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Diary of An Unsatisfied Lagos Employee



stressed black womanI really don’t know where to start from or what to say, so I’m just going to paint a picture of what my life as an employee is like. I am taking courses in Enterprise Development and tempting as it is to step from the threshold of employee to entrepreneur, there’s a security that comes with paid employment. I am not strong enough to bear the burden of the risks of a business even though I’d love the joy of doing a business, making profit and going off to buy Jimmy Choo’s just because! Talking about treats, when I started working fulltime (a year ago) and having to pay bills myself, simple things like trips to the salon became treats. Treats in the sense that I don’t go into the salon, steam my hair (N800 approx.), buy two new packs of weave (N3000 approx.), fix my hair (N1500 approx), get a pedicure (N1000approx.) and a manicure (N1000 approx.), have someone else pay the bills (one of my sisters/ a boyfriend/ a toaster/ a ‘friend’ a.k.a that guy with questionable intentions you’ve decided to act blind to), smile, say thank you and be back there in two weeks! Now, these trips are three weeks to one month apart and some things are rotated… a pedicure on this trip, a manicure on the next… hmmm! As an employee, you get paid some change that your employer feels is too much money to pay someone like you. He thinks after all it’s a learning experience for you, so hey you should be grateful for the opportunity. Bollocks! If your employer doesn’t think you can add value to their business, they wouldn’t employ you in the first place and the minute they sense you have become a liability, they’ll kick you out the back door. In reality there are no sentiments in business. Your boss is never really your friend in the real sense of the word…don’t get it twisted!

Don’t get the wrong ideas, I have a good job, I enjoy my job, and I work with some really great and interesting people who over time have become friends of a kind. I don’t work in any of those rigid environments where there is a huge hierarchy and you have to be at work before 8 am and you probably don’t leave till 7 pm. As if the timings aren’t bad enough, you have to wear a suit and heels for all those hours. I wear my jeans and whatever top I feel like wearing, slip on my flat soles and I am good to go! Downside though, unlike the ‘machines’ doing those long hours in the killer heels I am not ‘serviced’ by my employers. No fat pay checks, medical insurance…(now that’s very important!), housing allowance, a car allowance….their system takes from you but gives something back. I am not saying my system doesn’t give certain things; it’s just human nature to think that the grass is always greener (wink!)

Let’s do an analysis of my paycheck. Can you imagine earning £175.00/month? That translates to £2100.00/year. Oops! Did I add my annual Xmas bonus of £15? There you go! Luckily, as a Youth Corps member in Nigeria, I get an additional say £45/month. Please don’t ask me why I am speaking in GBP. It’s just my way of painting a universal picture. If I use NGN, when some people start hearing anything above N20, 000 they’ll probably say, “She’s not happy!” On the other hand, if I use USD, it’ll project an image that the money is still manageable. For me, GBP does it…so deal with it! Now to the crux of the matter, what exactly can that amount of money do for me? Let’s say I decide to take a danfo home every day in a month, I’ll be spending £50/month. Should I attempt taking a taxi every day, I’ll be spending something in the area of £225. Please don’t forget I earn £175/month!

Now, I have lunch at Iya Eba(don’t try the pounded yam and ofada rice!) as opposed to TFC, Tantalizers, Nandos etc. These places I go to just once in a while because an average meal there will cost me say £7.50 while at Iya Eba, after all my orisi risi, I’ll be under £2. Despite all these though, I treat myself to a nice sharwarma or pizza every once in a while. Wetin man go do? And whenever I am in V.I in the afternoon I try to buy Chipsy (dodo)…hmmm…

As if all these are not enough to drive one crazy, you have to deal with people bitching, envious people, bitter people, people you admire inside, attractive guys you can’t have…the list is endless! Sometimes, I go to work day in and day out and I don’t feel like I’m adding any value to my organization. At those times, I’m so depressed and I start to wonder what mid-life crises would be like. Good thing though, those spells never last long. Before long, I’m back to my usual bubbly self.
Anyway, I’m done here for now. Always remember what the wise man says… “seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before common men” (Prov 22:29)


  1. karo akpokiere

    October 21, 2009 at 9:27 am

    The Prov 22:29 verse is one to follow because if one is to focus on the low pay and other issues associated with the 9-5 or 9-whenever scene, one will be surely discouraged and depressed. Thank you for writing from the heart and I wish you all the best in the enterprise development programme you are taking. Lol, I was also into the naira -pound salary conversion.

