By Mofoluwake Omololu.
Oche is torn. What kind of people are we? So because he has just graduated he is not entitled to get a position he is overly qualified for, the excuse being he lacks experience. This is the third time this month and it’s beginning to wear him out, where do they expect him to get experience when every company only sought out the experienced.
Tomorrow is another day and Oche has high hopes for his next prospect, the lady over the phone had been so nice and maybe she was just doing her job as Enyo had pointed out, but from all the calls to interview he had gotten hers had been the most encouraging.
He figured that if Customer Care or Human Resources, whatever the case, was so nice then the others in the company were probably nice, too. He straightened out his only black and quickly fading suit, a blue shirt and a matching tie, he wanted to look his best for the interview with Joyce Telecom.
5:00 a.m the alarm blared and Oche jolted out of sleep, if it was already 5 it meant he had slept through the 4 a.m and 4:30 a.m alarms. He took a rushed bath, almost forgot to brush his teeth and was out the door at 5:26 a.m, he hadn’t even buttoned his shirt, talk less of buckling his belt. He’d do those while he waited for the bus, as he waited for the gate man to open the gate he crossed-checked his portfolio to make sure he had all he needed.
He had come to Lagos three days ago for two interviews he had during the week; one on Wednesday and another on Friday. He had spent Thursday walking about CV in hand, just in case he stumbled on something worthwhile and he had dropped five copies and was rewarded with smiles promising to go over them and reach out to him soon.
Lagos wasn’t the easiest place to live in, especially for a stranger used to waking up “early” at 6 a.m to catch an appointment at 7 or say 7:30 a.m. Now if he was to be at his interview at 8:00 a.m. catch his breath and not seem like a panting dog he needed to start his journey from the Mainland to the Island at 5:30 a.m latest.
The interview went well for starters and then a larger part of the number called in was disqualified. Oche was happy to be a part of the 12 asked to wait behind. The second round of interview was more intense and demanding but Oche said through and after waiting for almost two hours he was called in again. The panel before him were all smiles and Oche wilfully stayed his feet from dancing, he had put his best foot forward and it looked like it would pay off.
“Mr. Oche, you have greatly impressed the team today and we’will love to say congratulations for that. Unfortunately you won’t be getting the job because you lack the experience we need. You have the know-how, the theory of it, but what we require is the practical and you don’t have that.”
Oche lost his smile, that word again, what does experience even mean really? He was drenched all over again and was ready to crawl into a tight space and not come out but the panel wasn’t done talking.
“Don’t hyperventilate just yet Mr. Oche, the panel agrees that you have in you potentials we shouldn’t’t let go of. We have decided to take you on as an intern for 6 months after which we will revisit your employment. You’d have gathered impressionable experience by then. You’will be getting stipend of #30,000 per month. Think about it and if it works for you let us know within the week. It’s nice to meet you, Oche.
Oche returned to his friend’s shabby lounge, shared with 2 other guys in UNILAG.
Accommodation options, feeding and other miscellaneous costs plagued his mind. He couldn’t live on the Island, even though it will be more convenient proximity-wise, it was too expensive. The Mainland was more relative but the cost of transportation was outrageous, spending #1,000 to and fro. #30,000 is meager and Oche has no one to sponsor or accommodate him. What now?
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Diary of an angry and frustrated graduate – Oche’s take
By Mofoluwake Omololu.