“I have decided to resign, that man is an Ogre,” said Chike.
Some months ago, he was a frustrated unemployed young man. His second class upper degree in Economics had had little impact on his job search. He remembered the last of the many interviews he had attended.
“Mr Onuche, I usually do not disclose this to applicants, but I have been really impressed by your performance. You performed excellently in the test and my colleagues also spoke of how well your interview went. Well done. We will definitely get back to you soon.” The words of the HR Manager of the prestigious Base Oil were music to Chike’s ears.
“I am getting this one,” he told his mum when he arrived at their one bedroom apartment. His mum slept in the bare room while he converted the lone sofa in the sitting room to a sleeping spot every night.
As he curled up on his makeshift bed that night, he could hear his heart beat a little faster. Things are going to be different when I get this job. First, I’m saving aggressively to get us out of this shithole. God knows mum has suffered enough, she deserves better.
The call never came.
At first, he thought it must have been an oversight. Maybe a careless assistant sent an email to the wrong address or the unreliable phone network had ensured he never received the SMS sent to him.
So he took the initiative and sent a mail. A phone call followed, and then another email. It was when he happened upon the celebratory tweet of the lady who got the job that he finally came to terms with reality.
They had settled for someone else.
Later, Chike would learn that the young lady was the niece of their managing director.
He was at home for the next two years, taking up temporary jobs as a lesson teacher until one day when his mum handed him a complimentary card. One that had clearly seen better days. “Here, tell him I sent you.”
He was in luck, the man was on the hunt for a personal assistant.
At the beginning of his job search, he would have scoffed at such an offer. He did not want to be a glorified messenger, a term he believed was more appropriate for the role of a PA. But life had humbled him, the N100,000 a month salary was a distant upgrade from the paltry N30,000 he earned as a lesson teacher. But he was soon to find out that that was not the end of his troubles.
His boss was a slave driver. He worked all through the week, yet never seemed to be able to earn any form of acknowledgement from the grumpy elderly man.
“He drives me crazy, mum. He’s a monster, a wicked, wicked man, and I feel sorry for his children.” He was going to continue with his rant when he heard it.
“He’s your father.” His mum’s voice was a whisper