  2. Just saying

    October 21, 2009 at 9:41 am

    really??? is she for real? she better be grateful. she earns almost 50k a month. not that many ppl earn that as a a corper. yes its not ideal but in all things give thanks. this article makes no damn sense. pls find someone who works, and adds value to their organisation, struggles to fit in, meet deadlines, beat traffic to and from work, has to wear those killer heels for 10 hours, dealing with older ppl who think because u r young they cnt respect or report to you, having to deal with walking into a room to represent ur company and they ask if ur boss is not coming…. i can go on and on, look for someone who deals with all this kind of madness and then u can talk about employee madness in lagos. not someone complaining over 50k. abeg!

  3. Yendizie zizi

    October 21, 2009 at 10:18 am

    This is a nice piece, but the truth is you really do not want to hear the story from those you have tagged the machines…(like I wasn’t one) anyways, the money might (as we like to say) be peanuts, but its really better to earn that and have you life and time to yourself than being paid huge figures and someone else reaping the benefits, like a relative! And do u not know that having those heels on from 6:30 to 8:00 is really painful??? lmao!

  4. oga o

    October 21, 2009 at 11:32 am

    lol very true ad 9ice post

  5. Cutiepie

    October 21, 2009 at 11:48 am

    No comments..cos there really isnt anything to say here..

  6. Yinka

    October 21, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    But she’s not complaining in that manner, just ranting. I don’t hate uni and would hate to not know what’s next, but I still “rant” anyways. Haba! It’s allowed

  7. 35yrs & goin strong!

    October 21, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Ronks, is that you? so you still dey complain,abi??Abeg sharrap & get with the program jo!

  8. lola

    October 21, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    u are a copper and u earn close to 50,000 naira a month? and u still complain? u needed to have served during my own time……..5000naira!!!!!

    so let me hear u speak.

  9. Tess

    October 21, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    u just described my lfe and job, wow…….do u know me?
    this is just typical of most Naija employees, pity

  10. jcsgrl

    October 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    so you’re earning over 50k as corper and you’re complaining. Go and talk to my brother who is earning 30 and works 12hrs everyday 6 days a week. mcheew!!! Abeg, it looks like una no get gist for pesin on this site.

  11. do re mi

    October 21, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    this is not a very good article. she just comes across as highly self indulgent and narcissistic. grow up, you don’t earn as much as you want to…big friggin deal! welcome to the real world. And all this talk of GBP. WTF? we get it! you went to school abroad!

  12. Baba T

    October 21, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Ranting is always allowed, You always feel a bit better after you do so.

  13. Azazel

    October 21, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Lmao @ zizi.
    hahahahhahahahaahhahahahah lmao funny ass post though.
    The poor wish to be rich, the rich wish to be happy, the happy wish to be dead.

  14. Oritsekeldraine

    October 21, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Well it turn out to be the same thing in the western world!!! In dallas ,TX….working proffesionals who choose live the high life get behind on bills and this is a fact!!!!

  15. Secret Lover

    October 22, 2009 at 1:02 am

    abeg the babe is ranting….she is allowed to be illogical and childish

  16. Dorah

    October 22, 2009 at 2:10 am

    I don’t understand this article…

  17. nma

    October 22, 2009 at 2:16 am

    lol @ e be like sey una no get gist for pesin on this site…lol…

  18. Boujai

    October 22, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Didn’t get the premise of the article, it all over the place.

  19. kelly

    October 22, 2009 at 10:15 am

    ur complaining lyk u dont supplement ur wage with sum minor aristo business. abeggi. these 9ija babes, satisfaction no dey una eye!!

