Monday, 4 April 2011

To plan or not to plan, that is the question...

Nigerians and I have a different attitude towards planning, and towards making plans public. I find this strange, but as my Dad would tell me its not strange its different!

Actually Dad now denies this is his phrase but I distinctly remember him telling me it as a child, I can’t remember what “it” was!

When I started work at NEST I suggested that we had some kind of shared calendar, so that we would all know the whereabouts of our colleagues. To me this is a useful planning tool; to my colleagues it clearly seemed to be like something all together different, police state or something. They protested that there really wasn’t a problem, when staff travel away from the office they always let others know of their whereabouts!

Many planning / not planning / not sharing examples took place last week

On Tuesday – colleague A was not in the office, when I asked where he was somebody thought he had gone to Abuja but they weren’t sure when he would be back.

On Wednesday – colleague B and I met to plan some work, we planned a meeting on Friday with colleague C who was due back in the office that day after 10 days of external meetings. I also wanted to meet him on Friday regarding a different project.

On Thursday – I was due to meet colleague D, he was out of the office all day, as another colleague (more important than me) had sent him on another task.  I also found out that colleague C wouldn't be back on Friday when I had planned to meet him.

On Friday – the Governor of Oyo State, announced a public holiday, so that people could travel to vote the following day. Unfortunately I only had confirmation of this holiday at 7:30am, when I was about to leave for the office.

On Saturday – the President of INEC (the election commission) announced that that day’s elections would be postponed until Monday, as the ballot papers had not arrived in time.

On Sunday – the President of INEC announced that Monday’s elections would be postponed until the following Saturday to ensure that everyone gets a chance to vote.

Now I am sure behind each of these examples there is a good reason, perhaps because so many things are just outside of ones control, like an election being postponed, a public holiday being announced a big oga / boss telling you to drop everything and do something else.

1 comment:

  1. You cannot planne well unless you have the situation,in favoure,the enviroment intact,the resources put together, you can plan now, i face the same question as i travelled one day before the election proper, although with the postponment of earlier one, i was not only disapointed,becouse my plan was to resume at site at Gwaripa 2, and since it's postponment i cannot waith befor the recheduled date iam in Gwaripa to commence my job, there i am untill sanate and national and presidential election took place and everything went well.