Trouble in Paradise
By Mary Odiong
It was my interview morning. I ran down the street as fast as my legs could carry me looking for a taxi. I was late, very late for my interview. I couldn't blow the opportunity off. After praying to God for a long time to get an office job, I landed at one.
The company wasn't a bad choice of place to work. It was perhaps the best place for me as at then. The pay was good, one that could put food on my table, clear all my debts and let me quit my other side-hustles.
"I'm sorry, please excuse me, " I demanded politely as I ran into a few people on my way. It couldn't be helped. I was trying to make up lost time, which apparently, I didn't have much of a chance, because in front of me were a few people walking as sluggishly as they could. So, apology was more of a habit.
Although I knew running late was partly by fault. I had gotten home late from work, as tired as I was I had little time to sleep since I had an interview in the morning
What could I say? I wasn't much of an alarm person. Yeah I am never easily woken by an alarm. It must have rung for awhile and stopped on its own. I jumped out of bed after checking time on my phone. As soon as I turned on my bed I noticed a ray of sun peeping into the room through my curtain. I came home so tired and fell on my bed without even having my bath or changing into my pyjamas.
Realizing there wasn't much time left for the interview, I quickly brushed my teeth and washed my face, I took anything I could reach in my wardrobe. The thing is, I wasn't much of an organised or neat person. I couldn't quite combine colours for a perfect outfit so I wore anything I felt was fancy enough for an interview.
I searched really hard for my favorite grey shirt; found an old black skirt which seem appropriate for office work and put it on. As I tried hard to quickly zip it up, I noticed a slight rip beside the zip. I stomped my foot angrily at the immediate frustration.
I thought of taking it off but there was no time and besides, I was going to put on a sweater which would cover up the small rip, which I did. I picked up my favourite shoes for special occasions and a shoulder bag and rushed out.
"Mum, today is the interview day I told you about. Please I need your blessings. I need you to please ask God to make this day perfect. I really need this job, okay? I love you and see you later", I said before rushing out and quickly locking the door behind her.
I ran towards the road for a taxi, dusted my shoes as soon as I took a seat .
I ran up the numerous stairs before standing in front of the entrance of the hall. I took in a deep breath before I noticed my reflection in the glass door in front of me. My hair was a mess, I quickly brought out a band from my bag and brushed my hair with my fingers before packing it into a better appearance. Satisfied I ran into the building. I found out the inside was more beautiful than the outside.
I've heard so much about the company and I never imagined I would step into the building someday . What caught my attention the most were the men and women dressed officially in beautiful suits. Not even one paid attention to me. I dreamed more than anything to own an ID just as they did, which some hung around their neck and others pinned to their suits.
I snapped myself from dreams and rushed to the reception.
" Hello, my name is Karen, I'm here for the interview..."
"You are late, " the young woman said nonchalantly without looking up to me.
"I know and I'm sorry but..."
" I suggest you go back home. Mr Pat hates tardiness and you're a candidate for that, " she responded without still looking up at me. I shook my head as I drew a strange smile on my face.
" Don't you think Mr Pat should say that to me and not you?"
" It is a piece of advice", she said.
"Hey, miss!" I called the receptionist's attention a bit louder than earlier as I stomped my hands on her desk.
The lady stared hard at me. I was glad to finally have her attention .
" I still have about ten minutes till the interview is over so before the time runs out, I suggest you please do your job and lead me to the the waiting room. You have no idea how far I've come to get to this point so don't you dare ask me to turn back... Please", I ended politely to make things sound better and I added a smile as I noticed the shocked stare the lady gave me.
"Fine," the receptionist expressed reluctantly as she got to her feet and walked around the table to where I stood.
" Don't say I didn't warn you later on, " she told me as she stuck a sticker on me with "49 candidate " written on it.
I smiled happily at my victory as I followed behind the lady all the way to the elevator.
"You better make that second to the last." The lady said to me as we stepped into the waiting room . " The last one is here and she's really stubborn," The receptionist told the fair lady at the waiting room as soon as the last candidate left.
"Good Morning ma, my name is Karen M..."
" You are late”, the fair lady interrupted my introduction with a straight face.
"That was what I told her, but no, she wouldn't listen." The receptionist backed up.
"I know, but please, there's still time. I need this job. Please give me a chance "
"Listen young lady that is not my call. Mr Pat hates tardiness..." Sorry ma, I interrupted.
" Look young lady, I would have love to help you, but my hands are tied. I called your name earlier and you were nowhere to be found so I ticked 'absent' . He has a copy of the candidates list and the person in there is the last on the list. I'm sorry but it's best you leave now...
(To be continued...
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