“Your services are no longer required.” As nerve wracking as an impromptu Hr meeting in the middle of the night was, that statement topped it. I could literally feel every bit of my spine twitch and I was soon languishing in a pool of my own sweat.
My greatest fear had happened and what better way than it to happen via a zoom meeting by 3am in the morning.
Words couldn’t explain the emotions I went through at that very point as my minds played back every little detail that led to me being brutally ousted from the supposed “job of my dreams.”
3 weeks after the completion of my NYSC, I was gazing into the sky in the comfort of my living room on the outskirts of Lagos and wondering what was next for me only for my phone to ring. Seeing the number calling wasn’t saved on my device, I silently said a prayer hoping it was what I badly wanted—A call from the numerous companies I had applied to and indeed it was.
“Hello”, the calm voice said.
“Hi, good afternoon, who am I speaking to.” I Soon replied but with my quick response came a huge wave of anxiety.
“Pardon My Manners, this is Olufemi Akintayo, the Human relations Manager of Phoenix Consortium and I am calling you in lieu of the interview you had in our Lagos office this time last week.”
On hearing the name Phoenix Consortium, my heart skipped a beat, I dare say, a few beats. Hearing the name meant one of two things – That I will either get the job of my dreams or I will be rejected as I normally do every now and again.
But in all of this, I managed to keep my calm and I soon responded.
“Hi Olufemi, It’s so Nice to hear from you, Top of the day to you”
“Top of the day to you too, I would like to get into the nitty gritty of my call as soon as possible.”
At this point, I liked his promptness and willingness not to waste my time but there was something particularly soothing about his voice. I hadn’t seen a butterfly in a long time but I dare say that with every word he said, there were puddles of nectar flowing in me.
“Dear Aderemi Bisola, your job interview was successful and I am glad to offer you employment into our firm, you will be required to res….”
“O my God!!” I screamed out of excitement which In turn sharply interjected him halfway through his sentence.
“I can see you are excited” he said and chuckled.
“Your resumption date is next week Monday, arrive at the company first thing in the morning and I will brief you on everything you need to know.”
“Thank you Femi.”
Now that response was strange but it probably got swept under the carpet by him being that I was over the moon after finally landing a job after three grueling months post NYSC.
But me calling him Femi from the get go was no mistake despite my excitement. it was intentional as his crisp baritone voice had me wondering how nice it would be to work with him.
Come Monday, cometh the hour and I was right in front of my new office.
Whilst still Basking in the euphoria and taking the beautiful scenery of my workplace in, Femi soon saw me and I couldn’t have been happier.
“Hello, I reckon you are one of our new employees.”
“Yess.. I am” I said fidgeting.
“Pardon my manners. Good morning,I am Olufemi, I am the head of HR and I am glad to meet you.”
“The pleasure is mine, I am Remi” I said shaking his head, boy O’ boy, it was one smooth hand for a guy.
“The next door by your right is your new office, the System is already powered on, follow the prompts on it to access it and my secretary will swing by to give you any other additional information you may require. Welcome once again ”
“Thank you Femi” I responded with every iota of elation I had in me.
It was surreal to see him, his looks complemented his voice to a tee. Our work relationship went on smoothly for the best part of 6 months but after that, I desired more out of Femi, I eagerly wanted him to be my man.
A few advances here and there but Femi ultimately didn’t get the memo and I knew it was time for me to hit the nail on the head and get my message across.
“Hi Femi, I would like to discuss something with you”
“Sure Remi, take a seat. what’s going on?”
“Nothing much, I had a hectic day at work. I could do with some eyes and ears at this point”
“Whatever you need Remi,” he calmly said.
“Femi, I will be direct. I am into you.”
Saying this, I expected the worst but hoped for the best.
“Same goes for me also.” You could tell how excited I was when he said that. I literally wore a large smile on my face and I couldn’t help but chuckle out of my excitement. It was finally happening.
Now In all of this, I most certainly knew the company’s policy stating categorically that there can’t be any form of emotional relationship amongst co workers except if one eventually goes on to leave the job but I most certainly felt we could defy all the odds and keep our brewing relationship on the low and right behind the public’s eye.
But I was wrong!
The news of our relationship had filtered into the ears of the hierarchy and after a CCTV footage of a raunchy moment we shared in the office premises had leaked, we were both fired. I could feel my world crashing right below me. It was a disaster!!
“I beg your pardon.” I soon jolted out of my deep thoughts and recalibration of events and instantly wanted to believe that I heard wrong.
“Probably I need to paraphrase, you have been relieved of your duties.”
“Why sir, I met all my goals for the quarter, why am I being laid off” I retorted.
“You broke the ethics of our workplace and due to the confidentiality of our enterprise, we can’t have two people involved in a romantic relationship under our auspices. We are sorry to break the news to you at this odd hour of the night but we had to do it as soon as possible.”
On the split screen was Femi also looking haggard but beyond his 3am looks, he was utterly dejected. A part of me felt bad for not being able to control myself and I also felt bad for tarnishing his career. Femi was way more than his looks, he was savvy and smart and had all it takes to be a world beater.
The call was soon ended and the document indicating the termination of my contract was sent to my email.
There I stood staring at the mail and it’s contents and I knew I was back to square one. The realities in terms of the future implications of this sack was even greater than the present.
Phoenix Consortium happened to be one of the biggest around and them laying me off in the way they did was a dent to my career going forward as the news would have pilfered around other brands and it will most certainly mean that I wouldn’t be able to land a job regardless of my top tier qualifications.
I knew my life had taken a U-turn and for me to grab it back, I needed to leave my family behind and venture into a new city. By daybreak, I was at the park ready to leave.
I mailed a few notes to my loved ones and informed them of my decision and I knew that me leaving Lagos was for only one thing- For good!!
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