I immediately started the calculations in my head. The job was six days a week in a month. The cost of commuting from my house to the office and back to my house for this duration was thirty four thousand naira monthly (eighty dollars).
“Lateness to office would not be condoned but you may be required to close later than the normal closing hour. The job is competitive and any one who falls short of the standard target could be laid off without pay.” the interviewer rounded off.
“University graduates to earn thirty thousand naira?” one of the applicants said to herself when the interviewer left.
As I thought about this comment, my heart sank. I wondered how the employees of the company could afford the basic necessity of life with the high cost of living and transportation in Lagos. I had used up my savings from my NYSC days on transportation to job interviews. I needed a job badly but I knew l could not take this.
I was chatting with my friend, Chisom one day and she told me of her self- diagnosed depression after university. Shortly after, she gladly accepted a job as a debt collector at a Microfinance bank not caring about the meagre pay. She moved from markets to garages and also tricycle and motorcycle parks to collect money from market men and women, local mechanics, bus drivers and motorcycle riders. Chisom endured their insults and disgusting flirtations, so she could keep her job. She became miserable and cried herself to sleep. She had to quit the job to maintain her sanity. After months of futile job search, she took the only job available. Her current boss calls her “very stupid”, ” weakling”, “dumb” but she can’t consider leaving the job.
“Its just names, I would be fine” she answered when I asked if the names affected her in any way.
The need for jobs is most time equal to the need for survival at the moment therefore “insubstantial” excuses such as interest or passion cannot be entertained.
Successful business owners are swift to tell graduates to start up individual businesses with no regards to the fact that a business start up are at times risks that requires capital and time. I know a lady, Zee. She started her business in makeup artistry and sales of makeup products from her days in the university. She regularly invests in her business, takes loans and struggle to make ends meet because of clients that are unwilling to pay for the services rendered.
The search for greener pastures and hope of better living conditions are some of the reasons Nigeria has an high statistics of its citizens migrating to other part of the world.
Some people live fair lives, I mean, they have good jobs and their conditions of living is favorable, so they can easily disregard this blog post because they can’t relate. This isn’t about them. This is the story of the majority that clings to the hope of “Good time being near”.