The Engineer

Dear Diary, I have a series of question I’d like to ask myself. I’ll scribble my thoughts down as they come.

1. My morning murmur

I have come to understand that employees are human first, before anything else. An Engineer is not a machine but a human with the knowledge of how the machine works. Blood runs in our veins too. I have decided that anytime I step into my workplace, before I speak to people, I’ll think first, before I walk past the security and the cleaners and snub them, think. Which is why I greet almost all of them by name. Yes, I know their names.

I have colleagues who have gone through vicissitudes of life and some who are still going through it. I have had a fair share myself. I have come to learn that coming to work is not only for the routine job or to interact with just computers and servers, it’s also to relate, to disciple, encourage and help people. Life is about association. I know people in my workplace who are not relatable, rude to vendors, difficult to be in a team with and seldom caught rejoicing in the failure of others. Se na life be that?

2. This afternoon I remembered a fallen giant

On my way home from work right now and I’m having a flashback. 

We all need to know that there is life after work, your colleague is also a father, mother, sons and daughters to someone. One of our bigwigs in my project was recently sacked and this got me thinking. A man whose words cannot fall to the ground, his email sends a shockwave down the cadre will now have to sign in to enter into the building. Then I asked myself, how will his experience be if he had been so mean to the security guys outside? “Oga go queue outside whenever he visits oo”, Olayemi, don’t ever forget to be nice to people.

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3. Am I investing wisely?

It is another workday; this Lagos life is what the Yorubas’ call “booji o ji mi” meaning wake me as soon as you wake. Isn’t life about partnership after all?

The biggest investment is what is invested in people. This is why I establish personal relationships with people that are literally overlooked in the workplace. This is why I’m doing everything possible to get “T” our office butler back to finish her deferred degree in Unilag, this is why I together with my colleague “O” are trying to disciple “S” our talented 19 year old cleaner to pursue his dream of being a stand up comedian, same with “J” who wants to venture into IT, I try to encourage “P” too that there is more to his life. This gets me going; this is why colleagues tell me personal issue that has nothing to do with telecoms. Once they see you care, they will gravitate towards you.

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The way you relate with people is crucial, even in the workplace saying sorry when you’re wrong is not a taboo. A young lady whom I’ve always noticed to be rude to people in the staff bus stepped on me today while trying to get to her seat and she looked at me and said “easy o, I didn’t see your leg” I was there wondering who should take it easy? I’m seated and my leg is not extended to the isle you’re the one moving. Dear, a sorry would suffice. Be humble.

I have learnt and still learning that I need to look beyond the bright and gay suits and colourful dresses, and embrace the fact that my colleagues though like a wheel in a moving operational system are just human with challenges here and there, some come to work smiling but they carry heavy burdens, marital issues, sick child, just gone through surgery and so on. 

Just last week I was trying to encourage a colleague going through some stuff and she said “two months ago I had a major surgery”. I froze. I am sure most people did not know that because they did not care to, they think it is all about getting the job done. I always have it at the back of my mind that peradventure I am sacked tomorrow, all I will lose is the job, but the people I will keep. 

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Most times what gets me out of bed is not the number of mouse clicks for the day, it is the anticipation of one colleague or the other I am hoping to help interpret their dreams or share in their burden. Just last week, a colleague of mine “Mx” told me that he had changed the soundtrack of his upcoming album just as I suggested even though it cost him 300 thousand Naira extra. Way to go Mx! I do not know what that guy is doing in telecoms, I see a music star in him- so talented. Me, I don yarn am the truth. I no get time o, I don yarn am the koko, oh boy step out in courage and pursue your dream, no need to click your life away with such an amazing talent.

God created us a social being that is why Adam was not left alone in the garden. Same reason why we are expected to procreate. Through interactions with other people, we find our purpose. Destiny calls!

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