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The Stress of Working with Startups in Lagos

If you’ve ever lived on the mainland and worked on the Island, you would understand the hustle of waking up really early to get to work. And for some reason, after beating the Mile 2 traffic (Festac dwellers) and/or the third mainland bridge traffic, and getting to work right on time, you realize you’re either the only one at work and your co-workers that live on the island stroll in way past opening hours or the one time they come earlier than you, someone is accusing you of being late to work.

You would think this is what is annoying about working in a startup, it isn’t in fact, that problem isn’t particular with just startups on the island; it’s just how it is in a number of offices.

Working in startups can be amazing, except when it isn’t. I have worked in a number of startups in Lagos and I can tell you, more often than not, the experience isn’t lovely. Most Lagos entrepreneurs are crazy!! I mean absolutely crazy. They want all the work done in half the time while spending absolutely nothing. They always talk about where the company is going, their vision for the company and never really doing anything about it… sincerely, they talk more than they do.

For those of them who have invested their life into the business, they become overly involved in everything that goes on in the office and always have that one employee the confide in and tell about their troubles with the company. When they give you an assignment, they never let you work comfortably; they want to see how far you have gone every two seconds. When the work is done, they take credit for the work or at least most part of it.

They have MASSIVE TRUST ISSUES! They think everyone is out to cheat them and when they are not in, the staff is having a massive slumber party at the company’s expense. They’re a bunch of I-too-knows. They think they know it all and refuse to let anyone question their decisions or authority. It’s like they’re a bunch of Donald Trumps.
They put too much responsibility on individuals and call you incompetent when you make a mistake and just to be clear, it doesn’t matter if that was your first mistake ever. They do not believe in giving you THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. I worked at this startup that employed mostly interns and made them head one man teams. When they realize that the interns are getting wiser and are beginning to ask for raises, they fire them and base it on ‘incompetency’.

They always get cranky towards the end of the month and have an issue paying staff salary. I had this one boss who would look for a way to delay salaries and find ways of debiting you till you have almost nothing left to receive. One time, it rained and a couple of colleagues came late to work (note that when I say late I mean 5-30 minutes late). They sent messages to him about an hour to resumption time to let him know the situations, guess what, he didn’t care and asked that all their salaries be debited.

They always ask you to work extra hours and refused to pay for those extra hours. They call it sacrifice to the vision of the organization. Well, if your ‘organization’ was so organized, you wouldn’t need me working extra hours.
They never have any member of their staff that has been with them since the company started and guess why? They are horrible bosses.

During your interview, they are going to come at you with a lot of talk about what they have done, where they have been, where they are going. .. when you begin to sense that they are dwelling too much on their achievements and what they plan to do, RUN!!!!!! It’s all a lie and a truly successful company let’s their success speak for them.
I’m not saying all entrepreneurs are horrible, some are just very crazy and this article is not based on any empirical or scientific research. It’s just my subjective opinion. Put it this way, I’m just upset because I have had horrible bosses.

Featured Image via Techcabal


A fully submitted and totally committed wife of CHRIST. Best Friends with the HOLY SPIRIT and a true child of ABBA.

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