The Chronicles of Okiemute in Lagos
He tried to calm himself down in other to go through the documents clearly. The more he tried, the more ecstatic he became. As he was contemplating on how to relax his nerves and study the document, his phone rang. He checked who the caller was, and found out that it was Bola. It was at this point he knew that it was already 2:30 pm because Bola can’t call him until he has closed from school. The Barrister’s office was different from the board room, at least he was not undergoing screening again, so he received the call. “Hello Bola, how are you doing?”, he asked as he answered the call. “Guy which babe you dey try to impress when you dey form Queens English like dis?”, Bola asked teasingly. The truth is, Okiemute hardly speaks simple and correct English. He prides himself as a ‘Waffi’ brought up and sees pidgin English and all these street slang as his own official language. The only time he tries to speak Queens English aside academic settings is when he is about to introduce himself to a lady he intends to woo. So it was odd for him to be talking to Bola on the phone speaking Queens English and in a very formal way too. “I am in someone’s office bro, can we talk later?” Okiemute responded, trying to end the conversation. “And so”, replied Bola not ready to give in. “After all the phone is not on speaker, is it?”, he continued. “Anyway, I just want to ask if the whole screening went well? And to find out if the deal was fair? You know these established businessmen have a way of taming upcoming competitors with the disguise of helping them grow. Don’t forget Tu-Face and Kennis Music”, he added.
The last sentence got at him. He has to study this document carefully before he would sign his career crucifixion by himself. “I have been taken, but I am going through the agreement now before appending my signature”, he replied. “So how much did they offer you for the App or is it just the employment that you bargained for?” Bola kept asking for more details. “I am still going through the papers, I have not gotten to that segment. Just trying to study it according to the sequence”, Okiemute replied while yawning. “See this guy oooh, wetin concern you with the history of the company? My friend skip those boring bullshit and find the amount being offered for your App, the emolument and other welfare package attached for working with them”, he said incitingly. Okiemute flipped through the first two pages and read out the offer for him to hear. “Twenty million naira for the complete purchase of the App, including its patent right for a period of five years. After which a 10% of profits made from the App will be accrued to you the developer. You shall be placed on a six months probation in our head office as a trainee software developer with accommodation, a shared car with two other trainees, and a basic monthly stipend of a hundred thousand Naira. At the end of your probation, if the company finds it appropriate to have you, your position will then be regularised with an upgrade of your salary and other entitlements”. “So how you see am?” Asked Bola. “I don’t think the deal is a bad one, at least I can help mum and my siblings with the outright sales of the App, while still forging ahead with the six months probation”, he replied. “Well, if you say so. But don’t you think the sales of the App would have been enough for you to start your own tech hub and be your own Boss?”, Bola suggested. “My guy, there is more to learn here trust me. Even if I am to learn only the administration and how to market technological inventions in a country like ours, it is worth it. I would like to give it a try”, he tried to allay Bola’s fears. ” Well, I like the fact that there is an official car, at least you will be saved from being mobbed in Lagos for running away with someone else change”, he said teasingly.
Okiemute observed to confirm that the barrister who had walked out earlier on had not entered without him noticing. Then speaking in hush tones he said, “I know say if you never bring up that matter, your mind nor go come down. You need to see how worried I was when they tried your number during the screening exercise. I just could not trust you enough not to mention the incident with the way you were mad at me earlier today. And when you finally didn’t pick, I was greatly relieved!” Laughing hard and loud, Bola shouted from the other end, “So they were the ones calling me earlier today with one landline number? I did not even guess that it could have been from your side, I would have returned the call. Why you com dey fear? I nor fit burst my guy bubble na. Haba, on top wetin?” “But you know when it comes to morality, you can be something else, so I just couldn’t predict the outcome if they had reached out to you”, Okiemute replied still looking through the glass office to be sure that he was not been monitored. “But why dem call me? Wetin una talk reach there?”, he asked again, getting more interested in the gist. “Guy, I have to sign these papers and go back to the screening committee, when I get home, you will hear the full gist. Trust me, there is a lot to talk about!”, Okiemute responded, and ended the call. He flipped through the papers again and signed it. The deal was finally sealed!
As he stood up to leave the office, the Barrister walked in and asked if he was satisfied with the deal and the clauses attached? He affirmed that he was Ok with the clauses, and wondered why he felt there should be something he wouldn’t like. “Alright then, if you say there is no objection or questions, then we are done here”, the Barrister said, stretching his hand towards Okiemute for a handshake. They shook hands and he walked him out of his office into the tiny veranda that leads to the secretary office.
“Are you done with the legal unit?” asked the secretary, as he stepped into her office. “Yes, I am”, he replied. “Hope the deal was good?” She asked. He could not believe his ears, the food he is aiming to eat is now being offered on a player. When he was thinking about how to initiate a conversation with her, she is now the one kicking the ball. “Let’s keep the ball rolling”, he smiled within him. “What deal are you talking about?”, he asked feigning ignorance. “Well, I typed those documents, and I know every detail in there, so don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about”, she replied, falling for the trick. “A fair deal, I would say. It could have been better”, he replied nodding his head and gesticulating like a preacher. “Humans can never be satisfied. Do you know that some other persons got only trainee offer when they were taken? Since I got here you will be the second person after Mr Agbaje to have been offered cash for their App and employment same time, so you should know how lucky you are”. She said like a mother berating a child that refused to show gratitude after being offered a sumptuous meal that doesn’t look sumptuous to him. “Thanks for the info, I am grateful” he replied smiling at her seductively. “How long did it take you to design the App?” She asked, still trying to justify the offer made by the company. “I said I am grateful. Can you just notify them that I am ready?”, he replied to her, trying to end the moral lecture she was giving him.
“They are already waiting for you in the board room”, she replied him. He thanked her and left for the board room.
Timi welcomed him back, and asked if he was Ok with the offer? He affirmed once again that he had no issues with it. Then Linda cuts in, “hope you are aware that you can’t get married in the next five years while working with us?” His eyes popped out from its socket. “Five good years?”, he asked impulsively. “You didn’t go through the documents?” Agbaje asked, giving him a disgusting look. With what the secretary told him about Agbaje, he knew he was just being jealous of him, or sees him as a close competitor. So he has to avoid having a direct issue with him before he kicks him out with his links in the company. “Not really” he replied. “But I felt it shouldn’t be a rigid rule as life is dynamic and not stereotypical. So I never took it as a major concern”, he concluded. “We follow our laid down rules to the letter here”, Linda continued. “Hope you did not also assume that the rule concerning employees relationship in Furlong Technologies is also dynamic? We are professionals and we don’t approve any emotional relationships between our staff. So no room for love birds!” She said emphatically. He looked at the three of them one after the other and felt like crying. “I am just twenty-eight”, he said to himself, “staying single for the next five years is really no big deal, but not having the chance to play around these beautiful female staff, is a big blow”. He felt like asking them, “what if we have a fling without really getting emotionally attached?”. He took a deep breath, sighed and told them he was Ok with everything. It has been a long day, and all he wanted now was to go home.
“Welcome to Furlong Technologies”, said Agbaje with an outstretched arm for a handshake. He shook the three of them and was sent back to the secretary for documentation. He has been employed!
IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.
He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.
Among his published works are ‘What is Left of What is Right?’, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’ and ‘Warri No Dey Carry Last’.
He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.