Hair Elite Salon Review

My go to resource for hair care while on vacation has always been ‘Yelp.com’. Depending on the city I’m traveling to, I always go online to search for salons specializing in healthy hair care and read up on client’s review as well. Yelp is a great resource for obtaining down to earth, honest reviews. While planning this trip, I had settled for 2 salons basically Hair Elite & ReviveSpa. I had booked an appointment with both salons informing them about my hair needs since I was planning on a relaxer touch up session.

ReviveSpa later communicated via email that the salon was closed for renovation. I had to go with Hair Elite. My sister had informed me about a lady in their church who had lush, healthy waist length hair. She had asked this lady where she got her hair done and the lady kept mentioning ‘Stevie’. Imagine my delight when we discovered that Stevie owned ‘Hair Elite’.
Yesterday, we finally set off for her salon after confirming our appointment. I had branched at one of this Spaniard grocery store to purchase ORS Relaxer kit.

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Stevie is the lady on the extreme right wearing the pink top and white bottoms. She was easy to talk to and listened attentively as we discussed my regimen. I told her I brought my relaxer since I observed she only uses Mizani products in her salon. She asked which relaxer I was using and I responded “ORS”. She stated I made the right choice for my fine strands and we were good to go. She spent close to 40mins applying a cream base to my scalp in tiny sections to prevent scalp burns. She did this repeatedly till she was satisfied my scalp and new growth was coated adequately. I was surprised to see that the relaxer was only applied to the 2.5inches of new growth I had.

Then she combed the new growth only once and we were off to rinse the relaxer out. After rinsing out the relaxer, she proceeded to apply a Mizani conditioner (can’t remember which one now) to the newly relaxed growth and we waited for 5minutes only before rinsing out. She explained that the conditioner will restore the moisture stripped by the relaxer.

She proceeded to use the neutralizing shampoo before deep conditioning. The blow drying experience was smooth and in no time my hair was straightened out. After examining my hair and discussing the products I was using, she made some changes and suggestions. Then I told her to cut my hair since we were trying out her own regimen for the next 30days (I’ll discuss this in my upcoming post). She cut it into a layered bob where the sides are much longer and the back is shorter. I called it the ‘C’ bob. Consultation and trimming is free for first time visitors and I only spent $45.00 for a 2hour session.

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Hair Elite is located on 13420 Hawthorne Road, California and her website is http://www.stevidhair.com.

Bookati Book Review

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Ever wished your boss would drop dead?

 

Of course not. Well, not really. And neither had Rachel Benjamin—until she finds herself working for Wall Street terror Glenn Gallagher on his latest pet project. Rachel thinks the deal—and Glenn—are more than a little shady, but she has a promotion at stake. It’s either keep her lips sealed or kiss her partnership goodbye. Or kill Glenn. (Just kidding!)

 

At least she has Peter. Rachel’s too-good-to-be-true fiancé has moved in, and while his stuff is everywhere and he’s strangely jealous of her friendly new coworker, she’s confident they’ll figure things out. It would help if Glenn’s killer schedule didn’t have Rachel working around the clock. Really, the man must be stopped.

 

Rachel’s jokes about killing her boss don’t seem so funny when Glenn is murdered. And it’s even less laughable when she becomes the prime suspect. With the police hot on her very stylish heels, and the threat of an unflattering orange jumpsuit in her future, Rachel’s learning the hard way to be careful what you wish for. She needs to catch the true killer quickly, before the killer catches her.The Key

 

I was having my favorite type of dream, a flying dream, when the phone rang.

 

I opened one eye, testing to see if this was part of the dream. But in my dream the skies were blue and lit by golden sunlight. In my bedroom, it was dark, and freezing, since my new roommate liked to sleep with the windows wide open, even in March and even in Manhattan. And the phone was still ringing.

 

Peter mumbled something unintelligible and pulled the duvet over his head. I thought about doing the same, but surely nobody would call in the middle of the night unless it was important. I reached out for the phone.

 

“lo?”

 

“Rachel. Glenn Gallagher here.”

 

This had to be a joke.”What time is it?”

 

“Almost six. Listen, I need you in the office. We don’t have much time to get ready.”

 

“Ready for what?”

 

“I’ll tell you when you get in. See you in an hour.”

 

“But it’s Satur—” I began to say before I realized I was talking to a dial tone.

 

I was still half-asleep, so my reaction was somewhat delayed. It was nearly five seconds before I’d collected myself sufficiently to say the only appropriate thing that could be said in such a situation.

 

“You asshole!”

 

Peter gasped and shot into a sitting position. I’d spoken more loudly than I’d intended. “And a good morning to you, too.” Even in the dark, I could make out the silhouette of his sandy hair.

 

“You look like Alfalfa.”

 

“Excuse me?”

 

“From The Little Rascals. You know, the one with the piece of hair that stuck straight up. He sang.”

