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Diary of a Yankee babe doing NYSC (Part 6)

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Early Monday morning, after a weekend resting and trying to wash away the grimes of camp, I was back in my khakis and out and about again. I had my posting letter in hand and wanting to make a good first impression at my PPP (Place of Primary Posting), I was there as early as 8am. I entered and talked to the security guards who asked to see my posting letter before even allowing me to proceed. I took my letter to the receptionist, who already knew what I was there for before I even got to her, thanks to the khakis :D she just flung her hand somewhere behind me and told me to go and sit there. There were already two other people there and we just sat there, waiting. More youth corps members joined us as time went on and we all just waited. More people trickled in as time went on till we were about 14 coppers there. I was getting annoyed but what could I do, I was at their mercy. Finally, around 11am, a lady came down and took all out names and our posting letters and went away with them. We then went back to waiting. She came back about an hour later and called some of us to the side and said the organization could not take us because our majors do not correspond and they wouldn’t know where to place us. So after all that wait, we were given rejection letters. I was actually not as vexed about being rejected as I was about being made to wait that long to get it.
We had been instructed while in camp that immediately we got our rejection letters, we were to go to our zonal office and submit it so the next step could be taken. So imagine my surprise when all the other people who had been rejected hailed cabs, got into them and said they were going home, to sort out their posting after the Sallah holiday. Me, being the dumb goody-two-shoes that I am, decided to follow instructions and went to the office. The first one I went to wasn’t even open at all. Again I didn’t learn my lesson and went to yet another one. This one was hard to find but at least it was open. I gave the guy in charge (Mr. M) my rejection letter, which he stamped and kept in his file. He told me to come to the camp in kubwa on Thursday (the Tuesday and Wednesday were Sallah holiday and so next working day was Thursday) I asked him for my rejection letter but he said not to worry, that he needed it to work out my new PPP for me. Finally, around 2pm, hungry, thirsty and cranky, I went home. I chilled and relaxed the next two days and once again, bright and early on Thursday morning, I was back in the dreadful khaki and off to Kubwa camp to go sort myself out.
I called Mr. M as soon as I entered the camp, explaining to him who I was and how he told me to come to kubwa to get my new posting letter. He responded that he doesn’t remember me and he doesn’t recollect taking my rejection letter and that I would need to come back to the zonal office the next Monday to come collect the new posting letter as he wasn’t on camp right then. I saw red! I had just spent N2000 to take a cab to the stupid camp on bad roads and an empty stomach, trying to get there on time, for him to tell me that nonsense? I wasn’t having it! But I didn’t know what next to do. While I was standing there contemplating, I ran into a girl from my camp in Kaduna and after exchanging pleasantries, I told her what was going on, only for her to laugh and tell me Mr. M was right on camp and exactly where he was. I thanked her and went to where she said he was. The place was so congested, and I couldn’t even get close to the entrance. While I was still waiting, he came out and started calling some people’s numbers and giving them their posting letters. Since I couldn’t get close to him, I resorted to calling him. He picked up and when I told him who it was again, he was about to start saying he wasn’t around again till I waved to him and he saw my face. Then he couldn’t say it anymore, but he said he was busy and couldn’t attend to me and hung up. I was so steamed but was also standing in the sun, encompassed by too many people and I started feeling faint. NYSC wasn’t that serious so I went to sit down in a shade and got something to drink. While sitting, I called Mr. M every fifteen (15) minutes interval and basically bothered his life with my request for either my new posting letter or my rejection letter he took away from me. At first he was annoyed but as time went on and I kept calling him, he decided he was sick of me and he needed to get rid of me. So the last time I called him, he said give him some few minutes. He said “the printer is hot so we turned it off, I will sort you out as soon as we can turn it back on”. It astounded me that for the amount of people waiting to get letters, they were only using one printer but who am I to question the logic. I nodded and waited and FINALLY, about 30 minutes later, he brings out my new posting letter and gives it to me. I say thank you and being so sick of being there, I practically run out of the place, get back in my cab and go back to town. I went to my new PPP and turned in my posting letter. The new place also didn’t take my posting letter. They made a photocopy of it and told me to go home, that they would call me with their response. All I could think of was “what happened to a youth copper was always accepted and welcome wherever they wanted to work?” But I was too drained after the day and I just got back into the taxi and went home and went straight to bed. I had spent about 7 hours and N5000 sorting all that mess out and I was tired and even more frustrated but I was just glad to have done all that and gotten it out of the way. Now all I had to do was wait for them to call me and either accept or reject me.
While waiting, I spent my time hanging out with friends I made in camp. Most of us were back in Abuja (some had travelled to Lagos or wherever their families were for some after-camp TLC) and were glad to be able to see each other outside of the camp environment and the white-over-white. Everybody was looking much better now that we were out of camp (wow, camp had all of us looking wretched, seriously!!!) and we even had some of our Kaduna friends who came over to visit from time to time (it’s only a two hour journey). I finally had people I could get to know Abuja with so we went out as much as we could, going to Silverbird Cinemas (that’s the only place that I found a relatively ok bookstore – I miss Barnes & Nobles :(( – so far). Unfortunately, Abuja doesn’t have a lot of places to go to and hang out so most people are always at the same place at the same time. (so for people who know Abuja well, please I need ideas on what to do for fun in this place, post them as comments please :D thanks) I sat at home for over 2 weeks until November 29th when my new PPP finally called me and told me to come the next day. I didn’t know what to expect but back into my faithful khakis and off to the place. I got there and they gave me papers to sign and a list of things to turn in and I was told to report to one of their branches to start work the next day (December 1st.) Finally, I had been sorted out and finally had a place to work! Thank God for that because so many of my other friends and people were not even accepted yet and so many of us were still not having PPPs so I was just glad to be finally settled.
First day at work was just another lesson in Naija making me laugh with incredulity everyday …
To be continued…
PS – the first place I was posted to and rejected was Central Bank of Nigeria. It was cool though because my friend who did stay there and is working there is miserable so am glad to have been spared that, hope she starts liking it there too soon tho, Shout out to you W ;)
PPS – a merry xmas and happy new year too all jaguda readers! Wish u a blessed and fun filled holiday!


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http://www.jaguda.com/author/t-l-bridges/

Just a restless citizen of the world, always in search of answers, lessons and inspiration by those she is blessed to meet~ (corny but true)

Comments

Comments
  • Odunlami December 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I love this piece. I will be preparing 4 my service next year,so this gave me a detailed insight on what to expect.

  • OsitaE December 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Hello, Thank for helping your blog has really been helpful, but I would need to know the security situation in camp and are we to take our international passport to the orientation camp for the whole three weeks duration.

    Cheers

    • T.L. Bridges December 31, 2010 at 12:17 am

      Well what do you mean by security situation? Do you mean are you safe? Then yeah! The people in charge are solders and they are basically in charge of keeping you safe. Of course they are also in charge of making sure u stay in camp but if u wanna go out for some reason, jst suck up to them or sneak out n u r fine (remember though that camps differ though so that wld differ depending on d place). As for the passport situation, yeah I had mine with me the whole 3 weeks I was there and we ended up only making use of it once, jst to show it and make copies for them. Its nerve wrecking having it there bt u shld be fine as long as u don't jst bring it out anyhow, keep it under lock and keys every time when not in use and check on it from time to time but overall, it was fine! Cheers and good luck. R u serving soon?

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