Whether you are a veteran with over 20 years of experience under your belt or a fresh-faced newbie straight out of the university, a Nigerian office can be a war zone for anyone. A complex social environment with a wide variety of people and personalities, you find you have to work with different types of people that you may or may not like to achieve a common goal in a Nigerian office.
Of course, each working environment can differ greatly according to its industry and company culture, however, there are certain types of people you’re destined to meet in every workplace in Nigeria. Meet each one of them and note their characteristics to determine how best to deal with them.
- The Oppressor
Usually an uptight authority figure in the firm, The oppressor makes things tense for everyone. They are extremely demanding and have very unrealistic expectations. No matter how hard you try to impress them, it seems like you just can’t do enough. While it may seem impossible to change this person’s attitude, however, you always have the power to control yours. Try flipping your perspective and seeing things from your supervisor’s point of view, no matter how hard it seems, and you will find you may be able to better understand how they work and why they expect the things they do. While this may not make them less demanding, it can relieve some of the stress and tension that you feel all the time they are around.
- The Veteran
This person has been a working member of staff in the company since the organization’s formative years, yet he does not have a statue or mural in honor of his tenure in the company. He does not trust the new kids on the block and he is not keen about change. Basically, he thrives on routine and so is stuck in his ways and it’s killing your workflow efficiency. Again, he never misses a chance to remind you that he’s been with the company so long.The key to getting the old guy on board is: figure out ways to incorporate his good ideas while cutting the fat. Showing him your ideas will make things easier, but don’t forget to acknowledge his know-how, that way he won’t feel slighted or left out.
- The Complainer
The complainer has a comment to make about everything that goes on in the office. He/she complains before completing almost every single task probably because they may fall under one or a few of the following labels: bored, disgruntled, busy, or unhappy with their work. They are not a lot of fun to be around as they drain the energy in the office as they seem to be pessimists. Basically, if complaining were a method that would drive a company’s profits and boost its goodwill among its stakeholders, then they’d be an asset. You really do not want to associate yourself with this kind of person.
- The Slacker
It is risky to have this person as a mentor or friend as they are super sly. They like to give the impression that they are the one doing the job, but in reality, they just pass on the tasks to others and take all the glory. They give the image of being actual contributors to the team, but in reality, they do nothing. It is usually a horrible situation when this person is your boss or team head as you end up doing both your work and his/her work. Best thing to do is raise your concerns when you feel you need to, and if they are subordinates, try and mentor them. Also, giving them clear deadline go a long way.
- The by-product of nepotism
This is Nigeria and yes! Nepotism is a thing. This kind of worker is the one that got the job because his dad was classmates with the CEO or his mother is in the same church as the owner. He keeps rising in the company, not because he is so skilled or talented, but because of his connection and there’s nothing you can really do about that. It actually pays to be friends with this kind of worker as you never know from where favor may come.
- The Gossip
Don’t be deluded, this person is not always a girl. The gossip has the ears of a bat and the mouth of a magpie, and as such, has all the juicy gist in the office. He/she has firsthand information about the boss’s love life, the financial situation of the company and know who is getting sacked or getting a raise. Actually, the Office Gossip is a lot of fun to be around, but you have to be careful what you say to them as you never know how far he/she can take it. Again, if you become too close to them, your image may be tarred, and this can be quite undermining. You can, however, use them if you want to spread any information that may be beneficial to you in the end.
- The Kiss-ass
This person is an overachiever and they are always sucking up to those above. Their main aim is to ensure they are in the good books of the relevant authority. They will laugh at the boss’ jokes even when they are not exactly funny and will go out of their way to do things that are not in their job description. Basically, they try to make every other person look bad so they come off as the shining star. This kind of worker is irritating and cannot be trusted as they can easily backstab colleagues.___________________ ________