  20. Emma

    October 22, 2009 at 11:43 am

    [email protected] all the comments. I quite enjoyed reading the article and the comments from the narrow minded peeps who felt the need to say deal with it thats all we know! Why cant a sister rant? if you feel discontent, voice it and sit there/ voice it and do something about it/dont voice it! …ur cupa tea!
    Biko, Article writer you sound like you have tasted better or know better… thats fine but your Jimmy choo/manicure/pedicure/weave/steam reasons get as e be! (peharps best kept as ur personal aspirations and not shared were people dont have water/electricity/basic amenities…) However, i enjoyed the humour!

  21. rizzle

    October 22, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Why are all of you on this girl this now- haba? It doesn’t matter what other ppl are making, 50 thousand naira a month is… what the hell? That’s like 100 dollars a week… What the hell is that? Please she is extremely justified to bitch abt it. That’s gotta be hard…

  22. winneR

    October 22, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Aww,started a rili gud story & den ur well dried up?
    Jus left us high & dry!!
    Kinda nice attempt though.

  23. YNC Babe

    October 22, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    It’s ok for this Naija sister to rant her opinion on Bella Naija, I have a feeling you don’t love your job at the moment knowing it is quite a culture shock to you especially if you stayed in yankee before… if I were in shoes, I would start looking for something better and it’s quite pathetic that the salary you are making isn’t living up to your high taste life, there is no joy in working a job where you aren’t satisfied, you want better, you know so yourself. Goodluck with the job search and new inspirations.

  24. olayinka

    October 22, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    girl, dont forget ur tithe!

  25. Lynda

    October 22, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Ok, I don’t get it, does she hate her job or not? She’s like saying everything so it’s hard to understand where she stands.

  26. seun d

    October 22, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    in essence she is a corper, and corpers are meant to complain read between the lines people….

  27. BBB

    October 23, 2009 at 9:00 am

    on the contrary, i love her post… i feel just as u do my dear..whether we earn 50000 or 5000, its never enuf……..u go girl

  28. Zaine

    October 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    wow….not all Naija babes do “aristo business”…..have a little faith….kai!

  29. Ladi

    October 25, 2009 at 5:48 am

    She’s doing her nysc so until after ‘passing out,’ she can’t exactly switch over. I think it was a fun rant not frustrated rant.

    Liked the piece. Personally, relatable to my experience as an intern at a bank, more miserable pay though in a bank oh!.

  30. Ladi

    October 25, 2009 at 5:56 am

    erm, if she supplemented her income with aristos, she won’t complain about being close to broke. You can’t just generalize like that. Tschew!

  31. Yemi

    November 3, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Iya eba – I used to be a major patron when i was working in Lagos Island. their pounded yam is devine.

  32. Myne Whitman

    November 17, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Have you finished ranting? LOL

  33. PET

    December 2, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Blogs are about real life expeeriences, fantasies, imaginations, hear says and every other thing! Whether we agree or not, the picture she painted if someone’s life out there, however, I do not think Ms Ojiji’s telling her personal story. Even if she were, the ability to decipher that there’s a better life to aspire for is a step in the right direction.

    As for living us high and dry, even award winning writers do so more often than we’re willing to admit! Ride on miss!

  34. Lola

    May 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Her blog just reminds me of all the countless calculations I used to make when I first returned to Las Giddy 3 years on now; you know the £s to Naira conversion on your earnings; on goods; on services; on fuel et al!

  35. cheezzy

    June 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    @ kelly,that was really uncalled for,u don’t have to hit oh her like that as if ur sister,ur girlfrd
    or even urself can come up with any readable write up close to hers. sssssssssshhhhhhhh
    @ kemi ojiji the author, 9ice try, but i fink u can do better next time.

  36. Sav

    June 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    lol @ Lola, true that. That’s what I’m experiencing now, and it can be frustrating.
    Pps should not hate on this babe (author) in that regard, it takes a lot of getting used to, being used to something and having to readjust at emergency speed. You know things will get better, but we all can’t help but rant once in a while.

    A bit more musings of ur mind than an article, but still fun to read.

  37. Ptik arc

    July 9, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    Could relate to that one time in the past but now…that entrepreneural bus has got me and i do know it’s not easy but you get it good sometimes. More grease ‘Kemji and yes that office could be lively attimes.

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