Josh went home with a sour feeling in his gut and the taste of Samantha's Bistro’s succulent burger. He made a mental note to stop by, sometime soon.
He was surprised, because they only used the space once a month. He took his bag to his cubicle. Someone called, he looked up, and it was Linda. He quickly went over to her cubicle, and in a low tone, she said:
“We have a new boss at the head office.”
“In fact, we are all in hot soup with shaki.”
He could not take her words for granted, because she was their oga’s side chick and confidential secretary.
“In fact, from what I heard, this meeting might not come to an end today.”
At this, Josh shouted:
He worked half day on Fridays, and he was already packed for the weekend, because it was his turn to sleep over at his girlfriend’s; Kate would certainly not find it funny with him.
“Abeg, make we go jare. Just prepare your mind, shegbo?”
Linda took his arm, and led the way, because it was as though he had suddenly lost his sense of reasoning.
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They got to the room on time to settle in one corner. A door at the rare end opened, and a tall lady in her late thirties --in black pantsuit-- walked into the boardroom; she wore a short mean looking haircut. Everyone stood for prayer, and afterwards, the meeting commenced, and at each point, Josh did not fail to check his phone or his time that ticked against his weekend shift at Kate’s. Her voice was both hard and harsh.
“Your branch has made less profit, but a liability to the vision and mission of the company, and as a result, some people must leave, and if you must stay, I will make you work hard while standing on the tip of your toes.”
One could hear the low murmur, but their oga kept a straight face, and neither did Miss Iron lady care. She trashed and bashed the branch for their shortcomings, she threw their incompetency to their face, and when she was done at mid-noon, every one left the conference room, downcast: some quietly packed in their cubicles, others rushed out to make calls, few stood around to argue for or against the decision, while Josh stood aside while Linda packed her stuffs; she had been transferred to Ikoyi as Miss Bossy Lady’s PA.
It was barely two months later that Josh got a call from Linda, she wailed at the top of her voice, and called the new boss a monster. Josh calmed her down, and they arranged to meet at a burger place, ran by one of Josh’s old friends, Samantha;s bistro at Ikoyi.
The first thing Josh did was to greet his old pal and her gang, and then went to sit with the red-eyed Linda. She didn’t even allow him to take his seat before she threw up in his face:
“Am done, Josh! I think I better find another place. That woman is nothing but evil.”
Josh was so surprised, because he had never seen her in such state before. He quickly ordered for two burgers, and milkshakes, and a generous bite and gulp, calmed her nerves a bit. He allowed her to clean her plate before he asked:
“Did you say I'm next on her chopping board?”
Linda looked him full in the eyes, and replied:
“I am afraid. I might turn in my resignation letter, very soon.”
The following morning, immediately Josh stepped into the office, he met a sealed envelope on his desk. His heart skipped, because he knew that hell was around the corner.
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The room was wrapped in dead silence, but at interval, the woman across the table flipped through the pages of the report that sat before her. At a point, she looked at her wristwatch, and said:
“Young man, are you sure you really want to work here? Do you actually have an idea of the description of your job?”
Josh was thrown into frenzy by her stern words; they dropped off her lips like a person who grinded granite in-between her teeth. She had kept him standing for over an hour, without offering a seat, and this was what she had to compensate him with, after she made him run a two months research less than three weeks. Josh was already fed up with the job; if not for Sam who readily offered a plate of burger each time he came around and a milkshake for his bad mood. It was six months of hell.
“Do you know what? Go and get me a bite to eat, and on Monday, we will have a long discussion on if you are to continue with this company or not.”
At that point, the first thing that came to his mind was Samantha's bistro’s burger and milkshake.
Josh took time and planned himself over the weekend, just in case he had no job waiting for him on Monday morning; he called friends to check on spaces in their offices. On Monday morning, as he drove to work, his phone rang, and it was his bossy boss.
“Josh, please drive down to Samantha's bistro, we are having an executive meeting at the moment.”
The call ended, but he didn’t believe his ears. He wiped his face with his palm, and looked at his phone one last time before turning to the direction to finding the best burger place in Lagos.
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Josh got to the burger place on time to meet his boss among top executive members of the company. He still couldn’t believe it, but thumbs up from Sam said it all. Josh proceeded to their table; his boss caught sight of him, and smiled from cheek to cheek. All attention turned to him; they all had a plate of burger and milkshakes. His boss said:
“Gentlemen, this is the young man of the moment.”
Josh’s knees nearly turned to jelly, and as they all applauded him, each had a copy of his research report.
Written by Oluoma Udemeze.