Last Tuesday had me getting off a plane in Abuja and having to deal with customs yet again. They wanted me to pay N10,000 (don’t ask me what for cos I definitely didn’t know and was too jetlagged and sleepy to try to figure out). But I am getting ahead of myself. I was just returning from the US, after having gone for a 2 week trip/break. It was great to be back there even if it was for such a short time. I told my boss of the need to travel in May, even though I had known about it since before I even started service. But of course I had to build rapport with them before I could ask for such a thing. You see, I am a rule follower. And NYSC says that you are not allowed to travel during your year serving (if fact those muthaluvas say you can’t even travel out of the state you are serving in). As you can probably imagine, that rule doesn’t fly with any of us. But it was on an extra level that I wanted to go out of the country for 2 weeks. To do that, you would have to write a letter to NYSC stating where you wanted to go and what for. If it wasn’t for an official reason, then you could very well be rejected and that was the end of that! As you should know if you read my diary, my tolerance level with NYSC and their rules is very low so all that story they were telling was serious long thing. So as soon as I was comfortable with my boss and we were pals enough where I could talk to him about it, I informed him of my need to travel. He didn’t even fuss too much, after saying the time I wanted to go for was too long. And after I explained why it had to be so, he said ok.
Honestly the trip was too short and it made me just miss the US more but it was good to get out of here and see all my loved ones. It also brought to mind the saying that home is where the heart is. I have found myself warming up to Nigeria (well to Abuja for now, we’ll see about the future) but when I got back to the US, it was so much easier to get into the swing of things! I was driving the same day I arrived and I was back to seeing the people I know and have missed for so long. Also, my immediate family members are in the US and just being home and having mother take care of me, seeing my siblings and just catching up to all the things I missed was so amazing. Right now, my heart is over there as that is where my family and friends are (no attacks or anything, to each person his/her own). The trip was for 2 events and it was basically supposed to be chill time. I did get to chill. I ate like nobody’s business and shopped a lot too (mostly for others though). I reconnected with friends, celebrated successes, caught up with people and just generally saw how everyone was doing and moving forward. Being there did make me feel a little bit like I was taking the slow pace though. People I graduated with were already in grad school (and all its equivalents) and I hadn’t even applied. Also the program I want to go for needs work experience and even though that was what I was working on, it still felt like I was slow compared to them. I do need to get over that feeling fast!
Back in Nigeria, I have been moved to another department and another office YET AGAIN! I moved in July, right before I travelled and it is more work here but I really don’t mind. The advantage of all these movements is that I am getting exposed to several aspects of the bank and what they do, and I am getting exposed to them at a higher level than most other corps members can ever hope to. I am also getting to meet and know the topmost bosses and they are getting to know me and see my work ethic. So much so that the manager in charge of the whole Northern part of Nigeria was telling my boss to make sure that I am kept on after my service year. It is quite nice to be identified for your work and not who you know as is usually the case. The new branch I’m in now is the biggest and busiest of the branches we have in Abuja. It also has the most staff. It is a bit of a challenge to get to know the staff because the banking hall is downstairs and our offices are upstairs and we don’t really get to interact much. I try my best after work to go and get to know the people though, it is slow but it isn’t as bad as when I had just arrived anymore.
So unofficially, service ends in the middle of September (thunda fayah them if they try to extend it). That means I am free from the madness then and free to do my own thing. The main question on everybody’s lips while I was in the US is when are you coming back finally and what’s next. I couldn’t answer either one definitively because I truly didn’t know. 2 weeks before I had left for my trip, my boss had called me and asked me what my plans were after service was done. I mumbled through it as well and he basically said the bank would like to offer me permanent employment as they liked my work ethic and all. He even offered me a choice between being a customer consultant (sales) and going into the operations department of the bank. I told him I would need to discuss it with my parents and get back to him (that wasn’t true, my parents would stand by me with whichever decision I made but I needed to stall and so that worked for that moment). In addition to that, the person in charge of public sector also informed me that I was welcomed to work with him if I wanted to. He had the space and since I had helped him out from time to time, (as you can probably guess by now, I am very hyper and multitask well) he knew I worked hard and he said he would like to have me on his team. I have had other top managers who come in from Lagos and other parts of the country and who I have interacted with in one form or the other also ask me what is the next step and 2 of them also offer me employment in their various departments.
So what am I going to do? Well I have tentatively decided that I am going to stay on and work while I apply to schools for my MBA. I will keep on working for as long as possible until I get accepted and I have to go back for school. I figured it is better to stick with a good job with a good bank that I have here than to go over there and possibly twiddle my thumbs waiting to see what will happen, (you all know how the job market is over there right now). Am I happy with my decision, 80% yes! The other 20% wants to go back to what I’m used to; to my family, friends, my potential boo and get back into the swing of things. The 80% is content with being here, enjoying the learning experience (as I realize nothing learned is ever wasted) and soaking up as much as I can before it is all over, because it seems like just yesterday when I first left the US for Naija to come serve and it has been about 11 months now so the next few months I will be here for will go by so fast, I might as well make the most of it. Of course I will still curse NEPA when the light goes out and I will still flip when a rouge driver shows his idiocy but it is not the end of the world and all things considered, I am much more blessed than I let on.
PS – I know I am really lazy when it comes to updating and I can only ask for forgiveness. I really do love all you people who read (both those who comment and the silent readers) and I appreciate you taking the time out and I will try to do better but please just bear with me. A lot is going on right now and I am trying to take everything in stride. Also pray for me as I embark on the road to study for and take the GMATs. I am panicking every time I think about it and I don’t know why that is the case. Again, thanks for reading and God’s blessings on every one of you.
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