Friday, 23 March 2012


She checked her boss' calendar to see if he will be free for the time Mr. Bashshar proposed to have a meeting with him. 12noon to 1pm tomorrow should be fine, she told him and put it in the calendar. 'I'll call you back at 8am tomorrow to confirm'.

She dropped the phone and took a last look at the presentation. It will have to wait till tomorrow, it's late and she's so tired, she couldn't even think anymore.

She walked into her boss' office and informed him of the proposed meeting for tomorrow. 'No, we can't make that meeting, I need you to get me on the 9am flight to Abuja tomorrow, I have to attend the 'African Financial Conference'

What! She had asked him earlier if he wanted to attend that conference and he had said he didn't have to. Why does he keep changing his mind like a woman's underwear and at such a late hour.

'Alright Sir' she answered gently and logged on to the internet to check available flights. She finally managed to get him on the 9.15am Arik flight to Abuja.

At the time she finished booking him at the Hilton Hotel and calling up a cab service to pick him up on his arrival, it was already 8pm. 

She'll have to reschedule the meeting with Mr. Bashshar first thing tomorrow', she thought. 

She locked up his office and parked up for the day. 'I wish tomorrow was Saturday'


Thursday, 22 March 2012


It's 6pm and Nicole still hadn't gone half way with the presentation. She was dreading the traffic that was bound to be on the third mainland bridge on her way home when she finally leaves.

She took a break from her computer and peeped into the boss' office, thank God he'll be leaving soon. If not for the lunch that hadn't gone so well,  she would have gone quite far now, but right now,  she's passed caring. If he's going to be so selective, he can as well bring his food to work or make orders personally.

She had ordered pizza like he requested but when it was delivered, he took one bite and dumped it in the bin. 'Nicole', I categorically told you I wanted a Peperoni  Pizza, why on earth did you bring me a Chicken Pizza?! She was more than shocked as she would have sworn they didn't talk about the kind of Pizzas he desired. She was too busy trying to work on the presentation that she gave the go ahead to the delivery guys to bring one of their choice. Since he didn't specify, she had taken it for granted that he didn't care.

'I need you to go personally to Debonair and buy me a peperoni pizza'. She couldn't believe her ears, that was going to take at least 2 hours of her time. She will be stuck in traffic and may not come back till way after lunch time.

She called up the driver and jumped into the car. She'll have to work in the car.

She totally ignored the over chatty driver and concentrated on working on the presentation. Traffic was even worse than she expected. When she finally returned to the office, it was already 4pm, just an hour to end of day.

'Your lunch Sir', she said calmly. 'emmm... it's rather late, I'll just have dinner at home, you know, you can have it for yourself'. 'Damn! what the hell! I spend over 2 freaking hours trying to get this miserable lunch and he doesn't even want it! She smiled but dumped it in the dustbin as soon as she got back to her seat.

She settled down to reply to the multiple emails and meeting requests that filled up her mail box. Just when she was going through, her table phone rang.

Photo Credit:

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Deal

'Yes please' she answered and stepped into her boss' office with her writing pad and pen to take a list of tasks for the day.

She hates that she never knows what the day holds for her. Sometimes, the surprise could be exciting while at other times, she just wishes she knew what to expect.

This time, she's expected to prepare an high profile presentation for her company board members and some government officials and as usual, with very tight time line. She wondered where to start from.

'How did I get here' she thought.

She had waited for that call with so much anxiety after the interview. The MD of the company had personally told her he will give her a call in 2 days time. It had been 2 days and the day was almost over, yet her phone hadn't rang. She kept staring at the phone with anxiety and willing it to ring.  She couldn't concentrate on anything else. She stood up, looked at the phone and tried to pray but her mind wouldn't obey her commands to pray as it kept wondering back to the phone.

She checked the volume of the phone again and all missed calls to ensure that by some remote chances, she hadn't missed the call.

