21k Changed My Life

 

21k

“J. K. Rolling, get off that phone and come help me in the kitchen!”

That was my mother’s voice, one of the many voices that constantly brought me back to reality from my obsession with the Internet.

It all began when I joined Facebook. I had just finished secondary school, so it was great to see what was happening in the lives of my classmates, and I eventually became a Facebook addict. I would stay online all day commenting on status updates and posting pretty pictures of myself, and soon enough I became quite popular on Facebook. People would see me on the road and recognize me! It made me feel extremely important and gave me a sense of self-worth at the time.

A few years into my second year at the university, I became aware of another social media platform called Twitter. Apparently, Twitter was the next big thing and everyone was on it. I had even seen something on CNN about it so I decided to go check it out, but my first experience was pretty disappointing; the layout seemed drab and all I kept seeing were links and something called a ‘hashtag’. I tried to understand Twitter but soon enough, I logged out and soon forgot about it.

I got interested in Twitter again when I got my first Blackberry; a friend showed me how to use it and from that moment I was hooked.  All of a sudden, I lost my love for Facebook and I would jump on Twitter trends and conversations. I had a voice; people found me interesting and my follower count started to increase.

A few months later, I got a message from another Twitter follower asking if I would like to make money from my tweets; at that point I was having money problems so I jumped on the offer without a second thought. He added me to a Blackberry group and we started tweeting for money. I started to develop my account; I jumped on trends more and became more commercial with my tweets. I even became an admin for the student website at my school! I became known for my social media presence, and by the time I was in my final year I had over 12k followers.

It was this love for social media that led me to my career path. Having studied microbiology in university, I was technically unqualified to work in advertising or digital media. But when it was time to apply for work after graduation, it was my follower count that got me the most attention.

And with no formal training, I started my first real social media job, all because I had 21,000 followers.

“J. K. Rolling, get off that phone and come help me in the kitchen!”

Sorry, mum, I’m working!

Imo Happened To Me

 

IMO

If you’re a nine-to-fiver, you know that salary is never enough.

To effectively make the best of your salary – and still get the things you need, and still afford the things you want – is almost impossible. I learned this the hard way.

I was posted to Imo state for my youth service, despite plans to stay in Abuja – where I would have had maximum comfort, right down to having a driver take me wherever I needed to go. However, knowing that the comfort zone does not breed success, I was determined to make it work: I moved to Imo and embraced the challenge.

It took me ages to find a house; the agents seemed determined to drain the life out of me. With N2,500 per agent to look at one or two houses only, and with all the agents showing me the same houses over and over again, the costs quickly piled up. It didn’t seem like much at first until I’d paid like 10 agents! But I finally found a house.

I had roommates, learned how to live with people and learned tolerance. I saw suffering in the rural areas, away from my “perfect Abuja”. I saw people struggle to live from hand to mouth. I got better at standing up for myself, and my empathy threshold increased. Life is not perfect; people enjoy, people suffer, but we all find ways to make our situations work.

Imo was a real learning experience: I learned to survive with N19,800 only. Because of my time there, I’m better at planning my expenses, living alone, standing up for myself, relating with colleagues and more. Imo prepared me for a 9-5, and for the constant struggle of never having enough money. It taught me that things won’t always be perfect and situations may not be ideal, but we can rise above it, learn and evolve into better people.

Thank you Imo.

 

Getting Past The Front Desk

 

3 (5)

“He is not on seat.”

“Pardon?”

“I said, Oga is not on seat!”

If you have visited any offices in Lagos, you must have, at some point, had this conversation. It’s even funnier – or more frustrating – when the person you came to see walks right out of the office, just at the moment the receptionist told you he or she isn’t “on seat”.

You stare at the receptionist, look at the person you came to see, and then look back at the receptionist and she’s staring right back at you like,

What?

 You’re like, “Isn’t that…?!” and she replies you with the confidence of a thousand gods, “Like I said, Oga isn’t on seat.”

In some instances, people walk right into the office to see the person you’ve waited to see for the past hour, with cheers and hails from the same receptionist who kept you waiting.

