This past Wednesday, I was contacted by a reader of my blog who goes by the name Olohuntoyin. He used to work for God Is Good Motors – one of Nigeria’s leading transport company. He asked that I feature his story on my blog to help put an end to the menace he withstood while working there and inform the owner of the company and the public. Below are the details of the stories he told me.
My name is Olohuntoyin. On the 18th July 2016, I was employed to work for the famous God Is Good Motors(GIGM) as an Innovative and Marketing Partner, Customer Service Representative and a Ticketer. I was a living willing tool and did everything to the best of my ability and the company’s operational standard. The experience I had left me mentally broken, physically broken and my health deteriorated. My salaries came late, my contract was not respected, my body was used for insult practise as I was stretched beyond the limits of human adaptation. I strongly believe the owner of the organisation wants the good and progress of his staff and organization but the persons in whose hands he placed the company are only interested in their pockets and ruining the company. The sooner he realises that, the better. GIGM is a legacy and if he continues to be in slumber, that legacy might crumble. This oppression is still going on and if not checked will ruin his company on the long run.
On the appointment letter we were given, it was stated that we will work for 6 months after which we would be confirmed and I believed that after confirmation our salary would increase. Salary for a start was forty-five thousand Naira per month. Some persons employed within the same period in the same role were paid fifty thousand Naira. While the junior staff collect between 45-50 thousand Naira, the backend staff receive about 150, 000-700,000 Naira depending on the post. I was a junior staff. Work resumes by 5am in all terminals except mine, 6am. There is normally a shift. All groups in a terminal resumes by 5am but group A closes by 1pm while group group A closes by 1pm while group B stays till 5pm. The next day, it will be the turn of group B to close by 1pm. No one would have complained if they had not treated us like slaves. There were threats from every angle. Drivers were extorted. The six(6) months probation is specific to my branch, though, there are others like us too that are not confirmed till now.
We agreed to the salary with hope that after our probationary period, we would be confirmed and the salary increased. But they didn’t fulfill it. I worked for 10 months before getting sacked. Some of my colleagues still work there and the story has not changed. They’ve clocked a year and 10 days and yet to be confirmed. The basic salary at GIGM is 6,750 Naira according to what I have on my employment letter. Salaries have no definite date. For an instance, if the first day (1st) of a new month falls on a Saturday and it happens that we didn’t get our salary before the end of the previous month, the salary won’t come till Monday (3rd)of the new month. You work for 6 days a week with 1 day off. And during any public holiday, no staff working at a terminal is allowed a holiday. During Christmas, the Christians must go to work. During Sallah, the Muslims must go to work except the backend staff. They enjoy all forms of holidays, they have their weekends too. Yet you are always threatened over any small mistake. They even boast that there is no work out there and often threaten us with words “You are gone “. Like Politics, everyone seek out to know a superior that is higher than the others to help them battle conspiracies from staff in the same company. The thing is, once your colleagues hate you, they will do anything to make you go.
GIGM is packaged outside but inside, it’s very disorganised and unhealthy. Staff are always against each other. Once they see you as a threat, they try to make you go. When we started, it was a little bit difficult for us to come to work and get things going. So the HR begged two of us (I and one of my colleague who was sacked before I got sacked too) to be sleeping at the office. So, before our other colleagues come to work the next day, we would have prepared everything for them. Trust me, we slept at the office for 7 months. Seven months on iron chairs in a room with just a fan and lightbulb. We fell sick on so many occasions and our body ached during work hours. We constantly received greetings from different platoons of mosquitoes and had restless sleepless nights. The Two Thousand Naira(2000)/week agreed as condition for sleeping over was paid only once. If we fall ill, we are given a maximum of seven(7) days after which our meager salaries are deducted for each day’s absence. No matter the severity of your illness, once your work there, 7 days is the maximum you’d be given. Though pregnant women do get three months before putting to bed. Besides that, no care was shown to our welfare. No empathy was shown us for the pains and sicknesses our sacrifices got us. The 2000 Naira weekly allowance we were promised for sleeping over was only paid just once in 7 months. The general weekly allowance entitled to all staff irrespective of whether they sleep at the terminal/office or not was respected though.
