I arrived at work by few minutes after resumption time but was lucky to sign in at the attendance book log as my boss was engaged in a discussion with someone at the parking lot when I did a 100 meters dash to the elevator and straight to my desk, muttering breathlessly to myself “this morning ritual of getting prepared late and the merry-go-round of the drop offs has to stop”. This is just me trying to convince and console myself that it will not happen again but I know it will happen again because it has been the routine for more than five years.
While trying to catch my breath, I received an internal memo mail requesting my immediate presence at the HR department. Hmm! “I have never being summoned at the HR department before” I thought but nevertheless I went there. Guess who is the HR Director? Mrs. Okocha. Guess who is standing at the HR Director’s Office door smiling again? Mrs. Okocha. She was already waiting for me when I got to the 4th Floor. Now my heart was racing like I just won Usain Bolts in a 100 Meters race. With the Air-Conditioner chilling at its peak, enough to make anyone catch cold, I was nervous and drained in sweat. With this “unnerving” smile on her face, she ushered me into the conference room where some elderly people and some young persons were already sited. We walked pass them into the inner office. She offered me a seat, and then asked after the performance of my job. “My fear is confirmed”…I said to myself as my heart skipped several times over with the thought that this was the process of terminating my employment. Then I remembered seeing her with my boss shortly before Mr. Ehioze episode began, wearing the same smile. My mind went wild with questions and answers that further fuelled my fear that I was about to lose my job. I wondered “was it the termination of his job that broke him down?” if it was, what did he do? What have I done? How will I tell Tonbra that I have lost my job? How will the school fees be paid? What about the house rent? The car maintenance? How do I send monies home for the upkeep of our parents? Frightful questions filled my heart, sweat dripped down my face, I became nerves the more as she bent down to open the drawer next to her and brought out a file.