Good afternoon all,
I sincerely apologise for the late post, it was due to network issues – yeah, blame it on Etisalat. Resubscribed for BIS this morning and I’ve been calling their call centre all morning. Thank God it’s resolved now. :d
I have great news! Starting Wednesday, 30th October, 2013, I’ll start posting another series titled #NURSES# it’ll be on wednesdays and we’ll see where the stories lead. We all have at one time or the other experienced them, praying to do a really cool job with it. Without further ado, lemme leave you to read today’s episode of #money game# as usual, I welcome feedback from all channels. Thanks for putting up with my dry announcement. Now to the fun part:
They found Mr Teniola Jacobs and his trustee assistant -Timi- under a canopy seated beside a NYSC official chatting away. He was laughing when they found him. He retained his amused look as he cocked his head in their direction and gestured for them to sit down on the empty chairs around. He turned to the lady he had been speaking to and excused himself.
‘It was a pleasure making your acquaintance ma’m. Do have a nice day.’ He rose, took his chair with him and went to sit with Justin and Ugochi. Timi also came close and sat.
When they were all seated, Segun excused himself and started stalking off. Mr Jacobs observed him for a few seconds, then called him back. ‘Hello, excuse me, can you please join us? I promise, I won’t waste your time.’
Segun halted, turned round, then grabbed a chair and sat with them. He completed their circle. ‘Good afternoon guys,’ Jacobs checked his wristwatch, then proceeded. ‘Okay, you two may have an inkling as to why we’re here…,’ he turned to Justin and Ugochi, ‘and I’m sure that’s why you wanted to excuse us.’ He turned to Segun. The smile was still on his face.
Justin looked at her queerly. That was the first time since he’d known her that she would react to a superior officer’s speech. She had told him once, ‘it’s all bullshit.’ He agreed, but at that moment, he wasn’t so sure.
‘Do you want to say something?’ Jacobs asked her.
‘No. Nothing. It was a reflex action. The dust I guess.’ She explained.
‘Okay. Justin?’ Jacobs turned to him.
He shook his head. ‘Not a thing sir. Nope.’
Jacobs shrugged. ‘I understand that you too feel that the company treated you unfairly. I’m with you there. That’s why I’m here personally, to show you how truly the company values your contribution.’
‘Do I really need to be here?’ Segun was becoming uneasy and made to stand.
‘Sit, please. Except you already have a job that pays well, then this gathering is not for you.’
Segun remained seated and Jacobs smiled. Timi’s face was expressionless. He knew that getting the strange guy without the two was a failed mission. The MD had mandated that they recruit them pronto.
‘If this is about the company apologising, then I accept your apology. I have since moved on. But if this is about a job…’ She started rising.
Justin held her arm. He blinked at her and she sat down. She turned from them and started sulking. For all intents, she was no longer part of the discussion.
‘So this gathering here is about us coming to work for the company full time?’
‘Yes.’ Jacobs confirmed.
Justin noodded absentminded. He turned to Ugochi who wasn’t happy to be in that gathering. He touched her shoulder and she shrugged off his touch. Resignedly, he turned to Jacobs, ‘here’s the deal, we’re not coming as entry level staff. We come back in already promoted.’
Jacobs looked meaningfully at Timi who started scribbing on his writing pad. There was silence as both parties watched the assistant write.
When he was done, Justin made another request. ‘We get promoted yearly after meeting or exceeding our yearly targets. We do not stay on the same salary or position for more than two years no matter what.’
Jacobs rolled his eyes. He had mentally ended the discussion and left. The only reason he was still seated opposite Justin and Ugochi was because of the directive given. ‘Get those two back into the company pronto. No matter what.’ Damn, he thought. These kids drive a hard bargain.
He turned to Timi, ‘do you have all that?’
Timi nodded. Somehow, he didn’t feel his voice would do justice as all he had written seemed surreal. They weren’t even related to the brass of the company.
Jacobs clapped his hands. ‘My job here’s done. I’ll communicate your terms to the management and relate their decision to you two.’ He turned to Segun, ‘I’m sorry this was a waste of your time…’
‘Segun also gets the same package.’ Justin’s face was hard. He held Jacobs stare.
‘Okay then, we’ll see.’ Jacobs turned to Timi and both men left.
Justin waited till they were out of earshot before exhaling loudly. ‘How’d I do?’ He turned to Segun smiling.
‘You just lost all three of us a chance to get a lucrative employment. I guess now I’ll have to accept my company’s offer and earn a few buck.’
Justin rolled his eyes. ‘Have you factored the fact that the HR Manager himself just left? Do you think it’s done anywhere…’
‘I just know I’m not ready to go back there. I’m no longer interested.’ Ugochi started to rise.
‘Wait!’ Segun beat Justin to the gun, ‘just think, you’d be doing me a world of good. And I’d be indebted.’ He flashed a wide smile.
‘Believe me Shegs, you’ll love me later.’ She started walking away.
‘I’ll be staying at home for the next year if I don’t accept this offer. I hedged my chances and deleted every other option. Now, they’ve come through and I have to wait on you. If you say no, I’ll echo your sentiment and walk. If you accept the job, then we’ll be a trio. What say?’
Segun and Ugochi stared at him in bewilderment. ‘You mean you NEVER applied?’ Rage suddenly took her over.
He shrugged and rolled his eyes. ‘I expected them to take us both and decided that it would be a waste to seek other outlets.’
Segun was disappointed. ‘You mean you never applied to any of the companies I sent to you?’
Justin slumped in his chair. ‘No.’
Ugochi grabbed her seat, set it opposite his and sat down holding his gaze. She studied his eyes. Segun left standing felt isolated so he started moving his hands in a gesticulative move. ‘I’ll just…’
‘Sit.’ Ugochi commanded.
Segun got a chair and sat with them. He still didn’t feel he was needed there since the job discussion had now become personal.
Ugochi and Justin’s eyes were locked. She addressed him without averting her eyes. ‘If we do this, you cannot wake up one day and decide to take a better or worse job without first consulting with us okay?’
‘Okay.’ Justin agreed.
‘Good, and we also decide what happens. As of here and now, your career lies in our hands. We’ve just become the three musketeers.’
‘Two and half.’ Segun corrected.
She cast him a quick glance and he cowered. The iciness of her stare was just as Justin had described to him endlessly. He coughed involuntarily.
‘Deal?’ She turned back to Justin, who was staring at his shoes thinking.
Justin raised his head. ‘I can’t leave you two in the wilderness right? That’s what this is about?’
‘Yes.’ Their eyes were locked again.
‘I believe we have a deal. Yes. I agree.’ He didn’t expect what came next.
Segun groaned. ‘No!’
Ugochi simply leaned forward cupped his face with both hands and kissed him. Nothing around them seemed to matter.
Segun rolled his eyes as he recalled the phrase ‘sealed with a kiss,’ he hissed. Kitschy nonsense. He got off his chair and started walking away. None of them noticed him.
© Derin Gbadebo 2013.