Where Do all CVs end up?

I have passed on a few copies of my CVs and most times am almost certain that I will never get a reply from that human Resource manager or the person I have given it to. Other times I know I will get a callback and an instant when can you start work. It’s mainly due to intuition. You meet the company manager and they tell you to see the Human Resource manager or Departmental head and within the 5 seconds of meeting this person, You know right away that it works for both of you. Guess where my latest CV ended up? Most probably the kitchen trash can. Why? I got unexpected feedback following these events.

Sanju, my upstairs neighbour knows I have been looking for employment for three months. He has been sympathetic to my cause and brought me food at times. I have declined so many times but he never takes no for an answer. Yesterday he told me he knows someone, Johnson was the name and he had a company where I  could work for 3 hours with a good pay. “Why not take it for a start and as you wait for your next destination,” he said.  You see I don’t want to be one of the people who gave up on their dreams. While I wait for the world to tap me on the shoulder, I  will accept what the universe gives me.

You see I don’t want to be one of the people who gave up on their dreams. I am taking a break from something I would like to do and travelled to another country. If you read my first blog you will understand how everything led to here. While I wait for the world to tap me on my shoulder, I will connect with the universe and seek guidance.

I called Johnson immediately and he accepted to meet me after mentioning who referred me to him. The CV was dropped off in person and we chatted for 5-minutes. I left with him promising to give me feedback on the well-written CV the following day.  Next day came at the stroke of midnight.

‘Are you busy right now,’ Johnson asked.

‘No Sir, I was entering my bed,’ I replied.

‘I have been going through your CV and I realised you did not indicate your marital status and whether you had children,’ he lamented.

At this point, I try to explain that it was an oversight that was supposed to be filled in at the next meeting. He indicates that it is important that I come to his place right away to fill in other details that might be lacking in the CV I provided. I plead with him that it is late and promise to be at his place in the morning but he is not listening. Meanwhile, it has not hit my sleepy head that what is happening is not normal future employer-employee conversation. It’s only when he throws in a boom that my eyes and ears wake up.

‘Take a taxi to my home address that I am going to avail you. I will foot the bill. You are going to spend a night with me so that I can assess your CV,’ Johnson continued. I kept listening to all this on the phone and realised that so many girls fall for this. Am sure those CVs that are checked in the employer’s bed get automatic employment. Things we do to get the juiciest positions in any company. Credit to all the women who make it all the way without the employer’s beds. Some immigrants here are doing it and do not care if anybody knows about it. Back to the issue of my CV, where do you think it ended up that night?

Working Girls Walk the Talk

Once in a while, I am in places where I believe I shouldn’t be but it’s always worth it. Like that time you find yourself in the bathroom and the other occupants are not aware there is another female inside the loos. The conversations are always raw and crude. The spoons are not called folks in this area. Other times, you find yourself eavesdropping on the conversation of girls on the metro. They somehow think no one is listening and they chat away. In one of these instances, I find myself a few feet from call girls on the metro. They discuss issues that are real in society. This is what is happening in society not what country is being invaded. The topic of the sex trade and how they are benefiting from it. As I usually like to say, ‘The things I have seen or heard’ that is the real deal. They don’t like they are working girls. I guess the stereotype of short skirts, heavy makeup, very bright red lips and cleavage that threatens the existence of the mammary glands has changed. They are smarter and well dressed. Why buy one when you can’t even have a drink and entrées with them. They are very happy discussing what they have seen and what men to avoid. Meanwhile, I have to do a great job of looking disinterested so I learn new things today. I swear I heard Kevin Hart in my ears saying “Alright, Alright, Alright! You Gonna Learn Today!” And boy did I learn.

Avoid the Moroccan men. God blessed those children to the extent that they don’t care what they do to us. After you have been with one you cannot work the next day or even the day after,” one of them chats.

The conversation shifts from the best men to sleep with to the residential areas to avoid because the occupants are more likely to call 999 right away.

It’s not even the men that call the police but their wives who instruct the security guards to do so. If you don’t like my services, your husband might like,” The friend hi fives the other and they continue.

What these women forget is that we keep their husbands slaked when they fail to do their work. May we run the homes everywhere. May we stink around like leeches,” More laughter continues with this affirmation.

