It upsets me because it creates a sense of anxiety of loss and need in me but why does it do that? I don’t know also. It’s like she belongs to a word, a place or… “I think the right word is reality”, so I will rather say she belongs to a reality different from mine and yet we both live in the same time era of the church. By the time I am through with her (or better put “by the time she is through with me”), she leaves a lasting impression that makes a part of me want to see the old lady and another part saying “please don’t return”.

After her, my office becomes a beehive of the elderly, each with an endless list of questions and request on their pension funds and accounting, as one leaves, the other step in without waiting to be called and everyone spends several minutes explaining and telling me the same story over and over and expecting me to listen with rapt attention. Let’s not forget the One’s that call on phone for long hours basically asking the same questions. 

By noon, I am already tired and so imagine been exhausted as you arrive and you go on for hours with these old folks till evening, what do you think the rest of your day will look like? Spent!!!And sometimes I have to do these on Saturday and some Sundays. With Saturday and Sunday included, what do you think the rest of your life will look like? Wasted!, a twin concept I have embraced as my reality.

I think the company realised this potential damage and so every fourth Thursday of the month is the pep talk day; a day when the MD and other top management staff will address us on the importance of our job. We will be told of how valuable we are to the company and how the clients hold us in the greatest esteem. They will tell us how without us, the company cannot function and may collapse; a satire to say the least because my long absence from the work once only reflected in a reduced pay cheque.  Mr. Akpan was the Orator they always brought in to deliver the speech or like the older staff will say “perform the miracle”.  I must confess that he is good. He has a good and firm command of the language and a steady grasp of grammar. He delivered his speech with so much grandeur, embellishing every word with grammatical phrases that made the head spin.  He was not verbose but had the appropriate expression for the right impression conveyed with exquisite intermittent flare. As a young and junior staff “then”, I looked forward to Mr. Akpan’s visit; to be lost in his fantastic literary fantasy that catapults one’s thoughts into a realm of importance. An utopia; a reality of built with words; a mirage that revitalized me to put in more work and more days, Sundays inclusive. Don’t misunderstand me, I loved going to church but this job was too important to be left undone or so I thought. Besides there was always mid-week church services and I attended some and regularly gave offerings. Mr. Akpan said rest was not the absence of work but the time spent restrategizing for greater impact and higher levels of success and objectives. I was unmarried then and so I literally married my job and it was fine by me. 

I had job satisfaction, my wages paid my bills and I was generally happy. All was going well, so what more could I ask for? So I thought

The only thing that seems to make sense is Maureen. 


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