 104 Annual Leave days a year. They are called Saturday & Sunday.

Bereavement Leave
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Toilet Use
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offence, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the Chronic offenders category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sanctioned under the companys mental health policy.

Lunch Break
Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy. Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because thats all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

from the Managment

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Growing Concern for our Environment

No snow
As the climate warms up, mountainous regions may experience lower levels of snowfall. This image shows Mount Hood in Oregon at the same time in late summer in 1985 and 2002.

The environment issue has become a global concern; CO2 levels have increased substantially since the Industrial Revolution, and are expected to continue doing so. It is reasonable to believe that humans have been responsible for much of this increase

Global warming
The continuing emissions of greenhouse gases, chiefly carbon dioxide (CO2) severely increases the earth's atmospheric and surface temperatures, with disastrous environmental consequences.

Direct manifestations of a widespread and long-term trend toward warmer global temperatures will include:
· Heat waves and periods of unusually warm weather
· Ocean warming, sea-level rise and coastal flooding
· Glaciers melting
· Arctic and Antarctic warming

And the following events will foreshadow the types of impacts likely to become more frequent and widespread with continued warming:
· Spreading disease
· Earlier spring arrival
· Plant and animal range shifts and population changes
· Coral reef bleaching
· Downpours, heavy snowfalls, and flooding
· Droughts and fires

A typical example of the effect of climate chance is the East Africa drought. You need to visit the Wajir and Turkana district in Kenya to view the drought’s impact on pastoralist and agricultural livelihoods. In Wajir District, there are evidences of an almost complete collapse of the pastoralist livelihood. Cattle and camels are dying, and people are weak and malnourished due severe water and food shortages.

What are you doing about it?
We had a lunchtime discussion about climate change and environment degradation and came up with the following points to help draft an organization policy on the environment.

· Consider less flying
· If you must fly, then offset carbon emissions of flying through paying a small sum for each flight to carbon offset organizations (see or or asking your travel agent to do this
· Use of video or teleconferencing may help reduce need for flights in some cases
· Use hotels that are more environmentally friendly - see responsible travel or Tourism Concern website
· Look into whether there are environmentally friendly strip lights
· Buy more glasses, so people don't have to use plastic cups for water
· Buy printers that can print double-sided, and so we can reuse paper that has already been used on one side (then we can photocopy etc double sided)
· Ditto for photocopies
· Recycle photocopier/printer cartridges
· Print less
· Buying recycled loo roll, photocopy and headed paper in bulk
· Buying environmentally friendly soap, washing up liquid, loo cleaner etc in bulk
· Having bags for recycling of plastic and glass
· Turn down/off the heating
· Only use air conditioning when essential, and turn it off after half an hour
· Making the travel expenses also available to interns or volunteers who cycle or walk to work (currently they don't get any travel costs, making it a disincentive to walk or cycle)
· Fix the shower so cycling is more attractive
· See how many copies of each publications we really need to print
· Use recycled and unbleached paper for all of our publications
· Turn all computers, lights, photocopiers off at night or when not in use
· When making tea, be sociable and boil the kettle once and make tea for others on your floor
· If you're able to, use your legs not the lift
· Install dual-flush loos
· No parking outside, so that staff are not encouraged to drive
· Have a shower for cyclists/walkers etc
· Give our database an overhaul so we don't waste loads of reports to people who no longer exist
· Encourage nursing mothers to use traditional cloth nappies instead of pampers
· Use 100% degradable material

If you would like to help, Merlin, a humanitarian aid charity (where I used to work) has some good projects in East Africa, particularly in Wajir and Turkana district. You may visit to donate.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's not that easy

Lemar Obika simply put is a phenomenon. Hits after hits, I bet all naija's feeling this brit-igbo guy.

To Lemar: 'you don go lasgidi before? abeg try go o', to be Naija no be for mouth o.

To my baby: 'what can I do without your love, still trying to figure that out'.

To y'all out there who's pretending to be someones else's man, 'e no dey that easy'

I wanna love you

Baby, I'm Sorry, I know you don't like me posting stuffs like this (referring to flashes of fleshes in this picture) but this music is damn good I couldn't resist.

The Wolofman Akon and the Doggfather at their best here in this video, whoever says being a convict is no good.

Its no news that Akon loves his root- Africa, you can see him sporting a tee shirt with Senegal's flag in this video. This guy is a genius, you should also see his colabo with Slim Shady HERE. Enough said and now back to me baby:

Baby, you know the only thing I wanna do is love you.

You damn right know, don't you?

...make this moment last forever

Will Young is mad talented, He ranks among the top 2 UK singers alongside my homeboy Lemar Obika. Will's ballads are unrivalled and passionately deep. I hope you enjoy this.

