I’ve not always had things go my way, right from the time I was born. Things have always been very difficult; I was never a “lucky” person. I always struggled for everything; to be loved, make sure I do things excellently…It’s a cycle! My siblings on the other hand, though they work really had, they are always very lucky; at least they are sure of working hard and seeing results. I on the other hand, even after working hard, nothing (positive result) is guaranteed. I won’t say I’m cursed but life has been pretty tough for me.
My parents separated at the age of three and my dad took me to his new home and new wife. As the last child, I wasn’t close to my brothers and sisters but they looked after me. I was neither a mum nor dad’s favorite, I was just there; a little girl that imagined things and hoped her parents would get back together. I didn’t know why my parents were separating at that age but then I would tell people my own version of the story and my dad would get upset, lol. Anyways, the truth is, I have worked so hard for everything (and by the help of God Grace) that most of the time it doesn’t work out and other times it takes a really long time (almost at the point of giving up) to achieve it.
My university days, was not so hard cause I tried to avoid lecturers asking me out so they couldn’t fail me. Though I would have loved to put more effort in my studies (this would have provided me with scholarships that I would probably have not been in this country by now) than on my first love (there was a lot of drama there). I didn’t even tell people my real name (my certificate has my real name) in school and it’s possible that is what got me through it. I have worked with three (3) companies since I graduated from the university; I never imagined working in these places but the situation of our country led me to them.
The first job was owned by a Hausa man, it was an airline, and I worked as a ticketing officer, it was located in Port-Harcourt. So I traveled all the way from Lagos to port-Harcourt, their HR came from Lagos as well to conduct an interview. I started the job and within a month to the job, the Managing Director was asking me out to the point that he delayed salary just to frustrate me. I was squatting with a friend I met during my NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) days, hoping after three month I would have been able to get my own place. The MD kept telling staffs that our aircraft is on maintenance and our salaries are pending ,that we should be patient –enough time for me to give in (well, that’s what he hoped). Until I decided to write a letter, saying since our aircraft is on maintenance, we have not been in operations and I have not been paid for months, coming all the way from Lagos, I should take two weeks leave until things normalize (but I knew I was never going back). Two weeks after I got home in Lagos, they paid me.
The second Job was owned by an Indian and managed by a Yoruba man. After spending three frustrating years in that organization; terrible salary, crazy work hours and oppression from the management, the MD decided to ask me out (not directly but we know these things). Anyways, I (and a male staff) was laid off for the “recession” in Nigeria; meanwhile a junior staff I recruited was ‘is’ still there.
The third job was as a marketing officer; after the interview, the MD is based in Benin but decided to meet the new staffs after a month and the minute he set his eyes on me, he harassment began immediately. Despite my first time as a marketer but took the offer because I needed a new apartment (first apartment) due to family pressure. The story of my job days are so long I decided to summarize it here since that is not what I would like to write about why I ‘m currently unemployed.
The truth is, I have never really had a career job. I have always jumped from one job to another because it’s available, I don’t want to be less busy, I need money for bills and my personal well-being since I don’t have anyone looking or taking care of me. So I started with the reason for jumping from one job to the other because they all have one thing in common; being sexually harassed. Did I also mention that they were all private companies? So you see why they could get away with harassing you and telling you to leave if you refused without anyone questioning them. The last one was so bad; they didn’t even pay me (and three male colleagues) off…Oh what a life!
Ok so let’s get to why I am currently unemployed shall we? I know you might be wondering how I look like to be harassed this much – it’s very common here ‘Nigeria’ and most girls give in and cause drama in the organization until they are fired while some refuse and get laid off one way or the other, especially in private organizations (mostly run by family and friends while frustrating strangers with hectic work hours and harassments). And about my looks, I’m above presentable (that’s all you can know now)…Therefore, I am currently unemployed because I’m;
Too cute to be unnoticed
I’m not bragging but people notice me even without me making an effort. No matter how I try to tone it down or hide myself, people notice. And i always do my job really well that they could not use that as a yardstick to fire me. So this useless men try to invite me on dates and I politely decline ,they keep trying until they somehow feel insulted that I don’t accept their offer and look for ways (firing someone else as well) to get rid of me so it won’t look like it was personal.
Too good to settle
I’m not the most righteous but I know my right from wrong. And I like to be praised for my work and not for any other ‘dirty’ means. Did I also mention that these men are married? Even if they were single, I can’t date anyone from the same company.
Keep taking the wrong jobs
Those jobs were not just for me. I took the first one because I wanted to have experience, the second one after I stayed at home for a year without money and I needed money. The third one because I wanted to be able to pay for my new place (first place actually, I never lived alone). They were not my dream jobs but they were available at the time and I was desperate.
A people “family’” pleaser
I like pleasing people a lot and this have really limited me in so many ways and delayed me from where I need to be. There was a time I was really interest in Nollywood (acting, script writing and co) but the money was slow and in a way I felt like I was disappointing my family and not being reasonable. Every other person (well except my sister that wasn’t working at the time) contributed in the house and I wanted to be able to as well. So, I had to forgo my dream of being a film maker so I can be able to pay bills and make my family proud.
I am currently unemployed because I just don’t want to take any job (though, jobs are very difficult to come by in this county) like I did in the past and I believe I am meant for something greater and should be more focus on my career path that just making money. I have decided not to settle for less; getting another private small job, doing my best as usual but then being so damn cute that these men can’t resist, hence the cycle all over again - don’t think I can endure such trauma again. Trust me; it’s an emotional roller coaster! It makes you question yourself, sometimes you lose yourself in the process. I won’t tell you it’s not easy being without having money. You have anxiety, sleepless nights, bothered about what your neighbors are thinking, nothing motivates you, you wish you were invincible, you consider doing the wrong things when it’s not who you are. Therefore, I have decided to work on my craft and apply for jobs that would take me closer to my goals and career, hoping not to make the same mistakes ever again and eventually landing my dream job (remember, not everyone must be self-employed) or being a successful entrepreneur in the process.
So I would like to ask you: Are you currently unemployed by choice or circumstance? Have you been laid off a lot? What did you learn from the experience? If you have started working again, what are you doing differently? And if you are not, what are you plans now or what do you hope for?