Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Doing Business in Nigeria

I almost added another addendum yesterday, but then I really couldn't be bothered. Besides, I am being paid to work, not update my blog. But, it was somewhat difficult to do much work yesterday and I'll tell you why.

Around 1:30PM the electricity supply went off. In Nigeria, this is a very common occurrence, an everyday occurrence in fact. So, it would have been a case of "same ole', same ole'", only that it wasn't. The office has two generators, one of which is switched on whenever the power goes. One is currently not working so we use the backup. However, having to use the generator on a daily basis means that we need a lot of diesel to fuel the generator. Apparently there was no diesel during yesterday's blackout and no money to buy diesel (this is another long story which I really can't be bothered to write about). The long and short of it is that for 3 hours, we had no electricity and so could not do any work. Ever wondered how much our lives and work are now centered around technology? Try doing without it! The electricity did eventually return about an hour before closing time, but somehow managed to have disappeared again by the time we came in this morning. So, again we sat around aimlessly until an hour and a half later when the power returned. Ho hum! This is the reality of being in business here I guess. While I was freaking out (albeit mildly) about wasted man-hours, the others just sighed and said “This is how it is here.”

Since then, work has been very busy for me and I am extremely tired and looking forward to going home. I’d like to do some pilates or yoga when I get home, but I can already picture myself falling asleep on my mat.

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