She's the one

I love this track to bits, dedicated to everyone who has ever loved - without a reason

...If you're not the one then why does my soul feel glad today? If you're not the one then why does my hand fit yours this way? If you are not mine then why does your heart return my call. If you are not mine would I have the strength to stand at all

I never know what the future brings. But I know you are here with me now. We'll make it through. And I hope you are the one I share my life with

If you are not the one - Daniel Bedingfield

Friday, November 24, 2006

Read the legend

We are all earnestly praying and hoping that the war will end in Iraq, (and in Sudan) and since president Bush is ...''(I'm) open to any idea or suggestion that will help (us) achieve (our) goals of defeating the terrorists and ensuring that Iraq's democratic government succeeds'', we pray that the almighty Lord guides 'them' (America, the UN and other world powers) to make (and take) the right decisions as He did Solomon.
Samson (of the Delilah fame) killed more people at his death than in life, I hope Saddam's death sentence wont play out like that also.

I doubt if anybody is asking for my opinion on the death penalty, however, I think it is common sense to realise that this blood shedding is ENOUGH.

for the faint eyed, the above legend reads:

  • Red: In favour of the war in Iraq
  • White: Against the war in Iraq
  • Blue: Not knowing where is Iraq

Find more interesting FLAGS here ''Can You Picture this?''

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Phallic Glory I

At Work.

It suddenly throbbed into sight as soon as I adjusted the blinds, oh mi gawd! I exclaimed aloud and turned my attention from my work to the gigantic sight in view. There it stood in all its phallic glory, flanked by two testicles-like companions – how could I have missed out on this erotic view up until now.

I reached for my camera avoiding the probing gaze of my colleague who was worried by my sudden distracted and excited state.

I focused my camera and zoomed in on my object of desire, gawd! This thing is so huge; I felt a voyeuristic tingling all over me as I pressed the shutter repeatedly.

I sat down and downloaded the image unto my machine; I have captured it so beautifully, so suggestively. I attached the image and emailed it to the female colleague sitting directly in front of my desk. The subject line was; ‘the shape of things to come tonight!’

I saw her draw her breadth as she read the mail, a smile playing across her lips as she looked at me and mouthed ‘bad boy’.

I smiled back and prayerfully willed myself to become a psychic just for one minute so I could read her thoughts; I bet my life she was imagining herself touching its glans, that topmost tip. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking if it will recoil at a feminine touch, will it pulsate if she held those tender hands around that monstrous shaft?

With the erotic gherkin standing tall in all its magnificent erectness outside my window, work would be fun after all, all I would need would be furtive glances outta my window from time to time. LIKE NOW!

Phallic Glory II

I opened my window yesterday at work and for the first time noticed I had a full view of the towering innuendo; the erotic gherkin.

The "erotic gherkin" is the Swiss Re Tower that is located at 30 St. Mary Axe Street in London's financial district. The moniker, which was given to the building while it was still being built, is derived from its curvaceous shape. The building is also known as "The Towering Innuendo" because of its suggestive shape.

The "erotic gherkin" was designed by Norman Foster, one of Britain's leading architects. In October 2004, the circular, glass-paneled building, which has become one of the most recognizable shapes on the London skyline, won the Stirling Prize of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), one of Britain's top architecture prizes.

Please find some pictures here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Montgomery Bus Boycott

Have you ever taken time out to observe how people select seats on buses here in London? Do you really know what informed your choice of that particular seat when you travelled home last night by bus.

If you have never given it a thought, then I think it’d be fun if you start to observe how people choose their seats on buses, maybe over the course of next week. You could start by noting down your own choices of seats and why you chose that particular seat.

For sometimes now, I’ve been watching people take seat on buses, I’ve been observing my own choices too and I think our choices of what seat to take on a bus is influenced by these 3 factors: Privacy, Race and availability and in that order too.

Note that my observation is based on the double-seat system on most London buses, where two seats are joined together to form a double-seat which are meant to sit two people comfortably.


People get on busses and automatically look for empty double-seats first, if there is a half occupied double-seat close by and an empty one farther down, I have noticed that people would rather walk farther down to take the unoccupied double-seat than have a seat-mate.

Another scenario: lets say two people are sitting on a double-seat and another two sitting behind them, let it happen that the two in the back seat alighted at the same stop, you would often notice that one of the people sitting in the front double-seat will often get up to occupy the now empty double-seat behind. Everybody craves privacy.


Now let it happen that all the double-seats in the bus are half occupied, you would start noticing is that most people would sit with someone who has the same colour as themselves. I often find myself choosing a double-seat occupied by a person of my colour. This has nothing to do with racism. The process of thoughts and action happens spontaneously.

