I have a lot on my plate, including bread to eat and things to write. But I ventured into job hunting.
On contacting an agency to help me do so, I was so lucky that I had two places requiring my hands and not much of my brain. Having no degree(yet) fit to provide me with something white collared, I was more than happy to apply for that of a personal cleaner and waitress.
Because I’ll prefer telling my grand children “ I was once a cleaner” to “I once waited tables” I texted the ‘madam of the house’ via WhatsApp. It got two ticks and no blue and certainly no reply. When I thought that that was a lazy way to find a job I dialed her number. I called from dusk till dawn only to hear the not so enticing, female, recorded voice spitting Turkish into my ear.
When I became fed up with trying so hard to scrub floors and wash kebab crumbles off plates, as you must assume already, I went on to pursue the man willing to let me smile while carrying trays to milky skinned, blue-eyed women. I sent a text via WhatsApp again. And alas! I got not just two ticks but two blue ticks. And no reply. Thinking the first text wasn’t desperate enough, I texted “I know there’s a vacancy at your restaurant for a waiter. I am very much interested in it, sir” to show him my blood was boiling at a 100 degrees centigrade to carry plates around. Again Mr Man gave me two blue ticks and no reply.
The next day came and I grinned so thankfully that I didn’t have to go out in the merciless cold to work. But looking at my phone bereaved of Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and every other time sucking app and having writer’s block blocking my head from every angle, I decided to call my soon-to-be Oga.
Without a second ring my call was answered and I was invited to his restaurant, a restaurant I had no idea where it sat.
And after little inquiry, I got the address. Little did I know that the journey of an adult was yet to begin.
The bright blue skies had given way to the immaculate ones, or did they just turn ghostly white? They blanketed the sun and made my leather jacket feel like a piece of napkin over me. My fingers fought to be warm as I awaited the school bus. Finally, it came as the rain came.
Dear, the rain decided to go mad as I alighted the bus. I didn’t have time to go mad back at it so dashed off to find my destination. Following my heart, I headed North then later East. And after questioning two Turkish men and a Zimbabwean, I was told my heart was very far from being right.
Under a shed, I met a Kurdish who wasted no time in telling me how he suspended two semesters to work and fend for his student needs. And after the storm and a long chit-chat, I greeted him “ Salamalaikum”.
On getting to another confusing junction, I asked a Nigerian for directions.
“Go right, turn left, go small, keep going, I think that’s where but I’m not sure o.” He said.
With determination written all over my face, I walked under the drizzle.
Finally, the restaurant came in sight. There was no “Oga”. A wait of 20 minutes followed after which he arrived to tell me how a Turkish speaking waitress was needed.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or seat back and buy the kebab that kept my nose twitching.
My phone number was taken by him, in case. I laughed with the Pakistani worker claiming to be Nigerian. I made new friends. I learnt lessons. I made an attempt. I was terribly cold. My beloved shoe got wet 😭.
From the onset, I knew I wasn’t going to get the job. From the onset, I knew that even if I was given the job I had dreams to work on and working for someone else will rob me off it. I knew spending 3 hours on my dream surpasses spending 6 hours working for someone.
But guess what? I went for the lessons. I went for the experience that’ll be a torch guiding me through life’s rough journey.
Wake up. 🌼Dress up. 🌺Show up. 🌸 You’ve got things to learn.🙅🏽♀️