Morayo took her seat at her desk and quickly turned on her
computer, she was still in the process when one of her colleagues walked up to
her.
“Hey…Mo…what’s up?”
“Good morning Fashina…” Morayo said forcing a smile.
“Oma has put to bed ooo…” Fashina said.
Morayo was surprised.
“For real? I thought she just left us on maternity leave
barely a week ago.” Morayo said.

“I don’t know how you women do it but you guys are powerful!
Imagine ehn…Oma and I were supervisors at the last project…I can’t believe
she was almost popping while we were working hand in hand on the last leg of
the project.” Fashina said.
“Yes…some women are very strong…” Morayo said.
“Have you seen her new replacement? The young lady who was
hired to take her place while she’s on maternity leave?”
“A new hand?” Morayo asked, worried that her manager hadn’t
told her anything about it as Oma was under her department, a department which Morayo headed.
“Yes…a young masters student or something…she’s not even
looking for a permanent job. Thank God that she was sent to us, I hate going
to the site alone. Infact we’ve run short of team members.” Fashina said.
“I’ll see the MD to err…find out where the young lady can
fill in…” Morayo said.
“You should do that…have a pleasant day.” Fashina said as
he strode out of her cubicle.
Morayo heaved a heavy sigh, she got up from her desk and
headed to the Managing Director’s office. She rapped at the door and was
ushered in, the MD was seated, facing a fresh faced young lady of about
twenty-six.
“Oh…Morayo, I was just about to send for you.” The MD
said. “This is Ebube Njoku…she is a master’s student but she’s here to fill
in for Oma.”
“Good morning madam…” Ebube said, standing from her chair
and regarding Morayo with cool eyes.
“Good morning..” Morayo replied curtly.
“So, I’ll leave Morayo to place you in good hands then…”
The Managing Director said.
Morayo was seething, how could the MD have recruited for her
team without letting her know. She doubted that Angela who headed the Human
Resources department knew anything about this.
After leaving Ebube with one of the staff on her team’s hand,
she quietly walked up to her desk and placed a call to Angela.
“Angie…”
“Hey beautiful…” Angela’s voice lit up. Angela had a way
of transforming the most business-like conversations to a leisure affair.
“I was wondering how you knew that there was a new
recruitment for my team and never told me about it.” Morayo said.
“A new recruitment? I have no idea…” Angela started.
“Oma has put to bed and the MD brought a replacement. You
know how touchy it is for me to put someone in a staff’s position pending till
the staff resumes duty. It is always awkward for the staff and the new recruit
because at the end of the day, one person loses.” Morayo said agitated.
“I don’t think you need to be worked up about this…I’m
sure I’ll be brought abreast of the situation besides, the new girl should know she’s a temp.” Angela said breezily over the phone.
“I feel that you should speak up at the next board meeting. The M.D has a way of rearranging structural patterns and it’s not a good thing.
What stops him from consulting you first before hiring?”
“That’s why he’s the MD, who knows? The girl maybe related
to him or…she could be his err…” Angela said in a hush tone.
“I don’t give a damn as to who she is to him. I just hate it
when people are being imposed on me! Tell me, what am I supposed to do with a young
lady who’s still in school for her masters and who I might probably spend the
whole of the three months, tutoring? Next time, if the MD wants to hire
someone, he should hire someone with experience and not a baby with a pacifier
stuck in her mouth.” Morayo said.
Morayo heard the shuffle of feet and looked to up to see that she wasn’t alone, the young
lady she was talking about was standing a few feet away from her.
“I’ll..call… you back..” Morayo said hanging up. Turning
to face Ebube and feeling uneasy for having let out her frustrations, she said.
“What can I do for you?”
“Mr. Fashina asked that I accompany him to the site, I just
want to know if it’s okay by you.” Ebube said, staring at her.
Morayo took a long look at her and said.
“Were you informed about this position before applying?”
“My lecturer helped me get this job, he just said that I am
to work with a construction and real estate company…that’s all..” Ebube said,
trying not to sound frightened.
“I am sure you didn’t do your research. When going to the
site, heels are not allowed and you must wear a safety helmet too. Postpone the
site visitation till tomorrow, at the end of office hours, you will go to the
HR section and have them sort you out with the things you’d need for the site.”
“Thank you…” Ebube said, still standing there.
“What else do you want?” Morayo flung at her.
“I err…was wondering if I could have a half day on
Fridays…because of my lectures and …”
“I didn’t hire you, did I?” Morayo said and facing her
computer, she got back to work.
**********
Nkiru stood with the rest of the staff as Mr. Gbade walked
into the boardroom. Her chest puffed with pride. Who wouldn’t be proud of
the ‘super hero’ Gbade who made the headline of the weekly Business Times magazine for digging
