Downscale or Upscale, What?

I love this job compared to the one I have done in the past eleven years.

You mean working as a teaching assistant?

That of course

But you have been good with children… Your depth of emotional intelligence, empathy, and love for needing children, all came together in that position.

The new job is entirely the opposite, except when am packing products ordered by pregnant women or ones for little babies. 

The story goes, that the door bell rang, and a little girl ran ahead of her mother to the door. She peeped through the key hole, and exclaimed.

“Wao!” Also curious to know who had pressed the door bell, the mother asked
“Who is ‘on-there’ darling?”
“Amazing-on there already, mom”
“Waaoo!” they both exclaimed…

That was the unique and personalised ‘trigger-of-joy’ the delivery man from the ‘Fulfilment Centre’ brings.  Otherwise.., it’s just dumb and physically tasking.

So the former is better?

No! This is a break. It’s a type of being invisible, or under a cover or ‘huddie’. The buzz, the field of machines, the endless stretch of vast space and people dwarfed by sky-high ceiling makes you a nobody but a station and a number. You won’t believe this. In the neonate plantation with the tech, bells and whistles, all is here, jostling and hustling big. But we are kept out. We are now the minority.

So, is the former is better?

Doing that for eleven years was good, but in the last year or two years, it has been impossible. These new ones, categorised as ‘severe’, spit and cough at you. They slap, hit and bite, often they are non verbal and you can feel their anger and deep frustration too. 


These last months have been like the poor wife in an abusive relationship.., the depleting self esteem.., strong lethargy to break and lack of courage to be free.

Other than a break.., any vista or redemption?

May be not. But I like the deafening buzz of machines, sometimes I imagine it’s raining out there. Like the proper rainfall we have in Africa. I find that soothing. 


Also you won’t believe this, When I fart, no matter how loud it sounds, no one hears it. It’s really relieving. Over there, we were just like bloated fart bags in classrooms wishing for any little opportunity to rush to the toilets to deflate, and of course to exhale…

Talk about mental and physiological pressures. Anyways, you sound relieved. I wish you the best. I must be running now. See you later.

Leonard Chintua-Chigbu
Listening and Creative Communication Artist
BA Fine Art (Painting) University of Benin 1986

2 thoughts on “Downscale or Upscale, What?

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