 

“I’m in the Mood for Love.”

 

“Uh-huh. He had a crush on Darla.”

 

“And that makes me an asshole? Get this hilarious novel for N1,000 at Bookati

Today, I stumbled on an article useful for small businesses within Nigeria. This information is useful for entrepreneurs who are interested in establishing an online presence where their respective clients can pay for goods and services. I have also been on a lookout for e-commerce options for my website and GTPay looks like what I can afford right now.

A Blogs Life...

What is InterSwitch about? According to their website:

InterSwitch Limited is an electronic transaction switching and payment processing company with a business footprint that covers the provision of shared, integrated message broker solutions for financial transactions, e-commerce, telecoms value-added services and e-billing in the Nigerian environment.

Most of the local debit/ATM cards issued in Nigeria are linked to the InterSwitch network about 9 million cards. 23 out of the 25 banks in Nigeria linked to the InterSwitch network and issue InterSwitch-backed cards as well. One can thus understand the huge potential for any web merchant that accepts payment from InterSwitch cards, via the Internet. Nigeria has an official population of about 140 million and this shows that there is a big possibility that the number of InterSwitch cards will increase even further.

The product from InterSwitch that enables web merchants to accept payment online in real-time from InterSwitch cardholders…

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Read Goldman Sachs Response

March 14, 2012
Our Response to Today’s New York Times Op-Ed
By now, many of you have read the submission in today’s New York Times by a former employee of the firm. Needless to say, we were disappointed to read the assertions made by this individual that do not reflect our values, our culture and how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients.

In a company of our size, it is not shocking that some people could feel disgruntled. But that does not and should not represent our firm of more than 30,000 people. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But, it is unfortunate that an individual opinion about Goldman Sachs is amplified in a newspaper and speaks louder than the regular, detailed and intensive feedback you have provided the firm and independent, public surveys of workplace environments.

While I expect you find the words you read today foreign from your own day-to-day experiences, we wanted to remind you what we, as a firm – individually and collectively – think about Goldman Sachs and our client-driven culture.

First, 85 percent of the firm responded to our recent People Survey, which provides the most detailed and comprehensive review to determine how our people feel about Goldman Sachs and the work they do.

And, what do our people think about how we interact with our clients? Across the firm at all levels, 89 percent of you said that that the firm provides exceptional service to them. For the group of nearly 12,000 vice presidents, of which the author of today’s commentary was, that number was similarly high.

Anyone who feels otherwise has available to him or her a mechanism for anonymously expressing their concerns. We are not aware that the writer of the opinion piece expressed misgivings through this avenue, however, if an individual expresses issues, we examine them carefully and we will be doing so in this case.

Our firm has had its share of challenges during and after the financial crisis, but your pride in Goldman Sachs is clear. You’ve not only told us, you have told external surveys.

Just two weeks ago, Goldman Sachs was named one of the best places to work in the United Kingdom, where this employee resides. The firm was the highest placed financial services company for the third consecutive year and was the only one in its peer group to make the top 25.

We are far from perfect, but where the firm has seen a problem, we’ve responded to it seriously and substantively. And we have demonstrated that fact.

It is unfortunate that all of you who worked so hard through a difficult environment over the last few years now have to respond to this. But, our response is best demonstrated in how we really work with and help our clients through our commitment to their long-term interests. That priority has distinguished us in the past, through the financial crisis and today.

Thank you.

Lloyd C. Blankfein
Gary D. Cohn

The Goldman Sachs Debacle

How many times in your career have you felt that the organization you work for has deviated from its’ core values by chasing profit instead of listening to its’ teeming client base. Take a moment to read through the following article generating interest on the web.

TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.

But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process. I was selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on our recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in sales and trading in New York for the 80 college students who made the cut, out of the thousands who applied.

I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.

When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs, they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.

Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of advising two of the largest hedge funds on the planet, five of the largest asset managers in the United States, and three of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia. My clients have a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars. I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if it means less money for the firm. This view is becoming increasingly unpopular at Goldman Sachs. Another sign that it was time to leave.

How did we get here? The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.

What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.

Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.

It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail. Even after the S.E.C., Fabulous Fab, Abacus, God’s work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids? No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding. I don’t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.

It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.

These days, the most common question I get from junior analysts about derivatives is, “How much money did we make off the client?” It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their leaders about the way they should behave. Now project 10 years into the future: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the junior analyst sitting quietly in the corner of the room hearing about “muppets,” “ripping eyeballs out” and “getting paid” doesn’t exactly turn into a model citizen.

When I was a first-year analyst I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out what a derivative was, understanding finance, getting to know our clients and what motivated them, learning how they defined success and what we could do to help them get there.

My proudest moments in life — getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics — have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts. Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.

I hope this can be a wake-up call to the board of directors. Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. And get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons. People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm — or the trust of its clients — for very much longer.

