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Ofilispeaks: Just Because I Have Boobs Does Not Make Me Your Secretary

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secretaryJUST BECAUSE I HAVE BOOBS DOES NOT MAKE ME YOUR SECRETARY

These are the exact words I want to yell out every time I see a woman with a bachelor’s degree turned into a secretary by virtue of her mammary glands. I know I am male so it is kind off weird for me to yell those exact words out….but I have to…because frankly I am sick and tired of the status quo.

The status quo where women at work…especially Nigerian women are subconsciously turned into secretaries despite their many qualifications simply because they are female.

It starts with a simple “can you help me scan this file” and then escalates to “can you tell so so and so that I will not be around for today and ensure that my schedule is free by 4pm.” Huh! Just like that you have become a “secretary.” Even though you have a bachelors’ degree from that University, not to mention your primary work responsibilities, but somehow you are expected to start photocopying and faxing for the guys that are too lazy to figure out how those machines work. It’s like the boobs and long hair automatically turns you into secretary.

Whenever this happens around me, I always tell the females to tell the males, that they are not secretaries. Shoot we are all in the same office so why the double standards?

Now, I know some people will say all this is trivial, but it is not, it is the little things…the little cases of female discrimination that escalate into the more serious ones such as domestic abuse that is all too prevalent across Nigeria. The little things that subconsciously make any male with a dickree think that he can turn his female co-worker to a secretary, will automatically make him feel he can turn his wife into a punching bag.

We have to draw the line somewhere, actually we have to draw the line everywhere, because this attitude, the secretariaism attitude has to be stopped. Sadly, a lot of times the secretariaism issue is not as explicit as “go and make me a photocopy”…in most cases it is disguised. It could a female engineer that finds herself constantly being asked to write documents or take minutes, while her male colleagues go out and work in the field. These little things that can transform a bachelor’s degree to a Primary School certificate!

So, to the ladies out there, you are not secretaries. If you want to be a secretary secretary of state that is fine. But let no one turn you into a secretary by virtue of your gender. Push back…and if you need help reminding yourself of who you are, print out a copy of your school certificate with your highest degree or and place it on your desk. So that it can serve as a reminder to yourself and those around you…that you are not a fucking secretary.

Sketches by @ofilispeaks
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HIK cover faffing fullOfili is a recently transgendered male female who is unsure of his sex at the moment but is sure of the need of female equality no matter how trivial. Follow him her on twitterFacebook or subscribe to his blog for more honest talk and as @ofilispeaks on instagram for more sketches and illustrations!

To bring Ofili to your school or organization as a secretary speaker simply go here. His Her third book is titled How Intelligence Kills Us and will be coming out in the second quarter of 2013 as soon as possible. Want her BB pin, then go here  and ask for it =D

Okechukwu Ofili is a trouble maker, the author of 4 books and speaks at organizations that are tired of hearing the same old stuff and want the truth. He is also the founder of okadabooks.com and blogs daily at ofilispeaks.com You can follow him on Twitter or stalk him on Instagram You can also read his funny books on konga or okadabooks

132 Comments

  1. Amaha soundcloud.amahaonline.com

    August 13, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Tell them oh.

  2. Libra

    August 13, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Very Nice…

  3. TA

    August 13, 2013 at 9:53 am

    And you are also expected to plan office parties at the drop of a hat.*sigh* if its not in the job description,then its a personal favour and you should also ask like you are requesting for favour not like its expected…Enough said!
    The you-are-a-woma- so-you-are-to-also-double as a secretary has not happened to me yet, but i see it happen countless times to other female colleagues,mostly the junior ones. I can’t cry more than the bereaved oh. But my advice for women is’ don’t let nobody intimidate you in words or actions. Dress and act the way you want to be addressed. If treated otherwise,look the offender whether male or female in the eye and say ‘Please,i would appreciate if you did not speak or treat me in so and so manner’ be respectful yet firm.
    Great article,Ofili.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      TA…well written. Your advice here is key: “Dress and act the way you want to be addressed. If treated otherwise, look the offender whether male or female in the eye and say ‘Please,i would appreciate if you did not speak or treat me in so and so manner’ be respectful yet firm.”

    • Mariaah

      August 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      I haven’t been shoved that “secretary role becos u are a woman thing” but I find myself “helping” usually not d usual. Thinks like “oh pls my computer isnt connected to d internet check it”, “Erm I can see the server, pls help me” “oh my phone isn’t connecting to d net/wifi”, “Pls help me update my blog”.. Altho I am in d IT dept but not the IT technician or engineer.

      The one that totally pissd me off was when I fixed this one’s phone after he had taken it everywhere (GSM VILLAGE, GLO office), flashed it, NADA!! NUIT! ZCHH!! I twicked a setting and boom!! This man didn’t even say thank you well.. Since then, I don’t even answer anymre. There’s this one breathing down my neck to update his blog (I haven’t for 3 wks :D) and I won’t !! IDC IDC!! Told him to pay.

      And forget that dress well thing.. I always do. In fact, I had to “fly” my top last week cos I felt my butt was sticking out too much. That didn’t stop these Men from singing “Durosoke” in their heads while I walked by oo.. 🙂

  4. ebby

    August 13, 2013 at 9:56 am

    good wtite up but then again u made secretary job sound so cheap. being a secretary is not bad.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      There is nothing wrong with being a secretary. I just know that if I have a daughter, I will not tell her to aspire to be a secretary, unless she wants to be “secretary of defense” or “secretary of state.”

  5. Hmmm

    August 13, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Well…a lot of things are not normal in Nigeria right now, ‘there are no jobs’, have you noticed that? ‘hello’!!! a lot of women who do secretary jobs know they necessarily don’t have to but they have responsibilities, they have bills to pay, so they accept what’s on ground, and that’s totally different from the women who are ‘not’ secretaries but has allowed themselves be turned into one by their colleagues, but this issue is one of the sad happenings in Nigeria amongst others that need to be resolved, it all boils down the to the ‘unemployment issue’

  6. Ata Wewe

    August 13, 2013 at 10:16 am

    But Ofili, most of these women don’t mind being secretaries as long as they are being paid “enough”,well as far as Nigerian women are concerned though.The power of the secretary if you may know,cannot be quantified o(especially secraetaeries to political chiefs).All the same,I concur with your article and all your past articles and books.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      Ata Wewe that is not my point. If you are your classmate a boy graduate with a masters in Engineering…hire for the same company on the same day at the same hour….and 3 months in the job you are being told to photocopy paper and take minutes while he is running FEA thermal analysis and interfacing with customers and not XEROX machines…then you have entered secretary secretariat!

  7. praisy

    August 13, 2013 at 10:25 am

    did u say he is a trangender? in Nigerian? hian what is this world turning to.God have mercy.

