Living and working in Lagos can be very tough. Aside from the horrible traffic situation around town, the hustle to earn a living can take a toll on you not just physically, but emotionally as well.
Sometimes, little things happen around you and you feel the need to just seize the opportunity and take a break from work to just chill; other time, you just hate your job and need some time away from it. Either way, you figure the only way to get away with it, without losing your day’s pay or even your job is by calling in sick.
I entered ‘one chance’
The term “One chance” is commonly used in Lagos to refer to vehicles that load passengers and take them to unknown locations so as to rob them or murder them for their body parts. A number of Lagosians have survived encounter with “one chance” and so, some other now use it as a valid reason to skip work, switch of their contacts and call in a few days later to say they escaped a one-chance bus. Usually the employer cannot request for proof and is morally expected to be just sympathetic, but also probably extend a few more days off for the individual.
I have explosive diarrhea
This is the most common excuse most people in the labour force in Lagos use when they call in sick. Due to the numerous local food joints around town, there is always a high chance anyone could get food poisoning and eventually suffer diarrhea. Even better, diarrhea is easily contained with proper hydration and other home remedies, so the victim may not necessarily be required to issue a hospital report upon resumption.
I caught my spouse cheating on me
This excuse normally should be a personal issue that should not be announced, but Lagosians are not perturbed. A number of people have called in to explain they cannot come in for work because they caught their spouse cheating and are too disoriented to be productive at work. This may be a hilarious reason but sometimes is actually so serious the police are involved.
My mother had a bad dream
Lagosians are highly superstitious and it would not be surprising for someone to call in and state that they cannot come in for work because they got a call in the morning from their mother as she had dreamed they would meet their demise should they step out of their house on the day.
My dog gave birth
It can be difficult owning and raising a pet while working in Lagos, but some people are passionate about it. They not only have pets, but they make a side business out of it. These set of people, because of the strong relationship they have with their pets, consider such reasons as “my dog gave birth” legitimate enough not to come in for work.
My vehicle ran out of fuel
Fuel is a priced commodity in Lagos at the moment, as the city suffers bouts of fuel scarcity from time to time. During these times of scarcity, some people actually call in with excuses that they ran out of fuel and do not expect to get penalized in any way.
Nkem Ndem is a PR associate at Jumia Travel.