Greg Smith is resigning today as a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

 

 

 

Finding a Job in 2011

Global recession is over and the job market is on a rebound while employers are starting to hire again. However the rules of engagement has changed.  Do note that there’s still a lot of competition out there and you’ll need to use every available resource and skill to get a foot in the door.

In the post-recession job market, submitting your resume and cover letter is not going to get you a job alone. I have had the privilege of perusing my colleagues resume over time and one thing I’ve observed is the inability to give a voice to resumes and cover letters. Your resume and cover letter should project your kind of professional person and what you’re bringing to the table. Often times, we leave out our achievements and accomplishment at our workplace because we think it’s inappropriate to do so. I totally disagree because trumping your achievements in your recent and past jobs is a sure way of being noticed and considered for the post in view.

Secondly if  you have saved the company extra bucks through an initiative of yours or done things differently,  prospective employers should learn about it through your resume.  So what works? Experts say making connections, adapting to each potential employer and promising results are the only ways to get hired. For instance if you’re applying for a position you think does not reflect your current job role, I always suggest you adopt a functional resume that chronicles the various skills you’ve acquired within your present job role.

Making connections is also vital in securing a new job because everything is built on personal connections. With large unemployment figure as we have in Nigeria and job openings still relatively scarce, employee referral is one way to increase your chances of getting a job. Potential employees should connect with people within a company and ask them for a referral. “It may be as mush as 10 times more effective” than simply applying (Gerry Crispin, co-owner of Careerxroads).

To that end, social networking has carved out a crucial spot in today’s job market. Job seekers must be on boar with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as well as smaller industry-specific sites in order to connect with more people, and employers, in their industry.  Social media tools should be used to make real connections not just virtual ones. Lots of people use social media all day long and they are communicating with tons of people but they’re not connecting with anybody. Build the relationship from there so it becomes a real world relationship.

Stretch to fit: Once job seekers connect with a company, then the real work of getting hired begins. Gone are the days of impressing a hiring manager with experience and education. These days it’s identifying what results you can deliver that will ultimately get you an offer.  In the current world today, the employer cares about one thing: what can you do for me today, how are you going to solve my most pressing problems, how are you going to take away my pain?

I usually suggest a potential employee finds out more about the company and what the company’s needs are via the websites and annual reports. Once you are well versed in the company’s particular constraints within the current economic climate, identify what you can bring to the table. Focus on the results you produced in your career so far: “here’s how, here’s when, here are the percentages,”. If you can’t add value, they’re not going to hire you. Experts also recommend being open to the pay, position, location and schedule of any position that is offered. Think more broadly, look at all the possibilities otherwise, you’ll be looking for a long, long time.

Work in Progress

Early this year, I remember giving an overview of how far we had come as a blog. I had also shared my goals for 2011 regarding this blog. For the early part of the year, I had spent time drafting and writing my proposals to various organisations.

However our efforts seem to have paid off. Last week Friday, we received an urgent call from a company seeking our expertise in the use of social media ( sorry, I can’t be more specific). We’re also assisting a small medium enterprise achieve it’s goals within the social media world.

What goals have you set out to achieve this year? The month of March offers you the opportunity to review your goals and objectives. Get to work and bring those dreams alive.

Word of the Month

cipollino marble

Image via Wikipedia

Don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order. There is no point in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.

Life is one of those races in nursery school where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same is with life where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.

One thing about nurturing the spark – don’t take life too seriously. Life is not meant to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up?

It’s okay, bunk a few classes, scoring low in couple of papers, goof up a few interviews, take leave from work, enjoy your friends, fall in love, little fights with your loved ones. We are people, not programmed devices.

Don’t be serious, be sincere.

I came across these words and I thought it’d be a good idea of encouraging everyone out there to live life while taking out time to sniff the roses. Have a great week peeps.

The Scam called NDLEA

I am appalled at our degenerate state within this country. I was on my way to the office today and while listening to Star 101.5 FM, a caller sent in a text regarding the recent recruitment exercise conducted by NDLEA (National Drug, Law and Enforcement Agency). This individual complained about the inactive state of the website and how difficult it was to submit necessary data.

I was astounded when Moyo Oyatogun (OAP) stated that she actually came across a notice posted by NDLEA, on the national network (NTA) which denounced the so called recruitment exercise. What this means is that at no time did NDLEA post a notice concerning recruitment. If you have applied for this recruitment exercise, do note that a great scam has just been perpetrated by some unscrupulous individuals. I feel so sad for the large number of applicants who had paid N1,500 each at our various banks.

How come people get away with all manners of fraudulent activities? Where did these individuals obtain all the necessary documentation they presented at the banks. For a recruitment exercise that has been ongoing for the past one month, why did it take the NDLEA such a long time to post a rejoinder? Pheewww..this is a puzzlement.