Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Fight

Ariike bent her head to cover up the tear that was sliding down her cheek. The receiver of her desk phone all of a sudden became heavy in her hand and came crashing down her desk. She quickly wiped her cheek with the back of her hand just in case her colleagues were attracted to her office by the noise of the crash. Fortunately, most of them had gone for lunch and were yet to return.

She looked around her office and for the moment felt disgusted by all she saw. Plaques and awards lined her desk while some hung on the wall crowding her office. They all attested to the fact that she had always been outstanding on her job. Within six years, she had climbed the ladder from just an ordinary officer to become a most senior executive in the organization. Everywhere, she spoke she was heard. There was no doubt that she had the ears of the management of her organization. But all these meant nothing to her right now.

She had just received a phone call that was going to change the whole course of her life. Their family lawyer; Mr. Akanni had been so apologetic but he was not to blame. She knew that. He was only acting on instructions from her husband, Adisa. She had heard so much about work-life balance from Adisa that it had actually become a song in her heart. “Ariike, we cannot continue like this”. He would say. “You seem to have forgotten that you are first a wife before an employee. Your kids don’t even know you any longer. Kids need their mother most during their teenage years; have you thought about that?” To her, Adisa nagged and nagged. “The kids aren’t complaining and I do my best to provide all they need.” She would say.

She stood up from her chair and walked round her office. Could she actually say she knew what was happening to her kids? She could not remember the last time she had a chat with them. Her weekends were also devoted to her job. Her laptop and her study were always her companion. Household chores were handled by two housekeepers while a chef handled the cooking. She strived so hard to be outstanding at work and she wondered why Adisa seemed to be the only one who never appreciated that.

The dispatch rider who was meant to deliver the divorce papers was on his way; Mr. Akanni had informed her. Her world was crashing round her like a pack of cards and the only place she seemed to find fulfillment was on her job. Was her job worth losing her husband and kids? If work-life balance was not possible on her current job, did wisdom not demand that she drop it for another? Or on the alternative, find a way around it. She knew too well that closing a little early than she did was not in any way going to affect the organization negatively.

The Fight 2

As she was chauffeur-driven home that day, she held on to the divorce papers refusing to open the envelope. Intermittently, she was lost in thought reminiscing on the good times she had shared with Adisa; when her job hadn’t become a clog in the wheel of their marriage and when her kids rallied round her with tales from school. Right there in the confines of her heart, two things were decided. To fight to keep her family and to effectively manage her time at work.

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Unfamiliar Familiarity

He had been trying to catch her attention. Unfortunately, she was unaware. She walked into her lecturer’s office with two of her friends. He was seated in front of the lecturer. This was his golden opportunity and he was not going to let it pass.

“Good morning sir”. The ladies chorused. “Good morning ladies”. The lecturer smiled back.

He looked up to her in particular and said, “Hi, what’s that your name again?”
She looked confused “I have never told you my name”.

It was a blow he wasn’t expecting. He must have assumed she would fall for that. “Errmm…erm…oh, you probably look like someone I know, apologies. He introduced himself and she also did.

Better, what was all that for? She thought as she faced her lecturer to continue her business of the day.

IMPRESSIONS

It was a Monday morning. The sky was clear and the air was still. The weather looked perfect.

Mindful of the monstrous Lagos traffic, Dele had woken up very early to prepare for the day ahead. Today is the D-day; he had told himself. After series of tests and interviews attended the previous weeks, he had been given the job of an accountant in a foremost multinational in the country.

He was very happy with his achievement. Things were going smoothly for him. Being his first day at work, he thought of taking a taxi. He wanted to get to his new office composed. After waiting for about twenty minutes at the bus stop without sighting a taxi, he reckoned that he needed to change his mind about his means of transportation. He then decided to ride in a public bus. “I would have to look for a comfortable seat so I don’t get my shirt rumpled.” He thought.

As he was about to sit down at the supposedly comfortable seat, he got the first shocker of the day. A nail hanging loosely in the bus tugged at his shirt, tearing it. “Oh my God.” He exclaimed and hissed.

“My new shirt. What am I going to do? I can’t go back home. I can’t risk getting to work late on my first day.”  He thought of insulting the driver but that would not change the situation, so he decided to keep quiet. “I would have to put on my suit throughout the whole day.” He concluded.

Then the journey began. Just as he was still savouring the still weather, it changed all of a sudden. The skies grew dark and it looked like it would rain. “I hope I get to the office before it rains.” Dele thought as he looked at the dark sky through his window.

“Oga, I hope say your window dey work?” The woman sitting beside him asked the driver in Pidgin English. The driver grunted back a response.

About ten minutes later, the skies cleared and Dele was very happy.

Just then, the skies boomed with thunder and the heavens poured down. The bus unfortunately did not provide adequate shelter for the passengers and water started dripping on them. The bus leaked from various rusted points on the roof. Most of the passengers hissed and cursed.

“Which kain thing be dis now?” The woman beside him asked no one in particular in annoyance.

“Driver, are you not going to use your wipers? Dele asked the driver.

“Oga, my wiper just spoil today. I no no say rain go fall, no vex.” The driver replied.

Dele couldn’t believe what he had just heard. The driver was actually driving the bus without windscreen wipers. What was happening to him on his first day at work?

He got down at his bus stop and tried to find a place to hide until the rains stopped but he could not find one. The rains refused to abate and he was totally drenched. With his suit in his hand, he decided to flag down a bike to take him to work. There was nothing he could do. He was going to create a bad impression of himself on his first day at work.

Impressions

As he got to the gate of his office building, he saw his boss’ car drive in. He had been introduced to him during his final interview. “This is it.” He thought. How was he going to face his boss all wet and drenched on his first day at work? He could try drying himself with the air drier in the gents. He looked at himself and shook his head. This was beyond an air drier.

On getting to the reception, he introduced himself as a new staff. “Drenched on your first day at work?” The receptionist giggled.

He was about to speak when he heard his name. “Dele, how are you? Welcome to the real world.” Mr. Brown, his boss said. He was not aware that his boss had come in and that he was already standing behind him.

“I was also drenched on my first day at work. So, there’s no need to bother about what impression you make. Right?” Mr. Brown continued as he smiled.

“Yes…yes sir.” Dele stammered.

“Now go dry yourself up in the gents, then I will take you to your office so we can get down to the business of the day.” Mr. Brown concluded.

“Whew! What a day.” Dele mused as he walked towards the gents.