What other people don’t understand is that working women like me are never jealous. I enjoy your man then he comes back to you. I don’t keep him. I want his money up front giving me a chance to be with any man I want. All I have to do is strap on my boots, raise my boobs and when they come to check us all out, My larger than life boobs will be in his face.” This is greeted with more laughter and none of them bothers to look around to see if any of the people in the cubicle has a reaction to the statements being thrown around.

The oral communication continues, “But we are far better off than those girls who are standing with us in the buildings. Their pimps want a certain amount at the end of the day. We are only answerable to our night stands at the end of the day if it doesn’t have any dollars. That is why sometimes I don’t discriminate which man comes over.”

On the streets, it’s not about the looks but the money the customer has. Some days, I take all I can get without questioning why God is giving me men who are reeking of cigarettes and never take a shower in their lives. These labourers are more tender than the rich fellows who think they bought you highly so you have to pull off more tricks for the money.”

God should give us enough cash so we can leave the trade,” They wink at each other and bust out laughing. Most probably I missed out on the joke. God, Working girls and money. The combination is too much for me too. God is all loving and loves all his children, I guess. Why else would he protect and feed them from the streets? Wouldn’t it be a case of ‘If he wanted them to be in another place, he would have ensured that.’

What Diaspora Teaches you?

Moving to another place is always an opener, a new chapter in anybody’s life. Whether it’s by choice or not, diaspora promises a lot more for anyone. You hear about the American Dream and you immediately want that. The Dubai night life and it’s safaris. You feel home doesn’t have any more to offer and crave what is outside. You know how the grass is always greener on the other side forgetting that their forefathers sweated and toiled for these nations. That is the audacity of hope that Diaspora offers. Offering you the impossible, the empowerment and lessons that are fine-tuned to fit your innocence.

Lesson Number 1:

This is more about acquiring new traditions and questioning whether the old ones are worth keeping with your new identity.

Lesson Number 2:

You are reminded of humanity and the kindness of strangers

This is the part where you get to meet and make new friends. The strangers who smile genuinely and give you directions to any location when your phone battery runs out. The ones who will automatically connect with you on Facebook, Instagram and show you the good places to hang. If my battery has run out, I will be sure there’s one person on December street who will help me call that one number. If the bus drivers are striking that day, someone will offer this foreigner a lift to the nearest metro station. Strangers who offer you a sip of water when the desert takes its toll.

Lesson Number 3:

Have connection in that country before you relocate is vital. But what happens to people who wake up and decide to go to the country? Know a hotel, emergencies numbers and steady income to get you through. Knowing a few words of the local language is a bonus. I have never met any local who does not want a stranger speaking his language. That smile of assurance that seals the bond right away is precious.

Lesson Number 4:

The home-work routine deprives you of all the precious memories. You don’t get to feel sorry for the birds that fall out of the sky because the temperature is at 45degrees or how adorable children mittens are. Do we notice the budding, growth and ripening of dates on the road sides or we are busy memorizing the day’s power point presentation. Sometimes we are lucky enough to hear the church bells ringing or flittering of the bird’s wings. Oh, how beautiful the sounds from our environment.

Lesson Number 5:

Scams are real. When they tell you a certain country has a reputation of doing something, they are most likely doing it. They never disappoint. Even those who distance themselves from their countries’ reputation, always find themselves in the same ditch. We have proverb from my country, it says; “Tell me your friends and I will tell you your habits.”

The story is always the same but with different plots, scenes and twists. This a true story; ‘Mathieu from one of those notorious African countries meets freshers every single day. He came to the country to look for employment. Instead of struggling like all the job seekers, he decided to become a service agent. He provides a work that other people like him require. He can connect you to any company and work that you require. Provide your CV and he does the rest. His commission is 50 percent of your proposed net salary. He does not have an office but word of mouth ensures customers are ringing his phone 24/7. He provides the employment contracts for the different companies he has created online. After collecting what he considers enough, the phone is off and end of business.

Lesson: Be wary of agents who tell you to pay for a job.

