4 Nigerians Talk About Their Bosses Taking Credit For Their Work

April 16, 2021

There’s only one thing more painful than stubbing your little on the sharp edge of furniture – watching other people take credit for something you worked really hard for. I spoke to four Nigerians who recount their experiences under glory-thieving bosses. Here’s what they had to say.

Tola

I was an assistant producer working on two weekly shows and reporting to two producers at a popular TV station. While my job was only to write the show and supervise the production, I ended up doing both of the producers’ jobs. I decided the direction of the shows and even identified the guests to be invited. I did this every week. Sometimes, I’d sacrifice my weekends to cover events as favours to my bosses, but when it was time for the after-parties and dinners, they’d take the passes and ask me to leave. I worked on an in-depth documentary where I risked my life and spent days in the slum to produce it. My boss applied for a journalism award with that documentary. I just couldn’t bring myself to be happy for her because it was my hard work that won that award. 

It made me feel used, and feelings of resentment grew. I understood that they were my bosses but I didn’t quite understand why they couldn’t be fine with taking credit for supervising the process? Why make it look like you did all the work? I was also worried that I would seem unproductive to HR during appraisals since my bosses were claiming to do all my work. They never gave me credit. They would even make up stories about how the idea for the stories came to them in a moment of epiphany. When cash rewards were given for really good stories, the bosses will give me a part of it in private but nobody would ever say, “It was Tola who put it together.” It was a very frustrating time of my life.

Onyela

I am part of the digital team as a content/social media executive. When my team reduced from three to two people, most of the workload fell on me. My team lead was shoddy and never did his job, leaving me to do all the team’s work. Last week, I got feedback from a client to my lead that they were impressed with the LinkedIn captions I came up with and told my team lead to “take a bow.” I was furious. I had to prove to my other colleagues that I actually wrote the captions for the client. My team lead still takes credit for all the team’s work, which I’m responsible for. He earns what I’d call an “armed robber’s salary” while I earn a paltry 100k before tax and pension. I’m hurt and very tired.

Damisi

This topic just reminds me of the time I used to freelance for a popular newspaper while I was a student in Ife. I was writing articles about school-related stuff until I decided to write a long feature article about the glut of private universities and the problems they might pose. I sent it to my usual editor in the newspaper, only for me to find out he had published it in his own name. I never wrote another article for that publication.

Alice

My job description began from one role and has now gone up to about five roles in one. Last year, a fraction of the company staff left at the same time last year, so most of the company’s work was left to me. At the end of the year, I failed to get a bonus like everyone else. When I asked why the CEO said he couldn’t see anything I had achieved that year. He introduced new vague parameters for measuring performance such as ethical values, transparency, etc. When I asked how he measured these parameters, he couldn’t answer. I didn’t get a bonus for last year, despite single-handedly raising the customer satisfaction index from 90% in 2019 to 96.4% in 2020.

This year, a new boss took over. Recently, I discovered that every sale in the company earns a commission and that my new boss has been taking all my commission. The bulk of commissions came to about N270,000. I tacitly asked him about the commissions, hoping he’d feel ashamed and give me the N70,000 on top. Instead, he gave me 10k and called it “pocket money.” To date, he still hasn’t made any sales of his own. I’ve been asking for a raise for a while now but he keeps saying he’s in talks with the CEO. How could he ask the CEO for his commissions but not for my raise, despite the fact that I made most of the company’s sales?

QUIZ: What Type Of Boss Will You Be?

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