    • Jane

      August 13, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Its called playing on words otherwise known as a joke

    • corolla

      August 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Ever heard of a little word called “sarcasm” ?

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      lol…I had the surgery yesterday. Still recovering…boobs hurt so far, but it fits better down there…lol

    • Aku

      August 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      _____________________ *flatlines* hahahahaha!!

  8. TYO

    August 13, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Great Article Ofili of Life.

  9. Berry Dakara

    August 13, 2013 at 10:44 am

    This happened to me – not necessarily because I’m a woman, but because I was a corper so “young girl”

    Him: Hey Berry. Can you take this check and deposit in the bank for me?
    Me: I don’t know where the bank is.
    Him: It’s on the 10th floor of this building.
    Me: I don’t know how to get to the 10th floor. *blank stare*

    That was the first and last time he tried to send me on a personal errand.

    http://berrydakara.blogspot.com

    • T.baby

      August 13, 2013 at 11:46 am

      LOL @Me: I don’t know how to get to the 10th floor. *blank stare*

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      Well done Berry. Thanks for sharing your anti-secretary tips.

    • LadyID

      August 13, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      Trust you. Lol

    • uh-huh

      August 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      uhhhh i’ll take it and deposit alright for u…..in my account!!!!! thank u very much

    • ada

      August 14, 2013 at 9:08 am

      lol

    • Kiki

      September 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Tooo good to be true Barry

  10. Nimi

    August 13, 2013 at 10:55 am

    One question: When ladies are asked to do these Tasks which are not part of their job description what is their usual response?

    If anyone were to ask me to do something for them which was not my job, I would simply let the person know and direct him/her to the person who can help them out.

    It’s one of those things you have to set straight from the start. Remember that if you do it once, they will see no reason why you cannot do it again.

    • Gusty's Blog

      August 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      SO WHAT IF THAT PERSON IS YOUR BOSS, WHAT DO YOU DO?

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      You try and tell him or her no firmly and politely.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      Well said Nimi. The first push back is the most important!

  11. anonymous

    August 13, 2013 at 10:55 am

    “It could a female engineer that finds herself constantly being asked to write documents or take minutes, while her male colleagues go out and work in the field. These little things that can transform a bachelor’s degree to a Primary School certificate!”
    That is me right there!!!

    • iba

      August 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww bless your heart. i know the feeling, i was not really used like that but the young ladies on Industrial training were used. I am sure they gave me space as per legal madame or maybe because i was a graduate dunno.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Fight it. Fight it. The little things now will affect your career down the road. Some people have shared some great anti-secretary tips above.

  12. Sim

    August 13, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Thank you o! Thank you verrrrry much!

    I am the only woman in my office and the youngest, that is not a good combination in the tech world, but from Day 1, I made it clear I wouldn’t take nonsense and I don’t! You can’t send me to please “help you pick something”, abeg, what is wrong with your hand? The kind of things guys can NEVER ask other guys because it’s “disrespectful”, they’ll be asking the women in their offices. I think women have a lot of fault in this, we women need to “reposition” ourselves at our workplaces, take nonsense one time too many, everybody will pile their nonsense on you, the day you start saying NO, they will stop offering and find other outlets, simple.
    This is not about being “feministic”, it’s simply about being treated better and not like a slave in my own workplace. I have never worked in a Nigeria oraanization, so I can’t speak for people who absolutely have to do the “oga sa oga sa” thing, but if you work in an MNC and still take crap, please readjust abeg.

    At the same time, we need to balance professionalism with our environment (peoples’ expectations based on tradition), particularly where you have older men as colleagues and in a first-name setting, you might need to massage some egos while turning them down politely. The unfortunate fact is our traditions have been inherently chauvinistic and misogynistic, and women are seen as people to do menial jobs and send around, it’s en-grained in most Nigerian men’s very essence, they don’t even know they are that way!
    This isn’t just Nigerian though, the only difference is that outside Africa, people are becoming more conscious of treating women better, while in Nigeria, women even expect and sometimes actually offer (gasp) to do nonsense.

    I have been in places where I was the only woman and only black person there and I am so conscious of this I am actually stricter with the way I behave in these kinds of setting, before somebody will come and look at me with “third world mentality” eye. We were supposed to have a presentation in my office somewhere in Europe and part of it required that I sit on the floor, I refused o, I mean, why am I, the only woman, sitting on the floor? What message is that sending. I simply blatantly refused.

    Biko women need to wake up. If you talk too much now, they will say you’re a Feminist, abeg yes I am! If that is what it means to get what I deserve at work, then Yes! I am a proud feminist. #rantover

    Thanks Ofili

    • Miss Anonymous

      August 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      I agree with Sim. This is a bit off point but a couple of years ago I had just joined this company where the CEO was (is) white. One day we were in the office chit chatting and he walked in, cracked a joke and as we are all laughing, spanked my (married) female colleague on her butt saying “naughty girl” and she kept laughing! I was in shock! As soon as he left, I asked her what that was about and she replied, still giggling “he’s just being playful, that’s how he jokes”. I could not believe my eyes/ears. So I asked her what her reaction would be if a Nigerian man had done that, and she was like “noo he doesn’t mean anything, everybody knows thats how he jokes”. It just left a bad taste in my mouth, how could it be ok for someone to smack her bum because he’s white?

    • Emarly

      November 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      she wan do…

  13. Sim

    August 13, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Ohkay, that was REALLY long… sorry 🙂

    • Alake

      August 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      REALLY long????? Now i agree reading culture in Nigeria is REEEEEAAAALY bad.
      Read Sim Read! it will do your life alot of good.

    • zsa zsa

      August 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      I believe SIM was referring to her previous comment being really long, not the article.

    • zeee

      August 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      She meant what she wrote was really long.

    • Bimpe

      August 13, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      Lol…..just so you know, sim was saying what SHE WROTE was long. look at who wrote the long comment, it was SIM 🙂

  14. Chelle

    August 13, 2013 at 11:08 am

    i should be used as a specimen for this. when i was serving, i used to buy moi moi for my boss. TREK in HEELS to a bank that looked like it was just behind our office, but it was a trip. Where i work now i am the youngest but God has helped me. I am like the mumy of the office. ” chelle please come and look at this dress i want to buy it for my wife”. i am there multi purpose secretary. i recently quit being their secretary cos no one was showing the love back.

  15. Zibah

    August 13, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I agree totally with Ofili though there’s nothing wrong with being a secretary(receptionist/marketer) if that’s what you want BUT NEVER SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN YOU FEEL YOU DESERVE,it’s not pride. I was a victim,started my job hunt immediately after service though a little bit desperate….did interviews but I was very impatient and restless. Finally got a call but they needed a front desk officer ASAP, I was over-qualified but the pay was good enough at that time. After some weeks, I lost my self-esteem,confidence…..I resigned after 4 months because I was under-employed and the manner some colleagues spoke and related to me just worsened it.