Lesson Number 6:

Diaspora reminds you that you can go home empty handed. The nightmare of home sweet home and afresh start is just in the movies. Chances are you didn’t plan for home coming or you lost whatever savings you had because people back home were demanding. That time when you realize the visa is done and it is time to find your way back home. You are never ready to go home whether you convince your heart or not. You get into a war battle; brain Vs the heart. The brain needs to convince the body that the time is up. The planning is not carried out in the month but, perfected for several years. The housing, the career prospects, a partner and friends in the country are of utmost consideration. Your friends have to convince you to come back by suggesting that it is the best decision you ever made. But while you are relocating, you move with all the baggage of living outside of your country for so long.

Lesson Number 6:

There are never two sides to racism

Desmond Mpilo Tutu said it best, If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor…A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons.” Full stop.

Unfortunate Marriage Proposals

Every day we miss out on certain minutes and we never know how we spent them. We are not sleeping or carrying out any activity but we just fail to notice moments that might have changed our lives forever or not. You know those flashes when you go into your head because the person next to you will not shut up for a second for you to think. The only information that you keep recycling is what they have said to you. You cannot even remember what you really wanted to say or commit to memory.

Sometimes we are grateful we are not attentive to listen to certain unrealistic offers. Other times we scratch our heads trying to remember whether what the other person said was important or not. Guess what, it never is. Why else would you lose concentration if it is life changing? One of those moments is when people declare their undying love for you. You don’t even realize it is happening until later when they ask for your response. By the way that is how we miss out on so many ‘normal’ proposals. They go like this;

1.     I want a person in my life that is going to take care of my needs and will always wait for me at home when I get back from work.

2.     I need a woman who will ensure my food is on the table; my clothes are clean and properly arranged in the closet. I always want my house tidy and clean with no speck of dust anywhere.

3.     You can be an ideal woman to take to my parents if you stopped wearing trousers. You should leave the trousers to the man of the house.

4.     Change your attitude towards my people and I might marry you.

5.     I will learn to love you but in the meantime ensure that my house is well kept and you will get the privilege of having my children. ‘

6.     Behave well and I will be yours. Failure means all the privileges of being with me would be revoked and this person will transfer himself to another being.

7.     Behave like the neighbor’s wife. “She is gentle, soft spoken and knows how to handle guests well.” Believe me, sooner or later you will catch them red handed. The memory comes back in that ‘Aha’ moment that the relationship was right there in front of you and you were too busy waiting for out of reality proposal.

Elsewhere in the world, people know they are being proposed to. The scene has an amazing location, white lilies to be given before the hello and ‘actors’ involved know that it was bound to happen. How the viral proposals on YouTube have painted the picture so well. It should be clear for other men out there who propose with telling you to take care of their needs. Didn’t they see the flash mob, roses or the singing involved? How about the lovely surprises that come with engagement scenes? All we get these days is suggestion of marriage with dirty utensils on top of the refrigerator, dirty laundry, shoes all over the counter and last year’s left over in the refrigerator. Why don’t they just say they need a house keeper instead of adding ‘things’ they don’t need in their life and house? How convenient for one party?

What makes it worse is, his friend who feels the need to add on to what has been said. ‘I used to have 16-20year olds coming to my house but they knew what a man needs because it has been instilled in their brains from childhood. Cook, clean and take care of any other needs I require any time anywhere.”

My first instinct is to call the police and let them know one of the pedophiles is on the loose. Someone’s daughter was already coming to your one roomed location and the parents were not aware. No wonder teenagers have so much experience when it comes to marriage because they have been practicing with some members of the community.

This might sound ridiculous but knowing that 80% of my natives believe that the only way to get married is to be the best version of the ‘tried and tasted’ regime is mind blowing. ‘Have a few toddlers so he can ensure your fertility rate and child bearing skills.’

Their advice has no limit. ‘Be patient with his infidelity then you join the racks of your fore grandmothers who pushed every challenge under the rag for the sake of long lasting marriages.’ Their suggestion; “Ignore everything he is doing then one day you get him. He will be yours. That is when he will understand your value that you are irreplaceable.” Sometimes you want to yell at themThank you, my people, for supporting women empowerment. Hope that poison stops in your generation. That advice is not even discovered by our children’s children.’

