INDEED, whether bankers are daft and specialize only in adding up figures with the help of calculators and computers remains a lingering puzzle. It is possible the monotonous and largely unchallenging nature of banking affects the entirety of bankers’ regimented, almost boring, lives. It is apposite to point out here that the newsroom is the opposite of any bank’s office. Agreed there is no commensurate money in journalism when compared to the banking industry, but there is unparalleled occupational joy. Banking is sheer slavery. Because of the alleged fat pay with constant cuts and lay-offs in banks, especially these days, you are almost made to work round the clock in very demoralizing circumstances. There is no regard for your person, family or time. Senior colleagues relate with you as if you were under their bondage!
Bonding scarcely takes place only among equals, unlike in journalism where there is equality, joviality, brotherhood and fraternity. Nobody breathes down on anyone. Everyone knows his limit and responsibilities which gives room for reciprocal respect and camaraderie. In the financial world under review, any person who is higher than you by just a step or grade lords it over you magisterially with inexplicable concurrence by the warped system! There is a pedigree of alienation, subjugation and haughtiness; esprit de corps is clearly non-existent. Here, some co-workers carry on as if they were the owners of the business who are irremovable. Luckily, as fate will have it, some of these sadists end up being messed up and eventually kicked out by the same system that allowed them to drive roughly unnecessarily.
Another development in this PR business which I do not quite understand is: why outsource PR and other corporate communications functions to an agency or a consultant at a high cost when the bank has even more competent employees to do the same job at a reduced outlay? The noble thing to do is either get on with the usually exploitative contractors or depend solely on your corporate communications staff. If the idea is to create jobs for the boys (media brokers) out there, shouldn’t there be decent ways of accommodating them instead of the duplicitous and indicting channel called media outsourcing? This queer arrangement is capable of making the in-house chaps look like logs bereft of ideas when in reality that is not the case. The argument that such interventions are merely supportive does make sense to me. For it to be plausible, it should also be extended to other functions in the bank.
Banking is the only profession where I see unexposed accountants dictating copies to former distinguished editors and racy columnists with immense versatility and multi-disciplinary backgrounds. These all-knowing financial chaps cannot be taken as cub reporters in Nigeria’s competitive media environment! In most cases of their intrusion, they make you look stupid before your junior colleagues and other rookies in the media who you have to go and plead with to accommodate the accountant’s curious and unprofessional slant. If this is what bank PR entails, may I never berth here again!
The job of a reputation manager, like this writer, is made more challenging when his friends in the media erroneously believe that he “edits” (if available at all) what is supposed to be given to them from corporate benefactors! What a dilemma: neither your top managers nor your professional colleagues believe you. For some of us who have, with merit, dignity and respect, reached editorial peak long before now, such misconceptions can be worrisome as they cast aspersions on the integrity of those involved.
In the midst of all these challenges, the PR fellow does not have a clearly defined career prospect. Most of those involved in the thankless job cannot beat their chests today and say in the next five years, they would be senior managers or AGMs. Only on rare occasions do these happen. In the same breath, job stability is equally not guaranteed. At the slightest opportunity, workforce right-sizing starts in the PR department. Editors in core banking, unlike their colleagues in PR that are mistakenly regarded as support (ancillary) staff, are shielded from this occupational hazard.
Taking cognition of everything, there is nothing as good as job satisfaction in any place. When you are doing a job that you do not enjoy, it becomes labour as opposed to work which you cherish. The cardinal point to note is that money is not everything. Lucre should not be a determinant in our job calculations and mobility.
An advisory epilogue: no matter the circumstances or opportunities that come your way with regard to employment, let professionalism and long-term job satisfaction influence our choice; not just fleeting financial fulfilment. If you have to change jobs, think very well about the likely implications and consequences. A better and enticing package may ultimately evaporate, as in my case! It may look big at the outset, but, with time, it becomes a mirage as if it never existed. In other words, monetary consideration should be secondary. And if you have to inevitably move, negotiate very well at the point of entry (that is, if you have the bargaining platform). Once you get it wrong at the initial stage, it is difficult, if not impossible, to correct. This was my lot not long ago!
Re: Don Ubani
EBERE unveiled the true identity of Dennis Ogbonna Ngozi (Don) Ubani (vide DAILY SUN, September 26, 2016). He attended Rivers State College of Education as Don Kobani and did not claim his certificate because he could not sustain the Ogoni identity outside Rivers State. He has lived a chequered life of false identity and fraud. It is a miserable life indeed. He is not an Asa man. His mother was from Umugo in Ugwunagbo. He was born there before his mother married at Umuiku-ikor in Asa. He has three other half-brothers from two different fathers. While in Ubani’s house, his mother gave birth to Stanford out of wedlock which forced his step father to remarry and relocate his residence. That’s the sad story of the man Dennis (alias Don) which should explain why he is behaving the way he is doing!
–Nnadede Nwankwo via +234-2211662
OBVIOUSLY out of cowardice and fear of public opprobrium from possible embarrassment by this fiery columnist, some scurrilous readers like 08037094671 and 08037298527 send bovine, virulent and adversarial SMS without their names! I loathe such distractive interjections and vituperative intrusions. If you are audacious and cerebral enough, identify yourself properly so that we could engage in intellectually stimulating debates, profound interrogation and ennobling correspondence—not anonymous/pseudonymous and scathing mail that border on vicious and vitriolic asininity. Of course, I ignore such moronic stupefaction by clinical ignoramuses.