    I learnt my lessons and the experience really gave me a new perspective to things. I finally got the job I was really happy with but that principle guides me always.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      O wow…happy that you found something that you like. And I agree there is nothing wrong with being a secretary…but if you are hired for something else, no one should turn you into a secretary.

  16. Sim

    August 13, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Thank you o! Thank you verrrrry much!

    I am the only woman in my office and the youngest, that is not a good combination in the tech world, but from Day 1, I made it clear I wouldn’t take nonsense and I don’t! You can’t send me to please “help you pick something”, abeg, what is wrong with your hand? The kind of things guys can NEVER ask other guys because it’s “disrespectful”, they’ll be asking the women in their offices. I think women have a lot of fault in this, we women need to “reposition” ourselves at our workplaces, take nonsense one time too many, everybody will pile their nonsense on you, the day you start saying NO, they will stop offering and find other outlets, simple.
    This is not about being “feministic”, it’s simply about being treated better and not like a slave in my own workplace. I have never worked in a Nigeria oraanization, so I can’t speak for people who absolutely have to do the “oga sa oga sa” thing, but if you work in an MNC and still take crap, please readjust abeg.

    At the same time, we need to balance professionalism with our environment (peoples’ expectations based on tradition), particularly where you have older men as colleagues and in a first-name setting, you might need to massage some egos while turning them down politely. The unfortunate fact is our traditions have been inherently chauvinistic and misogynistic, and women are seen as people to do menial jobs and send around, it’s en-grained in most Nigerian men’s very essence, they don’t even know they are that way!
    This isn’t just Nigerian though, the only difference is that outside Africa, people are becoming more conscious of treating women better, while in Nigeria, women even expect and sometimes actually offer (gasp) to do nonsense.

    I have been in places where I was the only woman and only black person there and I am so conscious of this I am actually stricter with the way I behave in these kinds of setting, before somebody will come and look at me with “third world mentality” eye. We were supposed to have a presentation in my office somewhere in Europe and part of it required that I sit on the floor, I refused o, I mean, why am I, the only woman, sitting on the floor? What message is that sending. I simply blatantly refused.

    Biko women need to wake up. If you talk too much now, they will say you’re a Feminist, abeg yes I am! If that is what it means to get what I deserve at work, then Yes! I am a proud feminist. #rantover

    • guest

      August 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Good for you. Others can learn and be inspired to stand up for themselves.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Sit on the ground! Chei. Ndo o. Glad that you pushed through the BS.

    • Radiant

      August 13, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      I hope that being a secretary is not a bad thing now. Folks are trained and also gifted at being secretaries, you know.

  17. ayomipo

    August 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Yes [email protected] my former law firm where I used to work, my former boss made me work directly under him &got to a point that I shud be cleaning his office after reviewing 60pages MOU. Mscheww + they will be expecting you to date them especially if u are attractive and at thee same time they will be acting like they are doing you a favour. Who does that. I quit the job kiakia

    • guest

      August 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      I am currious to know what the HR rules and regulations are regarding equal employment opportunity there in Nigeria or are there any?

    • lola

      August 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      lol. this sounds like me. i worked in a law firm too and directly under a SAN. Our personalities didnt mesh at all, maybe because i wasnt ready to kiss ass and he knew i had options. I didnt spend up to a year before i went back to my base abroad. lol. Yes there are employment laws, but they are not strictly enforced like all the laws in Nigeria.

  18. ‘I ASKED THE LADIES WHERE JESUS WAS WHEN OUR PEOPLE WERE DYING DURING THE BIAFRA WAR’ – READ GENERAL OJUKWU’S ADC’S STORY ON http://mytestimonys.blogspot.ru/2013/07/bishop-obi-onubogu-testifies_25.html

    August 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

    abegi! The truth is most times women dont mind doing these tasks, I have many colleagues who r like lil mummies… lol

  19. corolla

    August 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    We need more men to speak against gender bias .we need more male feminists….well written Ofilli.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Thanks Corolla. Will keep on speaking and drawing and writing against gender bias.

  20. Gusty's Blog

    August 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Ofili i agree with you to a certain degree cos most men just love having big boobs walk pass them each day and if the lady is the type that likes skimpy skirts and tight trousers, she is simply turned into a secretary.

    However, there are times the Nigerian woman in an organization cannot help but simply do those things. At times its not the hair, neither is it her lovely big boobs. There are employers who just want ladies who have certain level of charisma to always do things for there, especially for confidentiality sake.

    It only falls into place that she might be good looking…….BEAUTY AND BRAINS

  21. Appreciate

    August 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Mine exp was worse, they try 2 woo u wit intimidation. During my Intern, 1 guy wanted 2 keep me miserable by making jest of my r/ship cos he asked me 2 take his labcoat & wash 4 him during d wkend & I told him neva 2 tell me such incredible thing again. It kept on till d day I gave him d insult of his lifetime b/4 every1 dts when he stopped.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Dang….good job “appreciate.” Way to go for standing for yourself.

  22. AW

    August 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    A lady lawyer from America I met in a conference, told a colleague and I that when she was starting out, her mentor told her NEVER to learn how to use a photo copier because all the guys in the office will turn her into a secretary . 25years later, she still can’t photo copy to save her life and her colleagues see her as an equal not some bimbo hired for their personal use, posing as a lawyer. If there was only one thing I took away from that conference, it was what she said.

  23. masked

    August 13, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Unfortunately, ma NYSC job and post NYSC job has being receptionis(still hoping for better things)….i remember at my frst job, the office assistant was ill and didnt come to work, and everyone was asking who will clean the office; i just told the guy that so you expect me to use a whole BSc certificate to sweep….those that thot their table was dirty just cleaned by themselves and odas sat there like that, later in the day the MD said he was starving, i just told him politely i couldn’t carry plate to mama put to be queing for food even thou and he was boning for me thruout(like i send him)but at my current workplace, everyone is courteous and polite and even if you aren’t, the look on the receptionist face is enough to tell you to know what you wanna say to her b4 you open your mouth. Kapish!

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      lol…well said.

    • weeniee

      August 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      In my office am the FDO(Front Desk Officer), I accord everyone the respect they deserve. And they cant(even in their dreams) send me mumu errand. I usually tell them ” Hey you know i cant leave my seat .” I recently told someone off today told him ‘See i am not your secretary oo’ Wen he kept bugging my line asking if his friends are here. My advice, Tell them off politely!! If it doesn’t work….Be rude!

  24. Pearl

    August 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Really?? Does that still happen in this present age? well it all depends on the lady who takes trash orders from any man just cos she’s female..anyone who needs someone to order around should go get an assistant!