Putting the Masters’ to Use Before the P.h.D

I grew up in a typical African setting and did not know about Doctorate of Philosophy, or it’s Latin friend Doctor Philosophiae. You either aspired to be a nurse, teacher and the best wife there is. You did not need to fly high because your future husband was meant for that. The wives in the village had so many roles but the public one required them to smile and stand by the side of their husbands during any congregation. Since the setting was polygamous, each wife had a turn at the big gatherings. The man would send greetings from other wives he left at home. Complimenting their work towards his image and personal development. It was a great pride for these women to be mentioned as the main contributor of their husband’s big stomach.  The wife of the day was called out to be seen for a few seconds and compliments would run like this; “You see this tummy, She responsible for that along with her sisters I left at home. I could not bring all of them here because someone needed to cook my dinner. This one will not cook today because I have other plans for tonight.” The sexual innuendo was not missed and was always greeted with laughter from the elders in the clan.

I didn’t know any better than those mantles that these ‘role models’ had set for the girls in the village. The only exception was my Mom who is a bit of a rebel. Whatever ideas for wanting a P.h.D came from her. You see, she wanted an education so much for herself and her children. She was always discussing courses and making the right connections for us. She dreamt of transformation and progress. As the years went by, I thought I had forgotten all the values that the old lady had instilled in me. They came back to haunt me. Secretly slipping through my daydreams reminding me that wherever I will be, they will find me. For your information, I do not think this reason for wanting a Ph.D. program can pass with a committee of distinguished supervisors. To pursue the ‘prestigious’ title one needs better reasons in the motivational letter. When you google the reasons why you want a P.h.D, you will be amazed at the answers of the hopefuls. Who knew that so many insecure people opt for P.h.D in hope of getting more respect from people around them. Others fear the working environment and would rather be united with books forever than be in contact with other humans.

In my bid to find good answers for this future prospect, the age factor came into question too. I always tell age not to stand in my way because ‘she’ gives me doubt. If I wait another year, won’t that be too old for this dream? I am yet to find PhDs that suit my interests so the dreams are on hold. My search for answers led me to Andy Greenspon’s article as well as other links from unique individuals. I discovered good advice that will probably help someone else on the same journey;

  1. My best friend told me to use the next months to earn some money that might help in the registration, applications and other expenses involved in the program.
  2. This is the time am using to travel, write and get real life experience. There is nothing wrong with getting training in other fields.
  3. Sharpen the skills I have. What is the use of getting a P.h.D when I have not used the masters’ I acquired?
  4. It’s never too late to attain a fellowship in between. Often we meet our destiny on the road we were unsure of.
  5. Why not take up a research job for a year or two. This means gaining experience in research and the salary is complimentary. It gives enough time to explore the field before the final decision.
  6. Know the primary goal of the PhD

I remember it took me 10 years to go for masters and the wait was worth it. I got a gold medal as well as other prizes. I had matured and concentrated better in class. In most of the higher institutions in my country, it was mandatory that one gains experience in the field before post graduate. I know things have changed and everyone is catching up with the rest of the world.  Before there were debates of whether one should just rush through Undergraduate, Postgraduate, and Doctorate. Some researchers have rushed through all programs without a thought about what lies beyond the academics. It will never hurt to take a well-deserved sabbatical. Now it is upon me to follow my passion, develop significant and original research in my area of expertise to get astounding results. The waiting is a developmental process.

 

Lastly, don’t be discouraged by some people especially those who already have their PhDs. They will say that the research benefits your supervisor by making you a conduit for their ideas. The trolls discuss how many hours you are going to spend in research all in the name of getting a low paying job after 3-6 years of research. Keep your eyes shut for such individuals because you know what you want.

There is always a way and you will get there if you don’t give up. As the Hindu monk, Swami Vivekananda said; Arise ! Awake! and stop not until the goal is reached and Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life; dream of it; think of it; live on that idea. Let the brain, the body, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced.”

Further Reading I found useful; https://www.elsevier.com/connect/9-things-you-should-consider-before-embarking-on-a-phd

 

Hate and Love are not Friends

I have seen things. Things that were meant for my eyes only. Why else would they find me when I have taken precaution to avoid such. They rear their ugly heads and behinds at me when I have relentlessly prayed that they stay buried in the old sewers of the numerous buildings of this city. Some of these things might be small but their splatter spills to the pedestrians leaving their bodies with that stench that lingers forever and makes you think thrice about the L-word.