Just when she was certain the phone was never going to ring, she was startled from her sad mood. 'Hello' she said, trying to sound as calm as possible. This is Thomas, we had a chart yesterday, I'm pleased to offer you the position of Executive Assistant in our company. If you accept the job, your remuneration shall be as follows....of course, she barely heard what else he said. The monies quoted sounded like sweet music to her ears and all she could say was 'of course yes! I accept!.

She had breathed a sigh of relief and kept wandering if it was real. She finally believed it was and picked up her phone to call up everybody that mattered in her life.

Today, she still couldn't believe how excited she was and how she thought it was such a perfect job.

'Nicole', her boss' faint voice woke up from her reverie, 'I want some lunch'

Photo Credit: Stock Pictures

Friday, 16 March 2012

Facing the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Nicole reached out for her phone and checked the sms again for the address of the office. No.5 was boldly written on the wall of the Glass building. She reached out for her black little purse and paid off the cab driver. 'Thank God Sis was kind enough to give me cab fare', she thought, going in buses and bikes would have been hell.

She walked into the imposing building and was ushered into the reception area. The interior of the building was even more overwhelmingly beautiful than the exterior.

It was obviously a new place, there wasn't even a receptionist in the reception area. She wondered if she'll ever get to work in such an impressive place as she sized up the other candidates. She started up a conversation with the other ladies to ascertain if she had any real competitor, at the end of which she decided that only one of the ladies was a real match for you.

With her heart beating faster than she could ever imagine, she walked into the interviewer's office with a wide innocent smile on her face which she prayed was equal to confidence. Her heart was beating so loud, she was afraid the interviewer could hear it.

'Hello Nicole' She sat down with sweaty palms and had such a relaxing conversation with the interviewer she wondered if that was a real interview. Suddenly, everything she had learnt for the fun of it came in handy. Her knowledge of Microsoft Office was flawless and she typed like she was born to do it. 

One hour later, when she was ushered out of the office,  she was quite confident she had clinched the job.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

How it all Started

27 year old Nicole graduated from the marketing dept., Unilag with a 2nd class upper degree and completed her NYSC about 3 years ago. She had been job hunting but she hadn't been successful. She's been wondering if she wasn't good enough for a job or if she's just been unlucky.

In the meantime, she developed herself in different ways. She read up all the GMAT books that she could lay her hands upon in preparation for entrance exams, researched on what to expect at interviews and how to tackle tough interview questions and drew up a perfect CV. She also learnt to touch type for the fun of it, took a diploma degree in a local computer school to gain computer literacy and generally kept herself busy.

Nicole was getting tired of the search and the frustration of not getting the jobs even after she managed to get interviewed but she was still hopeful.

Today, she's preparing for another job interview, it's an Executive Assistant/Admin position. The name sounds classy she tells herself as she looks herself in the full length mirror in the room she shares with her younger sister.

She looked pretty in her perfectly ironed sky blue shirt and black skirt which clung to her very nice shape and made her look like the 'executive' she's hoping to be soon. She put on her nice stiletto heels, pretty black strapped wrist watch to go with it and minimal make up. She looked taller than her 5'6' height and she loved the effect of the shoes. She took an anxious glance at her wrist watch again and said a little prayer.

Meet Nicole, The Executive.

Nicole works as an Executive Assistant to the Managing Director in a prestigious telecommunications company in Nigeria. She is your anyday, modern, confident woman who conducts herself at work with as much elegance as she hobnobs with the corporate czars and glitterati – as her job demands her to do so.

She likes to tell people where she works as a matter of fact. It gives her a sense of pride to see the look of admiration and respect on their faces. She could almost read their minds as they wonder how many hundreds of Naira she takes home monthly.

But what they don't know is how crazy, challenging, exciting, depressing, demeaning and so many other emotions at the same time it could be to work as an Executive assistant.

This is a place to let people into the crazy world of being an assistant through the eyes of Nicole. You'll be shocked at what Assistants pass through everyday to ensure that the job just gets done.

This is an open place for P.As to share their day to day experience and other professionals to tell us what they think about them.

Remember to unwind and have a laugh while you're here.