Also sex, sexuality or ethnicity too can come into play here, e.g. let it happen that all the double-seats are half occupied by only black people, A Naija might find another Naija to seat with, a girl might prefer to seat with a girl while a gay would rather pair with another gay.


Working down from the first 2 scenarios, the 3rd factor that informs our choice of where to seat will now depend on the availability of seats in the bus. Where a bus is almost full and there are only about a couple of seats available, there will be no option to be selective, you just sit on any available seat or choose to stand.

If I were a programmer, my code for the above mind program would be as follows:

If {Bus = Empty},

Then; Find empty double-seat, Sit alone

If {All double-seat = Half occupied},

Then; Find seat-mate of same colour, sex or sexuality, Sit

If {Bus = Almost full},

Then Sit anywhere

Else: STAND.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Random Emails

At Work. 17.22pm.

I’m 4 days old on this job and so far I’ve had no cause to complain. This is a smaller organization but responsibilities here are similar to my old job. I would like to stay here for the next 2 years and in that space of time shoot up the ladder. I found out that it’s easier to move up in smaller or medium sized charities than in big ones, I think salaries tend to be higher too.

I’m getting on top of issues here and I am happy that I hit the ground running. Even without a proper induction, I’ve started my work in full swing already; I now know about 10 staff members by name now and would have done better if we are all on the same floor. Work here isn’t as tedious as my old job and that’s the main attraction for me, I need to devote some time and resources to myself and my baby (my wife).

There was a surprise office party today for a colleague who recently got married (in Cuba), about the same time as me. Because I joined this organization 3 days after my wedding, no one knows about my recent wedding, I mentioned it to the Director as we were chatting and he publicly announced it to other staff amongst cheers and toasts.

Everybody is asking for the photographs, especially my old colleagues, they want to see a Nigerian wedding in pictures. It’s a pity that I still don’t have the photographs as they weren’t ready before I left Naija.

I thought it’s be fun to post a few of my work emails here:


E-mail introducing me to staff members on my first day in my new job.

Sent: 18 October 2006 10:56
To: All at XXX
Subject: New DRFO

Dear All,

Yinka XXXXX has joined XXX as XXXXX. He was with XXX in a similar role.

He will be meeting those of you in the office later this morning followed up with 1 to 1 meetings with some, particularly project coordinators.

XXX who has been covering for Yinka, is on a one week break. She will be back in the office on 23 October to work with Yinka for one week.




Email from my ‘replacement’ in my old job who wants to meet with me to clarify handover issues

Sent: 18 October 2006 13:54
To: Yinka XXX
Subject: RE: back

Hello Yinka my friend

Welcome back, you are badly missed MAN. Good to know that things went fine with you. Sure you will take some time to settle in new job but you are experienced therefore it won’t be a problem.

On my side things are going fine except North Sudan. Looks like some files are missing in field accounts folders for Jun, July and August. I will appreciate if we can have a look into it. XXX was unable to reconcile just because of small error but she did well. We just reconciled it today and I sent it back to her, Now she will start on BVAs as we have some reports due this month.

I will finish Ramadan this week and then we can meet. You got married and you got good job therefore treat is due from your side. All the best and try to spare some time so that we can discuss North Sudan and other countries much more properly as I know a bit now.

Take care



Tel: XXX


Ex-colleagues from my old job

Sent: 18 October 2006 15:13
To: Yinka XXX
Subject: RE: here

YINKA!!!!! Hey! How are you?! It’s great to hear from you – I hope that you had a FANTASTIC wedding! And definitely send us some photos soon.

How’s the new job going so far? What are the people like? I suppose it’s a bit difficult to tell on your first day…

All is well here – probably because I’m leaving next Friday! You and your lovely wife are more than welcome to join me for my leaving do if you’d like – we’re going to the Fountain, just behind the office. I have been given the Roving FAM position, so I’ll be out to the field at the beginning of December. Before that, I’m moving house, going to Vancouver for 3 weeks and coming back to do a handover to the new Financial Controller (yes, they finally recruited one, but he starts after I leave!).

Take care of yourself, and don’t work too hard…



From a friend, an HR guru

From: XXX
Sent: 23 October 2006 08:41
To: Yinka XXX
Subject: RE: XXX

habba Yinka!, I didn't even know you were travelling. I remember you mentioned about your wedding sometime ago.

anyway, how's your wife doing? have you started your new job and how's that going as well?

With regards to job for your wife, I can say without a doubt in my mind that you already know the ropes. However, I can chip in this or that suggestions when needed.

See you guys one of these days and have a lovely week.



Its 18.00pm now and I’d better go home. I hope I find my bus pass in the rubble in my bag

2 Personalities, 1 love

I got married on Oct 14th, about 2 weeks ago, My wife will be leaving her job back home to come join me in about a months time.