  25. D

    August 13, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    I have never experienced the whole “secretarism” drama but I have had the experience of others wanting to push their responsibilities on me and when I have looked them in the face and told them NO!!! it came back to bite me that first, I was not a team player and secondly, I was initimidating. So I learnt this from an HR friend, when I am asked to do something that can affect my yearly review I never say No. I simply just don’t do it, I do my job and eventually the individual gets the message that I am too busy to do their own job and do it themselves or seek another culprit. This works with bosses too, I just tell you ok I will try and work on it, when it sits there for weeks they assume I am too busy and move on.

  26. Kiki

    August 13, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Its the part where you are expected to take minutes and be in the planning committee for parties that kill me…

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      And sadly I never get invited cause I am a guy ='(

  27. issorait

    August 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I work in – in phc- being the PA to the Chief Medical Director which happens to be an expatriate. I am the youngest in the Division; everyone is older than me with nothing less than 10yrs AND ABOVE, am in my mid 20’s; a day came when a contract doctor (he was like a “paddy’) asked me to bring biros to his office, n here was i battling to arrange ma boss’ accommodation in lagos; i forgot and later, he called me n screamed on the phone; i was like, ‘hello, before u called me, i was busy; i went to his office, dropped the biros n walked out. he started ranting in the whole clinic that he will report me to HR; i didnt say a word, i kept so cool. A manager reported the incident to my boss, and then, my boss called me to his office, he said he will deal with the contract doctor. trust oyinbos on issues like that especially when it’s a someone they like (am almost like a model *winks*); he was almost sacked and the whole HR begged on his behalf just because he was dating an HR staff, the next time, he wanted same biros, he walked to my office and was extremely polite till date. Since then everyone has been scared of me. My dear, what you cannot continue forever, don’t ever start it; some people just tend to take advantage of every situation; even the clerks also tried reporting me to the admin manager to call me to order, because i will always want to be strict in my orders besides am trying to avoid them treat me like trash; she told them, “you should better behave yourselves, if not, you will be sacked, leave her alone, she is not your PA”. You will always think before you ask me to do anything; Biko, it is not my fault that i finished school on time, and God blessed me with a good job and position…………………

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      Well written “issorait” another solution as you noted is taking the issue to a higher and sensible authority.

  28. Ngozi Ilondu

    August 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Who said secretaries have to female. Which rule book said females in any committee or forum must be in charge of welfare. I have never faced the errand thingy at work but anytime i find myself on any committee i make it very clear to all that i am not available for welfare aka organize food and drinks for the meeting.
    This has got to stop

  29. Baby

    August 13, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Please this is not only in naija oh. I work in the US for a major Multinational. Got a new manager who automatically thought I would be her secretary(because she’s clueless). Now I don’t mind helping out here and there but this lady wanted me to sit with her(yes side by side) and work on her power point presentations, excel, project plan, read her emails and explain what was being requested, etc

    I told her if she needs assistance with something specific I can ASSIST, but I have job responsibilities she is pulling me away from. She now gave me the “I am a manager, if I tell you to do something, you should do it”. Omo I gave her back “I am a senior analyst, you will respect me, and respect my position, go hire an intern or coop to run around”.

    After multiple times of me saying no, hostility building, omo I went to her own boss and complained that I will be filing a claim with HR (hostile work environment, intimidation in the office, disrespect, ageism, blah blah). We now entered mediation phase. She still tries here and there to give me secretary work, but me I don’t bend and she just says ok and goes and sorts herself out.

  30. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    August 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I served in a University. I did not dress or act like a Corps Member. My attitude, carriage, Queens English learnt at my father feet and the fact that Jesus loves me set me apart from day one. Even other Corps Members thought I was a member of staff.

    I knew what I had, knew I was bordering on proud. But my ego was not writing cheques my body could not cash. I am naturally hardworking and love work. It however did not extend to mindless errands. While no job was too mean or too small, it must have substance. I judge what I mean by substance. One Oga wanted me to wash a mug for him, I told him I did not wash on Mondays. The mug sat there for over a week before another Corps Member decided to do the honors. Another one wanted to turn me into a serial typist. I told him I was not a secretary. The price? I did not have any friends among the Corps Members. But you see, my sights were set very high. You had to catch up with me. The fact that I look the way I look did not help matters at all. Rumors linking me with every well to do professor abounded. You had to be thick skinned to cope. I had to prove myself intellectually and morally. This one time I made presentations before notable men in Nigeria who formed a committee in the University. They tore my proposal to shreds and watch me put it together back for them with style and confidence I did not even know I possessed while I was quaking with fear inside. These gentlemen became my friends for life. Offices where other Corps Members would fret before entering, I would walk in without hesitating. Not because I was currying underhanded favors from them. It was because they were my friends and they were hard worn friendships, grudgingly given, but forged out of mutual respect. When it was time to leave I was the only one who was requested to stay to Gods’ glory.

    Did I make mistakes? Yes I did. Did I overdo it? Sometimes. My immediate boss even reported me when I said I was not a typist. I was told there was no limit to my schedule of duties. I started asking if he had things to type everyday. Nothing surfaced again. You lose some battles to win some wars.

    In my present workplace, I toned down my dressing and intelligence to fit in with most of the staff (which even made it more obvious) but I can tell you by so doing I have learnt a lot. Each phase has its own set of rules. You should learn to know when to stoop to conquer. I once grabbed the broom from a cleaner to sweep the car park because her lackadaisical attitude to her job was grating. The silence in the lot that day was deafening. These are the opportunities I take to remind them and myself that we are not of the same ilk. That I know where I am going.

  31. Mixed race

    August 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    well, i think this just goes to show that the vast majority of us do not know what the duties of a secretary are and as a result, we do not appreciate nor respect the role. i work in (arguably) one of the biggest milling companies in Nigeria and i know how they treat their secretaries… extremely well.. you see them and it will be shacking you to even become a secretary sef. as a matter of fact, every secretary has an office assistant attached to her. so the “menial” jobs are done by the assistants while they face their secretarial duties. they are not permitted to dress anyhow, to talk anyhow… in fact sef, you get promoted to the level of PA afterwards. the level of authority they give them ehn… in fact, it is only directors that are allowed to have secretaries, u wanna do ur menial jobs, you do them by yourself…so its really about perception, where you work and then how you carry yourself.

  32. BM

    August 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    It is not only done at the work place. They also do it at events. it is worst when you are single. I always sit far away from older people whenever i go to an occasion…

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      lol…great point. But don’t run away from old people now =/

    • slice

      August 14, 2013 at 3:17 am

      hahaha had to respond to this one. the older people at naija parties asking you to trash their plates or get them extra food or that when you’ve never seen them in your life before.

