On Monday of the following week, Kemi’s call was the first call I received after when my alarm woke me up, she called that early morning to remind me of the money for her laptop which she asked from me earlier. On getting to the office, our supervisor bumped into our morning meeting to remind us that the project will be ending in two weeks’ time, he told us that the last lap was the best time to express the best of our services to the bank, especially those people who would want to be retained after the project. He talked about some errors he detected in the previous week’s work and urged us to go back to our works and rectify all the errors before escalating to the superiors where there would be no remedy.
During break time, Betty also called to tell me that she would be rounding up in three weeks’ time and I was so happy, she also told me that she wanted to relocate from her present city to another city because her daddy might decide to trace her to the place, she told me that she and henry have been making plans for job over there that would be giving me at leasta million naira per annum income. I was so happy on the phone that I started praising and appreciating her, she asked me if I was through with the international passport processing and I replied her that it should be ready in a week time maximum as I had already done the biometric and data capture. She asked of Adebimpe and also asked me if I had visited her again after the last visit to the hospital when she had a miscarriage, I apologized to her that I had not have the time to visit but I always call to check on her almost every day. I left the office for the canteen after the call to have a lunch, Segun and I also had sessions of chat during the period I spent at the canteen and on getting back to my office, I had received a communication message in my outlook that all project team leads are to wait behind for a meeting with the management after the close of business for the day.
At the close of business for the day, I was on my seat while every member of my team was leaving one after the other. The last person to leave was Benita because she always helping me with daily reports sometimes when I couldn’t finish them on time. After we were through with the report for that day, Benita noticed that I was sitting down comfortably and she enquired about why I wasn’t going home and I replied her that all team leads were told to wait behind after the close of business. On hearing this, she threw her bag away to one side of the office and pulled a chair close to me, sat down and began to ask questions.
“ Onihaxy, you mean all team leads were told to wait behind?”
“ Onihaxy, I think I know the reason for the meeting”
“ our supervisor came in the morning to inform us that we have two weeks left”
“ I think the meeting is all about nomination for permanent contract”
“ Onihaxy please, my life is in your hands oooooo”
“ please don’t forget me in your kingdom oooooo”
“ I beg of you Onihaxy, I need this job badly, I am tired of posting CVs all around”
“ don’t forget to nominate me ooooooooo”
“ I promise you b—-t milk dear”
I just laughed out loudly as she was asking me those questions and I replied her that the meeting wasn’t for nomination, it was for the correction of errors detected in our works like what the supervisor told us earlier and to strategize on how to finish the entire project at most three days before the rounding up of the project so as to give room for proper inspection and reports. Her mood changed instantly and she picked up her bag and walked out of the office.
I also left the office immediately and I went to the meeting venue, I met some of the team leads, Funmilayo, our supervisor and some other top management staffs there and others joined us later. The meeting started with a short prayer before proceeding to the business of the day. The management appreciated us for a good job well done and they admonished us to keep the spirit high for the remaining two weeks, they talked about some of the errors found in our team members’ work and urged us to make sure all errors are been rectified. we all deliberate on an easy and fastest way to meet up with the project target on or before the next week Wednesday, every team member started bringing up ideas including me until we all reached a conclusion to adopt some steps and methods. Lastly, the management told us that there will be space for eight people to be retained after the project and since we have a total of four teams, it means two people will be retained from each team. they told us that they have the records and reports of every project team staffs on the excel which they will work with, but since we are the one closer to them than the management, we are too nominate two people each in terms of good attitude towards work and good team-spirit. We were told that the nomination would end on Friday. So, we have just four days to submit our nominations and we were warned that we should not select people based on favoritism, relationship or tribe as the managements will do cross examination on every nominee before concluding on the selection. We were told to keep the meeting and discussion confidential and that they must not hear any gossip about it. The management promised to sanction any team lead who defaults all the laid down terms and conditions, the meeting ended and I went home.
On getting home, Kemi called me to inform me that she had been calling my number since and it wasn’t reachable, she further asked me maybe she should send her account number to me or come to my house to collect the money. I smiled and told her that I was unable to borrow from anybody as almost everyone close to me also operate on contract savings, after several pesters and teasing from Kemi, I promised to send N5,000 to her the following day as that was all I could afford at that moment, she grumbled and begged me to add to it as the amount was very small compared to the amount she needed, I then told her to wait till whenever I could get a bigger amount and I will send everything at once. It seems she wasn’t cool with that option and also wanted to be on the safer side, she told me to send the N5,000 and that she would be expecting the rest later. I requested for her account number and promised to send it immediately.
After she dropped the call, an sms came in few minutes later containing her account number and a plea that I should please help her with about N30,000 to N40,000 so that she could get the laptop on time and resume for her professional trainings. On seeing the message, I got angry and I shouted.
“ look at this stupid girl?”
“N30,000 to N40,000 for what?”
“ just how many days after seeing her again?”
“ what did she even take me for sef?”
“ Do I look like an ATM to her”
“infact, she won’t get the N5,000 again not to talk of getting higher than that”
I deleted her text out of annoyance and also delete her contacts from my phone that night before finally going to bed.