To the jobseeker baking in 28degrees of 2pm sub-Saharan African Sun, This is but a mere obstacle course on your path to greatness.
As cross the tarmac for the uptheenth time today to be economic with the last of combi fare in your pocket, sweat beads cascading down your face, remember to wear your smile like a lapel flower, bright enough to enjoy, but never so bright as to annoy or cause suspicion. For in this small concrete jungle, just like in bigger concrete jungles everywhere, we’re all a lil suspicious, and a lil untrusting.
As you open your mouth to greet receptionists caked in black market make up that scorches the skin, their faces soured by another failing weight loss diet, remember to steel your voice. Your throat might be dry and voice croaking because you forgot to pack a bottle of water when you left in a hurry in the morning, but remember your race is bigger than the gum-smacking hurdle in front of you.
As you steel your nerves in the elevator on your way up to meet the manager, remember to take a moment to 1. Thank God you’re making progress and 2. Appreciate the solitary moment of air-conditioning, unbutton your shirt slightly and let that cold air caress your nipples and dry your armpits. As you approach your designated floor, remember to fasten your tie.
As you step off the elevator and come face to face with the vicious guard dog whose table is marked “Private Secretary”, pace yourself; you’re being scrutinized more than you have ever thought possible, and your walk will open that door behind the desk better than whatever Hallmark greeting you googled this morning. When the guard dog finally looks up at you after making you wait by that desk for what must’ve seemed like ages, remember to be gracious in your smile, you’re not a toothpaste advertisement. Mind your posture, people respond mostly to body language, than actual verbal communication. When the guard dog finally acknowledges your resolve, that you’re on a mission and will not be deterred, thank them and walk through the closely guarded door without looking back, your war is not with this poor human who is also only here to fend as you are.
As you cross the threshold only to be told by a dismissive junior manager that his supervisor’s supervisor, whom you swear you spoke to on the phone and appointed with for this specific time, is not in the office and will not be coming back until tomorrow, do not break into a sweat as your head spins in disappointment and your palms sweat with questions. These people must not see you sweat. Thank them for seeing you, and speak in measured tones, managers – however junior, are always impressed to see how you will handle crisis and pressure, this is your time to shine.
As you journey home in the baking in 28 degrees celcious of 2:45pm sub-Saharan African Sun, be not dismayed for today alone, despite the Internet failing every 20 minutes, you have emailed 8 job applications and joined 4 more job placement sites, and still, almost miraculously managed to hand deliver 5 job applications, crisscrossing town before lunch breaks that managers never return from. You have slayed dragons on this day Jobseeker, wear that badge tonight as your stomach grumbles almost passively, with your feet soaking in warm water.