  33. mimi said

    August 13, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Ofili nice piece..but this is completely a different subject i want to talk 2 u about..about a few years ago u posted a write up on BN about education, grades in school and how to get better grades,, well something in that line duo..cant remember well,, but i commented on here stating dat ive been going through a similar problem and how ive had a couple of carry overs and cant see my parents because of it, you replied my comments encouraged me to do my best and gave me ur email but i didnt have the courage then to write you..but i promised myself when and if i emailed you it will be the news of how well ive done for myself,,well its now 3 yrs i think and i graduated today with a merited result ..just letting you know that and no carry overs…THANKS to bella naija for publishing that article a few years ago , thank you for the write up , reply and encouragement, i wuld ve sent this as an email but i lost ur email address… 🙂 thank you

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm

      ofiliblushes.com….glad I could have helped ya. At the end of the day it is all you….except if you are sharing that your first paycheck…then it is WE! #okbye

    • slice

      August 14, 2013 at 3:19 am

      congratulations Mimi and well done Ofili for the advice or whatever you said that helped Mimi. God bless

  34. Excellence

    August 13, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Don’t forget birthday cakes. It is someone’s birthday, a cake is supplied, and you being the youngest female is asked to cut the cake and share to the everyone, usually with no knife in the kitchenette, so you have to be as innovative as possible (not as if that will be reflected in your performance appraisal)
    Please did I order the cake? if you organize or have cake delivered to the office, you better organize for a tea girl to do the honours!
    Honestly, I had set my standards a long time ago when I realised that doing all them “feminine” pleasures did not increase the love you received from the men, and have never shared anyone’s cake. Mschewwwww!

  35. Okechukwu Ofili

    August 13, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    ofiliblushes.com….glad I could have helped ya. At the end of the day it is all you….except if you are sharing that your first paycheck…then it is WE! #okbye

  36. Kome Olori Agulonu

    August 13, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Ofili..thank you for this article. I love that it is coming from a man when many men deny that there are double standards and some women feign ignorance.
    Permit me to add to your article – that if you are constantly nominated to take minutes at meetings when you are not the most junior(especially if you are the only woman) or you are asked to get water or tea before the meeting starts, please know you have entered secretary mode.

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

      ” if you are constantly nominated to take minutes at meetings when you are not the most junior(especially if you are the only woman) or you are asked to get water or tea before the meeting starts, please know you have entered secretary mode.” gbam!

  37. Kome Olori Agulonu

    August 13, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    But even those are not as bad as being asked to get files from cabinets for ‘very busy, colleagues, or being in-charge of office stationary, sending the office post. I have nEver hesitated to say no to such daft chores.
    I believe It’s like playing weakest link. Once you start running silly errands, even women will start sending you around.

  38. ada

    August 14, 2013 at 9:14 am

    mehn, i love all your comments but I wish it was that simple for some people. With the high unemployment rate and responsibilities lined up, sometimes people decide to take some bad treatment till something better comes. i work in an engineering company as a secretary but aside from my official duties, my senior colleagues still send me on errands, irritating ones even. ‘buy me bole down the road’, ‘share my birthday cake and drinks’, ‘make tea/coffee for me’, ‘go to the market for me’, etc. I just calm myself down and tell myself that it’s a phase and all this is teaching me humility, lol. it certainly doesn’t help that my office environment is one where one has to kiss ass one way or another

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 14, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Ada I understand where you are coming. But I think that if you are a female being sent to buy PuffPuff down the road, while your male colleague is performing Finite Elemetn Analysis and both of you have the same title…then there is a problem. It is not working your way up…it is called sexual discrimination.

    • slice

      August 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      but she’s a sec.

    • jinkelele

      August 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      My dear, I can assure you the day you are sick they will buy their boli themselves. Its just plain laziness thats why they ask you and since you have agreed it will continue cos as far as they are concerned it doesn’t bother you. Their lunch is not your responsibility

  39. Toto

    August 14, 2013 at 10:12 am

    story of my life! 🙁 ..infact right now, i’m about to do typist!….. (M.sc holder) ..God dey!.. or wait, let me just return it and say my boss gave me work to do!.. tnx for this Mr Ofili.. lol @ the comments!

  40. Precious

    August 14, 2013 at 10:29 am

    @zibah, i can relateto that.

  41. larrypat

    August 14, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Good writeup,this is what is actually happening to my colleague at work,she goes on errand for dem,cleaning the office,lodging cash in the bank,buying drinks,snacks and recharge cards.and we kip teasing her everyday that her job is not defined.whereas she was employed as a customer care officer with a bsc in pharmacology.Unfortunately she had an accident last week on one of the errands nd since den she hasnt resumed.I really wish she cud see this writeup.

    • Toto

      August 14, 2013 at 11:49 am

      awww 🙁 …..

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 14, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Sad to hear that. I think as some have pointed out, the poor employment rate plays a role. I just hope she can find something better.

  42. http://africansweetheart.blogspot.co.uk/

    August 14, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Very well put.

    africansweetheart.blogspot.co.uk/

  43. Chika

    August 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Ofili, thank you for the voice and support. Everyone, especially the females, need to keep saying no to domestic and corporate abuse.

  44. Miss Anonymous

    August 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    How could I have forgotten to add this?
    Last year this guy was asking me out. He worked in a bank and was pretty much ok (mid management level). In the course of our friendship I discovered he had one Senior Manager ‘oga’ at work whom he always ran errands for. I didn’t really think much of this till he called one day and told me he was really busy at work and there was terrible traffic on the island. I asked why he was lamenting about traffic when he had no business on the road. He then said his ‘ oga’ had asked him to go the Palms Mall to buy swimming trunks for his 7 year old son! He said because of traffic he had to turn back and wanted to know if I knew anywhere closer to his office where he could buy trunks. He was even trying to persuade me to go to the Palms on his behalf! I couldn’t believe my ears. I asked him if he was the boy’s mum or why should he be the one running around while the dad sat in the office. In all my ranting this guy still didn’t get the point.

    • slice

      August 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      sometimes this is how you move up the corporate ladder. The only thing i will add is before you assume that a boss is “sending” you around because you’re a girl, check out how he treats the guys in the office that are his so called paddies. If they also pick up lunch for him or buy trunks, he may just be an equal opportunity sender.

      i hate to say this but not everyone is truly in a position to say no to the boss. if you work in a place with no HR and the boss started the company with his own dough, you’ll either do what he says or find very subtle ways to stop him from doing those things but outright refusing and standing your ground, may just nt be an option unless you don’t mind getting fired.

      on a more personal note, be careful about making your man feel “small” while he runs those errands. perhaps he has thought carefully and decided he needs to run this man’s errands if he wants to keep his job. So you may gently discuss with him how you feel about it but also states if he has reached the conclusion that he needs to do this for now, then you support and you’re proud that he’s smart and humble enough to do what needs to be done to put food on the table.

    • ada

      August 14, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      May God bless you. the situation really matters. Its not my job to make tea for my boss though I am a secretary but he’s a very rich Yoruba man and refusing to do so will get me fired. Other things I do for other members of staff, I just close my eyes and do jare or they would deny me some help in the future. Unemployment is not good at all o.

