I thanked her profusely for the beverage and a few sips later, I was feeling right and dandy, the cold seeping out of my bones.
After draining the entire cup but wishing I could have another, but not wanting to be too forward nor take her hospitality for granted, I approached her desk and properly introduce myself. During my coffee break I had figured that she had probably assumed I was a customer or client of the firm, hence her courtesy. I felt the need to clear the ground on the issue and maybe drop my resume and contact details for feedback, afterall, nothing ventured; nothing gained.
A bit nervous now, I explained myself in clear terms and my need to get away from the torrential downpour. I waited to see the inevitable change in her countenance after letting her know my employment status. Strangely, her serene outlook never waivered. She nodded with understanding, and before I could proceed to my next request, she asked me if I had any copy of my resume at hand. Not hesitating for an instance, I unzipped my leather document holder and handed her a double paged copy: I still had them in abundance. She proceeded to furnish me with details of the firm which happened to be into Information Technology and engaged in two main areas namely Software Development and Internet Marketing.
She also provided me with the company’s website and some magazines in which I could further obtain knowledge on their mode of operation and all I needed to know. I persuaded her to personally take my number so she could call me on a personal basis and inform me if anything came up. She seemed a bit skeptical at this request but thought the better of it, obliging me. She assured me that she would forward my resume to the appropriate department, but not after reminding me to send a soft copy to the firm’s mailbox as a backup move. I thanked my heavenly father for the professional IT course I took during my 1 year compulsory Youths’ Service programme. It would definitely increase my chances at working here. All that was needed was to show me the ropes and climb I would.
During the following months, I called her several times to get any useful information on recruitment as far as the firm goes but she informed me that nothing had come up but also reassured me that the Human Resources department had indeed received my application. I kept my fingers crossed on this one but kept job hunting all the same. Then one fateful morning while seating at home watching the early morning news in the apartment I shared with my college buddy (who had left for work), my phone beeped with the reception of a text message. I expected it to be one of those service messages from my mobile network provider. I had been receiving those quite often these days, but all the same I picked up my phone and checked it.
Who knows, this time it might just be different: and sure as hell it was. Blood rushed to my head as I read the message inviting me to an interview by Lodestar IT Solutions. Instantly, I got a pen and paper and recopied the entire message just incase anything happened to my phone and I might not be able to access the message anymore. There was an inquiry and feedback number in the message and I dashed outdoors to purchase airtime. I called in and confirmed the invitation. I made a point of dropping my name and details. The interview was in three days time, giving me ample time to prepare and gather all the information I needed. That afternoon had me back at the firm’s office building to see what necessary information I could garner to aid me and give me an edge over other potential candidates. Lola (as I had found out her name to be) was uncannyly helpful to me.
She directed me upstairs to the Human Resources Manager’s office but not without a burly security guard granting me entry with the use of his access card. Oh boy! See levels o! I no fit shout. Looking formal and neat in my freshly pressed shirt and pant trousers, I knocked on the door I was led to and entered. I met with a young lady who furnished me with as much information as was allowed of the firm and its operations. My inquisitive nature also was a plus for me because I garnered enough information from the lady who seemed pleasant enough. Also calling Lola discreetly at evening time for the next 3 days gave me an additional edge.
On the appointed day that would decide if I further stayed unemployed or joined the employed workforce, I was dressed to fit in my conservative black suit with a dark matching tie, armed with all the knowledge I needed and the proper documentation. Needless to say, I was the first candidate to arrive at the office. Of course Lola was at her station and welcomed me with a handshake accompanied by a toothy smile which said a lot. It was clear that I had been indeed favoured above my fellows.
When God butters your bread, he doesn’t just butter it with a knife. He melts the butter, immerses the entire bread in the melt, and then garnishes it with all the works, served with a delicious beverage. That’s exactly what He did that day. The total number of candidates invited for the interview totalled 24, and as I found out later, only 2 job openings existed. As our numbers increased as time passed, I got to meet other candidates who were invited as well. A few ladies swelled our ranks too. To my greatest surprise and joy, the HRM whom I met some days back oversaw the entire process and she welcomed me, and visibly flushed when I addressed her by her name when exchanging pleasantries. I was called in 12th (in alphabetical order).
I was drilled for about 30 minutes and though my saliva had dried up due to nervous tension related with job interviews, I kept talking. I couldn’t afford to fail this time. I called back several times to follow up, constantly bugging Lola with calls too. A month and a half later, I got a call from Lola, representing the organization; I was to come in that morning to pick up my appointment letter and resume work the following week. For 5minutes I jumped up and down the small apartment and even invited the neighbours who knew my state, and all rejoiced with me. My almost two years sojourn in the job market had ended. To God and secondedly Lola, I would ever remain grateful. God sure works in mysterious ways. Lola and I became tight friends, our relationship bordering on romantic. She had visited me several times at my place but nothing had happened. Yet.
Now exchanging small talk with her after clocking in, I proceeded to the door and with some fluorish, touched my identity card/access card to the scanner. The door popped open on recognition. Omo! See levels! God pass their papa! Climbing a flight of stairs, I proceeded to the Marketing department, spied my work station with some air of pride and satisfaction. Hanging my sports jacket in the rack inside the cloak room, proceeded to start my day. There wasn’t a soul present save for the cleaning crew busy at work. In a short while, I had a cool apple drink in my hand, the cold draft in the room begnning to cool my warm body and browsed through various news websites.
Slowly but surely, other staff members trickled in and before long, I was busy at my work, marketing e-products to clients and trying to advertise the company’s products. The job was a comfortable one and paid quite well, but I was looking to pass my probation period of 6 months, after which, I would see a substantial rise in pay accompanied by various attractive benefits.
At around 2 p.m just after my lunch break period, I received an sms from no one else but Chioma. I had temporarily forgotten about her and the message caused a warm feeling to spread through my chest. She was checking to find out how my day was going and wishing me a great evening ahead. I replied the message in the affirmative and made a mental note of calling her that evening after I felt she would have been home and well rested. I whispered a prayer which contained my faith-filled Creed, “Baba God thank you for everything. E don dey better small small o. And e go still better.”
Now I lie in bed, spent from my day’s labour but ever grateful to God. Body fueled with jollof spaghetti and eggs, my heart bursting with joy from the love taking shape after speaking with Chioma, things were sure feeling better. I pray my Creed even as fall into a deep but fulfilled sleep. E go better one day in Jesus’ name.