When they got to the premises of their final destination after about an hour’s drive, the apparently 42-yearold driver Mr. Ketu applied the brakes without much ado.
“Please, excuse us.” the boss Mr. Sule Ibrahim instructed Mr. Ketu while seated firmly in his seat. “Okay sir.” concurred Mr. Ketu, opened his door and stepped out.
At this time Mr. Gbenga Adeniyi was deeply perplexed, though from all indications he was aware of where they were, thus wasn’t in need of any clarification. “Do you know where we are?” the boss asked the moment the driver excused them. “Yes sir.” “Where are we?”
“The newest branch of our company.” He got it right. That was the newest chapter of FranCok Brewery situated in Kogi State, the neighbouring state to where the parent body of the firm was established. “Beautiful!” Mr. Ibrahim enthused, looking strongly into his eyes. “Have you been here before?” “No sir.”
“In other words, this is your first time?” “Yes sir.” “Alright.” quoth Mr. Ibrahim. “Do you know why we are here?” “If I say yes, then I am a liar.”
Gbenga replied. “I wouldn’t know, sir.” He added in a jiffy. Mr. Ibrahim was pleased over the intelligent manner in which he answered the question.
“Do you wish to know?” he said. “Definitely, sir.” quoth Gbenga, felt like defecating in his seat but summoned courage afterwards.
“I know you would say I have stressed you so much.” Mr. Ibrahim thought aloud cheerfully, facing him. “No sir,” Gbenga refuted. “I am always at your service.” Mr. Ibrahim was marveled that he could tender such a response despite all the inconveniences he had caused him so far. “Sure?” he verified.
“Yes sir.” he frantically replied. “After all, life is all about challenges.” He added. The last remark struck the feelings of the boss, thus he became deeply impressed. He looked at him, nodding. “Please, join me.” he urged, attempted to step out.
“Let’s take a walk.” He said, eventually stepped out and jammed the car door. Gbenga followed suit, although deeply perturbed over what the next line of action entailed.
He kept asking himself why the Human Resources Manager (HRM) decided to place him on such rigorous mental test on the first day of the weekdays being Monday.
As Mr. Sule Ibrahim led the walk towards the main building of the entire firm, he (Gbenga) didn’t stop looking around the overall premises as he keenly observed each of the staff that passed by, tendering a resounding salutation to the HRM. “Gbenga.” the boss called.
“Yes sir.” “Come up, come up.” He enjoined, asking him to walk handin- hand with him. Immediately, Gbenga doubled his steps and started walking right beside the 47-year-old boss.
They were like a father and his son; the same complexion, stature and almost same height. Both were in corporate attire, although the former was in English whilst the latter was in native.
As they walk passed each of the offices on their way, the workers equally observed them with keen interest. They were eager to know the identity of the lad who was worthy to walk hand-inhand with the ‘almighty’ HRM.
Every staff in the establishment came through the HRM, thus Mr. Ibrahim’s identity was well known. “Who could this be?” one of the female staff named Jennifer whispered to her colleague Ukot of same gender, as they were seated in their office. “Maybe he is one of the newest staff.” Ukot thought aloud. “Newest staff?” echoed Jennifer. “Yes.” quoth Ukot.
“Can’t you see, he is new and fresh?” Jennifer nodded. “Who knows the department he would be placed under?” she soliloquized, though to the hearing of Ukot.Both of them were in the marketing department, and were Masters’ degree holders in Management Science.
They were the founding staff of the branch, which was set up about one year back; suffice it to say that they were Gbenga’s senior colleagues. In terms of qualification, they were also his senior because the man in question only had a first degree in Economics to his credit, though he was aspiring to return to school for a post graduate programme as soon as possible.
“Maybe Production.” Ukot responded. “Why do you think so?” “Nothing,” said Ukot. “I just think the Production Department needs more hands.” “How?””of course, there are still few personnel in the department.” She observed.
“Okay ooh..” exclaimed Jennifer. In a few seconds time, Mr. Ibrahim kept one of the offices open with one of the keys in his hand, walked in alongside Gbenga. It was a well designed, decorated and furnished office.
It was conspicuously lacking virtually nothing; needless to assert that it was befitting. An executive chair was sited right before the welldecorated table found in it.
Mr. Ibrahim calmly sat on one of the seats sited directly opposite the executive one, and instructed Gbenga to sit on the latter which was meant for the host. “Sir, you mean I should sit there?” he verified, pointing at the seat in question. “Yes,” quoth Mr. Ibrahim. “Go and sit there.” “Why, if I may ask?”
“Because, it is your seat.” “My seat..?” asked Gbenga, confused. “How, sir?” “Yes,” replied the HRM. “Henceforth, you shall be sitting on this seat.”
He informed, gesticulating. “I still don’t understand, sir.” Before he could finish, the boss dipped his hand in one of his trousers’ pockets, brought out an enveloped letter and stretched it toward him.
“Congratulations, Mr. Gbenga Adeniyi,” he exclaimed as he extend the white envelop. “You are now the Marketing Manager of this branch.”
He notified eventually. “Waow…!” the 34-year-old Gbenga managed to exclaim, received the envelop, opened it hurriedly, and therein discovered that he wasn’t mistakenly informed. Immediately, the HRM quickly brought out a bunch of keys from his pocket, equally handed it over to him.
“This is your car keys,” he informed as he stretched out his hand. “Your driver as well as the car is waiting for you outside.” He added, smiling heavily. “Oh my God..!!” Gbenga shouted, became astonished, couldn’t even bothered sitting on the executive seat as requested. “Once again,” quoth Mr. Ibrahim.
“On behalf of the Management, I say congratulations.” Gbenga hastily walked to him and hugged him tightly and passionately. “Thank you very much, sir.”
He appreciated, gushed out tears of joy uncontrollably. “You deserve it, my dear.” the boss enthused. The drama continued afterwards, so keep a date with us same time next week!
- Nwaozor – novelist, playwright and poet, is Chief Executive Director, Centre for Counselling, Research & Career Development – Owerri