Taking Stock – Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics



By Oyinkan Medubi

 

Taking stock is what every good businessman or woman does at the end of a designated period, say a month, a quarter, a year or a life. However, not many stock takers are too pleased with the results they get. While some have recorded profits in their hundreds, thousands, millions billions or even in the eggs that teachers used to get as children’s school fees in those days, many have sadly recorded losses in their hundreds, thousands and millions, and have thrown in the towel, and sometimes their pants and shirts. Some have been known to lose their shoes to their business.

So yes, there are all kinds of stocks: goods stocks, career stocks, parenting stocks, children stocks, not to talk of the stock that delivers babies. Taking stock of goods is mainly done by those of us who are forever looking at the pantry and wondering why, every time you take something out of it, the goods decrease instead of miraculously increasing. Then one day, you sit down and look at the entire rows of shelves and wish for a genie who asks ‘what do you want me to do for you, take down the shelves?’ In vain, you scream that you were sort of hoping that they would rather be filled miraculously. To this, the genie only laughs, hysterically.     Taking stock of your career is a little dicer though. It is the time that you get to count how many times you have been naughty or nice to your colleagues, the many times you took off on your favourite pastime — going on AWOL, and the many times you took to find out how really productive you have or have not been. Then you wish there was a genie who could make all the nastiness, AWOL and lack of productivity go away. He might, however, just look at you and tell you that there was a limit to his magic, fraud not being listed on his manual of operations.

When parents take stock, it becomes a funny business. That is when they decide which child has been most profitable and why. This means of course that they are really asking themselves whether the amount of investments poured on the child has been adequately returned. That is when they remember all the times father yelled his guts at Jnr. ‘Jnr., if you don’t mend your ways and follow my footsteps, you will not amount to much, I’m telling you; playing football on the street is not a sound investment of your time, I’m telling you. Be a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer and so on and the world will respect you!’ Jnr., however, persists in playing football and, somehow, by a twist of fate, becomes an international player. Then the father sits in his comfy chair and takes stock of his parenting ways. ‘It was a good thing Jnr. listened to his old man, was it not? Now, he’s a well-known football star earning millions!’

Stock taking is certainly not for the faint hearted. I mean, at the end of the year, when you get on the scales, you have to face the reality of the effects of your evil, evil dietary ways. The other day, as the year wore on, I looked at my feet and decided they had not done enough, especially as they could not claim with pride to have walked the corridors of Aso Rock. I looked at my hands and I wondered what the wrinkles were smiling about seeing they were not welcomed and more importantly, the hands had not made the greatest time piece of all time. I do remember that they had that ambition. I guess I’ll keep reminding them.

Anyway, this year’s end, I looked at the scales and decided dieting was a waste of time. Well, it has sort of seemed to me that the more I diet, the more the weight just sort of floats around my body. How else can you explain the fact that the weight I start the year with is not the one I end it with? Yeah, believe it or not, it appears to be the one time and area I record any gain as I watch the kilos just mount and mount. And when I consult the genie, the genie, it just laughs and says, ‘where do you think ice cream goes when you eat it, the ocean? Keep on mounting the cones and watch the hands of the machine climb the great staircase of weight.’ So, as you can see, taking stock is a dangerous game; that’s why I don’t do it.

That was why I spent these last holidays like no one was going to take me to task. I defied the silly game the turkey was playing. Have you heard what prices they fetch these days? Well, I never! I also defied the game of roulette the chicken was playing; it wanted me to pay the earth for it, which of course I chickened out of. Anyway, I ended up going home to Christmas with a scrawny little feller that hardly lined the bottom of my pot. Yeah, taking stock of Christmas over the years, one would get a sneakily suspicious feeling that it is getting more and more expensive by the year to celebrate. I think, sometimes, it just pays to watch others celebrate.

So, I have decided that stock taking is good if you’re a businessman or woman. It helps you to know where your goods are. More importantly, you know where you are coming from (two tins of Milo on the shelf), where you are (one and a half tins) and where you’re going (two thousand tins). Then you know the kind of journey you have ahead of you.

For ten years now, this column has thrilled many with its humour, astonished many more with its views, annoyed some with its style and garnered along the way quite a bit of fans, foes and football scores. I have gained some friends along the way (wrong or right, they now call me friend, bless their hearts), and I thank them for keeping faith. The column has also merrily riled many too and I say to them that they can draw comfort in the fact that they’ll finally have their day in court – with the people.

Anyway, I have learnt a lot and I thank you all my teachers. Many have taken the time to let me know how much they dislike my style and where I needed to improve. Many though have told me not to change a thing, that I might even have a thing or two to contribute to their own style. Many on the other hand have practically hit me on the head (I imagined it!) for leading them round and round in circles before hitting it. I forgive them all.

Now, you know why I don’t take stock; I just move on. This is why, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have decided that it is time to move on; it’s cheaper than taking stock. So, for now, it’s … see you around, and Happy New Year! I wish you many more of it.

Source: Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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