out “Alkawack Group of Companies’ from the dirt and raising it to standards, he
was a hero.
As soon as he stepped into the boardroom, the staff began to
clap, slowly at first then a thunderous applause followed.
“Congrats sir…” The staff of Alkawack said. They were all in
smiles because this meant big business and it meant that there’ll be
expansions, salary increase and most importantly bonuses.
“Thank you everyone…please sit.” Gbade said.
Gbade stared at the staff of the company where he had taken
the reigns some years ago and with their help, built into a formidable force in
the business sphere.
“Can we have our reports…” Gbade said discarding the
newspaper feature and focusing on business. “Patrick! Can we have a clear
direction of the new project and who are your team members?”
Patrick stood up, cleared his throat and walked over to the
board, climbing up the short podium and signalling to Gbade’s PA to turn on the
projector. By the time he was done with his brief presentation,
he called out the names of his team members.
Nkiru waited to hear her name ‘of course I’m on the list’
she told herself as she had worked tirelessly with Patrick on many of his
projects.
“Those are all the names on my list…” Patrick said and walked back to his
seat.
Nkiru was stunned, how could Patrick have assembled a list of
team mates without calling her name?
Soon the meeting was over and once everyone had left the
boardroom, she pulled an exiting Patrick back, dragging him at the elbow.
“A word!” She said in a clipped voice.
“What do you want?” Patrick hissed.
“My name was not on the list!” Nkiru said.
“So what?”
“Patrick, did you intentionally omit my name from the list?”
Nkiru asked baffled.
“Are you surprised? Considering our history, I don’t want to
work with you anymore.”
“You don’t call the shots here…”
“Really? Who’s the project co-ordinator?”
“You are but you have no right to kick me off this
project…I worked hard to be on this new team.”
“And I decided that you are not fit to join my team.”
Patrick spat.
“You are cruel…”
“Are you done?” Patrick asked and stormed out of the
boardroom.
Nkiru was speechless, she hated herself at that moment for
letting Patrick into her private life, she hated herself for going against the
rules and mixing business with pleasure. She was so angry, she could scream.
*********
Ogonna was almost knocked down by the fast-speeding motor
bike and as soon as the Hausa rider passed, nearly missing her, he cursed in
his language. On a good day, Ogonna would have heaped curses on his life but
not today. Today, she was reading the cover story of the Business Times
magazine and couldn’t believe her luck. At the front cover was no one else but her knight in shinning armour, ‘Gbade’ who looked every inch the sophisticated and rich business man.
“Ogonna ooo…see your luck…” She kept whispering to
herself.
She walked into her small apartment and turned on the
lights, it was almost evening and she had had nothing for lunch as she had
spent the better part of her day at the library. It was at the library that she
saw the librarian reading the magazine and the man on the cover caught her attention
and no sooner had she left than she quickly went to the vendor to purchase a copy.
She was still reading as she groped about her bag for her
phone and slowly searched for his number. She dialled it and heard it ring, it
rang and stopped as he didn’t pick and she called again, this time he picked.
“Hello…” Gbade’s rich voice came floating to her.
“I read somewhere that if you do not appreciate a kind
gesture, you would have bad luck trail you for life. I do not want that,
so…thank you again for yesterday…” She said.
“Ohhh…you almost got me there… for a second, I was
wondering who was calling me.” Gbade said.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t save my number…” Ogonna stressed.
“I am sorry…I didn’t…as soon as I dropped you off,
I…drove straight home to sleep. How are you?” He asked.
“I bet you’ve forgotten my name…” Ogonna said.
“I…no…I…errr…” Gbade said and laughed nervously.
“Anyway, I called to say thank you and congrats on your
Business Times cover, I never knew you were so important. No wonder you didn’t
save my number or store my name in your memory. Have a nice evening Mr. Gbade.”
Ogonna said and hung up.
She dropped her phone on the table beside her and biting her
lips, she counted to twenty. She was at fifteen when he called back, she let it
ring for a while and picked.
“Hello…” She greeted.
“I am so sorry…could you forgive me?”
“No…” Ogonna said, sounding hurt.
“Wow! I must have struck a raw nerve…”
“It doesn’t matter…”
“Yes it does….” Gbade said. “What if I make it up to you
by taking you to dinner this evening. Are you free?”
Ogonna almost whooped for joy but she controlled herself.
“Well….if you have a good Chinese restaurant in mind…”
“Sure…I’ll pick you up at eight…is that fine?”
“Yes…” Ogonna said.
By the time she hung up the call, she quickly ran to her
wardrobe to search for something sensual and very sexy to wear. She was back in
the game!
Photo Credit:
1.financialjuneteenth.com

To be continued…..

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