Even though I had absolutely messed up the interview process, the following day I received a call from them. Talk about a miracle!
Again, they had sent me a message (which I did not receive) and the second stage of the interview (which I had qualified for, surprise-surprise) was in progress. My sims were in my phone and it would seem that the messages refused to deliver because there was no space on my phone. How? Because I had no movies or pictures in my phone and I am not the type that keeps messages either. My village people were dancing shaku shaku on top of my phone or something. Oh village people, the thunder…!
A little after 10:30am was when I got there. There were two other people before me, this I knew because I signed in at the gate and I was almost two hours later than the second person that arrived!
I was shown into a classroom with a woman who was reading an interview tips book. She asked me to please help her browse for Bloom’s taxonomy of education (it was in the examination I wrote the previous day). I did and read it then give it to her.
I was just sitting there, going through the tips my friends on Instagram had sent me when I told them of the interview (amazing people, I tell you). The woman was talking to me. She asked if I had a background in education. When I said no, she proceeded to give me a list of the education qualifications she had, and advised me to get a PGD in education in Kubwa. I thanked her.
There was a lady inside the office with the Director being interviewed when I arrived (I only realized this when the lady came out of the office). The woman that had been talking to me asked her what kind of questions they asked her and how much she was offered. She said the pay they offered her was 16k and she wasn’t sure she could work with that. It was the turn of the woman I had been talking to so she was called in. A few minutes later, two other ladies were directed in to await their turns.
(I guess all these people wrote their exams a day before I came because I had never seen any of them before and I never saw the lady I wrote mine with again. I guess she did not make it to this stage).
When the woman that had been talking to me came back, she said they offered her the same 16k and it wasn’t favourable. And then I was called into the office where I met with the Director, the Proprietress (who is also the Director’s wife) and the Administrator (the lady that interviewed me the previous day).
“Miss NFG, you’re welcome. I was told that you’ve been having trouble receiving our messages.” The Director said. His voice was friendly and calm. Deep, but friendly, calm and having a kind of smile in it.
“Yes sir. But I honestly don’t know why.”
“I think your phone inbox is probably full.” It was the Proprietress. She picked up her phone and, looking at its identical twin on my lap, she continued, “Shey it’s this type of Tecno? Ah! They send me messages all the time that the inbox is full. If you do not delete them, new messages cannot come in. So you need to go and delete or messages will not enter.”
“Yes ma. I’ll do that. Thank you.”
“So what are you doing presently?” The Director asked.
“Nothing. I keep busy by managing my sister’s business page on Instagram. But it’s nothing serious. It’s not business-business.”
“Oh! That’s interesting. Tell me what you have done that brought money to the business.” His eyes were lighting up.
“Like I said, sir, the page is not selling anything for now. It’s more of a community we are trying to build. By the time we have a considerable amount of following, however, things might take that direction.”
“OK. So what do you really want to do? As in career choice, if you had all the world to yourself?” He settled into his turn-around black leather chair and placed a finger under his chin.
“I would like to build an online empire for myself.”
“How do you mean?” His eyes narrowed, highlighting how far away his eyebrows were from each other.
I went on to narrate how I would like to have a blog that would grow into something amazing, blah blah blah.
“So if you were to stay with us, asides teaching, what do you think you could bring on board?” This question sounded too much like a trap.
“Does the school have any social media presence?” I asked, allowing myself to fall deep into the trap.
He said not really. There is a page but it isn’t much of anything.
“I could manage that for the school.” And then I felt my head hit the bottom of the pit-trap. It was painful!
“OK. That’s alright.” He was adjusting into his seat again, this time placing his elbows on the desk and facing me squarely. “You see, these questions are deliberate, because when we employ staff, we look beyond the academic side and concentrate on their skill set so that we can see what values they can add to the school. Because you can perform better where you are strongest, we want to know your core, something you don’t have to struggle with, you know… what you are bringing on board. So how soon do you intend to start your blog?”
“When I have enough money to start and maintain it.”
He kept asking questions: how much does it cost to set up a blog? Can’t you just begin with a free blog? Why don’t you want a free blog? As I answered, he kept nodding with approval and at the end said: yes, that’s right. The first website I set up cost just about that amount. Beautiful!
“A lady blogger was telling how she makes about #700,000 on a weekly basis. Maybe I should go into blogging o.” He said looking at his wife who was laughing and laughing along with her.
700k! My head was doing somersault! Ah! My father, my father… when will your child start cashing out like that? When, Baba???
