I intentionally haven’t written till now so I could get as much into this post as possible!
Hmmm….there’s a saying that NYSC life just begins after camp, no be lie oo. Camp is beans compared to post-camp.
Sha sha, I’ll pick up the mic from where I left off last time, to fill any gap (P.S: I’ve included some camp pictures I missed from the last post..enjoy!);
Last day of Camp
We received our placement letter last day of camp, after which you’re expected to report to your PPA (Place of Primary Assignment a.k.a. the place you’ll be working during your service year) immediately to submit the letter. The organisation can then accept or reject you as an empoloyee. A fault that is currently in the NYSC scheme is that companies, either public or private, are actually not always informed in advance that corpers will be posted to them. (A friend of mine got posted to ECOWAS, but was rejected because they had only requested for corpers for the previous year and not this current year again, but that wasn’t taken into consideration by NYSC, so corpers were still posted there, only to be rejected). For some, even if they are informed, they are not aware of the number of corpers that will be posted to them, and so that eventually leads to a lot of companies rejecting corpers and mehnnn the process of looking for another PPA teh oo (is a long process), coupled with the fact that you may be in a new state, plus lack of accommodation and transport knowledge, it can be quite annoying.
The way it should work is that you report to your PPA and they reject/accept you, but sadly that process is way longer than it sounds! For some it takes a day, for some weeks, and for some months, believe it or not.
I had a few friends posted to state admin board. The state admin board comprises of many secretariats; health, education, transport etc, so they usually have to do an internal placement and post you to the relevant department. Straight after camp they got there and were told to come back the next week. The next week they got there and were told to come back after the Christmas break. Fast forward to after Christmas, they got there on a certain Tuesday as agreed oo, then they were told to come back the next Tuesday. That next Tuesday they got their posting to the education secretariat, and then were told to come back the next Tuesday. The next Tuesday they came, received their posting to the secondary school board and were told to come back on another day before finally receiving their specific posting to their schools…E dakun, na only Tuesday dem dey work for there? (Is it only Tuesdays they work there?) I was speeeechles!
Getting my placement letter
Personally, I didn’t receive my placement letter that day ’cause my original uni transcript was missing (as I mentioned in a previous post), so had to stay home till I received the document from school. We were told to return back 1st week in January, Jan 4th to be specific, but nahh, that didn’t happen lol. Got back here 3rd week of the month, as I was still waiting for transcript and chilling at home! I didn’t miss much though, so no regrets.
I came the week a new batch was to go to camp and so the person to “clear” me wasn’t on seat. I went Monday, was told to come back Wednesday. Went Wednesday, Thursday and finally Friday till I met the man that eventually “cleared” me (confirmed the receipt of my transcript and approved the release of my placement letter). I was literally in khaki 7 full days, back to back. I just don’t get how only one person in the whole of NYSC office has the authority to clear me …if he should go for monthly honeymoon ko?
Anyhoo, from there I now had to go back to camp to actually collect my placement letter. I booked an “appointment” the day before going to receive my letter, and was told to come anytime from 10am. Fam, I got there a few minutes past 10am, and called the lady I had spoken too. She told me she quickly stepped out and would be back around 12pm. She asked if that was okay, and obviously, me that I’m desperate for letter, I said it was fine. 12pm came oo, the lady hadn’t come, decided to wait a bit before calling her. 12:30pm…1pm, she still hadn’t come, so I called, just in case she had forgotten me oo.
Fast forward to 1:30pm. ..2pm…2:30pm…3:00pm..before she finally came. Lol I just didn’t know what to do, what’s that saying of “beggars are not choosers”…I understood that clearly that day and the truth is even if she came 10pm that day, I would have still waited ’cause I really wanted to get my letter that day, I no get choice. Anyways, after waiting for some time, I sha got my letter and left. Hmmmm, didn’t get an apology from the lady for not keeping to our “appointment” time, not that I was really expect it oo, but it would have helped soothe my pain small. Anyways, I sha got my letter and I was happy jere.
(Morale of the story: bring all the ORIGINAL shine shine documents you need to camp for registration so you don’t need to do unnecessary waka like I did after camp)
Reporting to my PPA
So I finally got my posting letter! Ehhh hallelujah oo! I can’t forget this day ever! The morning before I reported to my PPA I prayed concerning it ( hmmm learn how to kabash before you start NYSC o, makes your life way easier). So I asked God specifically for favor and that protocol would be broken for my sake. 2 things I did here; I asked God, and I also spoke it out loud. Out to the earth and to the ears of everyone I was going to meet later that day!
Fast forward to later that day. I got there o and the first thing I see on the door is that they’re no longer accepting corpers! Ehh aya mi fe ja (in literal translation: My chest almost burst open in fear) Asin, I was like whaaat? Anyways, I still entered and spoke to a lady, I told her I had just been posted here, her reply was one I expected “didn’t you see the door, we’re not accepting corpers again, sorry”. Nne, I for don faint for there sef. I didn’t know what to do, it’s like my brain froze, I was thinking about the process of reposting, how long it would be e.t.c, and I just didn’t want to go through that. So I stood. I stood and stood in the same position for probably an hour or longer, tears filled my eyes, I was hungry and tired but I didn’t know what to even do from there. So I just stood. I was standing close to the stairs, so I just greeted most of the people that passed by. I tried to smile a bit and greet them as they passed, that was the only thing my brain could process; just stand and greet.