At this point, you probably think it’s what you wore… but, nah, it can’t be, ‘cause today was one of those days you nailed it. You look at the receptionist once again: this is the 8th time you are making eye contact with her. You hope she senses the plight in your eyes and speeds up your meeting with the person you came to see, but it doesn’t work. She will attend to you when she’s ready.

Finally, she calls you up.

“What’s your name again?” she asks, ignoring the fact that this is the third time you will be introducing yourself and you’ve already filled a visitor’s form with your name written in all caps on it.

“Hello sir, a Mr Tunde is here to see you… Okay, I’ll tell him.”

Then she looks right at you and says, “He said you should give him 5 minutes.”

I’ve had my fair share of these interactions with receptionists and secretaries. You may not admit it, but right after the CEO, they are unofficially next in charge. They are the gatekeepers, the fictional Heimdall of Asgard, the guardian of the Office, defending the office personnel’s doors from any intruders, and some of the most trusted staff of the CEO.

And if like me, you’ve been stalled by numerous secretaries and receptionists, I have good news: there’s a cheat sheet for getting past them! I’ll share a few:

BE POLITE. It’s really that simple. Being polite and courteous actually gets you extra points with receptionists and secretaries. Often times you might encounter slightly rude receptionists, but the trick is keeping your cool and constantly throwing in “please”, “thank you”, “ma” and “sir” where appropriate, and watch it get you past that door faster than you think. Trust me, it works.

FURNISH THEM WITH COMPLIMENTS. I remember rolling my eyes and sighing a lot when my colleague and I walked into a lobby, and he immediately started complimenting the receptionist on her looks, dress, etc. I was like, “Can we just do what we came here for and bounce!” – but it turns out those compliments got us favourable responses from them.

Try it out: express gratitude and give compliments constantly in the process of interaction and watch doors open. It’s kinda like how foreplay… nah, ignore that. But if you know, you know.

TIPS AND GIFTS I don’t think they’re allowed to accept gifts or monetary offers… officially, but who has ever said no to a lovely tangible or monetary gift? Especially the way the economy is set up these days. They might not accept cash, but branded gifts and office items might work. Trust me, you will be remembered and in the words of Adam Levine, you will be loved.

FOLLOW-UP (Off the job) If it’s convenient and appropriate, maintain off-the-job relationships with receptionists and secretaries, especially when you constantly interact with them on-the-job. A healthy off-the-job relationship will encourage more goodwill.

And if none of these get you past the front desk with ease, look for an interesting app or engaging game on your phone and get comfortable on that couch as you wait.  I may be the one seated next to you. Say hi!

If My Office Was A Classroom

 

If-my-office-was-a-classroomWhen I was younger, I was convinced that my parents only put me in school so that they wouldn’t have to deal with me throughout the day. Even though secondary school seemed like a fun place for a lot of people, I was sad and bored all through and couldn’t wait to get out.

Since leaving school, however, I’ve realized that grown-ups in offices fall into some of the same stereotypes as we had in school! Here are some of the categories I’ve identified in my place of work:

Class clown: The class clown in my office is Ade. Ade is a Happy-go-lucky kind of guy. He his liked by everyone and tends to make us laugh all the time by picking up on all the sexual innuendos. Even though he’s the newest guy in the office, everyone is comfortable around him and vice-versa.

Nerd: You know those people who know everything? Yeah, that’s Velma. Velma tends to speak in a language of her own… People like Tayo and Lilian seem to understand, but the rest of us just nod and smile so that we can look intelligent.

Troublemaker: At first glance, Blessing seems to be a cute, quiet girl, but just a few hours in the same room with her and everyone starts to argue. How she does it, we don’t know, but she riles everyone up whilst looking innocent and unassuming.

Class President: Lilian for President! I absolutely admire her, she’s charismatic and brilliant. I want to be a “Lilian” when I grow up.

Cool Kid: I am definitely the cool kid, but for some reason, everyone seems to want to murder me. They say I have an over-inflated ego… I wonder why.

Wallflower: Crystal, dear Crystal, shy Crystal, lovely Crystal. She never says a word unless she has to or until she hears something really funny. Don’t be fooled by her countenance, she’s really smart and talented.

Mean girl: When we watch those high school movies, there is always that cute and pretty girl who can make babies cry just because she can. Dorcas is that person.

After all, is said and done, I guess we can say real life is just one big school.