I have lived my fair share of joblessness on Lagos streets. That is if six months amounts to anything in your lingo. So, I presume am qualified to guide you on your way around Lagos as a lousy good-for-nothing lad. Searching for a job in Lagos can be an adventure or a nightmare (read daily-horror) depending on how you see it.
Your LEGs are your only assets—treat them right
This should be emphasized from the word go. In the new Fashola Lagos, if you are jobless and pitifully carless you should know better than indulge the boys on a weekend footie invitation. With the bikes off the high-way you know you have only few choices. The other day, I dislocated my ankle on the pitch. Thankfully, I had an interview the next day. When I got down at Allen bus-stop I limped across to the kerb in the middle. I waited a few moments, while whole beings were passing. When I saw a 2007 edition of Toyota Camry approaching, I lashed onto the road. He caught the brakes in time not to crush me and I just lie still while on-lookers gathered around. On the road to the hospital I patiently explained that I am alright if he could drop me at Folawuyo Street—by the way, Lagos streets are cleaner than most people’s bedrooms. Well, you may not get so lucky with such Jet-Li’s move. Play safe!
Keep early appointments
Forget the Gillet shaving razor advert, turning up early for appointment is still classic wisdom. Lagos roads get busy and gridlocked anytime from
7am. So get out early. Except you want to end up in one of Lagos prisons like I almost did. On that fateful day, I had an appointment for 10am and had set out around 8am going to BiCommunications Yaba. I met a horde of obstacles but I trudged on. I was pacing fast to the building just few meters away when a squad of mobile policemen accosted me, I courtesy(ed) them with my cutest smile (I was variously punished as a college lad for not greeting soldier men back in Command days). ‘So you think you can run? See as e dey sweat?’ I looked around in mocked disbelief. But I was already on my way leading them to a car I didn’t have which they insisted; I had used to hit a pedestrian and ran.
Well, the owner of a matching car, whose car I was supposed to own turned up to safe my ass. When, I reported to BiCommunications, the successful applicant was being congratulated. Poor dear, my offence was sweating too early in the day.
Being on a heat
This is rather a bonus point, job hunting is not mate hunting—you should know. When you are hunting for a job, you may easily get carried away with Nollyhood miracles and fantasies. You’re not to look out for meeting a mate—well, if you are a male. It’s pretty safer for ladies to do. If you do, to the contrary, you may either hit it big [as in, nollyhood’s girl-hits-boy-with-a-car-and-love-begins-between-pauper-boy-and-rich-girl scene] or just land your silly ass in a fix. On my way to Mile 2, the other day, I met a chic in the bus; we got talking and she was particularly welcoming. We chatted away like reuniting lovers. So, when the bus conductor asked for fares and I produced #500 naira note for a journey of #200 naira, he naturally asked ‘is it for two?’
I stammered to assent and we continued talking. The danger alarm in my head was blipping red but my hypothalamus overwhelmed any reasoning. Doom dawned when she got down several bus-stops away from mine—was I ever gonna risk coming down to settle unfinished business?! I make do with, ‘Hey boy, we see around!’
Watch your metabolic activities
Be careful here too. With climate change and the ugly fact that you are condemned to trekking Lagos streets the rate of your bodily chemical reactions would be faster than most normal beings. Like you may get dehydrated faster and poor you, you may not have enough to get a sachet water or when the devil really wanna mock you…you feel a need to move your bowels! What I did then, was to call a random sachet water hawker, pick one, punch open and satisfy my thirst; in between the gulps I ask, “Do you have #1000 change?” That’s for a #5 naira worth of purchase! Mostly, they let me go without ever seeing the money; of course, with a rain of curses! Until, one said yes and I couldn’t produce the money, believe me, you don’t wanna hear the other part of the story! Secondly, ease yourself at home every morning, so you may not end up becoming an emergency Christian that I became on such a day…I stood still, in the middle of the road, calling the “blood of Jesus!”, when I really had to answer the call of nature.
My name was being called as I entered the interview appointment I had, but I ran towards the GENT sign on a door rather than the PANEL sign on another door. A damn secretary was after me pointing my attention to the error…damn consequences! Some rotten smell must have told him how right I was.
Safe your soul, walk into any bank and ask for their water dispenser or walk into an eatery to use their convenience.
*****To be continued…*****