Yeah, his call came in ‘hello Ben, where are you? You are late for work already. The people from Tade plant have been waiting for you for the past half hour’.
‘What’s going on?’ I thought to myself. Will this man allow me to work in his firm even after everything that happened? Or is he trying to set me up to the point where he can nail me properly? I know I gave Tade plant that appointment for this morning but I have since forgotten about even having a job since Saturday.
I thought I was confused on Saturday, but this one is a whole new level. It’s tempting and dangerous at the same time. It’s like him holding one hand to his back while dangling a whooping N 460, 000 in front of me (yes, that’s how much I receive every month and that is bonuses aside). The lure of having my lucrative job back is tempting, but what other cards does he have to play? I have this strong feeling that something is not right. I have to call my mum.
I put a call through to my mum and expressed my fears but she insisted that I go and make sure I am more careful and detailed with my job at the Gas Plant.
I really haven’t told you much about myself and my job, so let me just brief you a bit about that. In the country today, we have about 7 major distributors of Gas spread across all the regions and my father in law is one of the 7. It is from these 7 in takers that all other gas plants get their supplies. We are one of 2 of such in the entire Southwest. That’s huge right? Imagine all those gas plants and retail oulets in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, some parts of Kwara and Edo getting their supplies from just 2 of us. It’s safe to say that my Father in law is a billionaire.
What’s my job description there? I think it’s important to state here that I am a Chartered Accountant. What I do is very simple. Ensure that I take account of inventories, sales receivables, suppliers credits e.t.c and ensure bank reconciliation is done at the end of each month. Let’s move away from all that accounting jargons before I bore you out.
I was strategically placed in this position by the CEO himself. Knowing full well that I will soon take over at the helm of affairs, this position gives me the vintage position to see through all our dealings and the operations of the firm since all the expenses including salaries go through me. I also co-function as the vetting officer which means I approve all transactions first before it is being carried out. Though I am not a signatory to the account, my office issues all cheques and processes all tellers. In a nut shell I am very important to the firm.
I work with a team of guys who have been at the firm for some years before me. Jide was one of them. He was my assistant. Feelers have it that he had aspirations for my position but for his lack of tact, customer relation and tendency to behave rashly; it was only a matter of time before someone else will be placed ahead of him.
Then came me. He had no qualms (I think). He showed me love, hospitality and the ropes. We gelled seamlessly and I have always relied on his good judgments. He taught me things about the job that would have taken me years to know within months. He introduced me quickly to those outside the firm whose patronage and partnership should not be taken for granted and within a month I was doing my job well.
I give him his space and liberties and I hardly question his work. I was told by my father in law that Jide is the hardest working staff he had ever known. He said the kind of passion for the job he sees in Jide is unparalleled and he advised me to always try to emulate him. Little did he know that things weren’t always as they seem….you’ll never believe what’s coming…….
HAVE YOU READ;
Don’t mind me jumping the gun like that. I was just a little bit carried away.
Let’s go back to me on my way back to the office after receiving my father in-law’s call.
Finally, I got to the office looking scared, suspicious and curious, all at the same time. Not knowing where to go to nor what to expect, I started questioning the look on everyone’s face at the office trying to find a clue from their facial expressions and body languages suggesting that they know something about anything that happened last weekend or whatever scheme I’m about to fall into. I read meanings into every greetings, smiles or frowns; I couldn’t get anything from them, everything seemed normal. I figured it’s either these people are good actors or they just didn’t know anything.
Eventually I summoned up the courage to go straight to my father in-law’s office first before proceeding to anywhere else. I was expecting him to act as if nothing happened, same way he sounded on the phone, avoiding the topic and just ditching out instructions to me about work with a not-so-smiling face.
I knocked on his door and he invited me in. The moment he saw me, his face lit up! You will think NEPA took light on his face and I just brought it back ‘hey my son! Ben o Ben…..’ by now he was already up and approaching me with his arms wide open. I was surprised. ‘See drama King’ I thought to myself. He gave me a warm embrace! Can u imagine that? A warm embrace!! He said ‘ look ehn, no matter what happens to you in life always look at the positives to it, sometimes things happen for a reason’. I’m like this is what I should be telling this man (that is if I have the courage). I know I’m innocent but the advice he is giving me is what I should be giving him not the other way round.
He wasn’t done. He gestured me to sit down by the long couch in his office and he sat beside me, placing his right hand on my left shoulder, while gesticulating with his other hand, he said ‘look, good and bad things happen in life every day. Sometimes, good things happen for bad people and bad things happen to good people. But always believe in your God. Let him be your strong pillar of hope and soon you will see that everything He does is for your good’. All the while he was speaking, I was just nodding, my upper lip was going up and down as if I was trying to mutter something out in a very low tone but I was really not saying anything meaningful. I was looking subdued with my hands placed in between my laps
At this point I was 200℅ sure this man knows something I don’t.
I was sure he knows I didn’t do it too. The look on his face seems like one of mischief, but he was calm and confident. The tone of his voice sounds genuine, yet I was feeling blank. He mentioned things happening to me, which means the status quo still remains as it was but he is now more than happy to see me which completely wasn’t the case the last time we saw.
It was like he was reading my mind. He said ‘Ben are you confused or lost? Which one?’ I said ‘both sir’ and he replied by saying ‘aah don’t worry about a thing, not a thing! Be of good cheers and go about your daily routine the way things were’. Then he dropped a bombshell ‘What I can’t promise you though is if things will ever be exactly the same again for you or any of us, but my son……’ He nodded at me reassuringly ‘everything will be fine’…………