Diary of MyWeku Restaurant: To fire or not to fire?
Fridays are generally great days. What could be better than twiddling along waiting for the clock to strike 5pm then rushing out of the office with the speed of a thunderbolt to usher the weekend in?
The normal serenity of Fridays was shattered for me, however, on this fateful Friday the 19th May 2016. A call from Ghana from Dad got my brains ticking faster than I would normally allow it to on a Friday. The conversation went like this:
Dad: Kojo (named changed) is coming over in an hour to collect the site plan (again).
Me: O ok good!
Dad: But this is the third time i’m giving him a copy……and why is he not ever on time? I can handle being late for half an hour, but three hours?!
Me: Three hours?!
Dad: ….and once he never even turned up. When I asked him a few days later he said he forgot!
Now, I had not met Kojo or knew him, but he had been contracted by the professional I had asked for help in getting the architectural plans done to go on site to take measurements etc. I always got the impression that Kojo was angling to project manage the build. I had no problem with that. He had a job in the field and apparently had other projects he was managing for clients on the go. He was also undertaking a professional course in his field. He seemed like exactly the sort of person I love to work with. Young, a go-getter and genuinely interested in the project.
Alarm bells started ringing, however, when braa Kojo, on his first visit to measure the site failed to bring a measuring device or tape. He had to borrow one onsite. Okay, so he forgot, I tried to tell myself. The adrenaline rush of potentially gaining a client must have been too much. Plausible in my book and nothing too serious.
Now, Dad is a retired banker, a former Managing Director of one of Ghana’s main banks who had worked in England as a Head of a Bank. When a person like that, one whose DNA is naturally predispossed to be inquisitive and trained to add a flair for due diligence on top asks you about who will be reviewing the drawings you are working on your answer should definitely not be:
Kojo: O the Architect….I know him….we have worked on several projects so he will just look at it and sign it there.
The correct answer should be something along these lines: Well, since i’m not the qualified architect i’ll submit my drawings and measurements to the architect for a full review. Once the architect is fully satisfied that the structure is as it should be then he will sign it off and we can move to the build phase.
Unfortunately, that reassuring answer never came. Instead the one that came suggested that the review was just a cursory formality. A five minute job perhaps concluded under a mango tree with palm wine on tap.
In a mini panic that has now managed to, thanks to technology, moved from Accra to London in seconds, I had to quickly phone Kojo’s boss, who gave me the answer Kojo should have given to Dad. “Nothing will be signed off until the structural engineers were fully satisfied with the integrity of the proposed structure and finally the architect will undertake a full review before he (who will be held responsible should anything go wrong) put their name to it.”
However, at the end of that conversation I knew I had a difficult decision to make. I love giving people a chance, but after three months of dodgy time keeping and disorganisation I had to broach the “shall I or shall I not end Kojo’s involvement” subject to Kojo’s boss. I did and he graceously understood.
Kojo’s services will not be needed going forward.
It will be interesting to hear from you. Given the circumstances what will you do? do you strongly agree, agree, are neutral, disagree or strongly disagree with our decision?