Monday, 8 September 2014

One Day Everybody Go Hammer, Or Not

I needed interns and got some recommendations from friends and an internship placement firm. The first candidate showed up for a chat. She was bright and had an easy laugh. I liked her. And then I asked her a random question, "Tell me 3 things you would you do to curb the insurgency currently raging in the North-east." She said she couldn't answer the question because she's far removed from what is happening. I understood, so I rephrased the question; "Imagine you have just been made President of Nigeria. The first matter you must attend to is the insurgency in the North-east. What are the three things you would do?"
She was genuinely stumped and gave numerous reasons why she wasn't the best person to ask that kind of question. She totally missed the underlying reason I asked - to be sure her mind could process and analyze information. Still hopeful, I told her to send in a one-pager the next day. She thanked me and left. After 48 hours, I told my Admin Manager to call her. She said she was on the road, internet was crappy, bla bla. We have not heard from her since.

The other intern was twice as smart and seemed to know the answer to all my company's problems. I wanted to indulge him. After some tests, I told him to resume. He didn't resume and didn't call. We called him. He gave some crappy excuse I can't quite remember. I still had some grace left so he was given a new resumption date. He didn't show up. I called him. A groggy voice answered the phone and said he was his brother. I smiled ruefully because he, this intern, was not a very good liar. I let him be. We have not heard from him since too.

I know a young man who was squatting with his sister but totally refused to abide by her house rules. He hung out with the wrong crowd, kept late nights, showed up drunk sometimes and seemed to enjoy being such a pain. His slurred response to her complaint about his behaviour was, 'No worry, very soon everybody go hammer." Or not. Really. Last time I checked that's not how people 'hammer.' Even armed robbers work for their loot?

I can recount story after story of young people I encounter daily who do not seem to understand that the times have changed. They go through school and come out acting like the world owes them something. I know Nigeria has taught us all how to live with dysfunction. It's easy to make money, illegal money and get away with it but that does not negate the fact that as long as the earth endures, there will always be an unbreakable link between effort and result. It may be delayed, it may seem like a waste of time but you plant, you reap, that's how the world works.

For the lady, a one page essay about Boko Haram was asking for too much. It was simply not her business. The young guy weighed his options and decided to sleep instead. Soon enough, this same set of people will declare that there are no jobs. They will blame the government, and their parents and the educational system that left them ill prepared for today's workplace. While they are at it,  life will pass them by. A few decades down the line, we will all have to live with the sad, unaccomplished and resentful seniors they have become.

©Naomi Lucas
Image credit:  http://www.smcdsb.on.ca/UserFiles/Servers/Server_6/Image/Clipart%20Image%20Gallery/Secondary%20School%20Images/SecondaryConfusedGrad.gif

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice piece! But still I believe we need to do more for the young peeps. Yes we owe them a lot, we've got to train and re-train till they're employable and useful. If we ignore this role, then we are looking at another atomic bomb waiting to explode. #MyOpinion

Naomi Lucas said...

Thanks Anon. While I agree with you, the annoying disinterest displayed by some young people can quench the zeal of even the most enthusiastic individual. It's sad really...

Misan said...

There are those of us who want to train them (www.wavehospitality.org) AND help them get jobs (70% job placement rate) yet 60% of the candidates we invite for interviews don't even have the courtesy to SHOW up or call/text us to let us know they will not be showing up (this is after they have confirmed they will be in attendance!) so I am stumped as to what more we must do FOR them. Suggestions welcome!!

Misan said...

There are those of us who want to train them (www.wavehospitality.org) AND help them get jobs (70% job placement rate) yet 60% of the candidates we invite for interviews don't even have the courtesy to SHOW up or call/text us to let us know they will not be showing up (this is after they have confirmed they will be in attendance!) so I am stumped as to what more we must do FOR them. Suggestions welcome!!

Naomi Lucas said...

Misan, What can I say other than 'I feel you'? It's really sad...