After three years of studying industrial chemistry, and sitting through months and months of equations and theory I was so ready for industrial training. No more classes, or group project body odour or lecturers looking at my chest as if they kept something there.
So when my friends in business admin were applying to banks where there’s air conditioning and butty staffers, I was looking for a lab to intern at. But there were no labs that could handle that many I.T students and the few I found didn’t want girls. So my people made some calls and next thing, I found myself at the ministry for agriculture, because fertilizer equals Chemistry (and more free time for me).
What the hell was I thinking even?
Here’s all the shit you’ll have to go through when you do your I.T in a Nigerian company.
Nobody bothers to learn your name.
The first day I got there, introduction letter and log book in hand, everybody just kept looking at me like I fell from the sky, only for me to find out I wasn’t even the first I.T student to come that day. When I left six months later they were still asking what my name was.
You are automatically the lowest staff in the building, even lower than the drivers and cleaners.
I’m sure I would have mattered more in that office if I came that first day with a mop and bucket, because nobody gave a shit about me. Not even the drivers and cleaners, everybody kept looking at me and treating me like I shat myself just before I arrived.
You come earlier than everyone else and leave last.
Everybody asks you to lie for them.
… and I mean everybody, from your oga at the top to the girl that comes to sell groundnuts during lunch hour. It’s like they realize you’re an I.T student and automatically assume you are an instant alibi. And you finding yourself saying yes every time because it is better than being ignored altogether.
When there’s an argument in the office, everybody wants you to take their side.
Because you’re an I.T student, everybody automatically assumes you haven’t been corrupted by office politics, or at least you wont take the other person’s side. So they drag you into pointless arguments about their wives and children and Buhari and stuff you frankly don’t give a shit about.
Nobody bothers to give you a proper desk
…or even a designated space to put your load, they just pass you around from department to department and expect you to sort yourself out somehow.
If your immediate boss has children
just go and tie wrapper, you are also officially the office nanny.
Your boss is always complaining that your log book is empty even though you’ve never do anything worth recording.
When you try to follow him around to learn something, he will get angry and shout at you to leave him alone, because he is ‘busy’. To make matters worse, the receptionist is always holding your log book hostage, just so he/she can ask ‘anything for the boys?’.
You never actually see the boss.
because what kind of boss would he be if he was ever actually in the office, doing the very thing the government pays all that money into their accounts for.
Though you never learn anything, you’re still the one that works the most.
Because the mere sight of an I.T student relaxing gives all the permanent staff hypertension. Even if it is to buy recharge card and photocopy, they will find something for you to do, provided that thing is not learning anything tangible to take back with you to final year.
They never pay you.
They never pay, not even recharge card money, though you know quite well that they have more than enough to spare. They tell you with a straight face to be grateful for experience, after all there are ‘people’ out there begging to pay for them to teach what they’re ‘giving’ you for free.
They borrow money from you and never pay back
Never, ever, ever. This is on top of the fact they don’t even pay you. Zero shame, these ones don’t have.
If your boss is a man, expect serial toasting
Especially if they work in a ministry. In their minds university girl = prostitute. And they will test that theory, every single time you have the misfortune of being in their presence.
I guess the only silver lining is that they bought me coke and doughnuts for my send forth and prayed for me and joked about me coming back for NYSC to work with them.