by: Busayree Laila Abiodun
On a December Monday morning, 2021, I arrived punctual, all dressed immaculately in a corporate attire, ready to resume my SIWES at IITA. Only that I wasn’t ready for the shock I received.
Let me give first you a preview of the events before that for better understanding. But not before an advice; anything you wan do for this life, get leg ooo.
As an undergraduate student in the University whose course demands for a participation in the SIWES program, I had to begin looking for organizations to work at. I sent my request form to about 5 organization, but received a positive feedback from only two. Let me add that this method gave me a foresight of my job seeking in the future.
One organization gave me an actual acceptance letter, and the other, well my family believe say we get leg. Story short, I had forsaken the way I was actually accepted (closer to school) for on God and I went back home
Finally after almost a month of waiting on God, I was accepted and was given a contract to sign. A fancy abroad looking contract that seems to say ‘I am fancy and posh as an international organization’, but since you’re Nigerian you could decide to be lax with it’s rules and regulations. So when it says IT/SIWES and NYSC members are to resume by 7:30 am and close 4:30 pm, you can totally refuse to adhere to it and instead come whenever you wish, especially at the headquarters. What could happen except that you’ll meet closed gates at 7:30 am sharp and a smiling HR who waves at you from behind the gate doors wishing you a happy day off work?
And you don’t have to feel apprehension in preparing for a termination of your contract once the above happens three times a row. Just don’t forget to receive the letter with a smile to show them they are at lost.
Now back to the present. There was me, having desirable qualities for a office worker; punctual, smartly dressed, neat and almost perfect. If it was possible I might have even been mistaken to be a secretary.
Take this advice from me, no too dey jump before your shadow. I wish someone had told me this earlier that day before I left the house dressed smartly, then I wouldn’t have arrived at work only to be taken to the farm to work!!!!
For the record, IITA means International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.
I shouldn’t forget to add that the same people I met when I was working my acceptance letter, and had thought they were workers/cleaners there, turned out to have actually been SIWES/IT members from other schools.
There are a few more things I shouldn’t forget to add just in case the spirit of working at IITA calls upon your humble soul.
Just in case you find a snake or any animal that nature has long since declared a reincarnate of the devil, anywhere in IITA, you don’t need to hyperventilate or go into shock. Why? While IITA has washed the devil out of them leaving them with a clean soul. So all you should do is wave and smile, you might just be lucky to see them smile back. When you do though, don’t forget to take a picture so you’ll make it online, if you make it alive of course. Because apparently no one is allowed to harm any animal in IITA especially at the HQ, but like I’ve always mentioned, as Nigerians were exempted from any rule.
Also if you happen to find any discarded harvested or unharvested food on the farm or any storage house, you’re totally free to take as much as you want. Afterall, who would search you at the gate to discover them and report you to the HR? You’ll be more lucky though being an IT or SIWES member, since all that will happen is a revocation of your contract; who would be jobless enough to call your school and defame you, accusing you of stealing?
More still you can refuse to work when you’re assigned any job, it’s not like those CCTV cameras stationed around are actually working. I mean this is Nigeria, who’s watching? Definitely not a special IITA staff in charge of monitoring the CCTV cameras. So you could totally relax and flex, IITA cannot come and kill you. Afterall, it’s not like you’d need them in the future as reference.
Just have a boss like mine who’s chill, no cap. And you might just have the honor of constantly hearing his favorite sentence that is enough to put one into a big smile, it’s almost competing with the sun. “The more you advance, the more you work”. Who doesn’t love more work?
These are the few tips I think you should have in mind if you’re interested in working in an organization that doesn’t care about rules, of which IITA is definitely the best choice.
Sha remember sey, no too dey jump before your shadow.
BY: Just B.