Today, I had a job interview by 9:00 a.m. at a prestigious engineering firm. By the looks of the sun streaming through my bedroom curtains, it was afternoon already! Why had that stupid alarm not woken me up?
7:28 a.m., it read on the screen.
I heaved a sigh of relief; a race to the bathroom and thirty minutes later, I was ready. I whispered a prayer for success and favour and dashed out.
Opulent. That's the only way I can describe the office's interior. Even the air smelled rich! The thick, luxurious carpet beckoned to my feet, asking them to strip and wiggle.
My nervousness increased with the scornful sidelong glances I got.
Concealing my fear, I went up to the very officious-looking receptionist. I displayed all the visible top half of my dentition, and politely asked her where I could get a chair, since I didn’t fancy standing.
“Babe, where did you find a chair?” asked a young lady who stood beside me.
“That one?” she asked, pointing with her nose and pouted lip. “She’s been doing strong face since we came o! I don’t know that she can talk sef.”
I shrugged, and she went off to try her luck.
Some had made friends, some were still solo; others had gone in and then left.
I and a guy named Maurice, who had a fantastic sense of humour, were surrounded by a circle of applicants. We told jokes and funny stories. Even the receptionist joined in.
One of the applicants had memorized the aims and objectives of the organisation and intended to recite it to the panel.
Some had recommendation letters and complimentary cards from prominent people. They laughed when Maurice and I mentioned that...
“Miss Enoidara Ufott,” the MD’s secretary suddenly called out.
She was the majordomo who ushered in every person to the interview panel.
Everyone cackled; Maurice gave me a thumbs up sign.
I was led to a room even more lavish than the reception. Three men and two women were seated in front of a long table at the far end of the room, shuffling papers and conversing.
“Please sit,” said the man in the middle. He appeared to be running the show.
“Tell us about yourself,” said the Man-In-Charge.
I cleared my throat and rambled off three sentences that began with my full name and ended with my love of nature.
This came from the lady at the far right. Thick-lensed glasses, tightly pulled back hair, a square jaw and a no-nonsense look.
“I may not be qualified on...
“Are you willing to travel on short notice?” she asked.
This was the period of Ebola. I watched, unsurprised, as the members of the panel cautiously shrank back. I raised my hand in a quasi-apology until the fit was over.
“Thank you, sir.”
“Are you sure you don’t have Ebola?” the other lady asked. A slight smile flitted across her lips.
“No, ma’am. I passed the free test,” I replied.
“At the Transcorp Hilton, sir,” I replied.
“At the entrance, the doorman points one device at your head to check for Ebola. Since it didn’t go off when it was pointed at me, I’m assuming I don’t have the virus.”
Then the panel burst out in raucous laughter. From that point on, the interview sailed smoothly.
As I got up to leave, the Man-in-Charge put out his hand for a handshake.
“We’ll get back to you,” he said, with a grin as I turned to leave.
“Young lady, have you considered a career in stand-up comedy?” asked the only man who hadn’t spoken since the beginning of the interview.
And thus ended another job interview.
I did not get the job.
I found out his name was Nathan Suswam. He asked me to be the compere at his daughter's birthday party.
Then his wife asked me to be the MC at her friend's retirement bash.
Then her friend introduced me to another friend.
History, is the rest.
Thank you for taking the time to read this short fictional story by Eketi Edima Ette.
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