“Madam, we don reach Adeyemo Alakija o, na Fortune Towers be dis” The cab driver pointed grubby fingers as the cab screeched to a halt. Sherri alighted and paid the fare.
She sighed with content as she squinted at the imposing 20 storey building fabricated from glass and aluminum. Sunlight glistened off the windows. The entrance had a suspended perimeter slab with a cascading waterfall. An architectural masterpiece; it was break-taking.
She smiled, her eyes sparkling as she remembered a Jobberman survey that lumped this company in the top 100 with attractive remuneration. She felt breathless and her hands tingled as she imagined moving out of her Aunt’s apartment and getting a flat in Ikoyi or Victoria Island.
“Good morning ma” The 6 -foot security guard surveyed her with keen interest.
“Good morning my brother, I have an appointment with the M.D” She flashed a dimpled smile.
“Walk straight ahead, go through those tinted glass doors, and inform the receptionist”
She walked across the huge lobby, her red pointed-toe stiletto heels making click-clack noises on the marble floor. She approached the reception desk, and her jaw dropped, she did a double-take.
“Esther! Ahhhhhh. Wait….what! You are here?” Sherri gasped, spreading her fingers out in a fan, against her breastbone.
“Sherri! heyyyyyyy!!! my friend from before before!…Long time!’’ The receptionist squealed, as she sprinted from the front desk to hug her.
“It is a small world o…Esther. But why didn’t you keep in touch, when we finished NYSC?, I called your phone but it was always unavailable”.
Sherri scanned Esther’s face. Esther looked radiant; though she was 5 -7 shades lighter from the last time Sherri had seen her at the passing out parade in Ikorodu, last December.
“Awwww, My phone was stolen and I lost my contacts, but it’s so good to see you again, haaaa! baby girl!
“You are looking so hot, no pimples but dimples! Gist me now, how have you been? But wait o, what are you doing here?” Esther queried, assessing her friend’s outfit.
“I have an interview with the M.D for the Assistant’s position, I did a Skype interview with HR last week and I…” Sherri said, pausing mid-sentence as Esther rolled her eyes and crinkled her nose.
“What’s with that look on your face?”
“Hmmm, nothing much… but let me know how your interview goes” I will let HR know you are around.” Esther nodded with a half-smile as she returned to the front desk and punched a button on her intercom.
Sherri noticed the fake smile plastered on Esther’s face as she spoke to HR. Something was off.
Sherri was ushered into the M.D’s s office by Titi, a petite but friendly admin assistant, she dropped a file on his desk and left.
Olumide Williams, M.D of PKMG International peered at Sherri over the rims of his tortoiseshell glasses for what seemed to be an eternity to her. His potbelly and grey-streaked beard reminded her of a black Santa. His bald head reminded her of an egg, the thought of which made her feel hungry, her stomach rumbled.
He smirked and motioned for her to sit as he scanned her CV.
“So Sherri, tell me about yourself and why I should hire you as my assistant and call me Olumide,” he said as he flashed his pearly whites.
Sherri launched into her canned interview responses, talking about her educational background, recently completing NYSC, and volunteering for a few months at a tech start-up, to gain work experience.
Olumide nodded as she spoke, he seemed impressed, and then his eyes went to her red lips and lingered there. She shifted uncomfortably and continued highlighting her experience at the tech company. His eyes travelled down to her chest and lingered for several seconds before travelling back to her face, his pupils dilated and he swallowed.
“What are you passionate about Sherri?” Olumide asked as he licked his lips unconsciously.
Sherri inhaled slowly and counted down from 5 as she bit back a retort. She wanted to shout, ”Werey! I am passionate about having money to pay my bills and not going hungry.” But instead, she forced a smile “I am passionate about helping the organisation achieve its strategic objective”
Olumide nodded, the corners of his mouth turned up, his eyes caressed her face before he spoke again “If you become my assistant, you may need to work late if there is an emergency, or when we have to prepare for bids under short notice, you may need to spend the night at my house.” He stared down at her chest again and swallowed.
A few thoughts raced across Sherri’s mind, the prominent one being what Olumide’s face would look like if she threw a few punches on his bulbous nose or smacked his egg-shaped head with the stapler on his desk.
He mistook her momentary silence for assent, his eyes brightened, he stroked his beard and continued “Let’s talk salary; the remuneration for this position is 450,000 Naira net per month.” He paused, pleased when he saw her visible surprise. He continued “There are also other benefits, medical, dental, insurance, 13th month, end of year bonus….” A knock on the door interrupted him. Titi brought in a tray with a cup of coffee and biscuits. Olumide’s eyes widened slightly, he focused on her behind as she left the room.
He cleared his throat “When do you want to start?”
Sherri was conflicted, the salary was mouth-watering but her to-be-boss was a creep.
……………………………………………………………To be continued………………………………………………………………
Dear reader, hmmm, we hope Sherri hasn’t entered one chance o.
Have you experienced this type of situation before? If so, please share in the comments the option you settled for and, if not, what would you do if you were in Sherri’s shoes? We would love to read your comments.