Adetutu pondered over her daughter’s conversation over and over. How had they missed this conversation? Omowunmi had been excited when she got invited for a written test with the unnamed organization. She had received a congratulatory email and had moved on to the next stage; the interview sessions. Adetutu had been aware of each interview session and she had prayed for her daughter but not once had she thought about asking which organization she had been visiting. Probably because she was also engrossed in her own search for employment, it had never occurred to her to ask.
Omowunmi had said she was denied the post of a human resources officer because another candidate was more qualified. With two professional certifications in her kitty, the organization was right. Omowunmi had studied Human Resource Management in a private university and had graduated with a Second Class upper. Chief and Adetutu had been overjoyed and he had rewarded his daughter with a brand new car as a graduation gift.
She got posted to a consulting firm for her National Youth Service where she worked as a customer relations officer. She had just concluded the service program when she told her mother she had been invited to write a test for an organization. Omowunmi had refused her father’s offer to work in his plastic manufacturing company. He could not understand her refusal. Every attempt to convince his daughter had been rejected and he concluded that she took after her mother’s strong will.
As the driver drove into the expansive compound of Chief Ara’s residence, Adetutu’s eagerness to talk to her husband grew. She eased out of the car and walked briskly into the house. At this time of the day, she knew exactly where to find her husband and she made a beeline for the study. She opened the door gently and peeped in. Chief was engrossed on his laptop and did not hear her walk in. She hugged him from behind and kissed his cheek.
“My darling.” Chief said; his eyes twinkling.
“How has your day been?” Adetutu asked smiling.
“It just got better.”
“Chief, we need to talk.”
Chief noticed Adetutu’s seriousness and stood up from his study table. He walked towards the couch and tapped the seat beside him.
“What is this about?”
Adetutu took a deep breath. “I got the offer.” She said sitting down.
“Wow!!! That calls for a celebration.” Chief said standing up. “You almost scared me. I thought there was…”
“Chief, please sit down.” Adetutu said interrupting her husband.
Chief stood still and looked at his wife. “There is more to this offer, right?”
“I hope they are not posting you out of Lagos. You know I won’t allow you go. Our agreement was that any job you get must be in Lagos and…”
“Chief!!!” Adetutu stressed. “This is about Omowunmi.”
Chief sat down gently. “And what about my daughter?”
“She was denied the position she applied for and was offered the post of a customer relations officer.”
Chief looked confused. “Okay? Isn’t that the job she was doing as a youth corper?”
“So, how is that a problem? The company obviously sees that she is experienced in that terrain and decided to offer her employment in that department. I don’t see any wrong there.”
“Chief, I just signed my employment letter for the job she was applying for.”
Chief’s jaw dropped. “I don’t understand.”
“We both applied to the same organization without knowing.”
“But how? And how and when did you find out?”
“Sincerely, I also don’t understand. I found out on my way home when she called me and mentioned that the organization told her someone else was better qualified and offered her the customer relations role. She refused the offer. She said because that was not what she applied for.”
Chief burst out laughing and Adetutu looked at him in annoyance.
“Chief, this is not funny. You know how your daughter is when she wants something.”
Chief grinned. “I’m sure you know she got that from you. Do you know how you are when you want something? She didn’t pick this dogged attitude from the streets, my darling wife.” Chief said stroking her chin.
“What do we do? I’m confused and she is on her way home as we speak.”
“My advice is that if the company has no policy against family members working in the same organization, she should go ahead and take the offer. She is already experienced in customer relations, I don’t see why she should refuse the offer simply because she studied human resources.
Adetutu sighed as she heard the honk of her daughter’s car. She stood up and walked to the window.
“But I’m surprised the organization did not notice your surnames.”
Adetutu pulled the window blinds apart. “Your daughter uses your first name as her surname. Have you forgotten?”
“Oh true.” Chief said as he walked up to her. “I remember she is Omowunmi Olatunde and my darling wife is Adetutu Tunde-Ara.” He said as he planted a kiss on her lips.
Omowunmi walked in and saw her parents in an embrace with locked lips. “Erm…I can come back.” She said when they both looked at her.
“It’s fine Mowunmi. We were actually waiting for you.” Chief responded as he held his wife by the waist and led her to the couch.
“Mummy actually got me scared when I talked to her about an hour ago. What is the problem?”
“Come here darling.” Chief stretched his hand and his daughter walked over and took it. Chief pulled her to sit beside him; his wife on his right and his daughter on his left. “You both know how precious you are to me.” He said looking to his left and to his right.
The two women nodded.
“And you both know I want the best for you and the boys.”
The two women nodded.
Chief looked at his daughter. “Your mum told me about your offer. You are experienced in that department, I think you should accept the offer.”
“But daddy that was not what I applied for.”
“Your mother was offered the position you applied for.” Chief said looking straight into his daughter’s eyes.
“What?” Omowunmi exclaimed as she stood up. “Mum?” She looked at her mother with unbelieving eyes.
Her mother nodded.
“Why mum? Why didn’t you tell me you were applying for a job? And even if you wanted one, why Energy Communications and not daddy’s company? And to top it all, you went for my position?” Omowunmi asked in annoyance.
“Mowunmi, I discussed my job applications with your father. I never knew we both applied to the same organization. Yes, you told me about your tests and interviews but I was so engrossed in my own job search, I never asked for the organization you were applying to.”
“This is so unfair. What do you need a job for? Daddy has always provided for you. It is not like you need the extra money. Does the company even realize they gave a rich man’s wife a job?”
“Omowunmi!” Chief said calling his daughter to order. “You realize your statement to your mother is unfair. She stopped working to take care of you and your brothers. I gave her my blessings when she started writing her professional exams. I believe she deserves the job.”
“And what about me, daddy? Is it that my feelings don’t matter? You don’t think I deserve the job?” Omowunmi cried.
“Mowunmi, if you were a perfect fit for the job, do you think the organization would have denied you? Do you realize that the organization was probably impressed with your performance and decided to give you an alternative offer in a department where you have experience. My dear, I own a company and I can tell you authoritatively that most organizations would not do that. Once a slot is filled, that is the end. Every other candidate is let go.”
“So you just expect me to go and accept the other position?”
“You don’t have to. The position I offered you in my company still stands.” Chief said matter-of-factly.
Omowunmi harrumphed. “I will call the organization and accept the offer.”
Chief looked at his wife who had been quiet all along. “I think you also need to inform the organization about the family ties. This will help them decide on what to do.”
“I believe your mother deserves to be congratulated.” Chief said as he looked at his daughter.
Omowunmi took a deep breath as she walked towards her mother. She bent down and hugged her. “Congratulations mum. I’m sorry about what I said.”
Adetutu took her daughter’s face in her hands as she smiled with tears in her eyes. “I love you Omowunmi. Don’t ever forget that.”
Energy Communications had a policy against family members working in the same department and branch. Omowunmi was posted to manage the Ikeja branch of the office while Adetutu was retained at the head office in Victoria Island.
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