“Mister Ken,” Adamu called. “Why were you not on seat yesterday?” He furiously queried.
Mr. Adamu Danjuwa was the Human Resources Manager (HRM) of Capricon manufacturing company.
Between late eighties (1980s) and early nineties (1990s), Capricon was undoubtedly a very notable firm across the federation that everyone, even an imbecile that existed within the stated period, could testify to the fact. Even beyond the period in question, Capricon Nigeria Limited as it was fondly called based on what was inscribed on its major signpost in line with its incorporation, never relented in making the general public and the society at large feel its impact to the extent that it was rated and widely recognized as the best among equals. To say the least, it never tolerated any excuses from its staff when it called for business right from when it was incorporated in 1985, June precisely.
The company, which was mainly into cosmetics production particularly soap, cream and perfume, understood that the consumers come first before any other person or thing. This was why their products which were popularly known as Danza soap, Danza Cream, Danza perfume as well as Danza body spray remained cosmetics that any rational being wanted to behold.
To assert that Adamu was one of the brains behind the prospect of the company is an understatement; Adamu who was one of the pioneer members of the firm, was one of the best three personnel, if not the overall best, the company could reckon with owing to his outstanding and brilliant contributions toward its enviable growth.
On his part, Mr. Ken Okafor who joined the firm barely a year back was a staff of the Marketing department. On that fateful day, he was being queried due to truancy; he couldn’t make it to the office the previous day as a result of circumstances beyond his control and Mr. Adamu Danjuma was really mad over the attitude. Ken was actually ill on that day, so he decided to take a rest without even making effort to notify the management.
“I was sick, sir.” He responded apprehensively.
He was standing directly opposite Adamu who was seated in his office.
Mr. Danjuma’s furious physiognomy was not really prompted by Mr. Ken’s absence but owing to the fact that the management was kept in the dark by the man in question. He absorbed the nonchalant act as a letdown which was tantamount to dismissal based on the company’s rules.
“Yes sir,” Ken replied, remained jittery. “I suddenly fell ill and there was no way I could reach the company.”
Though there was nothing like GSM during the era but Ken was meant to send a message across through any available means, probably a relative or friend. The fact was that he took the consequence of the act for granted.
“You amuse me, Ken.”
Ken quickly adjusted himself, stood still.
“To start with,” Adamu rode on. “Were you not supposed to be treated by the company’s clinic?”
“Sir, I didn’t even have the strength to…”
“Will you stop amusing me?” interrupted Adamu, kept mute. “If our staff don’t use the clinic, then what was the essence of establishing it?” he supplemented after a brief silence.
Ken remained speechless and calm.
“When you came into this company twelve months ago, February 1994 precisely if I am not mistaken,” Adamu rode on. “I painstakingly read the riot act to you.”
Ken became jitterier.
“And in that very act, you were categorically informed that this company doesn’t condone truancy or laxity.”
Ken who was dressed in corporate attire felt like defecating in his boxers.
“And as I speak to you right now,” Adamu proceeded fiercely. “I want you to know that you have abused that directive.”
At this juncture, Ken needed not a seer to disclose the fate that awaited his person.
“The most confusing part is that,” the boss said, paused. “You are yet to realize that you belong to one of the most sensitive departments in this highly reputable firm.”
There was maximum silence.
“It will interest you to know that,” he continued. “Since 1986 I joined this company till date, I have never for once missed my duty post.”
Ken couldn’t believe his ears.
“The records are there,” boasted the HRM. “You can check for yourself.”
“I am very sorry, sir.” Ken hesitantly dished out, lowering his head.
“There you go wrong,” Adamu chipped in. “In this company, you don’t rob Peter to pay Paul.”
“Sir, it won’t repeat itself.” He assured fearfully.
“Mister Ken Okafor,” Adamu called ruthlessly in a high tone, hitting his right hand on his table.
Ken became extremely attentive and perturbed on hearing the mode of the call.
“Give me one reason you shouldn’t be fired.”
At this point, Ken was actually seeing a totally different creature, which implied that the HRM had been speaking in a friendly manner all those while he was revisiting the company’s Act.
The unexpected oral query wasn’t just confusing and devastating but threatening; it was no doubt a rhetorical test no matter how clever the offender was. Hence, there was an undiluted tranquility.
“You can leave.” the angered boss instructed, demonstrating with his left arm.
Ken who was dumbfounded, stood still, appeared like an electrocuted gorilla.
“I said, leave my office.” shouted Adamu who was also clad in corporate attire.
Consequently, Ken complied, thus left for his office in the marketing department.
First thing in the morning the following two days being 15th February 1995 – barely one year after he received his employment letter, Ken got the sack having attended to the written query issued to him on the day he left Adamu’s office; he received the disengagement letter in his office from his Secretary.
The scenario yielded a very painful mood, but all he could do was to move on with his life; after all, life continued.
“What’s the name?” Mr. Steven verified as soon as one of the interviewees assumed his seat.
Steven was a member of the 5-man committee set up by the Management of Capricon to conduct an oral interview for their prospective staff. The company’s HRM, Mr. Adamu Danjuma was one of the members of the committee and happened to be the head.
That day being 2nd of March 1995 marked the commencement of the assessment exercise.
“My name is Olatunji Seun.” The interviewee replied.
Seun who walked in with a plastic file in his left hand happened to be the third applicant to be assessed by the team. The team was already with a copy of his Curriculum Vitae prior to his entrance, and they were perusing it right before him.
Something remarkable transpired on that very day; the moment Seun walked into the complex room, he observed that Mr. Danjuma’s face was very familiar, but on the contrary, the latter never recognized the former.
Adamu happened to be Seun’s course mate in the University of Ibadan (U.I) nine years back but the fascinating part was that Adamu was a dropout. He quit his studentship during his first year (100 Level), which was 1986, due to financial challenges.
He secured his job same year with a forged degree certificate but since his engagement with the company, he had never been found wanting in any way because of his natural brilliance.
While the interview lasted, Seun continued to look at Adamu who alongside his junior colleagues was dressed in the company’s white T-shirt, black jeans and black plain shoes, with a view that the man in question would reciprocate to the gesture, all to no avail. Hence, it became obvious to him that the boss didn’t recognise his face even a bit.
To be continued, please.
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