The grass is greener where you water it
This is a quote i stole from my friend ‘Kiks’ blackberry status, check her out here. I am certain she doesn’t realise the impact her status had on me that very day a few months ago.
To me, that quote (wherever it is from) hit the nail right in the head because people keep saying the grass is greener on the other side and to me, in some ways, that removes the responsibility from the individual. However, the quote the grass is greener where you water it puts the power back in the hands of the individual. So what does this mean?
For some people living in poverty in Nigeria for example, they will long to move to the UK or the US or somewhere overseas because they believe that life in these places are a lot better. They forget that every country has poor people and life here may not be a lot better than what they currently have back home. Nothing is handed to you anywhere in the world, to have a better life we have to work hard towards it. A better way to see moving our of Nigeria for example could be to think about it of how they will source the kind of living they want legally. Or better still, save the money for a flight abroad and use it to make their lives in Nigeria better. After all, £1 is still over N200 and $1 is over n100, their money is worth more in Nigeria. When they have made some more, then they can more comfortably spread their wings.
I might have gone off point there but I think that is a vague example of how to change our thinking from watering the grass on the other side to watering it on our side.
PS: I am very aware that some poor people don’t have the opportunities or resources they need to make themselves better, for those who do and choose to day dream, the paragraph above is for them.
So to the matter at hand that got me thinking about this quote again:
I love my job, or should I say I used to love my job. I was always busy, always on the go, I was on top of everything, the top of my peers, I enjoyed learning and performing to the best of my ability. I was got good feedback at appraisals and so on. Which could be one of the reasons that lead them to change my department. I blogged about this back in December. So I was moved from compliance to mergers and acquisition tax which was meant to be more fast paced and involve a lot more thinking and strategising etc. It is more challenging that compliance and inevitably could involve working to very short deadlines and long hours.
As excited as I was to take this position, it never occurred to me that I would be miserable. I am probably being dramatic, but to go from being 110% utilised to being less than 20% utilised I am sure you can understand my frustration. At first, because I was new and didn’t know much about it, I got dribbles of work, which was fine. Then the work started coming in and I absolutely enjoyed every moment of it. Seeing the nooks and crannies of big organisations being sold or trying to be sold and looking for tax risks that could be involved in the proposed sale or merger (boring I know, but I love it!).
However, the stream of work has not been consistent. I was working on this project, which was the only one I had left to do and I was hanging on to it for my dear life when we received an email from the client to hold on and not do any further work till further notice. I need screamed! Like come on! What are the chances! So since then, which is about 2 weeks ago, I have had no work to do! To some this will be a luxury and they will be excited about this, but to me it is torture. I don’t know what to do with my idle hands. To make matters even worse, at work, I am expected to fill in a timesheet everyday to state which clients I have worked on and for how many hours. As you would have guessed, I haven’t worked on a lot of clients. Which means each time an email gets sent round by the top guys complaining about low utilisatio (that is people not working on client work) I feel awful! I mean, when I was in compliance, I would probably delete the email without reading it because I knew I wasn’t contributing hugely to it. But now, the emails feel like someone is actively rubbing rock salt in my wound.
To be fair, before I joined the team, my new ‘boss’ explained to me that would be times I would have nothing to do and times I would have too much to do and it is the nature of the industry. He also said I should enjoy the down time when they come around. However, I did not expect it to be this bad! I mean 2 weeks of coming to work and leaving without doing anything! I remember the days of getting to work by 8am and leaving at 6pm – 7pm (these are long hours in my trade). These days, even if I wake up early, I force myself to go back to bed so I don’t have to stay at work for too long. I aim to get in at quarter to 9 for a 9am start and leave 4:55pm for 5pm finish so I can catch my 4:59pm bus. My boss has been great through this to be honest. I was thinking of sitting him down to tell him how I felt under utilised and useless.. lol workwise doing nothing. Before I got the chance to pick up the phone to call him, he called me.
He just asked how I was doing and I said fine, thinking he was calling to give me work and then he was like really, how am I, that he knows I am frustrated because of the work thing, I should hang in there with him and that this is usually a quiet season because people are on holiday so they don’t like doing deals etc and I shouldn’t worry it will pick up.
The best outcome of this conversation was that he gave me permission to do tax advisory work – this will increase my chances of finding something to do. I am so excited and I have contacted the senior managers that usually have tax advisory work to pass some my way and I way a couple of useful leads. I am praying the story next week will be different. At least that would keep me busy until more projects come in.
SO how does this link to green grass and watering?
When I was in compliance, although I loved my job there, I kept wanting and wishing I was in the M&A department. They looked busy all the time, closing deals, doing tax due dilligence, it all sounded exciting and important. To be honest it is exciting and important (so is compliance lol), but – because I was watering the grass on that side of the fence, all I could see was the greens, that is, the positives. I failed to recognise or notice the downsides of being there – the seasonal aspects of the job.
Now that I am in M&A, I am doing the inevitable thing of watering the grass on the other side – compliance. All the greens I can see there right now is the fact that because companies have to submit their tax returns annually, there is always demand for compliance and so there is always work to do.
I miss being busy!
I never realised it would be such a chore finding the perfect bridesmaids dress! I mean, it has taken me longer to sort this out, despite the fact I have 10 bridesmaids! The issue is the dress we want costs about £218 each! So as a bargain hunter, I know that not every shop will stock it for this price. I made a list of stockists in London, Reading, Edinburgh, Luton, Croydon and their surrounding areas. I enlisted the help of my bridesmaids and other girl friends and we called each shop one after the other to find out which shop stocked the dress for the cheapest and would give us the best deal for 10 dresses. Let’s just say the best price we would was £175 each and 15% off, next to that was £189 each and 2 free dresses.
I think it is time to call it a day and order the dresses as they will take up to 14 weeks to arrive and 8ahem* the wedding is not far again o!!!
o la la la la!