Sunday, 25 December 2011

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A few Ways to deal with Difficult Principals this Holiday…

Credit: Google Images

First, I apologize for the two week-hiatus from this Spot. I have spent the period coming to terms with the definition of mixed blessings: giving ones only sister away in marriage. While wishing the newlyweds happiness and bliss; we must quickly proceed to the business of the day.

It is typical in our profession for the Principal to use his junior hirelings as a ladder. Little wonder they are always wrong in his eyes. His every ascent in the profession would not be possible if he were not availed the junior’s willing backs. And what are the thanks you get? Nothing! If anything, he wants to climb faster and thus, has already drawn up a list of unnecessary costs, which may entail salary stagnations and bonus withdrawals in the New Year.

Of course, he understands that he has you effectively entrapped in the sham of corporate existence. You enjoy the trappings of the ‘official’ car and air-conditioned office. He knows you will never willingly go back to t-shirts and jeans because you adore the little privileges of the suit and tie. He has your undying loyalty.

Undying loyalty is represented thus: The holidays are here again, but you have already made the requisite phone calls to your family telling them that you will not be coming in for the celebrations due to work demands. Of course, you understand, and so does the Principal, that work demands are nil during this Season. Everybody is joyful and at peace, so lawyers are not exactly needed. But the Boss wants you to stick around. And so it shall be.  

Now, since the Boss owns the business, it is only fair that the demands of work should be largely borne by him. But no, he has already purchased expensive travel-tickets for a two-week cruise round the globe with the psychedelic wife and a brood of over-indulged rascals

Technically, you earned all the fees for the year. You wrote the motions; you drafted and reviewed the Agreements. You chased the government officials around and kept the most gruesome deadlines. Yet, you gushingly embrace the carton of fruit juice and litre of vegetable oil as fair end-of-year bonus. Every man has got to pay his dues. But does a lawyer need reminding that Life is Brief?  You might as well start making it count.
I have therefore drawn up a little list of actions to lift your back from the principal’s heavy boots this holiday:
Chances are yearly dinners are a tradition at the Firm, and are held at some classy Continental spot. But you will be a fool to think that this is to reward staff for a year of hard work. Nah! The boss simply wants to show off his array of human trophies.  Odds are- his colourful wife will also be there, with a list of distinguished acquaintances. Of course, you will be ignored during the entire dinner once your boss has cursorily swept the lot of you with a wave of the hand as ‘my staff’ during the introductory pleasantries. His friends will take the cue and you will find yourself pouring drinks and handing out the curry and salt all evening.

SOLUTION: Since this is about the only time you get a freebie from the Principal, make the most of it! Soak yourself up real well, and ignore the warning glint in the boss’s eye. If you are like me, and wax philosophical when inebriated, you will score a major hit. Push yourself to the fore of the conversation. By all means, sway on your feet and keep stories pouring out as you pour the drinks in. Sing of glorious tales where you kicked the behinds of SANs unaccompanied by the Boss, blab without stopping.

Most importantly, never let the Boss get in a word.  While you are at it, slip your call cards to his distinguished guests (whom you have got enraptured with your yarns). Rest assured they will call you up. They admire your boss, no doubt. But what is friendship to prospects of cheaper legal costs? The Boss will recognize the threat. He understands how to play dirty. My guess is he will signal you to the rest-room and attempt to show how pissed off he is at your behaviour. Upon which you should profusely apologize, stating that the stress of the year obviously caught up with you. Voila! You will earn yourself two weeks off, to recuperate.
Now, your case will be strengthened if you flirt with his pretty wife. Insist on a dance. Make her laugh and giggle. That way, you subtly announce yourself as a bigger threat outside the firm than inside it. And your job is safe.

2.                  STILL AT THE DINNER TABLE…
If you are too timid to execute (1) above; come to the event with a list of Schools that advertise post-graduate programmes. Navigate the discussion to expertise development in the Legal profession. Speak glowingly of other law firms where such capacity building is the norm. Remind everyone that there is a Law: the Industrial Training Fund Act which compels manpower development by employers. Odds are, your boss will agree with you, and announce that he always had it in his plans to send out a couple of his staff abroad for further studies in the coming year. His guests will applaud, and this is when you strike! Make an instant request to take 2 weeks off in order to get all the originals of the relevant documents for the application from home. (Our courier services are not to be trusted). 

