The Diary of A Job Seeker

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Millions of Nigerians are unemployed and millions also under-employed. The search for a source of income has ensured the ever-increasing group of unemployed people are prone to embarrassing situations, demeaning propositions, and fraud. It can be very frustrating looking for a job without knowing someone who can help in Nigeria. They tell their stories through us so you’d know how it feels to be them.

“I never believed it was this hard. I heard stories of people going four years after graduation without a job and I never believed any of those. I thought it was impossible. Today, I believe people can go ten years without a job.

I have been at several interviews and I never left any interview hopeless as the body language of my interviewers and my performance and carriage always convinced I’d be top of their consideration list. My Second Class Honours (Upper Division) in Accounting, my MBA(in view), and one-paper-to-go ACA qualification has not been able to get me a job since I graduated in 2010. My situation may not be the worst, but I may be the hardest hit because I never prepared for this. I never thought I could be jobless for this long.

Last weekend, I was invited for another interview. The company had advertised for graduate trainees. We were suppose to write a test before the interview. The 72 of us there, well dressed in nice clothes and borrowed suits(I borrowed mine) were all hopeful. We discussed what the salary range could be judging from the company’s building and how well furnished their conference hall where we waited was. I smiled when I read through the 10 questions on the paper. I was happy I had done the test very well and my mind was fixed on the interview.

It was funny how nobody asked what the company really does until after the test. We were briefed on the activities of the company and half-way into it applicants left one after the other. I knew where the guy would end when he started; we were going to pay some money before we start marketing GNLD products. We were to pay N8000 each. I left smiling and pitying myself once again for having wasted the N1000 loan I took on transport.

How did they expect me to pay N8000 to get a job without being paid salary. Those guys stood before us with their saccharine-coated mouths advising us to become part of them as if they aren’t just part of us who figured out a way of having little income to feed. Kudos to them for figuring out a source of income though. We were told stories that were meant to brainwash us into paying N8000 each. I felt so stupid sitting there listening to them that I left with the second set of people who left.

This isn’t the worst feeling I’ve had after a test or interview, but having an opportunity to share this few days after the test makes me feel a lot better. I just hope this story becomes sweeter to tell soon when I get a job.”

Their stories will be here every monday as they scout for their dream jobs. You can send in yours also to inspire other people like you. Who knows what good can come out of all this.
Send your stories/experiences to melangejnr@gmail.com

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I Made Him, Now I’m His Maid

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We met while at the Teachers’ college and fell in love. Words can begin to describe the kind of man he was. He was the best man any woman would ask God for. He loved me so dearly and it was obvious. We were a couple in school, and people envied our relationship.

After graduating from Teachers’ College, we got jobs in the same town and that convinced us we were meant for each other. Months later we were already making marriage plans after both families have agreed their kids have found the perfect partner. A year after, we were married and I was already carrying our first child.

While in school, he always told me how much he would have loved to study Medicine if he had the sponsorship. I never forgot the glow in his eyes anytime he talked about Medicine, and I was determined to help him live his dream. I asked him if he was still interested in Medicine, and he said only if he had the sponsorship. I replied him the sponsorship was there already. He didn’t understand what I meant until I brought out his JAMB form and asked him to fill in his desired schools. He collected the form smiling but set it aside and held my hand to thank me. He said he was grateful but wanted to know what made me think it was possible. He said it was one thing to obtain the form, and another to pay the school fees, buy books, and pay other bills. He could not believe his ears when I told him I had been saving for his education, and although the money would not be enough to see him through school, I would do other businesses to ensure everything went well. As great a news as it was to hear, he wouldn’t agree to my plan because he believed the burden would be too much for me. He would have to resign from his job and live on me. He asked how possible I thought that would be especially with the baby coming. But a voice always told me all would be fine, and I was able to convince him.

I need not tell you all I went through during his medical training, but I really suffered as did my daughter. I kept our suffering from him because I knew he was going to drop out the moment he knew we were suffering. I had to lie to my parents about how we funded his studies. I said he was on scholarship and so the government was paying his fees. They would ask me why I was always broke since my husband was the government’s son, and I would say the scholarship covered only books and school fees, and that food was so expensive at the university that my salary was just a little over his feeding money monthly. They were there for me through thick and thin.

