Story of My Life

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You know when you are out of uni and you search every nook and cranny for jobs and then you finally get one !!?? Believe it or not the 1st job I got was at a garage. Funnily enough it wasn’t that bad, apart from being the only female species there and being forced to learn things about male gadgets.

2nd job – a media firm, we use to work 9- anytime after 6 that the boss allows you to go. Usually he would wait for 5.30pm to load you with lots of work and bug you with hundreds of questions, So by the time you’re leaving work, its around 8p.m. and that’s very early, so you better run out given the chance. After a series of good and bad jobs I decided to get married, thought I may do better in that field.

3rd job – Accountant to a retail home appliances store. Very good salary, but boss was so uneducated it hurt. I get all accounts are manually done, I get everything streamlined and put it in place computerised accounting system. One day I give him reports from the new system and due to illiteracy says: I don’t want this system, let’s go back to the old one (Oh yeah you better believe this, there are these kind of people out there making billions per year). After a good 8months of struggling back and forth with this illiterate boss, I quit.

Unfortunately I’m 4months and doesn’t look like anyone is willing to employ a pregnant woman, so I stay home for about a year. Then one day I get this extremely unbelievable offer. To work as P.A for the CEO of an international school, the biggest of its kind in E. Africa.
I go for the interview, in my best skirt suite looking very sharp and confident, ready to take on whatever comes my way. Boss explains to me how the job is very challenging for someone who is really ambitious and willing to learn and this kind of person needs to be a graduate at least, with good qualifications and work experience (that’s just a summary of it in my own words, you know things that bosses say to make you think the job is THE OPPORTUNITY you have been long searching for.)

The interview was crazy, I was even being asked about cricket players, scores, the MTV music awards (if that’s what they call them). After changing diapers for 6 months and being home for a year, you’re pretty not in line with world happenings, especially those that didn’t qualify for news headlines. I was sure I was never going to get this one, and wasn’t too worried about it either, due to fear of being asked the same questions day in day out.


Surprisingly enough I was called for the job and even though I was offered peanuts,(please at this point I need to distinguish small peanuts and big peanuts, cuz I get the really small one that if you had some in your hands, you would need a microscope to view them). I excitingly accepted reasoning that this was a big opportunity, the once in a lifetime kind that if you refuse you will never find anywhere and regret for the rest of your life. I was Personal Assistant to CEO, How big a post!! how exciting to sit next to the vision navigator of the famous and highly reputable group of schools ! I was given a desk of my own, a phone and a computer – very different from my last jobs where the space I currently have on my own, in my old job was shared by 5 employees, all who had files and papers to work on plus had to eat and drink form the same desk. This truly felt International and Corporate.

THEN: On my very first week, I was included in many meetings, met many big profile people. I felt sooo good and special and LUCKY!
NOW: As days go bye, I wonder what the whole daze was about. Day in day out, I wonder why I had to go through 3 years of university and spend some sleepless nights trying to cram formulas and names. A normal day for me is come to office, clean the CEO’s desk, greet all that come my way, serve coffee to CEO and whoever is in his office, sit and stare at comp, read any inbox mail that I may have (usually its instructions on print this, send this, call this person), then when I’m bored I surf through the internet (mind you all interesting sites like face book, yahoo, gmail etc ) If I’m lucky he may ask me to type out a letter. Now and again he will come and check my monitor to just make sure I haven’t cracked my way into an inaccessible site. And of course all fellow employees tell me not to say I’m bored and to look like I’m doing something. You wonder how much you can do, when you have no work to do.

Oh by the way, given those terms, it means, you can’t ask for a salary raise, cuz as it is there isn’t any work you’re doing. Soooo much for INTERNATIONALISM!

Lessons learnt:
1.Guys if you ever envy any of your friends who have big positions in big places thinking they earn a lot, please from now on, DON’T! Sometimes you’d rather be the tea girl at an NGO than the manager at a big private firm.
2. Not everything that glitters is Gold; if it isn’t metal then it’s some sharp glass waiting to cut you immediately you pick it up.
3. When you complain of too much work, please think of the man who has no work and its driving him insane

ZU

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