My first day at work.
I’m nervous. Am I overdressed? Under dressed? Will the people there be normal or will I have to break out evil ass Mena by lunch time? Nah! I’m sure everyone will be cool. This is my chance to be the new and improved me. Friendly, efficient, go getter with killer taste. Speaking of which, maybe 5 inch tasselled sandals are not appropriate for work.
Quick shoe change and I run down the stairs before my mum can stick her head out of her room to examine my outfit. She’s already given me a lecture about how I must make sure my desk is strategically positioned next to the MD’s office so all his rich, attractive clients can see me. I chose not to say anything during her “How to nab a man in the work place” lecture. I just smiled and nodded at the appropriate places whilst trying to watch “CSI Miami” over her shoulder. She made some obscure comment about seeing me off to work the next day, so I made a mental note to wake up mega early and avoid the trauma.
Yep! I made it downstairs and no sound of her moving around. Cool the drivers waiting already. I open up the front door, jump in and shout “Drive! Drive! For the love of God drive”.
I need to get out of here before she wakes up and ruins my day.
“Why are you shouting like a lunatic” says an all too familiar voice from the back seat.
My heart sinks. Damn these tinted car windows! How the hell did she get down here without me hearing her? Did she sleep in the friggin car?
“Good morning Mother”
“Isn’t that what you should have said before you started shouting at the poor driver like you pay his salary? Where are you running too? Or is it me you’re running from?”
“No. I just didn’t see you there. Sorry”
“How will you see when you’ve buttoned up your jacket all the way up to your nose? Are you cold? Or are you channelling Maria from Sound of Music?”
“No mother it’s a Victorian inspired jacket with a high collar. It’s supposed to be buttoned up all the way”.
“Really? Sorry Queen Victoria’s daughter. I can see you did not listen to anything I was saying yesterday. So are the men supposed to use x-ray vision to see what God has given you or have you just decided to remain celibate en? ”
“Mother please. It’s my first day at work and I want to look professional. So can we just go instead of arguing about silly things? I don’t want to be late. Tony please let’s start going”
“What are you doing?"
“I’m driving ma” says Tony in a perplexed tone. He glances at me with a look that says "These rich people have come again with their funny funny questions. Abi I no be driver? So wetin I go do with moto apart from drive am?"
“Did I tell you to drive?”
“No ma but small madam say…”
“Na small madam dey pay your salary?"
“No ma but…”
“Will you come on stop this car before I send you back to your village”.
“Yes Ma. Sorry ma” says Tony throwing me evils as the car comes to a grinding halt.
“You, get out of my car”.
For a moment it doesn’t click who she is talking too. Tony and I look at each other and it’s not until she smacks me upside the head that we both realise she meant me.
“Mum! What did you do that for? Ok! I’m sorry if I was rude but please can we just go? You’re going to make me late for work”.
“I said get out of my car. You are obviously enjoying my leather seats and AC too much. Maybe after you have waited half an hour in the sun for a taxi you will feel the need to unbutton your Christopher Columbus jacket. Oya! Masa masa….out”.
My first thought was “Forget this”. I’m not unbuttoning anything. I’ll bloomin well walk to work if I have too. I don’t need her.
Mena you want to walk where? In your brand new Fendi double platform Mary Jane’s? Not to mention what the heat will do to your newly coiffed bob. You better show the woman some boob and get back in the car.
“Fine mother. You win. I’m an ungrateful child who is ruining your life by not running around naked in order to entice men into our family. Look I’m unbuttoning the jacket. Are you happy now? Can I get back in the car and go to work or would you like to get me fired on my first day so I can become totally dependant on you and daddy”?
"Take off 2 more buttons and then you can get in the car."
Honour thy father & mother. Honour thy father & mother. Honour thy father & mother. Honour thy father & mother. Honour thy father & mother. Honour thy father & mother. Honour thy father & mother.
“Ok Tony, now you can go.”
