Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Everything about me these days is so safety related. Good week everybody. Yes my friends, I have just finished an advanced course on safety and it’s amazing how quickly it has already begun to entrench itself in my life. It is truly amazing and all encompassing! It’s all about assessing, identifying and managing risk and containing potential hazards and is even relevant in business. I won’t bore you with the details and though on a normal day I’d be tempted to brag about my new found knowledge to you guys, a strange willingness to share encapsulates me and I feel compelled to do the Divine’s bidding. Here goes…

Scenario one. I went to do a job in Abuja and was checked into a really nice hotel somewhere in the Jabi district. The staff was all smiley and welcoming, especially Idara, a very pretty dark complexioned lady from Akwa Ibom state, whose smile outshone the blinding sun outside. I was shown to my room which was on the first floor upstairs and was taken through a maze of corridors, so much so that I wondered if I was ever going to find my way out again. While it was all very well lit, there was an austereness about it – its source I couldn’t quite put my finger to. It was when I got to my room that I saw why I was so uneasy. My room though compact and nice, had no windows and the window in the bathroom opened up to the corridor. I immediately began to feel very entombed. If a fire were to break out I would have a clouded fiery maze to have to blindly find my out through and, who knows, I might even make it. My ‘safety’ instincts and ‘risk management’ skills kicked into place. I quickly called one of the staff and immediately asked for the nearest exit and was shown one facing my door from further down the corridor. Never mind that it opened up to a balcony on the first floor of the hotel, it was good enough for me. At least I would be able to break my fall with the aid of the parked cars below me.

Scenario two. I finished that job in Abuja and boarded a rather crowded plane bound for Lagos. It was so full I could hardly find a place to stuff my bag. I noticed a stewardess at the rear end of the plane gesticulating towards me. Supposing her arm movements to mean I should stow my luggage in any available space, I stashed it in a compartment that contained some oxygenlike tanks and went and sat down. Not long after the plane began to taxi up the runway, and to my surprise, the gesticulating hostess came up to my side. With her face set in icy fury, she hissed that she had been asking me to bring my bag to the rear where she would stow it away safely but instead, I chose to put it in an unsafe place. She then turned around and yanked my bag from the cubby hole I’d put it and dumped it unceremoniously on the ground telling me I would have to get up and look for a safer place to put it and she was not obliged to stow it away for me. I just stared at her balefully, silently daring her to do her worst because there was no way I was going to get up while the seat belt signs were on with the plane still taxiing up the runway. Luckily another steward came to the rescue and stowed my bag under the seat in front of me, quickly diffusing the tense moment. When I simmered down a few moments later, I took time to think why she acted the way she did to me and realised that she may have thought I had understood that she wanted me to come put my bag away at the rear but rather chose not to on account of arrogance while I, on my part, was seething with anger because of her perceived vindictiveness and power drunkenness. How often differing perceptions and subjective thought lead us to many a tussle?

It would be fair to say that safety and management of risk are beginning to form an integral part of my life. It is also amazing how much saving we make regarding cost to lives and property when we make safety, and the anticipation that everything in life is a risk, a priority in our lives. It’s been almost a month I haven’t put anything on this board and I have missed you. For my absence i apologise. Believe me when I say I feel the pinch when I'm away cut off from you lot as well. I also feel rejuvenated anytime I come back here to share with you my experiences. I will most likely be going to Calabar again for the carnival although I will not be operating in the same capacity as I did last year. That said, I am going to make sure I have a fun filled time there. I would, if it’s not too much to ask, like to know what my favourite people will be up to this Christmas and New Year season. I’m already lining up the pawpaw and watermelon I’ll be using to detoxify my system after the season’s bending binge. Have a wonderful Christmas everybody!