I have never really wanted to reside in Belgium but fate has a funny way of putting us all in check. Belgium has its problems like every other nation but it reflects greatly on its citizens. I never stood the chance of getting a job to begin with; talk less of hoping for a better life. The place can and will demoralize you if care is not taken. Thank God I am out of the country. I must admit that its medieval architectures and my mother are few of the reasons why I might visit again.
So at 25 with an IT Diploma, a Belgian Passport, and 2 European Languages – I decided that the United Kingdom was my next destination. I moved to South London in a small flat in Camberwell, Southwark. Residing in that flat is something that I wish I have never done. Mimi always says when it is too good to be true then it is in fact too good to be true. I didn’t listen to her because of my stubbornness and I paid dearly for it. The rent was reasonable and I shared the flat with a Nigerian-Swedish bloke whose name is Timi Abede. My integration was very easy as I have researched a lot before moving to the UK. I registered with a GP, opened a bank account without any difficulty whatsoever, and registered myself to vote on the council voters’ registration. In fact, I had everything under control expect for a job. The expression “unfortunately” was probably the expression that I heard most from September 2011 till December 2011.
Towards the end of November last year I had an interview with a company in Central London but being that I was a JJC in the UK, the abbreviation OTE didn’t resonate at all. It means On Target Earnings. Americans will probably know it as commission jobs. When you see OTE don’t even bother applying. Ignorantly, I did and I attended their interview with the hope that I will secure the job and not die of starvation when I run out of my savings. I made myself a promise that I wasn’t going to call Belgium to ask my mother for money. She has been raising three kids alone for twenty-two years so I had my reasons plus her mortgage as well. That’s a story for another day.
I was given the job and Mimi was in fact happy. I knew she had asked me if it was a commission job but I answered her like I usually do, “No, stop disturbing me.” The first day was introduction and I was showed my office and around the company. It was a different story the following day as I was asked to join the group of people that will be going from door-to-door to knock and ask for money for UNICEF and Red Cross. I’m sure those who reside in the UK would have seen them. Next time you do kindly slam your door on their face. It is a form of direct sales and they’re extortionists. Anyway, I refused and without being told I knew that I wasn’t wanted there.
I was heading back to Camberwell filled with anger that’s enough to strangle the life out of a human, I got to the flat and to my surprise all my belongings have been destroyed. Not by my flat mate but the person he rented the flat from. He is a twenty-three year old Brit of Nigerian origin. A lost boy with criminal records as long as my late grandfather’s walking stick. Sometimes, I wonder why some Nigerian parents bring their children here but then again I won’t blame them. It is normal for any parent to want a good life for his/her children. I mean my mother removed me from Covenant University at 17 just so that I can move to Belgium. My belongings were destroyed because they had a confrontation about him accessing the flat when we are not inside. The (useless) Metropolitan Police were involved but they still didn’t do anything to him. What I got was a letter with a case file number, a telephone number to call so that I can assist them to reduce crime in London, and a letter of apology. A**holes!
At that point I had two options, go back to Belgium or go to Bristol and live with my brother who is studying at the University of West of England. I knew I was going to inconvenient him but I didn’t care. I was a desperate man with the intention of doing and putting up with anything. So I moved to Bristol and secured a customer service job with Teleperformance which wasn’t really something that I wanted to do but I had to succumb to the pressure of my mother. She was already telling me to move back home. “You have a big room and you don’t even do your own laundry.” As tempting as that was, I told myself that I will rather die.
I was at Teleperformance for two months and while I was there Mimi was encouraging and assisting me to look for something in IT. Only God knows how many applications that we submitted. I’m certain reed.co.uk will have different versions of my CV. She was amazing throughout the period. I didn’t get the chance to wallow in self-pity. Whenever I wanted to she will snap me out of it. Thank you Mimi, you’re an amazing woman.
I started this new job three weeks ago and moved back to London from Bristol. I am now the UI/UX Designer at UK Lead Generation, where I have been working on projects for their corporate clients. I have been flown to Paris already to meet with one of their clients. I am involved in the enterprise deployment of most of their projects. I get to do more relaxing stuff like drawing wireframes (sketches) for their designs.
It has been a crazy six months but I got closer to God, started paying my tithe again, and most importantly appreciate Mimi more.
In the meantime, I took some time to redesign my personal homepage and this blog, which is now using Wordpress, the Content Management System that kick ass. Happy Good Friday everyone.