This is the first time we will be loiving together as couples and I cant wait for her to come. coming to join me in about a month and I am taking stock o

 and Im reveiwng my life, If I were to mark my past life I would score 0 out of 10 in organization

Me:                     Im always looking for my socks, shorts and shoes in the morning

My Baby:                Shes already chosen hers the night before, down to her undies and shoes

Me:                     I often wake up on Monday morning to find out that all my clothes are dirty, let alone talk about ironing

My Baby:                She does her ironing a week in advance, she irons the clothes she would wear for the whole week on Sunday.

Me:                     I often give presentaions at work, I only review it 30 minuste to time

My Baby:                She takes time out to study with a view to impressing

Me:                     I attack my food venoumously, and resigns after about average 5 sponfools/mouthfull

My Baby:                She eats slowly, her balls of eba is like an ants but finishes the food all the same

Me:                     When I am displeased about something

Todays event, There a suprise office party to a colleague who recently got married (in Cuba), we gathered on the 4th floor, drank wine, juices and ate cakes and gave a toast for a wonderful married life. I got chatting with the Director (I am new at the organizaytuon, only 4 days old, resumed right after my wedding)  who asked me how I am getting on with the new Job, she said thre isnt many wedding here so it call

Office Hours


Have you ever tried blogging at the office, during office hours? - If you answer no, then you've been missing a thrill. You should try office blogging, imagine how tempting it is to sit on your desk, open your email processor and punch away on the keyboard, I bet you could blog all day long and your boss would not as much as cast a glance at you? of course s/he will think you are emailing a work colleague. E-blogging (publishing blogs by email) is fascinating, the end result is even more appealing - compose your blog as your email body, format as required, specify a subject as the blog title, enter your blogspot email address, hit the send button and get your blog automatically published.

My excitement here is not limited to the adrenalin rush derived from the risk involved in office hour blogging, I 'm also excited that I can get to blog conveniently when ideas are out of my head, fresh and still brewing hot. My advice, however, is to not try blogging at the office if you are struggling with your deadlines, workload or time management.

You see, in terms of performance, I am at my peak during the office hours; fresh and creative, devoid of writer's block. I can just sit down quietly and let my heart out on my machine. If, like me, you always have burning questions on your mind (some of which only God can answer) then you might understand me better. I never intended my blogs to be some sort of a diary of everyday event – no, I wanted to blog my heart out, let the heat on my machine and purge my mind of all burdening life puzzles that I try to find answers to. I am hoping these office hours blogging will bring out the bloggersopher in me.

Burnt Out

I feel so tired after office hours these days that the only thing I want after work is to lay down and sleep. I've been wondering why this is so, prior to coming to the UK, I worked in Abuja, Naija for 5 years and didn't experience (or failed to notice) these after-work fatigue. I can only begin to ponder on these:

  • Am I doing more work here in the UK than back in Nigeria - Absolutely No.? as I also worked for International NGO in Abuja and had a similar job description
  • Does commuting to work here require a lot more physical stress than back home in Nigeria? Again I would say 'No'. Back in Naija, I drive about 1 hour to work. Here, I just hop on the bus and get to work 15 minutes later
  • Do I eat less now? No, my dieting has improved tremendously in this last year. (I'm renowned for skipping meals because I am either too busy with work or cant be bothered to cook)

My ex-boss (british) broke down completely a couple of months ago from exhaustion. He is a good guy and we all (all of us on the finance desk) like him. The department (always) had too much to do and we worked round the clock, as the director, my boss packed on extra responsibities and got completely burnt-out. He was seriously ill for about a month and after recuperation attended therapy sessions before he was nursed back to good health. He left the organization afterwards.
Having seen the effects of over-work and stress, I'm quick to take things slowly and steadily these days. I am learning to:

  • Maintain the right work/life balance
  • Relax and get enough rest
  • Eat even more
  • Switch off work completely once I get home
  • Go out more often and socialise
  • Plan my time and work more effectively and efficiently

Back home in Africa, millions of people work daily without the hope of either a good holiday a quality rest. I wonder how we survive, has poverty given us a thick skin? or did God thoughen us Himself for these challenges? Some of my burning questions.

Today's funny event: My desk at work overlooks the street, looking down a few minutes ago, A woman, whose clamped vehicle was being towed away (for wrong packing), jumped on the towing vehicle and wouldnt come down unless her car was released. I wish I knew how it was eventually resolved, same thing happened to my colleague at the same spot, he paid a penalty of 200 sterling

On a good note: 200 sterling will feed 6 Sudanese orphans for 30 days (Sorry! Remember I work in the charity sector)