Buzzed a deafening noise from the loud speakers that interrupted my sleep. I woke up startled, furious. The conference was over?
I couldn’t imagine how what I intended to be a few minutes doze became a heavy sleep that lasted more than an hour. The final speaker was extremely boring and I couldn’t take it any longer. A friend informed me about the conference and since I was job-hunting, she insinuated that it was a perfect way to come across and link up with people who had what I wanted; a job. The program rounded off amidst chatters and giggles and a wave of familiarity stole the air. My friend had left before the end of the first session so I felt like an odd-ball.
Uncomfortable in my loneliness, I quickly removed my note pad from the table and tucked it in my bag, preparing to make my out of the 200 capacity conference hall before I appeared like a weirdo. Then a tall, strike man walked up to me with a broad smile. “Hello”, he said. “My name is Mark, do you work here”? He must have noticed how bizarre I looked.
My body language suggested that I was ready to leave so he offered to keep company with me as I stepped out. I fumbled for words as we walked side by side out of the hall. “I-I don’t work here” I mumbled at last. “Oh, great! So where do you work?” he asked. I confided that I was job hunting. He asked a few more questions, gave me his call card and asked me to call him. On Tuesday, the following week, I called Mark as decided and he asked me to appear at his office the next day for a job interview. I sighed as the call dropped. A ray of hope at last!
By 8:00am the next morning, I was in Mr Mark’s office. He wasn’t on seat but the receptionist told me he would soon be with me and left. I had checked myself in the mirror more than fifteen times, I was sure my looks were perfect. I chuckled as my eyes roamed through the large office… from the beautifully painted walls to an adorable glass cabinet at an extreme corner of the room. In another corner was an electric water dispenser. A black plate with a golden inscription on the table in front of me caught my eye.
It read “MARK OGBUEZE, BRANCH MANAGER” Oh really?
The door flung open unexpectedly and Mr Mark walked in at last after almost an hour of waiting in his office. He apologised and explained that he had to attend to some impromptu guests that were on official visit. He asked for my credentials and read with rapt attention. After a few minutes, he handed them back to me and rested his back in a way that informed me that he was about to talk.
He asked a few questions and explained that the only opening available was that of an office secretary. He needed someone to assist in organizing meetings, scheduling event, responding to phone calls and e-mails and performing other petty tasks. He asked if it was something I could do, of course I could. He further explained the working conditions and the salary package. They were fine with me. I was excited. Was that how easy it was to get a job? I thanked him and was soon on my way out of the office. I turned the door knob gently left and right unsure of which would open the door. “Adesewa”, Mr Mark called. I turned to find out why he called me. Then he said, “You are a very beautiful lady and I look forward to working with you. With that look on his face, his dropped jaw, dilated pupil, calmly toned voice and the way he locked his eyes, I sensed an unexpressed desire that left me perplexed. My heart raced. I knew there was more to the compliment. “Thank you sir” I muttered, stepping out of the door…
…TO BE CONTINUED