  45. MOI

    August 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    This is an interesting article, however this doesn’t apply to male colleagues alone. A couple of years ago, i and a lady joined a marketing & communications department as Entry Level staff, and a couple of weeks after we joined, our female boss sent me to go to the next fridge to get a bottle of coke, i did but with the most incredulous look on my face “in my mind, i was saying WTH”. When i came back she said it was blocked and wanted another one. I just dropped the drink on her table and went back to work. Now this other lady offered to go and change it. That is where it all began, in no time she started paying DSTV bills, Nitel Bills, coordinating the driver, the nanny and cook she became the Chief of Staff for our boss who wasnt even a director or an ED.
    The sad part in this story was subsequently she was given less official duties, because madam needed her schedule clear for house duties, while we the other team members were invited for strategy sessions and were growing on learning on the job. Fast forward 7 years later, i am still friends with said boss who is now a communications director in another company, while the order lady has been trying to get a job in the new company and madam doesn’t even pick her calls.
    so my question is, what shall it profit a girl to lose her self dignity and respect and gain a few appraisals?

  46. Ikido

    August 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    But bia nwoke; did someone tell you that all this your
    “Save a Hoe” tendencies will get you Ikebe? To be honest nowadays i
    am sick & tired of hearing all this woman-rights-this,
    woman-rights-that….we wont hear word again. In naija; women have
    turned from blaming the devil to blaming the men for all the
    problems that women are facing in this world. The root cause of
    every problem in Naija now is due to the “inherently chauvinistic
    and misogynistic nature of our culture”…Ppplleeeeaaaasssseeee!!!!
    Una should just go and find a good spot to park well jare!
    Nonsense!!! Anyway, to conclude the only thing as a Naija guy i can
    tell all of una is good luck…because all this feminist
    lamentations aint going to do/lead to jack shit!!

    • slice

      August 14, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      you realize a lot of the stories on here have been about female bosses “sending” their female underlings on silly errands. This is not a man versus woman article. Find another article to write this. And if you mom is not a Hoe, i bet the women he’s supposedly saving are not hoes either

    • Okechukwu Ofili

      August 14, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Dear Ikido,

      How did you know my secret. I mean since I wrote this article the numbers have just been flying in. When I wrote the article I expected 2 maybe 3 numbers, but 15 numbers…wow! I mean I sat down to write the article, not because of sexist treatment I see at work…but to fulfill my sexual desires.

      Based on the impressive results of this article, I plan to write many more articles like this so that I could satisfy my sexual urges even more. I mean it does not matter that women in the North are being married off at 13 years old…no that is just a figment of my sexual imagination. Or that women who wear trousers are often times starred at in disdain at church, no…that does not happen at all. Or wait, the fact that several female celebrities from have reported that they have been victims of domestic or sexual abuse or that a good number of women have told me how they were sexually abused by an Uncle or Father or Pastor and how rampant it is in Nigeria! No no all that is a figment of my fucking imagination…according to you I just wrote so that I can get “ikebe.”

      But then again maybe you are right, maybe you do have a point when you say “save a hoe” cause I guess hoe is what you call females. I guess you forget that your Mum where ever she is and your daughter (who you might sadly get) will be in your own words a . Ironically, Stupidity Did Not Save Your Life.

      PS: If you feel you have a point, then shoot me an email and I will give you my number and we can talk. But I doubt you will do that….but we will see. Prove me wrong –> [email protected]

    • OmoMakun-www.ankarafestla.com

      August 15, 2013 at 12:25 am

      Well said my brother….some people can’t help themselves…they have ignoramia (disease of ignorance)…lol!

    • Ikido

      August 15, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Dear Mr. Oke
      As you schooled in the US, i am sure you are aware of the term ‘Captain Save a hoe’ (But for those of you who haven’t heard of the term; Google is your friend or urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=captain%20save%20a%20hoe).
      I see that this term rattled alot of your ‘feminist voltrons’, but i only used it to point out to you that you were exhibiting some traits of the ‘Captain Save a hoe’ behavior and i was wondering what the motivation behind it was.

      It seems to me that you have gotten tired of the regular topics to lament about (light, water, roads, blah blah blah) and now you have latched on to what is the fad/popular topic nowadays…which is Women rights (I assume you wanted to latch on to global warming, but you deduced that Nigerians wont even be bothered about it).

      To be honest in addition to this new fad topic of women’s rights; i am also fed up with Nigerians lamenting about everything under the sun. We have all become a nation of 10 years olds with a short attention span, bitching about any ‘hot’ topic of the day.
      It seems that all we do as a nation is just to wake up each morning, find what is the “hottest” topic that morning to lament about, make noise about it……. then go home, eat, check twitter, sleep and then wake up again and repeat the cycle for the next day.

      Using the example you cited; “13 year olds getting married in the north”
      Let me ask you; are 13 year olds getting married at the top of the list of issues coming from the North? If we rank all the issues being generated by the north, will this come out at number 1? OK; lets say for the sake of argument, it is.
      What have YOU actually done about it? I mean actually done apart from following the crowd mentality by making noise?
      Have you written or called any of the Senators representing Delta state to register your disgust? Have you written or called or visited the offices of any of the members of the house of representatives who come from Delta? Do you even know who these people are? Or have you just followed the typical Naija crowd mentality in which everyone just shouts, makes noise and then in 2 or 3 weeks the issue is forgotten about?

      I personally have a principle that i try to apply to everything i do; ‘Go hard or Go home’. (Translated to Naija saying: “If you are not doing something well, dont bother to do it at all”).
      If all your contribution to a topic is to be a “Twitter Warrior”; then, as i said, i believe you should find a spot and park well.
      It would be like saying that you see that your house is dirty and then all you do is complain. If you are not ready to clean the house, then i feel you shouldn’t even bother complaining at all.

      As i mentioned earlier; i kept wondering what the motivation behind this your new ‘Feminist crusade’ was. At first (by default as a guy) i thought it was ikebe, but then i read your response and it was at the part you plugged your book that i had the “Aha moment”.
      It was then i realized that in the typical yankee fashion, you don’t give a rats ass about any topics. You simply latch on to any topic which could be beneficial to you. I realized that as an author, you are simply executing your publicity/marketing strategy by constantly getting your name out there, latching on to these controversial topics.

      Dont get me wrong i never knock any legal hustle, so i ain’t knocking your hustle. All i am doing is to point out the fact that you are masquerading this marketing strategy for actual concern about the topic. You see i am allergic to bullshit, and i always have a reaction whenever i encounter one.

      Anyway as i stated in my original post, nothing you, me or anyone of your Twitter gangsters/warriors or voltrons will change anything because we will all just simply finish reading/responding to this article and go back to our “regularly scheduled programming” which is our daily lives.