The boss will smile and say “But of course”. His guests will nod approvingly. Mind though that you may have to give an eye for this grudgingly given aye. But then, that is matter for the New Year. Of course, you are not deceived by the promise of further studies. The break was all you needed. So, from that dinner table, head straight to the park/airport, and keep all phones firmly shut down for the next weeks. 
Chances are the Firm gives out cheap Xmas Cards to its Clients. Knowing the boss’s miserliness, strike him with it! Purchase more expensive cards, and throw in hampers for good measure. Personalize your message to the Clients. They will give you cards in return, personalized as well. Throw these carelessly around your desk, for the benefit of the early morning snoop that all bosses are. He will not confront you on the issue; that will be too petty. But he will wonder how much impact you have made privately on his clients. (It is deeply frustrating when you cannot measure your enemy’s strength).  He will sulk though, but do not notice. Saunter into his office and breezily wish him the best of the season, while placing the exact replica of the cards you sent out on his desk. Smile innocently and request for a two-week vacation. He will search your face; not knowing which job offers might have emboldened you so. He will not want to risk the odds, and will nod his approval.

Yes, chances are he uses you as both legal and admin staff. So at some point in your career, you have procured his Visas and sorted his travel details. When you get his latest Visa, watch carefully to know which chamber of the cabinet he stows it away in.  Certain of the huge fear you have of him, he has not bothered with a safe in the office. This is when you strike! Get that travel ticket and shred it. Hide his passport and those of his kids, leaving just that of his spouse behind. A wise man will never allow his pretty wife travel without him. So the whole family stays back. Maintain your innocence when he queries you. It is double pleasure recalling that it was he who taught you how to lie. Yours will be a glum Christmas, away from the family. His will be doubly so, with the nags of a disappointed wife and howls of irate kids.  

These strategies will work like magic! But I hope you have been taking your entrepreneurial classes, because there may be no 9-to-5 left for you in the coming fortnight.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, 2 December 2011


Art by Suga Belly

For those who might have written this idea off as some sick joke by the Deputy Senate Leader;  Look what we found looming in the ever-busy minds of our Legislators:

A Legislative Proposal for the establishment of a "Sex Trade Development Agency"(STD-A)

 “Fellow Citizens, we have observed that the most urgent challenge facing our nation is neither the lack of shelter nor clothing, but a chronic lack of love. We hereby present this report (a result of extensive capital outlay on the best foreign and indigenous consultants) as our initial effort going forward on a most crucial matter.

First, we acknowledge your widespread applause for our most recent milestone in denouncing same-sex marriage, legally. To the minority who are still critical of the worthy step we took, we offer no apologies. But for the overwhelming majority in support, this proposed initiative comes to reward your steadfast hold to our collective value system:  We hereby propose to legalize Sex Trade in our country.

We will not bore you with the many benefits of free expression of (heterosexual) love. But chief on the list of gains is the reduction of violence. Yes! There is too much testosterone on display within our territories; thus the destructive outpourings of terrorist militancy.  In our wisdom, we have carved a fitting slogan: Whore Against Violence (WAV) to stem the tides. More so, if conducted in a well supervised environment, the Sex Trade commission will undoubtedly ensure maximum economic impact. You must agree that it is not accidental that Nigeria has always thrived on its ‘raw’ materials.

Now, to the Practical aspects-
There shall be established an Agency (the STD-A) which shall be responsible for the day-to-day Regulatory activities of the Sex Trade. Its primary function would be to issue Licenses (Or Licentious Clearance) to successful candidates. Candidates are to apply with two full-sized colour photographs, clearly detailing their bust and derriere regions; and a clear video recording to demonstrate the needed skill set. PLEASE NOTE THAT- Licenses would only be issued after comprehensive screening exercises. This is one screening, where it would be profitable to gain positive remarks from the designated panel.