The stench of hate flows from houses into the street and the owners do not care anymore who gets the share. Remember that 1996 Martin Lawrence movie, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate and how everything went south so fast, that is the splatter in this story. Why do we love only to hate when things don’t go as planned? What happens to the source that was filled with Love? Does the factory inside all of us stop flowing once we begin to hate? The filth of the aftermath can kill the bystanders. So many questions I want to ask but they all come back to the nature of humanity. We love deeply then hate fiercely. I have seen this several times among peers where we love people so much that we cannot live without them then in the same second we want to kill them.

An incident happened within the week, where a couple in my building let the dam collapse in an instant. It started with the female checking the partner’s phone. at the beginning, the man did not care if she checked because it had become their phone. A few days later, the love was wearing off and the male wanted the mobile to get its rights back. He felt the phone had been violated for the following reasons;

  1. She had not put his phone down even when it was charging.
  2. She would answer every text and chat.
  3. She sent abusive texts to ex-girlfriends and any other woman who was so friendly to her partner.
  4. She had become the owner of the phone. Self-assigned secretary, guardian angel, and mobile caretaker.

Enough was enough. Male had to take back his privacy. There came the warning but she would not listen. She and the male’s phone had become one. It would sleep under her pillow, in her bed during the nights and in her hands during the day. The moment of separation was so abrupt that no one knew the lovers could go this far. One slap. Then more while we thought they were playing in the house. By the time she calls out to the neighbors, she is already stripped off his phone and her clothes. (I will leave out the details of the battering because I don’t support violence against women in any form despite their provocation…the man has a choice)

In retaliation, she calls the police on him with the ambulance in tow to save the day. She wants him locked up yet a few hours ago she was proclaiming her love for said male. How did the situation get to this? From LOOOOOOOOVE to the big Hate. What is it about humanity that leads us to forget the love and opt for jealousy, possessiveness, envy, malice, obsession with people who don’t care about us. Why hate when love is louder? Hate should not even be in the same sentence as love. I have broken the cardinal rule. Is there a time when the brain and heart realize the damage we are doing to ourselves. Let us take care of ourselves first before we kill others with our actions.  #Loveisalwayslouder just like kid president says.

The Lone Wolf

I received a message from my friend saying, “I think I will never go anywhere with this new company I keep nowadays.” This is one of the saddest messages I have received from her in months.  I thought of the best possible responses but they didn’t feel right. You see my friend and I are foodie travelers or traveler foodies whichever comes first in our journey. If you look at our older pictures on Facebook and Instagram, you will see that we were always in the company of 3-15 other people in different locations whenever we got a break from our classes. Two years later, the courses are finished and everybody goes back to their countries. Some friends chose to stay in touch, others stayed away. No contact at all. The ones who remain in touch like us want to meet every year for the summer or winter holidays to catch up on old times but everyone seems to be in a different time zone and schedule. That is how friendships die a natural death. You have to understand that priorities have changed over the years.

Dilemma: The travelers in the old groups like to adventure but have no company. The question is not about whether or where they should travel but with whom.  It was always nice when the traveling was done in groups. The advantages of traveling in a pack outweighed traveling alone. Packages for groups meant safety in numbers, cheaper accommodation and convenient mode of transport. Different games were played and stories around bonfires were worth looking forward too. Now the travelers in different countries can only reminisce about the trips before and how Manali was the best destination so far or how hot Delhi was at that time. They look at the pictures of Hampi and notice how wide the smiles were despite the other challenges they had on the way. The only thing left is going back to these pictures and sharing one by one on social media while tagging the old friends so they can remember how it felt to be in those places.

As the days on the calendar pass by, you get new friends but they have different interests. You want them to share in your passion for traveling or food tasting but no one is interested in those ‘wild’ adventures. They prefer to watch documentaries of these places in the comfort of their living room than having an organic experience. ‘Why go to wild settings when I can watch everything on HD notion.’

Plan B: You become the lone wolf. If the road must be traveled, you choose to go it alone. It’s not fun taking selfies in ancient ruins or sitting in majestic places around the world while other people are traveling with their families and friends. You might find strangers who are willing to take your picture but you will still feel lonely. Forget that idea where you need ‘me time.’ This is a case of choosing to adventure on your own because your new friends don’t crave want u crave. Sometimes it’s fun and you get to discover more of you on the roads or in the hotels. Other times you are too tired to notice that you are alone.