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Work fatigue in Lagos

obiako profile image Tobe Obiakor ・3 min read

Every young person is expected to have something doing, no matter how small. In Nigeria its like a cycle; you are trained through school and are expected to start working after school to support your parents and younger siblings and if you lose the family's breadwinner you are expected to fend for yourself.

A lot of us are thrust in to the harsh reality of life without being prepared for it. As a student you cannot wait to finish your schooling and start life on your own, have your own place, your own car and enjoy life. A few are lucky to live out their dreams, many more are faced with the opposite. Many get jobs after plenty aptitude tests and interviews and have to commute to work daily.

The Lagos metropolitan is divided into the Mainland and Island axis. As simple as this may sound it is quite complex. Anyplace located after the three bridges (Eko bridge, Carter bridge and Third mainland bridge) is seen as Island and anyplace that you do not have to cross any of these bridges to get to, is seen as Mainland. Most businesses are either located or headquartered In Ikoyi, Victoria Island or Lekki, a few are located in the Yaba or Ikeja Area of the metropolis.

The Irony of this is that most of the workers of these businesses cannot afford to live close to their work place and have to travel to the aforementioned locations daily. The cost of living around your work place is most of the times higher than your gross pay before tax and other deductions except for a few from well to do families who come from the family house or whose rent is paid by their rich parents.

People have to leave their home as early as 4am and get home as late as 11pm as the teeming population of the city ensures that the road is clogged with cars and buses. The fact that most buses and cars are in bad shapes ensures that the commute is joy sapping. From the occasional quarreling over the cost of commuting with the conductors, to the heat experienced in the over saturated buses, to the uncomfortable seating arrangement added to the unrealistic pressure from work is a perfect recipe for being stressed out. Some days you wake up early and feel like not going to work but when you remember the bills you have to pay at the end of the month, you have no choice but to drag yourself to work.

What about the weekend you may ask? well the weekend is taken but your engagements in church and your side hustles. Being that We are an overtly religious people and that most persons who are struggling grow close to God, the exchange of your spare time for God's blessings is an arrangement most of the working class go into. Being that the salary is very minute there is every need to "double your hustle". Many young persons go to the market, buy goods at a cheap rate or import from China and sell it on social media. Lots of these activities are done at the weekend and before you say "jack", Its Monday. At a point you grow tired of your job but cannot leave, as your bills are like piled up rocks before you, watching you continue the endless cycle.

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lifesaver

I know well