by Carl Uke
This is the second company Kachi would be visiting in a day to apply for a job.
He was already tired when he arrived at the gate of the company. A friend had told him about the job opening and he’d come as fast as he could.
He yawned as he walked into the premises and wiped the sweat off his face with a handkerchief.
At the company reception, he stopped to ask a man for direction, not knowing he was talking to the Managing director of the company.
‘Good day, sir,’ he greeted, extending his hand for a handshake.
‘Good day.’ The Managing director, Mr Hope, shook Kachi’s hand.
‘Please, how do I get to the Human Resources Department?’ Kachi asked.
‘It seems you’re here for the job opening?’
‘Yes,’ Kachi said. ‘I’m here to apply in person.’
‘Okay.’ Mr Hope pointed toward the staircase. ‘Go up the stairs and knock on the first door at your right.’
‘Thank you, sir.’
Turning to walk off, a passport photograph fell from Kachi’s file.
‘Look, a passport photo just dropped from your file,’ Mr Hope said, pointing at the picture on the ground.
‘Thanks,’ Kachi said. He bent to pick the picture.
‘Can I see the picture?’ Mr Hope asked.
‘Okay.’ Kachi gave the picture to him.
‘Is this your wife?’ Mr Hope asked, showing the photograph.
‘You can call me Mr Hope. I am the Managing director of this company.’
‘Wow! It’s nice to meet you, sir!’ Kachi was excited.
‘Applicants for the job will be interviewed next Monday. Please come
along with your wife to the interview, I’ll like to meet her.’
‘Okay, sir, I will.’
‘Make sure you do.’
Mr Hope passed the photograph back to him and walked away.
When Kachi was done at the HR department, he left the company with a glimmer of hope.
He was hoping to land the job so that he would put an end to the
financial crises he and his family had been experiencing for a while now.
He had been unemployed for close to three years after losing his
bank job. His kids had dropped out of school due to his inability
to provide money for their fees.
His wife, Uju, wasn’t making things any easier for him too. She always complained about his joblessness. She raised her voice at him at any slight chance she got.
On one occasion, Kachi had asked her for breakfast and she served him a lump of stone instead.
When he complained, she asked him how much he provided for food.
Uju was no longer the loving and caring wife she used to be back in the beginning.
On getting home, Kachi told his wife about Mr Hope’s request for her
presence at the job interview.
Hesitating for a while, Uju finally agreed to go along with Kachi.
On the day of the interview, Kachi was sitting at the company lobby and waiting for his turn to be interviewed when the receptionist came to tell him that the Managing director has requested for his presence.
He stood and followed her.
Inside the director’s office, he greeted, ‘Good morning, sir.’
‘Good morning, Mr Kachi,’ Mr Hope replied. ‘Where is your wife? I told you to come along with her.’
‘I came with her, sir,’ Kachi said. ‘She’s at the canteen.’
‘Fetch her at once please.’
Kachi left the office and soon returned with Uju by his side. ‘Sir, here is my wife, Uju.’
‘Good morning, sir,’ Uju greeted.
‘Good morning, Uju,’ Mr Hope replied. ‘I know you must be wondering why I asked for you to come along with your husband.’
‘Well, I’m here now. You can as well tell us why you requested for my presence,’ Uju said.
Mr Hope asked Kachi and his wife to sit down.
He adjusted his tie and began: ‘The job interview going on in the other room is merely a formality,’ Mr Hope said. ‘Mr Kachi, you will be interviewed as the rest of the other candidates, but I’ll be the one to make the final decision.’
‘I don’t understand, sir,’ Kachi said.
Mr Hope looked at a sheet of paper on his desk. ‘You are the twentieth person to be interviewed today. They’ll be calling you in soon. I am saying that after your interview with the human resources department, that, as the managing director of this company, I’ll be the one to finally decide if you’d get hired or not.’
‘Now I understand, sir,’ Kachi said.
‘Good. I will give you this job but on one condition,’ Mr Hope said.
‘What condition is that, sir?’ Kachi asked.
‘On the condition that you’ll allow me to sleep with your wife for just one night.’
Kachi nodded. ‘Thank you very much for the offer, sir,’ he said, ‘but sadly I’m going to decline.’
‘Mr Kachi, are you aware that this job will afford you 3.2 million naira per annum and that you’ll also get an official car. You can go outside for a few minutes and talk with your wife.’
‘It’s an enticing offer, sir, but I’ll not allow you sleep with my wife because of a job.’
‘So you are saying you are not interested?’
‘I’m not interested, sir. If you don’t have any further questions for me, I’ll take my leave now.’
Mr Hope stared at him. ‘No,’ he said. ‘That will be all.’
‘Thank you, sir.’ Mr Kachi stood and turned to his wife. ‘Uju, let’s go.’
Outside the company gate, Uju screamed at him, asking him why he let another man insult her and yet act cool with it.
‘What do you expect I should have done?’ Kachi asked her.
‘You should have slapped him!’ Uju barked at him. ‘Don’t you know that was the greatest insult of all and you are there calling him sir sir!’
At home, Uju packed her bags and left.
‘You are not just a poor man,’ she said to Kachi, ‘but also a coward.’
Kachi pleaded all he could, but Uju would not listen.
The next day, Kachi’s phone rang and he was told he got the job.
Carl Uke can be reached on Twitter @Ubernigerian.