My first big betrayal was years ago. It altered something in me. It was a growing up of sorts.
I was working at my very first job after youth service. I helped set up an office (a VSAT agent). I was in charge of putting together a company profile and structure and also employment. I was to manage the office.
Now I did not have much experience but I had a little training on the kind of business and I was a fresh hot graduate that actually went to school.
We conducted interviews and I was very shocked at how difficult it was to find employable people.
A guy came.
He was wearing a threadbare shirt and dusty shoes that were well worn.
I looked at his CV, he had graduated over a decade ago and obviously from the CV had never had a stable job. He was older than me and he just seemed tired.
From our conversation, I felt he had basic background to be able to market our products… and of course because he was tired from walking round Abuja looking for a job, he obviously knew Abuja well.
To be honest the only reason I convinced my boss to hire him was because I felt sorry for him. There was another girl that I hired as a secretary. She was qualified and so from the interview, she deserved to get the job.
He was so grateful and I felt like I would make heaven for allowing God to use me to help this dude.
Naivety wearing gele.
So he was a marketer and his job was to scout potential clients and I as the manager would follow up on his leads.
He got a lead and I eagerly went to see the client. The man tried to head hunt me (as per sharp, eloquent gyel that I is… in Neduwazobia FM’s voice). He would not let up and also seemed very interested in our product.
I discussed with the operation’s manager and decided to give the man my CV as he requested so that I would still get his audience and persuade him to patronise us.
I printed the CV in the office and I took it to him.
My people na so drama start.
The guy that I hired and the secretary had seen the CV I printed; the printer was on the desk of the secretary.
See ehn, the guy was upset (I later found out) that if the business came through I would take credit. In the few months I had worked with this guy, I found out that he was mean, cantankerous and insubordinate. We would argue about everything and was always challenging my authority because he was older than me.
Now the guy and the secretary secretly copied the CV and got in touch with my Boss who was rarely in Abuja. They told him that I spent all my time looking for jobs and distributing CVs. They even had the proof… my CV.
They were probably upset with me. I was Oga madam that had finished youth service a few months ago. I had a company car and driver. I also had the office cash to disburse to scout for business.
I was blissfully unaware.
My boss came into town unexpectedly. He accused me and redeployed me to Jos. I became a staff that was just hanging. Did not even have a seat. I begged him, explained to him…. for where!
He would even say
“But I have not sacked you…”
After a month of hanging and knowing that it was deliberate to get me to resign, I resigned and accepted the job offer from the other client.
I know they may have felt justified when I went to work with him but at that point, I did not care. It was not my initial intention but situations had changed.
Luckily I did not stay long there, I got a MUCH better job.
But the sting of that betrayal and how unexpected it was followed me.
Colleagues can be evil. When ambition means war and they will scheme you out of what you have earned.
I am very careful with colleagues and even when my heart keeps tugging at me, I listen to my head.
Some sob stories are just a ruse to blind you from using your head.
That was how I got talking to a trader who lost all his shops when the Jos Main Market was bombed. Na jeans I go buy but I like to gist and the guy liked to talk.
I prodded and he spoke about how his fiancé left him when he lost everything. Her family that had been supportive started treating him like he was a bother.
He spoke with fresh pain.
He started all over and as at then had two shops. He claims she came back but he did not accept her.
He hit his chest as he vowed to me that he would NEVER let anyone treat him that way. He said he would never love that way.
I just kept thinking, we spoil each other for each other.
When we are there for people who would stab us at the back without a second thought.
Trust destroyed is hard to regain and it makes us wary of trusting.
But I will tell you something in the hope of encouraging you to do good because good is always good, nothing diminishes it.
A few years ago, I was visiting the UK, I was pushing my son’s stroller in a quiet neighbourhood. A man was coming with two of the most beautiful massive dogs I had ever seen.
I smiled in his direction and said
He scowled and ignored me.
I wanted the ground to swallow me. I felt blood sprinting to my face and in that moment I regretted complimenting him. I felt stupid.
I even palmed my forehead..
Stupid stupid stupid.
But in that moment while I was vowing to myself that I would never compliment a stranger. A thought occurred to me.
I did not do anything bad.
It was nice and friendly of me to say something nice to a stranger.
He was the unfriendly one.
He was the one that heard a compliment and chose to ignore me.
I was not stupid, I was a nice person.
My people, whatever the response is to a good thing, a good thing still remains a good thing.
Nothing diminishes that.
Do good because it is good. Because you are a good person.
Do not make people or situations alter the person that you are
(but be careful around colleagues sha….)
p.s I have forgiven that guy because life actually became better when I left that job. But if you know him tell him to stop sending me all kinds of requests to join my social media circle. Only a snake charmer or and ‘oyinbo’ will voluntarily carry a snake into his house. And I, Biodun Nkwocha alias Obiageli Fire am neither a snake charmer nor an oyinbo.
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