I woke up and looked at the clock. It was 7:30 am. I fled out of the bed and went straight to the bathroom. Damn! I was going to be late. I had a job interview at Igloo Jandon, one of the new foreign-owned media firms that had taken over the advertising sector. My friend had told me of a vacancy for the post of a media executive. I had no single day of experience in that field, but the frustration in this country can make an unemployed B.Sc holder apply for the post of bank manager.
My favourite sky-blue long-sleeve shirt was already starched and ironed with black chinos and suede shoes to match. The icing on the cake was a black waist coat! I looked at myself in the mirror and reassured myself that I was still a man regardless of my sorry excuse for a bank account.
As I stepped into the living room, my friend Othuke jumped up screaming “Soft! Freshboy! Softboy! Obob! Rukevwe, come see as Baboon soft up o! Those people go feel say you be better person. Dem go hear am! If no be say na job interview you dey go like so, I for run limo service for you make you ball in with prestige. But that one go intimidate the people dem. Dem fit resign because of your levels. So finally finally, na Keke Napep you go run as you take kak up like so! It’s a piri!”
I simply shook my head and stepped out of the door before Rukevwe arrives and adds insult to injury.
Lagos is never a place for poor people to look good. It had rained two days before and many parts of the island (mine inclusive) were flooded. I took a bike to Jakande bustop. Mud kept flying up and down. Luckily, the only victims of the mud-bath were my shoes. I got off the bike and used my handkerchief to wipe some mud off my shoe.
By the time I had found my way to Ikoyi via buses and keke napep, I was not the same fresh-looking man that left home; my shirt was squeezed, my trouser was rumpled. I was disgruntled.
I got to the office complex found my way to the waiting room. The sexy secretary ushered me to a seat. Beside me were 2 other people – a guy and a girl. Soon enough, they were interviewed and it was my turn.
I got into the large, heavily air-conditioned meeting room where a young lady and a man of about 50 were seated. She was the Human Resource Manager and he was the Chief Operating Officer (COO). I sat down and the following ensued
Lady: Good Morning Mr. Baboon. How are you today?
Me: I’m fine ma, Good morning.
Lady: So my name is Kemi and to my right is the COO, Dotun.
*I shake hands with Dotun*
Kemi: So why are you here?
Me: Ah! I saw a vacancy for the post of Media Executive so I decided to give it a try. A trial doesn’t hurt.
Kemi: Good. So we went through your CV and discovered you have no experience in the field you applied for. How do we reconcile this?
Me: I know ma. The thing is, I’m an adaptable person. I can adapt. Anything you teach me now, I will not forget. I learnt photography in 3 months after my university education. I can learn anything.
Kemi: That’s impressive, but hiring you will be a big risk.
Me: I know ma, but like I said, a trial doesn’t hurt. I trust myself as far as there’s a job description, I will understand.
Kemi: You have close to no work experience, why do need this job?
Me: Why do I need this job? Ah… madam that question is funny o. Why do I need this job ke?
Kemi: Mr. Baboon, please answer the question
Me: Ma, I need this job for so many reasons. I’ve graduated since 2011, no job. I learnt photography, no camera to continue practicing professionally. I started a blog… nothing! I have responsibilities. I don’t make enough money from my blog. Unemployment and the need to meet up to my responsibilities are valid reasons why I need this job.
Kemi: Okay, I understand. So why should we employ you instead of the other people.
Me: Errrm… I don’t know how life has treated other people o! But with my experience, any task you tell me to do, I will do it. No matter how hard, I will learn it.
Kemi: Did you go through the job description?
Kemi: And you feel you can get the job done?
Me: Ehen nu… Sure
Kemi: But you have no experience
Me: Madam, if everybody keeps telling me I have no experience, where will I now have the experience?
Kemi: I like your spirit. We’ll get back to you.
Me: Thank you ma…. Thank you sir… Although you did not say anything
As soon as I stepped out of the office complex, the sun reminded me that I was a poor man. Just as I was about to curse the sun, a sleek Mercedes Benz sped past me, splashing a handsome amount of mud and dirty water on my clothes. I was miffed. But what could I do?
I shook my head and redirected the curse meant for the sun to the driver of the sleek Mercedes Benz.
As soon as I got home, Rukevwe started:
“Nigga how your mara be? Dem tell me say you carry prestige comot. Why you come show back like person wey from Syria ball in! See your eye bulb, e be like dem press your neck.”
“Guy free me”
“Yes Sir, Nelson Mandela. If I slap you, your shirt go neat! Keep face like Taye Taiwo wey dey shit. How the waka been go now.”
“E go well, although dem dey ask useless question.”
“Dem dey ask why I need the job.”