For purposes of clarity, the Licenses would be divided into 4 categories:
-          TYPE A LICENSE: This would be issued to candidates who are beautiful, sexy and imaginative. Thus, expertise in the practice of Kamasutra, and the various stimulating fetishes as Leather, Spandex and PVC; Whipping and Dominatrix; Teacher versus Student; Nurse versus Patient; Policewoman-Criminal, etc. is an added advantage.
-          TYPE B LICENSE: This would be given to candidates that are beautiful and sexy; but conventional. 
-          TYPE C LICENSES will be reserved for the fat and the plain
While; the conditional TYPE D LICENSES would be for ageing candidates whose sagging skins are already mutilated by cellulite.
The life-span of each license is 2 years; and renewal is at the discretion of the Agency. Applicants are also advised to acquire self-defence trainings; as the Agency may not always be there to protect from the ire of a jealous spouse.

We must also point out here that this Agency outlaws homosexual/lesbian practitioners. It also criminalizes male practitioners and gigolos. This latter exclusion was a tough decision, but confronted by the reality that Gigolos are used mostly by wives of rich men; we had no choice. We will not shoot ourselves in the foot!

Licenses will be revoked and the holder penalized in the occurrence of any of the following events:
-          Establishment of emotional attachment with clients
-          Non-payment of license fees and sundry charges and taxes when due.
-          Extension of services to members of the same-sex.
-          Unruly Behaviour; etc.

To attain the level of global best practice spearheaded by the Netherlands and Belgium, all licensed Sex Traders (We shall henceforth call them LTs- Libido Tamers) should desist from dimly lit street corners and suspicious neighborhoods. Haggling must never be done in full public glare. We live in a webbed world and should act accordingly. Thus, negotiations should be conducted via websites and phone numbers of the LTs, through specified Booking Guidelines developed by the Agency. 

We have already started necessary processes to update our Contract Laws to accommodate the subject matter of LTs in the list of enforceable actions. Managers of Hotels and Guest Houses no longer have to look worriedly over their shoulders when a skimpily clad female saunters into their premises. If she displays her License and computer ID card, she should be entitled to a Private Suite at discounted rates.  

Necessarily, the National budget shall be widened to carve out a Special Fund for the Legislators' ‘private welfare scheme’ to finance their LTs in global trips. The daily tedium of our job makes it vital to have Upper and Lower chamber-maids. Of course, it goes without saying that licenses will be withdrawn and stiff legal means visited on any LT who knowingly attempts to blackmail a public officer that engages her services.

At the internal level, there shall be appointed for the Agency; an Executive Vice Chairman who shall be responsible for the day to day running of the Agency. There shall also be regularly made available, such emoluments and reimbursements as are necessary to bring the Agency’s activities up to speed.

Already, we welcome the inevitable influx of female opposition when this Initiative gets to the public hearing stage. Many women would say they are being used as ‘chattels’; but nothing will be further from the truth. Chattels are goods. Here, we talk, ‘services’. In truth, women only become chattels when they are actually acquired under typical bride price arrangements. So that part of our local practices is worth revisiting soon.

Under the proposed Law, women will preserve their much sought independence, and offer natural services, while maintaining gainful employment. The practice of the banks and other corporate sharks that pay them pittance to sell their bodies will be logically curbed when they discover their limitless options. And unlike the mad schedules of these banks, they will be afforded more leg-room.

We conclude by emphasizing that no married women shall be availed any category of the Licenses. It shall not be an excuse that your husband is not a sufficient breadwinner. The gods forbid that we openly promote adultery!

And, yes, on the issue of a married man patronizing the LTs, well…it will be a defence in Law to prove that your wife either starves you, or is not desirous of stepping up her nocturnal imaginations to match yours. (One of our much cherished collective values being the submission of the wife to her lord and master).

We must rest our busy pens awhile at this juncture; but need to make a final crucial point. Under this Law, LTs shall be exempted from the liabilities of unsolicited electronic correspondence. You must all agree that this practice area is all about Spam Mails.

Thank You.