      To conclude i am not sure why you would like to talk to me? Do you feel that i am one of you “Twitter Warriors” that hide behind the keyboard and spew topics? Do you feel that if i speak to you over the phone i wouldn’t share the same view as what i wrote here?
      I hate to disappoint you, but there isn’t going to be any difference.

      But since you want to be proved wrong, you can send me an email ([email protected]) with your number and i will call you.

    • zsa zsa

      August 14, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      “Save a hoe”…. is that how you classify the women in your
      life? Who did this to you? did mummy hug you too tight or not tight
      enough? Why does the noise about women’s rights bother you? have
      you been infringing on them? Why does it bother you that women are
      speaking up for themselves and have realized the problem is not
      with the “devil” as you so eloquently put it. Do women’s
      insecurities make up for that low self esteem that has been
      plaguing you for so long? A man like yourself your wrote an article
      about the plight of women in the workplace and all you had to
      contribute is that the “lamentations won’t lead to jack shit”. You
      don’t have to put up with it you know…you can always stick to the
      “hoes” you are familiar with, or better still stick with your own
      gender….it’s legal in some states in the US. Stop pretending to
      be a man, thats an insult to real men.

    • Emarly

      November 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Hmmm, nice shot! The write-up is nice (Ofili’s) is to awaken the consciousness of our dear women faced with this mess in der various workplace. Ikido’s talk is cheap. Yeah, I believe in action and not just rattling with say-say for the fun of it but it has to start through awareness and consciousness. Gradually, minds are building up, revolution may be next door and as one of my good friends will say “we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder, one day whn we least expect an explosion somthing funny will happen. It may take time, but it will happen…

    • guest

      August 15, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Ikido, you should be a shame of yourself for your idiotic response on this blog. You should be inspired by the topic to change your attitude if you are guilty of treating your female colleagues poorly and as your secretary. What is nonsense about educated women being treated with respect or as their male counterparts?
      Effective change begins from the grassroot movement and Mr. Ofili’s inspirational message here has started that change whether you like it or not. So get the hell of the way fool!
      FYI… don’t bother responding as I will not give you my precious time in responding.

  47. Okechukwu Ofili

    August 14, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Dear Ikido,

    How did you know my secret. I mean since I wrote this article the numbers have just been flying in. When I wrote the article I expected 2 maybe 3 numbers, but 15 numbers…wow! I mean I sat down to write the article, not because of sexist treatment I see at work…but to fulfill my sexual desires.

    Based on the impressive results of this article, I plan to write many more articles like this so that I could satisfy my sexual urges even more. I mean it does not matter that women in the North are being married off at 13 years old…no that is just a figment of my sexual imagination. Or that women who wear trousers are often times starred at in disdain at church, no…that does not happen at all. Or wait, the fact that several female celebrities from have reported that they have been victims of domestic or sexual abuse or that a good number of women have told me how they were sexually abused by an Uncle or Father or Pastor and how rampant it is in Nigeria! No no all that is a figment of my fucking imagination…according to you I just wrote so that I can get “ikebe.”

    But then again maybe you are right, maybe you do have a point when you say “save a hoe” cause I guess hoe is what you call females. I guess you forget that your Mum where ever she is and your daughter (who you might sadly get) will be in your own words a . Ironically, Stupidity Did Not Save Your Life.

    PS: If you feel you have a point, then shoot me an email and I will give you my number and we can talk. But I doubt you will do that….but we will see. Prove me wrong –> [email protected]

    • Baby

      August 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Lol……luv how you refrain from internet gangsterism 🙂

    • guest

      August 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Dear Okechukwu Ofili, please save your response for someone worthy. This idio (Ikido) doesn’t deserve it. The fact that you took time to write on this topic should be commended and any intelligent adult can see base on the outpouring feedback that you have inspired a lot of readers here on this blog. Keep doing what you do.

    • guest

      August 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      I meant idiot (Ikido)

    • Lizzie

      August 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm

      And he tried for a good and intelligent come back, sorry bro (@ikido) , it didn’t work, sounded dumb and all that. Stay treating women the way you do and it will come back to bite you big time. @Ofili, please do not mind him cos the guilty are always offended. Don’t call him even, he will be a waste of precious minutes, sounds like he’s rooted in ignorance. Thanks for what you do bro, God Bless you.

  48. the special one

    August 14, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Ofili nwannem you just said it all, i remember when i first started my corper job in one of this government parastatals in ABJ, the previous set was just passing out and i noticed the girl i was to replace was the errand girl of that department: Bose help me get food from the canteen, Bose help me get to xerox, Bose please help me get recharge card, Bose please help me get to sharwarma king and get me 2, even up to Bose help me pick my kids from school. HIAN!!!

    When i saw the thing, omo i weak, then i already knew they were going to hate me in that office. ofcuz rude me didnt give a damn!

    So one day i heard a voice from behind , “Ije dear”, i turned back with a smile “ma” “please help me go and buy recharge card” immediately my face just changed, you needed to see my delibrate frown it was intensive mehn. i took the money from her with attitude and went to get it, came back with another frown. am sure the lady was scared
    Trust government office now, my gist went round the whole dept, they all concluded i wass rude, trust those women in government office with 20years of amebo experience, me i didnt care, my own was just that lazy me couldnt have been another Bose GBAM!

    And ofcuz till i passed out no body, i mean no soul ever sent me on an errand, they were so scared of rude me i guess

  49. Yemisi

    August 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    There is so much to be written about the workplace in Nigeria and women/men alike. It is worse in the bank, it goes from carrying oga’s bank to helping oga buy lunch, bank runs, cake runs, welcome back sweet/chocolate sharing.
    It’s easy to say that the women or men should stand up when we live in a society where Jimoh Ibrahim sacked workers after owing them 3 months salary, spent their 8 years co-operative money and still won in court and he is roaming about as free man.
    People get victimized and threatened when they push back- HR policies don’t address this, the labour law does not address this- So people eat bullshit and bear the pain till they move up and repeat the cycle.
    It cannot start from the individuals, it must start with labour laws and government policies.
    You should see how junior bankers are treated in banks – then you will know that your post did not cover the whole matter on ground.
    And did i mention the our culture and respect part – calling colleagues senior or not brother, madam and aunty.
    You have only scratched the surface, if i talk about personal experiences even while working in an international coy of Naija setting.

  50. Louda

    August 14, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Ouch, no one has ever done that to me all my working life maybe because I have an intimidating madam look. Lol the secret is knowing how to say no in a polite manner. Thank you Offili bros for the reminder cos some victims are ignorant that they are victims.

