“Madam, beans don cost.” Felicia explained to the woman in front of her stall.
“No be last week I buy one derica ₦150? How the price come be ₦170?” the lady whose makeup was way beyond clownish replied.
Felicia sighed, she had initially mistook the lady for a mad woman due to the different combinations of colours on her face. With the way the lady was bent on starting a tug of war, she was convinced that the lady had gone bananas.
The price of beans had risen for over six weeks, most traders sold theirs for ₦180 and here was someone insisting on paying ₦150.
“Madam, no vex but na ₦170 last,” she replied, the lady left the shop murumuring words that Felicia could not fathom. She was about to sit in the interior part of the shop when somebody called.
She came out to discover it was the female clown.
“Aunty, sell am ₦160 for me now,” the lady said with a mischievious glint in her eyes.
Felicia lost it at that point, “Madam, I say he no gree, shooooo, infact I no sell again, dey go,” she shouted.
The lady left immediately while laughing. Felicia shook her head, she pitied the lady but she prayed the lady would not return to disturb again.
She sat back in her shop and was about to eat her food when somebody said, “good afternoon” from outside. She cursed silently, why would the lady come to disturb again?.
She stood and was about to shout ‘go away’ but the words disappeared when she discovered who her visitor was.
The more he approached the manager’s office, the more he dreaded the outcome of him meeting with the manager. The manager hardly summoned members of staff to his office which implied that something was wrong.
He had logged out of facebook chat when Halima had called to inform him about the manager wanting to see him in his office. He knocked on the door and went in.
“Good day Sir,” he greeted while trying to sound confident. Deep within him, he was nervous since it was a meeting with the manager.
“Mr Oladele, have your seat, there’s no need to be nervous now. Is there?” the manager asked, it was obvious he knew the effect he had on employees, despite the fact that he was not the highest authority, his subordinates regarded himwith great awe.
He passed information through phone calls, letters and mostly had meetings in the board room. A tête-à-tête with him meant you were in trouble.
The manager laughed, he knew Femi was in no trouble, he simply wanted to explain some things to him but the nervous expression on Femi’s face was amusing.
“Joking apart, you have nothing to worry about, I just want to explain something to you,” he continued.
Femi relaxed a bit, “Okay Sir, its just that this is quite unusual.”
The manager nodded in the affirmative, unusual was a very suitable word, he thought.
“Well Mr Oladele, today marks the end of the month and from the company’s records it equally marks twenty two months of your stay in this company.
Femi regarded the expression of the manager, why was the man driving at?
“I’m sure you are aware that senior staff are given one month leave after they must have worked for eighteen months,” the manager continued while tapping his ballpoint pen on his desk, “twenty two months and you are yet to go for your leave, may I ask why?”
Femi heaved a sigh of relief, so this was the reason the manager summoned him, “sir, I’ve never really considered it,” he responded.
“So you’re a typical workaholic, well Mr Oladele according to company’s policy, if after you are qualified for leave and you delay for a maximum of five months. Automatically you forfeit the chance of going on leave.
Which simply means that starting from tomorrow which marks your twenty third month, you automatically lose the chance of going on your first leave and the next chance you get is till eighteen months after your first leave was due.”
The manager threw a form towards Femi’s direction, “I really don’t see what you’re going to lose, you’d be getting your complete salary afterall. Just take the break, my opinion though.”
Femi collected the form and was about to speak when the manager continued, “Remember today is the only time you have to make a decision, what you choose to do is entirely up to you.”
“Okay Sir, thank you, I’ll just take my leave.” Femi replied. The manager nodded his head and waved his hand in a motion that told Femi he could leave.
Femi walked back to his office while different feelings enveloped his mind. How would he survive without coming to work? His manager wanted him to die of boredom but the thought of getting his full salary without having to work was appetising.
Before he had gone to see his manager he had been chatting woth Tony, Tony had been his roomate back in his university days.
*my phone typing capacity is messing up this story, I have abt four hundred and something words left for the first part of this chapter, but I can’t post it…I’ll update it in a different post*
Thanks…ff on twitter @stephanykul