Janitor to Office Assistant

Raquel Daniel
Posted April 25, 2019 from Nigeria
Janitor to Office Assistant

I walked into the office every day for 6 months to clean and wondered how the computer works. It was a mandatory skill for every staff but for the janitors; we didn't need that skill to keep the office clean. We had 17 staff on the floor and they all had their computers and printers. So many times, I walked into the floor unit and wished I could operate the computer like them. One day, I decided to stop wishing and do something about it.

Fast forward three months later, I got to the office gate and saw a sign "Office Assistant needed. Must be computer literate". With joy and excitement I ran in and asked the lady on the desk by the door if I could apply for the position. The way she laughed scarred me till today. I looked at her and she said ''You can't do this job, it's for those who are computer literate". I smiled and replied "I am". She laughed yet again and then asked, with surprise, "Can you turn on the computer?''. I bent down and turn on the UPS and started the desktop. She was shocked and asked “What else can you do?”. I smiled again and said "I can type on Microsoft word and work on PowerPoint, Excel is a little complicated."  At this point, she was in utter shock. She went over to another colleague and they both gave me something to type on the computer. I typed slowly with fear they will laugh at me again. But this time, they both gave me a high five. Curious to know how I knew what to do they asked me if I had been to a computer school. I told them I hadn't. Thing is, every evening after they all leave for home, I stayed behind and maneuvered the computers. I did so for weeks until I got a hang of it. In three months, I knew the basics of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.

The other lady, walked back to her desk, typed something on her laptop and handed to me with a tape and said, put that on the gate outside. I looked at the paper and it read "Cleaner needed, apply within". Well-done Raquel, she said patting me on the back.

After living on the street for over a year without any hope of a better life, I found a job as a janitor which eventually led to a better job. I walked into the office that day in 2006 a janitor and went home an Office Assistant because I could operate the computer. On my way home I told myself, If could do this, I can do anything. 

This story was submitted in response to Girls in ICT Day.

Comments 13

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Dawn Arteaga
Apr 25
Apr 25

You absolutely can do anything! Your story brought tears to my eyes! I can't wait to see where you are in 6 months from now!

Raquel Daniel
Apr 26
Apr 26

Thank you Dawn...

Jill Langhus
Apr 25
Apr 25

Hi Raquel,

Thanks for sharing your amazing ICT story. I love your story and drive:-) I'm glad you've come back to write more stories in the community, too! Hope to see more from you soon.

Raquel Daniel
Apr 26
Apr 26

Thank you. I will write more.

Jill Langhus
Apr 26
Apr 26

You're welcome, dear. Great!

ARREY- ECHI
Apr 26
Apr 26

Dear Raquel,
Hope you are doing great and hope the new job is coming up just as great.
I admire your drive and I am glad to see that determined spirit is still intact.
Yes, you sure can do anything you set your mind on.
Well done and all the very best,
Hugs and love,

Raquel Daniel
Apr 26
Apr 26

Thank you so much Arrey... God bless you!

ARREY- ECHI
Apr 26
Apr 26

More blessings to you too, sis, thank you.

otahelp
Apr 26
Apr 26

Hi Raquel i was all smiles reading your super piece. it will whipped some real emotions like tears in my eyes. your excitement is really contagious. i am happy and elated for you.

thank you for sharing. hope you will encourage other girls on the way to learn how to operate computers. the world has really changed with it.

Raquel Daniel
Apr 27
Apr 27

Yes, the world has really changed because of technology and it’s great to be alive at this time to witness this generation.

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi

Hi Raquel,
Thank you for such an inspirational post. This will impact so many girls and women. You have proved to many that you can defy the odds if you are determined to achieve your dreams.
Thank you for sharing and continue to shine no matter what. The sky is just the begining for you.

Stay blessed and have a great weekend.

Raquel Daniel
Apr 28
Apr 28

Hey Anita, it’s my desire that my story inspire girls to do whatever they can, wherever they are, with what they have.

Hello, Raquel,
I'm so proud of you! Soar high because you are meant to fly! Thank you for inspiring us with your story, and may you inspire more girls, too!