Sherri was propped up in bed on a Monday morning thinking about the unfortunate incident with Amaka the previous week when her phone rang. She answered the call, unaware that her life was about to change for the better.
“Hello, good morning.” A feminine voice said.
“Good morning,” Sherri replied.
“Ms Ayuba, my name is Adenike, Head of Human Resources from B&G. You had an interview with us a few weeks back and I am calling to inform you that your interview was successful, and we would like you to resume work with us tomorrow if this is possible. If you are okay with this, you are required to come in today for orientation and to check out your official apartment. Are you available to come in for the orientation today?”
“Thank you, yes, I’m available,” Sherri replied happily.
Sherri went over to the company and after the brief orientation, she was driven to her new fully furnished apartment (one of the perks that comes with the job) which was in Maryland, a few minutes drive from the company after which she went back home to give her family the good news and to pack a few bags.
The next day, Sherri resumed work as the personal assistant to the CEO of B&G company, food and drink Multinational Corporation. Her new boss, Mrs Adams, was in her early fifties. She was petite, dark-skinned and always wore full make-up. On her first day, Sherri walked into the CEO’s office with a polite smile on her face. Mrs Adams sat behind an elegant oval-shaped glass table, her eyes focused on the Mac computer in front of her. Pictures of her family were on the desk. The walls were lined up with the various awards and certifications she had in the past.
“Good morning, ma.” Sherri said. “I’m Sheri…”
“My driver will take you to the airport to pick up my son, Toby.” Mrs Adams cuts in, without looking up, “On the way back, stop at his favourite restaurant to pick up something for him. You’ll hand him over to the nanny who’s already on her way to the house.”
Mrs. Adams pushed some money across the table before she turned her attention back to the computer. Being a babysitter on her first day on the job wasn’t what she expected, but it could have been worse.
When Sherri came out of the office, she realized she didn’t know her boss’s driver. She didn’t want to knock on her new colleagues’ office doors, asking if they knew who her boss’ driver was. The company was a two-storey building; her boss’ office was on the second floor while the reception was on the first floor. Sherri rode the elevator to the first floor; she wore her best smile as she approached the reception. The receptionist, Janet, a light-skinned girl with short dreadlocks, flashed a warm smile at her.
“Hello Janet,” Sherri returned the smile, reading the name tag on her uniform. “I’m Mrs Adams’ new assistant. Can you help me get her driver?”
“He’ll be in the kitchen. I saw him with a lunch pack some minutes ago.” The receptionist said, reaching for the telephone on her desk. She dialled a number, and her smile widened, “Hello, Mr Abel, madam’s assistant needs you. Yes, she’s here with me.” She disconnected the call, and her gaze shifted to Sherri, “He’ll be here in a few minutes.”
A few minutes later, the elevator door chimed as it opened, and a tall, lanky man walked over to them.
“Good morning.” He said pleasantly.
“Good morning, are you Mr Abel, the driver?” Sheri asked.
His gaze ran over her briefly before he nodded. His look wasn’t disrespectful or uncomfortable, but she didn’t want to get too friendly with any staff.
“We are going to the airport to pick up Mrs Adams’ son, Toby,” Sherri informed him.
“Which of the airports?” He shoved a hand into his pocket, retrieving a car key.
Sherri had no idea which of the airports they were to go to. “Do you know Toby? Can you recognize him in a crowd?”
“Yes.” He gave her a look that said, ”Seriously?’ “I’ve been Madam’s driver for five years.”
She pulled out her phone from her pocket and typed her boss’ name into Google search engine. The first website that popped up had the picture of her boss and her family at a corporate event. Her new boss had three sons, the oldest was around sixteen, and the youngest was eight. “Which airport did you take them to when her son was travelling?”
“Murtala Muhammed International Airport,”
“Good, that’s where we are going.” Sherri decided.
Two hours later, they were on their way back from the airport with Mrs Adam’s sixteen-year-old son.
Toby was a chubby teenager with glasses. He didn’t bother to say hello when they picked him up, and neither did he respond to her greeting. Sherri didn’t try to draw him out of his shell. She wasn’t employed to cheer him up but hired to work for his mother, she decided.
“Hey, did my mom tell you to take me to my favourite restaurant?” Toby asked.
“I’m Ms. Sherri. Yes, she did.” Sherri replied with a forced smile, “What’s the restaurant called?”
“Figure it out. Isn’t that your job?” Toby replied before sliding out his phone from his pocket.
Sherri turned to the driver, “Mr Abel, do you know Toby’s favourite restaurant?”
“Please take us there,” Sherri said.
Soon, the driver drove into the gates of a Chinese restaurant. “Would you like to go in with me, or would you like me to go get something for you?” Sherri asked, unfastening her seatbelt.
“I want pizza and Coldstone ice cream,” Toby stated, giving her a hard stare.
Sherri threw a perplexed glance at the driver, who quickly looked away. It was obvious that this battle was hers alone. “Are you allowed to have pizza and ice cream?” Her gaze lingered on the teenager’s bulging stomach.
“I’ll have anything I want!”
Sherri took a deep breath, “I don’t think so. Your mom said you should have something healthy. So, I’m walking in there now to get you some food, you might want to come along, or I’ll get something you’ll hate. I could get a bowl of salad and a bottle of juice.”
“No, I don’t want that!” Toby hastily took off his seatbelt and shot out of the car. “Never mind, I’ll come with you.” Sherri’s lips stretched into a little smile of victory. By the time they reached her boss’ house, Sherri’s patience had stretched thin. Fortunately, the nanny had arrived before them, so they left Toby in her care and headed back to the office, getting there in time to take the minutes of a meeting that lasted over three hours.
At the end of her first day, she was exhausted, but she would be going back to her own apartment for the first time in her life. She hadn’t had the time to unpack her bags nor stock up the mini fridge in the kitchen, but nothing compares to the joy of