Finally at work now and I’m slowly starting to realise that all may not be well(Today is so not my day). Instead of the glass fronted architectural beauty the brochure that came with my contract promised, I am standing in front of a dilapidated building with more holes in the driveway than a golf course (Ye! My shoes don finish. How the hell am I going to navigate this assault course?). Forget the pot holes for a minute…What is that smell? Oh! That would be the overflowing drains to my right or no, wait; it just might be the land fill to my left. Lord are you punishing me? Having to live with that unstable woman called my mother is punishment enough; please don’t let this be my office. Ok, I’m going to be calm. I will not immediately storm in there and demand compensation for the emotional torture caused by misrepresentation of their building. Maybe it’s better inside. Maybe I will still have floor to ceiling windows with a stunning view of the river.
Wrong again Missy. Turns out I will be sharing an office space with 5 other people. This was not in my contract. I am in a corner with no phone or computer and someone has carved “Boli is A OK” on my desk. I have no floor to ceiling to windows. In fact I have no windows at all. But I do have a perfect view of the desk across from mine which I suspect is now occupied by the boli loving culprit as he is chomping away on one whilst grinning insanely at me.
I am given a pen, a pad, some loo roll and a stern warning never to request for stationery unless my life depends on it. I am also told to guard my loo roll like Fort Knox as I will only get 1 a month. On asking why they just didn’t put loo rolls in the ladies like normal people. The Stalin of Stationery Ville bursts into uncontrollable laughter and walks away without even answering the question. Hmmm…I wonder? Could they somehow have got wind of my stationery pilfering back at my old ibi ise? Nah! I’m sure there’s another reason for it.
I sit down and try to make myself comfy at my new desk. Before I can even arrange my pad and pen in a straight line, Boli Lover has perched himself at the edge of my desk and is still grinning insanely. The guys starting to freak me out.
“So who do we have here? What’s your name sweetheart?” he says rubbing his greasy boli hands on his already scary looking trousers. Great! Just my luck to be stuck with someone who is obviously allergic to basic hygiene.
I give him the once over…it’s highly unlikely this guy has a higher position than me. The unmatching jacket and pants don’t say Snr. management but then again you never know so I’ll put bitchy ass Mena back in her cage until I know better.
“Hi! I’m Mena”.
“Nice name. I’m… (We shall refer to him as Boli Lover).Welcome to our little family. Over here on your right is …"
Bad Weave Girl– The only other girl on the team. Her weave is the scariest thing I've ever seen. It’s like 4 different colours and lopsided, so it looks like it’s trying to escape from her head. What is it even made of? Is it hair or recycled tyre fibres? She’s done nothing but stare at my handbag since I walked in here. If she strained any harder to see the label her head might just snap off her damn neck. Hey sweetie don't bother it ain't from Balogun. I can already tell that we so ain't gonna get along.
Mioaw Mena! Aren't we in bitchy drive today? Now I think we all know a bad weave doesn't necessarily equate into a bad person. She could be lovely.
Shut up brain. I've told you not to interrupt with pointless observations when I'm busy hating on a fellow sister. Now who's next.
Ladies Man – Not bad looking and he knows it. Trying to give me sultry I’m not interested in you looks but I ain’t buying it(I've looked round the office. The talent in here is minimal. I'm like rain after the drought brother, so get over yourself and admit defeat. You want me). Neither is Bad Weave chick by the look of things. Her focus has shifted from my bag to his face and she ain’t happy. Seems we have a little case of unrequited love going on here.
Happy Chappy – He seems harmless enough. All grins like a little Chipmunk. Seems to have a thing for singing Fuji songs as he types which might become slightly annoying after a while but I think I might get on with him.
Finally there’s Grumpy – He’s actually runs this little kingdom called my dept. He nods a greeting, plunks a bunch of reading material on my desk and informs me that I need to go through them as we have a meeting in 2 hours. Gee, just chuck me into the thick of things why don’t you? I better get started.
"Hey!!!!! Where did my pen go"?
I look around and everyone is pretending to be busy and seemingly ignoring the fact that my pen, which was on my desk 2 seconds ago, has now vanished into thin air. No one else has been in the dept so it's obvious that one of my new colleagues is a tad light fingered. In a panic I check under my desk to make sure my bag's still there. Phew! That's a relief but looks like I'll be visiting Stationery Stalin sooner than expected. This is not good. With my loo roll safely in hand, my bag on my shoulder, I head towards the stationery cupboard with a prayer in my heart that I'll make it back alive.
Welcome to ibi ise Niaja style.