On a busy monday morning, I got a notification that my traffic on the blog had experienced a spike. awwwwww!!! melted my heart completely and brightened my day. I have each and every one of YOU from Nigeria, Norway, France, Canada, South Africa, European Union, USA, UK, Ireland, Ukraine to thank for that. YOU Readers, ghost readers, commenters, likers, followers, subscribers, spreaders of the blog all add to my statistics. THANK YOU ALL.
This post is dedicated to YOU and YOU and YOU and to a very dear friend, reader, strong fan, gist buddy, lawyer etc. Happy Birthday Murphy. *cheers to many more birthdays, blog posts for your reading pleasure, traffic, readers, subscribers and all*
Before I go to the main story for today, let me give YOU a bonus gist about what happened to me on Sunday morning around 5:20 a.m on my way to church.
I know you are wondering why I need to leave that early to church but I am undergoing the workers in training programme called Finding The Rock in my church (House on The Rock) and classes start 7:15 a.m before the main service so I estimate my journey from Ikeja to Ikate Elegushi to be 2 hours including the 8 bus-stops from just the first bus *Yes I counted and I know the names of all the bus-stops* and the drivers won’t stop dropping and picking commuters. On Sundays, the estate gate closer to my house and to the major road is not opened till 5:30am or later so I always have to take the route linking streets till I *like my Naija people will say; Bust out* at the other gate that opens by 5 a.m and leads to a major road where I can proceed from.
While I was cautiously walking on the street because like i explained in my last post 3 Days Vacation , it takes awhile for dawn to break in lagos in comparison to Abuja and it was still dark at that time, I remembered my phone was still switched off and I made to turn it on; I like to do this before I leave the house so I can read any notifications warning against routes to avoid, if there was a war outbreak, epidemic or curfew *God forbid* from the day before so I would not be relieving The Movie: The Purge *yeah, I have a vivid imagination*. There was this guy ahead of me coming from the opposite direction about to take a bend the same minute the infrared light on my phone reflected on my shirt. He hesitated, looked at me and the following conversation ensued:
Weirdo: Hey, excuse me, excuse me
Me: Not breaking my stride Please leave me alone, don’t talk to me abeg(please)
Weirdo: Sorry now, I just want to ask you for something
Me: *something??? early in the morning* Don’t ask me anything.
I just kept on walking and did not look back. I mean what kind of question do you want to ask a young girl walking alone when it is still dark??? Even if your intentions were pure, the environment made my hairs stand on end and I remembered all the stories of friends being mobbed, hypnotized and robbed of all valuables home and abroad etc. God keeps his own and I’m grateful that my valuables and I made it to church in one piece.
THE ACTUAL POST
I am going to be sharing a personal experience with YOU, when I say parastatals, I mean either local, state or federal government offices such as ministries, immigration offices, bureaus, police stations, resident permit offices and what have you. By quickies I mean quick stops, five minutes breeze in, breeze out, mission accomplished in less than five minutes, hey, hi, ok bye. I have had some experiences in parastatals especially at the land bureau due to the nature of my job and once at the police station *story for another day*. Today is for ministry of lands and land bureau offices. Enjoy.
It was on a Tuesday morning, I had planned to get to the bureau by 8:30, be done by 10 am at the latest, rush back to the office, complete the proposal I was working on, try to drop a post here and just flow with the rest of the day. I got up early, got to the bureau and was ready to sign in and then the sassy receptionist told me visitors were not allowed into offices till 10 a.m. #bubble busted.
Finally, 10 a.m arrived and I had to spend more minutes waiting for the person I was assigned to see. In parastatals, the top guns don’t bother chit chatting with you so if someone especially the opposite sex starts acting all nice to you and saying your hand writing is synonymous with your beauty *yup, heard that*, it’s a waste of time, they will not be able to render any tangible help. All they want is extra cash to hasten the process without a receipt *how will you explain that to the accounts department at your office?* On meeting the surprisingly nice and chatty top gun at almost 11 a.m, the following ensued;
Me: Good morning Sir, My name is Tobi, we have been talking on phone Sir.
Top gun: Tobi, are you a surveyor
Me: Yes sir.
Top gun: Ahhhh!!!! small surveyor,are you chartered?
Me: No sir but I am already working on being chartered sir.
Top gun: what school did you graduate from.
Me: University of Lagos.
Top gun: How long have you been working for ……..
Me: Roughly two years sir.
His phone rings and I have to wait for 15 minutes before the call ended. As he was hanging up, the other phone starts ringing *I checked the time and cringed internally, I had stuffs to complete at work* When the phone call was finally over, he gives me his attention and then refers me to an office where my needs would be met *why didn’t he tell me since now, so I had not made any head way and it was almost noon.* Thankfully, he escorted me to the officer in charge and I was given some preferential treatment and redirected again to the bank. *whew*
After queuing at the bank and paying the required fees, I was told to come back by 2:30 p.m for the original receipt and it was not even certain if it would be ready by that time *I died*. How was I suppose to go back to the Island and come back to the Mainland when I would not even be able to get to the Island earlier than 2:00 pm? The other option was to hang around. PAUSE!!!!!
Let me tell you something about myself, I HATE waiting indefinitely, If you tell me to wait for a specific time, I can mentally prepare myself to wait for that stipulated time but to wait for an unknown period of time and the uncertainty kills me. I thrive on structure and planning. RESUME…..
I returned to the bureau of lands to explain to the attendant who answered me grudgingly and told me to come back in two days because I interrupted his meal of a family size bread and eggs *sorry, not sorry*, who even eats bread and egg for lunch? I returned to the office tired *achieving nothing after all the excitement and planning left me tired and upset* but the show must go on and I delved into work. Surprisingly, when I returned to get the documents I applied for, it was ready *miracles do happen at parastatals in form of top guns*.
The following week, I had to return to the bureau to apply for some documents and due to time constraints, I wanted to hasten the process regardless of the extra amount I had to pay. The man eagerly collected the cash and confidently told me to return in 1 hour to collect the documents. After 1 hour, I returned and he was like :is it 1 hour already? please wait o, I will call you, I am very busy. I reigned in my anger. After another agonizing hour, my documents were still not ready and he mumbled some flimsy excuse I barely heard, he refunded the cash and I marched to the unending but efficient queue to start from the scratch. I got my documents days after but I do not look forward to making another visit to the lands bureau.
Dearly beloved, speaking from experience, If you have an appointment in a parastatal especially in Lagos, prepare your mind of spending the whole day there and still achieve little or nothing except the top gun you know is also the attendant, receptionist and banker all wrapped into one person. Also, be weary of sweet mouthed people whose aims are to make quick cash at your expense and still not render any help.
Thank YOU for taking out time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed it and won’t be side lined whenever you visit a parastatal. Do not hesitate to like, comment, subscribe, share your experiences, spread the word. With love from Me to You. xoxoxo.