Before I was sacked, a lot of things happened. The head office normally have someone in each terminal that serves as their eyes. That person always tells them whatever is going on. I was accused of doing something bad but I knew I never did anything wrong. The case wasn’t investigated, I wasn’t sent a query but the HR (who was also suspended indefinitely recently – Karma) said I attested to the case that I was guilty. Asked him to show me a screenshot of where I did, till date, nothing. The head office sent a souvenir to be distributed to customers. The souvenirs were in the custody of the Customer Service Representative and she locked it up somewhere. She alone had the key. But the manager discovered that she didn’t distribute them the way she was supposed to, so he asked her to come for audit. During the audit, she said she’s finished distributing all. I don’t know what happened, one day, she said all the remaining souvenirs got missing and that she’s going to take it up. She sent a mail to the head office and accused me and the guy that normally make their work easy for them of stealing it. Why? Because we were the ones that always sleep at the office. That was where the travails started. Imagine! After she said she have finished distributing all souvenirs. How can something you finished distributing get stolen again? This was an office where things worth more than 15 million Naira were kept and none has ever gone missing. Talk more a souvenir. A Notepad. The HR sent a query and in the query he accused us directly of stealing it. What the HR said afterwards shocked us. He said: “don’t think because you are sleeping in the office, you are doing the company a favour”. Meanwhile, he begged us when we started sleeping there for which we were to be paid the 2000 Naira weekly allowance. Though he gave a directive for us to be paid for sleeping every week, it was flaunted by the powers in control. We complained but he did nothing about it. Still, we weren’t deterred. We continued sleeping.
After the souvenir saga, we were stopped from sleeping at the office. A week after that happened, my colleague that we do sleep together at the office got sacked over allegations of fraud. He had explanations for everything but all the queries that were sent to him were hijacked. He was accused of fraud. He had explanations for everything. And a query was sent for him to respond but the manager and his third in command replied the query instead of leaving it for the accused to reply himself. How do you respond to a query that wasn’t meant for you? Same thing happened to me. I was accused too and my query was hijacked. In fact, the HR wasn’t sure if I was the one that replied the query or not. But I didn’t see any query nor replied to any. Someone else saw a query meant for me and replied it and I was sacked. There was only one suspect. The third in command. We have the manager (first in command), operations 1 (second in command and at the same time, the colleague of mine that got sacked before me) and operations support (third in command). The painful thing was that, this third in command was there when the accusations were made but he didn’t say anything. This third in command always collects tips from drivers (we call them captain) anytime their bus are announced. When these captains complained to the manager and other superiors, they accused the wrong person. They accused the second in command, my colleague, who was eventually sacked for fraud.
I was sacked for something I knew nothing about. A query I didn’t respond to. The six(6) months probation and confirmation they promised us never happened. They gave me hell. I slept on metal chairs that broke my back each night and made my torturous morning more devastating. I was denied a weekly 2000 Naira allowance for the seven months I slept on metal chairs. I was infested with malaria and other illnesses from the Mosquito bites, restlessness and stress my body passed through. I was insulted to a level that striped my identity as a human being. I was threatened at the slightest mistake and reminded of graduates who are jobless on every occasion. What I wrote here is just an appetizer. My colleagues are still there passing through different degrees of torture. Afraid of what quitting the Job will bring. I want the world to know the bad practice in such organisations. There are many others but this is just one of them. These organisations are fond of preaching the gospel that there is no job out there just so you could be tied down to them. I want the CEO/MD to look into this if he doesn’t want the crash of his company. I am not asking to be paid the allowances denied me. I am simply asking that this be looked into.
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