If you’re inclined to start a business in Nigeria, by all means do. Sell whatever you want. Build anything. Just don’t run a ‘Nigerian’ business:
1. Profit margins are a priority and the welfare of staff isn’t.
*Which is so ironic that it’s actually stupid.
2. The entire concept of work-life balance is summed up in a gym (that no one has the time to use with any meaningful regularity).
*And you’re encouraged to live a healthy life in random, preachy emails from the HR department even though the office cafeteria is the prime destination for unhealthy food and the toilet is a future ground zero for an epidemic.
3. Success is measured in terms of office space and the size of an individual’s desk.
*Fun fact: An official car is a surefire sign that you have arrived. Just ask your manager.
4. Working overtime is an everyday thing and no one gets paid extra to do their ‘job’.
*[Until you learn to escape,] you will work weekends too. “But it says Monday to Friday in my contract!” Haha, suck it up or quit.
5. Shouting is an accepted way to reprimand staff and your boss can call you names your parents did not give you.
6. Your weekend is only yours if you turn your phone off, stay offline and damn the consequences. Or hightail it to a neighbouring town on Friday night. Yes, you’re a fugitive now, on the run from the job.
7. An internship is code for ‘you’re getting screwed over’.
8. Sexual harassment is you “being difficult,” and you’ll have to quit if you won’t give in.
*You could get fired for insinuating that a superior touched you or spoke to you inappropriately.
9. The boss-owner-small god of the business can go on a month-long vacation 12 hours before payday without approving the payment of salaries. And he’ll come back frothing at the mouth because, apparently, employees “have no passion for the job.”
10. All your work is online, but the office Internet has been disconnected for days because some idiot refused to do their job. Everyone knows this and nothing has been done, but you must “deliver results” because KPIs.
*KPIs are from Hell, by the way. The devil sends his love.
11. You’re encouraged to kill off your relatives (and kill the dead ones again) or marry them off because you need an excuse to take a day off. So “my great-grandfather’s second cousin died” will probably work, but “I’m very tired and I need some time to rest” won’t.
12. Well, what do you expect when the ‘HR department’ is a cantankerous middle-aged woman who wears a permanent smirk because her husband barely touches her anymore?
*Or a lewd man with an unmissable pot-belly, 150GB of porn on the office computer and a penchant for ogling pubescent schoolgirls who walk past his window?
13. Basically, people can’t separate their personal lives from their work, which is why customer service is a large pile of poo and every time you get a little politeness from someone who is paid to be polite, you go crazy with joy and your heart sings the Hallelujah Chorus in French.
14. Your birthday is a day to spend half your life savings feeding the office mouths. In unequal return, you’ll receive a miserable card signed by everyone (who doesn’t care). But your boss will get a card taller than a toddler, a massive cake (you will contribute to both) and an earth-shattering a capella cover of Happy Birthday because “all fingers are not equal.”
15. Take heart, there will be perks: small chops, cold snacks left over from the annual general meeting or the occasional mini bar of chocolate to munch on when someone wanders back from their requisite three-week reprieve in London. Or Dubai. Or Ghana. Or they probably didn’t leave their house the entire time and bought a bag of Snickers at the neighbourhood store to keep up appearances.