Job Chronicles

Job Chronicles

Since you pipu like stories as shown 
from all the love I received from 
#myjourneytotheamrica and 
#firecracketakescollegepark series, 
I am starting a new series titled 
It’s going to be about my job search 
and some of the highlights of my 
various jobs. 
I think the worst thing that ever 
happened to me on a job was washing 
the boss’ plates – and this wasn’t a 
vacation job oh – this happened 
early last year – after BSc in 
Elect/Elect from UNILAG, MSc in 
Telecommunications Engineering 
from the University of Maryland, 
College Park, and 3 years post-MSc. 
work experience as a Software 
Test Engineer in Silicon Valley. 
Ehen now that I’ve got you interested, 
oya let’s start from the beginning. 
Happy reading.

I actually thought my first job was 
my IT job at UNILAG until last week 
when I remembered that my first 
job was a vacation job when I was 
in 200 level and I was 18 years of age. 
I was already in 200 level at the time 
and 2nd semester had just begun. 
There was a rumor going on that 
the cost of on-campus accommodation 
was going to be increased and some 
SUG pipu and probably some 
non-students decided to take matters 
into their hands and burn down the 
Dean of Students’ Affairs House and 
some of the VCs valuables as a form 
of protest. 

I am not really sure what they burnt 
down but they burnt down something. 

I am 100% certain they did not expect 
the V.C., Professor Ibidapo Obe, to 
retaliate in the manner in which he did, 
but he decided to prove to them that 
he was no weakling. 
He got policemen to throw tear gas in 
all the hostels and evacuate every 
student living in the hostels. 
I lived in Moremi hall at the time and 
that was my first experience with 
That was such a scary day and thank 
God for a neighbor and friend of mine, 
R, who though was not on campus 
that day was able to connect me to 
a friend of hers, L who also lived in 
I met L for the first time that day and 
he took me home safely. 
Anyway, Ibidapo Obe had only just 
begun with us. 
He would go on to; shut down the 
University for 3 months, have each 
student pay a “damage fee” of 
N10,000 and sign an undertaking to 
never be destructive, still increase
 the cost of a bed space from 
about N1200 to N18000, put in t
ough measures that prevented 
people from selling their bed spaces 
at astronomical rates, prohibit boys 
from entering girls’ hostel, put in 
stern hall mistresses, etc. 
But that is not the purpose of this post. 
While staying at home and bored me 
out of my mind during those 3 months, 
I saw an ad for a sales girl in front of 
a small clothing store outside my estate.
 I went into the store and asked for 
the madam’s phone number and 
expressed my interest in the job. 
The salesgirl then gave me the number 
and I was offered the job after calling 
the woman and going to see her. 
During the informal interview, she 
asked me if I was sure I’d be able 
to just sit in the store for 8 hours 
every day and I told her I could. 
The pay was N5000/month and I 
began work on a Monday. 

On that Monday from 9 am – 5 pm 
maybe only one person came to the 
store and after showing her plenty 
of clothes she didn’t even buy 
There was another sales girl with me 
at the store but I was shy and quiet 
at the time so we didn’t talk much. 
That was the longest and most 
boring day of my life. 

There was no TV to watch and NEPA 
took light a few times. 
A few hours into the job, I already 
knew my first day was also going to 
be my last day. 
When the store owner arrived in the 
evening, I told her I couldn’t do the 
job and I quit. 
She gave me N500 for my day’s work 
and at 5pm on the dot, I carried my 
bag and went home never to return. 
That I think was the first hint that 
money is not a major motivating factor 
for me when it comes to doing work.

My second job was my Industrial Training 
\at a telecom company. 
One of the factors that made me decide 
to study Elect/Elect. Engineering after my 
parents convinced me to was the fact 
that they worked with the new GSM 
providers that had just sprung up in 
Nigeria at the time. 
So before my first year at the University, 
I already decided my specialization was 
going to be Telecommunications. 
At the time, I wanted what I wanted and 
I had to get it at all cost. 
I also never had Plan Bs or backup plans. 
IT was usually for 6-months and it t
ook place when we were supposed to 
be in the second semester of 400 Level. 
During the first semester of my fourth 
year, I told my parents about my intention 
to work at a Telco and my mum put 
the word out amongst her siblings. 
One of her brothers and my Uncle, 
Uncle L connected me with the 
HR manager of “everywhere you go” 
network and I went to see her. 
However, she told me they didn’t 
accept IT students only NYSC 
candidates and entry-level staff.
I went back to Uncle L and he asked 
me what other companies I had in mind. 
A friend was doing her IT at an oyinbo 
Telecom Vendor at the time and had 
said good things about her experience 
working for them so I told him I also 
wanted to do my IT at the same company. 
Uncle L is so connected (I’m not even 
kidding my mum’s family is my 
greatest network. God bless all my 
aunties and uncles and cousins for me) 
and sent me to a friend of his who 
was a service provider to the company. 
I went to see him and he told me not 
to worry and it was a done deal - all 
I needed to do was remind him about 
the job close to the start of my IT. 
Meanwhile, my classmates who 
wanted to work in the same company 
had gone to see one of our professors 
to give them letters to the company 
but of course Toyeen could not be 
bothered to do the same. 
Even though she didn’t have an offer 
letter, she foolishly believed the 
word of mouth assurance given to 
her by her long-leg superseded any o
ffer letter.
Fast forward to about a month before 
the start of IT and I went to meet my 
I honestly can't remember exactly 
what he said but I know he shouted 
at me and asked me to leave his office. 
I remember crying and calling uncle L 
on the phone to give him feedback. 
By this time, many of my classmates 
already had places to work and sister 
confidence did not have an IT placement. 
My parents and relatives offered to 
try to get me placed in non-telecoms 
engineering firms but I refused and 
insisted that on telecoms or nothing. 
I carried my CV and started to walk 
the length and breath of the Saka 
Tinubu area where most telcos or 
their vendors/service providers were 
located but I didn’t even get beyond 
the security men’s offices. 
Meanwhile, my dad’s Telco connect in 
the #myjourneytotheamrica series 
told me they didn’t accept IT students 
at his office but sent me to one of his 
old subordinates at a telco called S Ltd. 
When I went to see the ex-subordinate, 
he told me that his boss did not accept 
IT students in his department. 
By the end of March a few of my 
classmates had started IT while I was 
still searching for a job.
By mid-April, most people had started 
IT and Toyeen had still not found a job. 
I was hopeful and still insisted on 
working in a telco by force or by fire 
but I was also getting sad and r
egretting why I didn’t follow my 
classmate to my professor’s office. 
Honestly ehn, until last year when 
Jesus delivered me, a major part of 
my time was spent wallowing in regret. 
Anyway, by the fourth week in April, 
I still had no IT placement. 
By this time, I was fully convinced I 
was the only one in my class not yet 
working but I still believed God would 
do wonders and was still sticking to 
my Telecoms or nothing mantra. 
That's how in the first week of May 
when I had all but given up, my 
mum found out one of her business 
partner’s friends was the auditor at 
the same S Ltd. where I was told
 by that they didn’t accept IT students.
 On Friday, May 4, I was asked to go 
see the auditor who gave me a letter 
to take to the transmission manager 
at S Ltd. 
I got to S Ltd. 
And was interviewed by the manager, a 
He told me to come and resume 
work the following Monday, May 7. 

People of God That's how I got my dream 
IT job at a Telco.

Firecracker Toyeen
Instagram: @firecracker_toyeen
Twitter: @firecrackertoyn