Sherri took a quick glance at her wristwatch as she stifled a yawn.

“9.35am” she sighed slightly.  She had arrived promptly at 8.30am for her interview at Starline Limited, but had been told to wait in the reception area. She flicked off an imaginary speck of dust from her black pant suit and stared at the receptionist a few feet away. The receptionist chewed gum nosily whilst typing furiously with long red nails. Her nails reminded Sherri of an eagle’s talons but her glowing chocolate skin and natural makeup suited her, she looked like someone who belonged on magazine cover. Sherri’s gaze wandered to the receptionist’s handbag, and she exhaled quickly “A limited edition Michael Kors bag” she mused. Her Aunt owned that same bag; it was worth over $3000. How is a receptionist able to afford that kind of bag?” She wondered. Then, remembered her sister telling her that the company paid its employees very well.

The receptionist met Sherri’s stare and frowned. “Is there something you need?” she asked, giving Sherri a dirty look. 

“Please where is the restroom?” Sherri responded, forcing a smile. The receptionist pointed to the entrance at the end of the corridor, turn left, the next door on your right” she replied.

“I wonder what her problem is, she has been in a horrid mood all morning” Sherri muttered as she made her way to the restroom, she needed to make a quick phone call in private. Sherri pulled out her phone to a call to her sister, but heard footsteps approaching. She hid in the bathroom stall farthest from the door and listened as two females entered the rest room.

“Na wa for this company o, when they go pay us salary?” One of the females said, as she stared at the mirror and smoothed down flyaway baby hairs.

“Abi o, by next week, it will be 7 months’ salary the company is owing us” the second female replied, as she re-applied her lipstick.  “Thank God we are in marketing department and  can still make some money from commissions, otherwise water for don pass garri o. “

“ I pity all the new hires, they don’t know that this company pays salary to the new hires for the first two months, and then starts to owe them salary for several months, until the new hires get  frustrated and resign, and then the company hires new staff again and repeats the cycle again. Even Cynthia, the receptionist , just bought that new bag on credit from Madam Gina, hoping they will pay her 3 months accrued salary, that’s why she is acting grumpy  and snapping at everyone” the first female responded.

There was a pause, then they both burst out laughing.

Sherri sat very still in the bathroom stall as she digested this information and waited for them to leave, and as she made her way back to the reception and contemplated her options; she could choose to go through with the interview and accept a job offer knowing she was only going to get paid for 2 months or she could continue her job search.  A beep from her phone interrupted her reverie. Her heart skipped a beat as she read the text message. This was the sign she needed, she smiled to herself.

She picked up her bag, told the receptionist she had another appointment somewhere else and hurried to the busy street. “Victoria Island!” she flagged down a yellow cab and got in.

She closed her eyes then crossed her fingers as the cab sped across the third mainland bridge.

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