I am slowly trying to get the hang of this place though I often feel like I still have so much to learn. Last week I received an email from a lady called Winnie. She dropped me a mail that said, “Josphat, you might not remember me, but I was a junior in university. Very pleased to have you on board. Do not hesitate to reach out if you need anything.”
I could not remember any Winnie from my university days, but I still responded politely and told her of my new office location and asked her to pass by any time.
A few days later, Winnie made good on her promise and showed up at my desk. She was quite friendly and gave me a huge hug. Winnie was very well dressed in the latest fashion and I could not place her. She then proceeded to tell me how pleased she was that I had joined the company. “I have heard only good recommendations about you, plus I do recall how kind you were to your juniors back in college.” I still could not recall what she was referring to, but I decided to ride the wave and just take her compliments.
Winnie then asked me, have you set up your Connect Pulse?
I laughed nervously and said, “what is that?”
She chuckled and said,|“It is like our internal Internet, what we used for connecting with each other and for collaborating.” She said, “if you do not mind, I can set it up for you.” She then walked over to my side of the desk and tinkered with the screen and Voila! I was soon on Connect Pulse.
I figured that since Winnie was being helpful, I could ask her about the lay of the land and more specifically about the politics. I asked her, “ So, who really calls the shots in this place?” She said, “of course the CEO?” I told her, “We all know how these companies really work, you have the CEO and then you have those who really pull the strings.”
She told me, “Pass me a pen and paper.”
She then took the paper and started making what she called the “ mapping of power in the organisation.”
According to her, the real influencers are the marketing and finance managers and she said, “they determine who is in and who is out.”
She also told me some of the dos and don’ts. She told me, “In this place, we take presentations seriously- so make sure you have killer PowerPoint skills.”
Winnie also said, “The CEO hates bad dressers so make sure you dress well and please do not grow your beard—also people here think working late is a virtue.”
I laughed and said, “Seems I will have to rework my wardrobe.” She then proceeded to tell me about her “career and rise in the company.” She sounded pretty pleased about the company and about the “ opportunities and career advancement.” She concluded by saying, “Just work hard and make sure the right people notice your work.”
By the time she left the office, I felt more comfortable about navigating the company.
A few minutes later, I received an email from the regional office which is based in Dubai. The email was titled- “Induction”. It seems they want me to travel to Dubai for three weeks for and induction. This sounds good because it means that I get to see Shiro. I decided to learn more about the “official” stuff from Connect Pulse. Winnie had told me, “you better familiarise yourself with all the processes and systems. That is where the rubber meets the road.” Seems Winnie will be a resource for me going forward, but I could not help wondering if she has another motive for her kindness.