January in the corporate world

The world over, the month of January is easily the “longest” and most difficult for people in salaried employment.

The reasons are varied. The month comes right after the biggest and longest holiday season on the calendar. In the advent of mass persuasive advertising and consumerism, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations have come to be synonymous with big spending.

In order to facilitate a ‘merry X-mas and happy New Year’ for workers, most decent employers will make it a point to pay salaries a few days in advance of December 25th. I know of organizations that will pay December salaries in the middle of the month. Even mean employees will endeavor to pay at least three days to D-day.

So not only have you been paid two weeks in advance of the official payday, you also have to contend with an automatic rise in your expenditure over the festive season. There is Christmas travel to make either on visitation or vacation. There is mobile money to be sent to parents and other relatives in the village. Some people need to be sent nice gifts. There are your friends and peers who are not lucky enough to be in salaried employment like you, and what this means is that you have to “house” them in one way or another.

Then for some people, there is need for an image upgrade; new shoes, clothes, new hairdo, electronics,

Once Christmas and New Year’s are done with, it now dawns on you that the money you just splashed out was actually December salary and normally you ought to have been paid at the beginning of January.

For parents and guardians to school-going children, the prospect of another year of toiling through school fees is already looming large. You angrily curse the whole notion of “big days” once more. You would rather have none of it if all that it brings to you is abnormal spending and then worry thereafter.

It further dawns on you that indeed, the best Christmases were when one was still a child.

You weigh the options; who in your circle of friends is less likely to be in the same financial predicament and can they kindly extend you some loan on a gentleman’s agreement? Is there a money lender I’ve heard of before, or is there someone that can connect me to one?

Is it a salary advance that will do the trick? Can the school administration listen to my pleas and wait a little?

If there is a time in the month when the corporate office is an occupational hazard in itself, it’s January. People are irritable and tempers are volatile. Also very prevalent is an air of mutual suspicion as people try to find someone –anyone to blame for their tough situation.