Sunday, 31 August 2014

Jumbie Stories Sweet

Three small picknies sit by the outside kitchen
Not sure if them ready fi the story to begin
Daddy tipped the flambo with a smirk on his face
The light was now bright, but still our hearts race

Our eyes tear opened as he started the first
About the river bridge in Mespo whey people say curse
With no electricity during those times
The pitched black night was when the ghost chose to shine

In a long white dress, she often appears
No man too big for her to instil in them fear
We jumped a little as daddy screeched out her sound
The place was so silent we can hear our hearts pound

Go bring me the salt mummy shouted to my brother
The silence was broken as we looked at each other
Daddy started to laugh at the look on his face
But mommy was upset and started to pace

Why you does frighten the pickney them, she shouted at him
Na dem want hear jumbie stories, he replied with a grin
Go follow him, he said, all three ah you go
Nothing na dey in the house to frighten aryo

We took a lighted candle and headed in the house
Nobody talking, we quiet like a mouse
Our toes were being mashed by each other’s feet
No one wanted the back, no one wanted to lead

We shuffled along till we got to the table
The shackle of fear no longer had us disabled
For as my brother grabbed the salt we all rush for the door
Although Jumbie story sweet, we never want hear no more

A second will come, but on another night
Once we get a good rest and sleep off the fright
Maybe next time we go hear about Jack o’ Lantern
Frog with bow tie or the Obeah man

Copyright Rose-Ann Smith 2014

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Power of "Pull String" or Networking in Job Hunting
There is a thing that Caribbean people call "pull string", which is where you get a job because someone you know in the institution sets you up. Pull string has been used in a somewhat derogative manner as often times, we believe that persons get jobs that they are not qualify for, while others who may be highly qualified are left at the wayside. Hence, I choose to use the term networking to describe how relationship with others may help you advance in life. 

I reflect back on my second job. I was in church I think, when my sister in the Lord, who know that I was job seeking, told me that a teacher is needed at a school and I must call this lady. I called the lady and was told to come in for an interview the following day. I did not write a cover letter or a resume. The next day, the interview was more of an introduction to the school, the classes I would be teaching and the staff. The job was mine. How many of you are in a job position, not necessarily based on your job application, but more so your connection with others?

Networking is highly significant in our modern economy when it comes to job hunting. It is not enough to advance yourself academically and then send in some random applications hoping that someone will hire you. While this may work, you will find that most of the times, you get a reply saying, "No job available at this time, but we will keep your application on file". Keeping your application on file means little because hardly ever would someone look through the great number of applications on file to contact you should another vacancy becomes available.

Connecting with the right people and a large number of people provides several benefits. You can get knowledge of job positions that becomes available in an organization and are known several months in advance before they hit the newspaper. You can have persons recommending you to job providers based on their relationship with you. You can obtain a job simply through the recommendation of another with your resume and cover letter accepted just for formality. 

So while you may be an introvert, know when to burst that shell and become a extrovert. Do not burn your bridges. When you leave an organization, leave in peace regardless of the reason you left. Your boss may just know another boss who you are about to come in contact with. As much as you can, take advantage of workshops, conferences and social events, which will help you to increase your circles. However, while you are doing all these improve your qualifications and make yourself more marketable. By doing this, you will feel content to know that when you get that job, it is not just simply a "pull string" based on a position with no qualifications, but one based on a position for which you are highly qualified.