My husband has being a Medical Doctor for twenty years now and he’s doing great. We stay in a big house where I have a flat to myself and my kids. Three of the other five flats are for three other women who my husband have married in the past ten years. He was still the man I fell in love with when he got back from Medical school and he remained so for ten years. We lived well. He got me lots of gifts. I never spent school long vacation in the country. He spent virtually all he made on me. He spoilt me! Thank God I didn’t agree when he asked me to resign. I simply told him Teaching was my life and I was never going to stop till I’m ripe for retirement.

The last ten years have been hell. I’ve searched my heart to find where I went wrong but I can’t seem to find anything. I’ve been treated like a maid in the house. The wives hurl insults at me at will. I’m also the one whose kids have to clean the compound, and even their flats when I’m not around. The easiest way out would have been to leave, but how am I going to leave after all we went through together? Am I just going to let some strange women take my home away from me? I need help!

For A Corruption-Free Nigeria

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Nigeria’s major problem over the years has been corruption. We have been plagued as a nation with corrupt leaders who would stop at nothing to steal the nation’s resources for themselves, their families, and their associates. Sadly, bad followership has made matters worse as a follower yesterday has become a leader today, yet we still have corrupt leaders.

It is very easy to criticize and that’s what we have been doing as a nation; we criticize our leaders, and not constructively. The country has been divided along ethnic, religious, and political lines. This has been frustrating the efforts of the few good leaders we have left. Terrorist attacks have become rampant and many lives have been lost. But our so-called bad leaders aren’t the ones that carry bombs; we do. If there is going to be a change and the major problem of corruption we have as a country will reduce, we must focus on individuals. I must ask myself what I should change about me, or the actions I should take so that our national menace of corruption can subside. The minister of petroleum was quoted sometimes ago to have said Nigeria can never be corruption-free. Maybe she said so because she is herself corrupt. Maybe our leaders have lost faith in themselves to turn things around, but while still followers we can do something about corruption. We can position ourselves for a corruption-free leadership in the nearest future.

I can clean my house and ensure I don’t give or take bribe. I can decide to always be honest and truthful in all my dealings with people. More importantly, I can teach the younger ones how bad corruption is and make them despise it. Our generation is this corrupt because we grew up in corruption. This is a generation where you have to tip people to do their work. This a generation where you have to know someone before some things get done. This a generation where you have to tell some lies to get some things done. But I can change all this by first working on myself and people around me, ensuring they all appreciate a corruption-free environment and be ready to stand up for the truth no matter what. Every other person can do the same, and in a matter of just a few years we can see the results of our actions and see a new Nigeria, a corruption free nation with sustainable development.

The 25 Year Old Billionaire

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He left home and decided he would hold his own in the world, he would survive against all odds. He was only 10.

Constantine Demiris watched how the Engineer used the drilling machine with awe. The Engineer said if he could study him very well and understand the basics of drilling, he might one day become an Engineer like him.

Constantine Demiris replied; “I don’t want to drill oil for people, I want to own oil rigs.” And he was true to his dream. At age 25, he was already a billionaire.

“Aim for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.” Don’t limit yourself in your dreams. No dream is too big for you. No goal is unattainable. He had no shoes like he said and he’s the president today. You can make it if you want. All you have to do is BELIEVE.

Dame Patience Jonathan; The First Lady, The Permanent Secretary

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Dame Patience Jonathan was sworn in yesterday as a Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State along with 18 other persons yesterday, 20th July, 2012 in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State capital. Nigerians bemoaned her appointment though, but after the books were set straight that the governor reserved the right to appoint anyone into office, the flares went down. Now, Dame Patience Jonathan, Nigeria’s first lady is a Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State.

There is nothing strange about a first lady having a job as the office of the first lady does not even exist constitutionally, but it becomes wrong when such first lady was last seen in civil service 13 years ago. Dame Patience Jonathan stopped working in the civil service in 1999 when her husband became Bayelsa state deputy governor, except she has remained in service and has been a ghost worker because she’s been half-way round the world ever since. Either ways, she’s not entitled to the post of a permanent secretary. The Bayelsa state government claimed the most senior officers were chosen. Has Dame Patience Jonathan been working from Abuja to have merited her promotion to the most senior level, or has she been at that level since 1999? Whichever way, I’m sure there are many workers in Bayelsa State civil service that merited the position more than the first lady. They are aggrieved but none would dare say a word, especially if they are not ready to retire.

The appointment of Dame Patience Jonathan among other things is evident of how governors can misuse power and would if given more authority like controlling a Police force. State governors will only use the police to further their ambitions and harass their political enemies. The legislators should ensure creation of state police does not crawl into the amendment of the 1999 constitution. If it does, God save us!