  51. LynnVille

    August 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    HAHAHAHAA….I don laff taya. I honestly wanted to comment
    until I read Ikido’s comment, then I started laughing but Ofili’s
    reply to him had me rolling on the floor. Lolll, Okechukwu you’re
    just too funny. You’re sooooo on point, I’m sure your reply has
    made the guy weak. Lovely write up jare… In Naija, I actually did
    some of those office errands as a corper but as I stepped up the
    ladder, things eased off a bit. Good thing I worked in a company
    where we don’t even call our managers “oga” or “madam” so there was
    no room for turning anyone into a secretary. It’s not just in Naija
    that this happens, it is seen in the western culture as well. Most
    interns are used for photocopying, printing, minutes and other
    ad-hoc duties in the office without pay. I don’t think it happens
    to the ladies alone, guys are also inclusive as long as you’re a
    new intake. In most naija companies, you just need to go through
    that stage to climb the ladder if you’re looking at longevity with
    the company.

  52. Guest

    August 14, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I’m actually very guilty of this.. And now I see its bad.. Apologies to the female gender, I would like to say I have changed but I’d probably still do it tomorrow.

  53. Ok o

    August 15, 2013 at 3:22 am

    @guest..biko change because you might never know it might be your daughter’s turn tomorrow and I bet it’s people like you that will swear you never hurt anyone.God help Nigeria!. Thank God for the mouth He ‘s given me. Most people see my small size and innocent looking face and the first thought that comes to their mind is to take advantage of me,but once this mouth is opened,all i hear is….’ah,u look so quiet,I never knew you could talk’…Yes I can ,aint daft’..

  54. A-z

    August 15, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Hey ofili, I’m going to call you out on this, but its all love and hopefully you would agree to a different perspective. I’d like to first mention how feminist tend not to realise that they themselves are prejudice by having a natural bias disposition towards men and they are rather unapologetic about it too. Why can’t we just have gender equality across the board.
    Now that I have said that, I don’t particularly like how it seems you are generalising this trend on the entire male folk and failing to mention the flip side. There are situations where women also take advantage of their male colleagues to perform their job responsibilities; the case of a secretary to a manger using her proxy authority (not given or earned) to send errands to more qualified male staff higher than her in the organisational structure, or where a female colleague in a group task dictates how things are done because she is “panshing” a manger and she believes the same rules don’t apply to her, or even the silly but very common instance where females will sweet talk colleagues to do their strenuous work for them.
    What I can see is that this isnt a gender issue or a problem peculiar to women alone (although I agree it seems predominant with the women folk) but rather a doormat issue i.e if you allow yourself to be treated as such regardless of who is treating you that way. I’m pretty sure if it was an all female company there would still be someone treated as the “secretary”
    So dear ofili be an objective feminist and point out both sides and don’t make it seem one sided. Enough male bashing haba lol

    Btw I would be more than happy to debate your views over the phone

  55. Samuel

    August 15, 2013 at 9:13 am

    This article has really exposed me to some things I was quite ignorant about. I’m an Intern(male) at my workplace. When I got in, I would love to always clean my boss’s office and prepare him coffee just to get personal appraisals frm him. But after some weeks, He saw I was more intelligent/deserved more than that and warned me to stop the eyeservice. Seriously, I was seeking more attention, but gradually detroitrating and losing your self esteem!! He made me work professionally.

  56. DREAL

    August 15, 2013 at 9:27 am

    The one in my office goes,

    “HOW COME YOU FORGOT TO BUY MY FOOD THIS MORNING?” Like I am his wife! So annoying!!!

    • koko

      August 15, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Looooooooooooooool. That can be so annoying! WTH???

  57. laura

    August 15, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    well said jare

  58. doll

    August 15, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    There is this book called ‘good girls dont get corner offices’ every corporate woman shouod read it

  59. anonymous

    August 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

    i have to remain anonymous before my boss will see my name and know its me . hmmm Ofili thank you very much for your post. What should i now say? i was hired as a finance analyst but it looks like im in secretary secretariat . Apart from my normal job my boss sends me on every possible personal errand. we have a receptionist, cleaner/errand girl but most times i find myself being told to fill forms(which i hate and have told him), go to the bank, withdraw money from the atm with his card, make tea, buy a sandwich, make photocopies, type up stuff including doing things for his wife and guests attimes etc the amount of walking i do up and down around my office and out in the scorching sun is enough to make me dissapear physically(size wise). So i do all these things and people are telling me its because he has known me long and trusts me (he is My dad’s friend sort of) please how do i break free from this?is it even possible? we have an intern(a family relation-very young girl) now but i still do most of these things but at least i don’t make the tea any more for now(since i went scarce one day and he really wanted his tea) and i can at least push some of theses errands on the intern. Its really annoying to be in the middle of serious work(being in the zone) and be called to do menial unimportant personal errands. I basically loose my focus especially when i have a deadline(work he gave me but im still expected to divide myself into a million places and get everything done ) :/

  60. anonymous

    August 16, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Lol i totally forgot the picture part! fingers crossed i wont be recognized since its a very old picture 🙂

  61. larrypat

    August 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    LMAO @anonymous,u are very funny,dnt worry ur boss wont know u ar d one

  62. Case in pt

    August 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    #tinz we do to get our names off theblackbook#.

  63. svelte lady

    August 20, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Ofili, you got my attention…I just completed my service year in a federal govt organization and I remember one incident. We were supposed to have a staff meeting on the ground floor,and usually,everyone carries their respective seats downstairs. So this officer walks up to me when almost everyone was already seated and tells me,in my heels and penciled skirt, to climb upstairs,look for a seat for him and bring it down(mind you,his office is also on the ground floor). I replied that there weren’t any seats upstairs and he said,”If I go upstairs and I see a chair nko? ” To which I replied,” sir,if you see a chair upstairs,carry it down”….their was an awkward silence,and his colleagues started laughing.

    • Emarly

      November 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Correct gurl. Yuh too much

  64. oyin temi

    August 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    women need to read this,i completely agree with ofili, i love ur works and red 3 of ur books and i love dem. keep up the good work 🙂

  65. NICOLA

    September 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Very interesting and might I add..APT piece!
    The first book i walked into as i literally got off the plane in february was Ofili’s ‘How stupidity saved my life’.Needless to say I fell completely in love with this man(at the time of writing he was a man).I like his mind and in a strange world we would be kindred spirits(whatever that means)If you haven’t read any of his books(I only know 2)i recommend that you find them and read them!!!

  66. NICOLA

    September 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    oh and one more thing…Ikido, i enjoy your style of writing.What shall i term it?responsive or reactive piece?I’ve spent the past few minutes telling myself that i’m certain your writing reminds me of someone else’s and ahaaaa…it sure is a mix of Femi Fani-Kayode and Kemi Olunloyo….LOLLLL. You have without anyone’s help judged yourself an intelligent buffoon.Keep it up.Now that I’ve gone hard on you, I’m going home.KACHIFO

  67. Okechukwu Ofili

    October 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks Nicola.

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