About an hour or so of doing that and at the verge of going back home, one of the people I greeted initially called me and asked what was wrong (guess my fake smile didn’t work lol). I explained to him that I had been posted here, but they were no longer accepting corpers. He directed me to the director’s office and told me to just go and plead with her, as only she could overrule that instruction. I stood in front of the director’s office thinking about what I was going to say, and whispering silent prayers (prayer is the key, prayer is the key, prayer is the master key ooo). As I was about to step in, another lady from the man’s office called me and asked what was wrong, I explained to her and she told me to come in. There were about 8 or so people in that office and they all listened to what I said. They told me not to worry and assured me that it would all be fine. Before you knew it, everyone in the office was helping me one way or the other. They called people they knew, they met with other people in the office, they were literally up and running just to make sure I got accepted (I won’t go into too much details for now), but before I knew it, by the end of the day, I had been accepted there and I could finally smile genuinely! The only way I can explain that day is FAVOUR!! About 7 grown men and a lady leaving their jobs and running round for small me, eh! na GOD o! only favour seriously!
After I had been accepted, it still took more than a week before I was finally posted to my specific department (internal posting), of which I came back to the office almost everyday of that week as directed, so they wouldn’t forget my file in a side pile.
Mr Macho…and fans lol
Charging spot at maami market
Getting rejected at PPA
Can I please stress that there is no valid reason for you to stress if you get rejected from your PPA. I probably stressed more than I should have when they didn’t want to accept me. It takes a lot of energy from you, so don’t oo. Don’t stress, don’t cry and don’t beg the people too much, some people’s ego’s are already big enough as it is. Just say “Ok, thank you.” and leave (humbly, not rudely o). After that you can go to your zonal office and apply for a reposting (which could take some time tbh, because NYSC isn’t the most effective system, but eh, what’s the rush?) or you could find a place that’s ready to accept you and send in a request letter to NYSC as I mentioned in my previous post (official NYSC paperwork would still take time, but you can still start work immediately regardless).
Skill acquisition (SAED) training
Call me SPIDERWOMAN hehee
Dance and drama night
Alright, so that’s that. I officially started work the day I was posted to my department, which was about 8 days after I was accepted at the organisation.
As God would have it, my office ended up being quite close to my people that help me the first day, and so we’re like besties now lol. But anyhoo, yeah, I started work and I got quite bored to be honest with you. There wasn’t much to do at all, “idle” is probably a better word to use, but I always had a book I was reading so that kept me busy and my office had a small library which I also tapped into lol (Seriously, I believe God sent me there so I could get the opportunity to read some of their books that I probably may not have had access to…y’all know I’m a serious book eater! )
After about 2 weeks, I was quite tired of just coming to work, gisting and reading, and I felt like I was losing myself. All my ginger to work was fading small small, so I tried to look for something else to do by the side. Remember when I said I had to be coming back everyday till I was posted to my department? Yeah, during all those waka waka I met a man in the office that worked in another department, he explained what he did and it sounded quite interesting, so 2 weeks later, that conversation came to mind again. I just knew our meeting wasn’t in vain and there was still more to it. So I looked for this man, ehh I looked oo sote (looked for quite some time), but didn’t see him again (he worked offsite), so I started asking round for him, but it was hard at first ’cause I couldn’t even remember his name. About 1-2 weeks later, I had found out his name, and had gotten his number. I called him up and all I said was “Good afternoon sir, this is Oreoluwa, the corper from… ” and before I could say “DODO”, he somehow remembered me and said he had been expecting me! EXPECTING ME????? Eh y’all need to know how funny this God is oo. I was shocked! We arranged a meeting, I asked if there was an opportunity for me to come work with him in his department part-time, which he agreed to! I later told my boss about the arrangement, “to gain more experience in my service year”, a polished way of basically saying I was bored, and she agreed . So, currently what I do is 2 days in one department, 2 days in the other department, one day for my CDS (Community development scheme) and 2 days for the weekend obviously. I still get to read my books, but also gain relevant experience on the other hand. It’s literally the best of both worlds for me and when I think about how everything turned out, I laugh and just whisper a “Thank you Lord” .
I hate to confess that I cried a few times, but to be honest there were times were I felt extremely frustrated. Going to the same place over and over again, always in my khaki, white top, socks and trainers in the heat of the day chasing up just one person, only to be told to come back again the next day or day after. I questioned the point of the scheme, I questioned people’s morals, I questioned if it was even worth doing it gaan, I questioned if people actually had emotions or a conscience, I was tired! There’s no other way I can put it, but I’ve come to realize God is still in control, and so the pieces of the puzzle are still falling in place.
**[P.S: Remember, you get out as much as you put in, and in all you do “…it is better to give than to receive…so SERVE]**
Lots of love,
Ore Zanetta Beraka