18 senior officers who deserved their elevation and appointment as Permanent Secretaries were seated two hours before the event. Dame Patience Jonathan who obviously had forgotten civil service ethics and had been used to being a first lady for more than a decade strolled in later flanked by her boss, the governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson on red carpet laid in her honour. Despite being the last to arrive of the Permanent Secretaries to be sworn in, she was sworn in first and alone, while others were sworn in in three batches of six each.

Many people may not understand why Seriake Dickson appointed Dame Patience Jonathan, but I believe he simply found the easiest way to be in Goodluck Jonathan’s good books after issues were raised against a construction company’s gift of a church in Goodluck Jonathan’s Otuoke hometown. He was constitutionally right to have appointed Dame Patience Jonathan, and so he didn’t break the law in giving the president’s family a salary of about half a million Naira for life; as Permanent secretaries are paid the same salary they were receiving in service even after retirement.

The question on everyone’s lips now is; where do we go from here? In an era where political office holders use the powers vested in them as a result of our mandate to further their own agenda, what hope do we have? May God save us!

Facebook Breaks Two-year Relationship

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Love they say is the most beautiful thing in the world, and the best thing that can happen to anyone. No one thinks about what heartbreaks that usually result from love causes. They say heartbreaks can’t kill, but I believe heartaches can.

We shall be telling true life stories of heartbreak, infidelity, and lies in relationships and marriages. Some will make you hate to fall in love, others will make you want to stay in love. Above all, a lot of lessons will be learnt from other people’s mistakes. The series will run every month and will be strictly true life stories as told by the person involved. Enjoy today’s piece.

“Sometimes it’s better to live in a lie than to know the true state of things. Reality can be damning. I was lying on the rug, browsing through my blackberry when suddenly I got tired of using the facebook application. I decided to check out my facebook account on the site itself. Surprisingly, I noticed my girl-friend’s activities barely an hour ago on facebook. I was mad because she had the time for that but she didn’t have the time to call me despite seeing a text I sent earlier. I decided to check her facebook account since I had the password. I don’t stalk her, but checking her facebook updates for her used to be my duty. She wouldn’t check.

Minutes later, I was shivering, my throat went dry, and the sleep gradually brewing up in my eyes cleared off. Don’t ask me what I saw. But, of course you know. I could have vouched for her any day, I could have spared a kidney if she needed one, I could have given my all. Unfortunately, she’s just like the others.

Just so you’d know, I saw a chat history that confirmed my suspicions of her infidelity. I confronted her and she flared up, but didn’t deny. In fact, she said it was over. We were together two years and she never cheated until then; well, so I thought. I will never fall in love again! Quote me.”

Maybe you can relate to his story. What can you say about this? What advice do you have for him and every other person reading this now?

The Comma: History and Origin

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The comma’s ancestors have been used since Ancient Greece, but the modern comma descended directly from Italian printer Aldus Manutius. (He’s also responsible for italics and the semicolon!) In the late 1400s when Manutius was working, a slash mark (/, also called a virgule) denoted a pause in speech. (Virgule is still the word for comma in French.) Manutius made the slash lower in relation to the line of text and curved it slightly. In the 1500s, this new mark acquired the old Greek name “comma”. The word comma literally meant “a piece cut off” from the Greek word koptein meaning ”to cut off”.

Other than the period, the comma is the most common punctuation mark in English, but the little mark is often misunderstood and misused, even by native speakers. The comma plays an important role in the sentence because it tells a reader when to pause briefly. When should the comma be used? The comma is often used to separate items in a list as in the sentence: “Mark went to the store to buy eggs, bread, milk, and blueberries.” The third comma in that sentence is the topic of much debate. That comma—before “and”—is called the “serial comma” or the “series comma”.  Some usage conventions require a serial comma, but others do not. Whether or not to use a serial comma can also depend on the items in the list. Consider this sentence: “For breakfast, Mary had an apple, toast and jam, and coffee.” Without the final comma the sentence would be unclear. She isn’t eating jam with coffee, so a serial comma clarifies the situation.

Commas are also used to separate independent clauses when a conjunction is used, as in the compound sentence: “Mark went to the store, and he bought eggs, bread, milk, and blueberries.” Commas have many other uses as well. When an entire phrase may be removed from a sentence, commas are used to set the phrase apart. Take this as an example: “Shelia, reconsidering her options, did not want to go to the movie.” In a similar fashion, they set off introductory participle phrases as in: “Reading over her notes, Julie realized she missed an important detail.”

Credit: http://www.dictionary.com

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