“Miss K,” he was talking to the administrator, “I am sorry o, we are talking about something totally unrelated. It was interesting and I got carried away.” then he returned his attention to me.
“So if we employ you, we are looking at you helping to take our students English language alongside managing our social media pages. So what classes can you take?”
I said I would prefer older students. Then he said their Junior session was just being put in place and the older children they had is primary. I said I would learn.
“And how much are you looking at for salary?”
I remembered three months probation and called a not-too-high amount.
“30 thousand naira.”
“Hmm, I like you. You are a very good lady.” Then he laughed and continued, “You cannot start now because school resumes in September. And what we can offer as salary for now would be 25k, sincerely speaking, because of the environment in which we find ourselves. So, what sayest thou?”
“I am fine with that, sir.”
“Good. We are building our website and I am not ignorant of the importance of social media these days. I would appreciate any advice you would have. And please, whatever you require for the social media thing, do let us know.”
“Will do, sir. But data tops the list.”
“That would not be a problem. So, Miss K, does any of you have anything to say?” He asked looking at the administrator and then to the proprietress.
“I will see you later to put you through a few things, lesson plans and all.” Miss K said simply.
I got up to leave.
“But how long are you willing to spend with us?” It was the proprietress, stopping me in my tracks. You know, like she had been thinking about it all the while.
“I’m not planning to run away soon.”
“Thank you,” I said.
“You are welcome. Go and free the messages on your phone!” The Director laughed.
It was raining when I got outside but I entered it and walked home. Even heaven was mourning the death of my jobless status!
About a week later, on August 10th, I received this message 👇
The school was on holidays but they were having summer school (I have a bone to pick with the concept of sending children to school during holidays. What is summer school? Kuku scrap holidays and let them be in school all year na 🙄) and so dressing was casual. I was particularly excited because I was going to be meeting the other lucky ones that were employed.
And then I got there.
I was directed to Miss K’s office where two other ladies were waiting. I greeted them and took a seat beside one fine, fair lady with dark, curly hair cut low. I noticed her nude, very long nails and her almost flawless skin very easily and as I continuously stole glances at her (my phone was low so I had nothing better to do) I noticed that she was one of those people who have small bodies and big ages. She was pretty.
The other lady looked very young. Her face screamed of innocence and her demeanor confirmed it. I think she attends deeper life too (my thoughts are not based on this, though). Her dark skin was shiny and there was a lack of confidence that streamed from her eyes. She was unsuccessfully attempting to hide her shoes even though I thought they were really comfy and fine.
I had been waiting about 15 minutes when another lady came in. She was putting on jeans and a lose chequered shirt. Her relaxed brown hair fell to her neck, hanging just above her shoulders. She looked very carefree and high spirited, but serious. Funny combo.
And that was it… We were only four. The woman that adviced me to get qualifications in education was no where to be seen. I wonder why they offered her just 16k….
When Miss K was ready for us, she asked us to follow her to the class where I wrote my exam the last time. I found Miss K to be a really good teacher. She told us about the school, what it seeks to achieve in every child and how it is important that we try our best to align ourselves with the goals of the school. She told us about lesson plans, class management and a lot of other things that would bore you if I told you, so….
When we arrived the following day (let me laugh a little) I was asked to go and teach class 5 English and… Wait for it… MATHEMATICS!
YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!
Oh well, I collected the textbooks that were handed to me, taught her English (Deshi, the passage we read was about a boy called Deshi 😁), gave her a classwork and then settled down to go through the maths. Luckily, it was something I could navigate easily so I taught it. I think I did amazing!
Based on who I be!
In the end, we (apart from the deeper life cutie) were all asked to Miss K’s office where she evaluated each of us in one sentence each.
“Jeans lady (of course this is not what she called her), you had a problem with board management.”
“Fair lady with fine skin, your date was not well written.” (This is a problem?)
“NFG, I liked what I saw on the board.”
I was floating in the air, but I wore that face you wear when you are desperately trying to hide your pride.
It’s not by power but by tha spirit of tha Lurd!
As we left, we were asked to come back in two days for a staff meeting.
The meeting, which lasted for about 20 minutes was just assigning of classes to the old teachers (we new staff were asked to wait till the 30th of August, when we would be resuming work, to know which classes we would take). Then they announced the theme of the year and term. Meeting over.
But as we left, I kept wondering, “This one these people are not asking for account number, I am not understanding!”
I am a Nigerian graduate documenting the perks and pains of being a graduate without long leg in Nigeria; while also contributing her quota to make the world a better place. Lets be friends on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You'll find me there as Naijafreshgraduate.