Majority had been in panic.
Elijah was among few in the Marketing
department that were not scared by rumors that spread around the company…rumors that layoffs were going to take place as the result of ongoing global financial crisis. His experience and hard work had been too obvious for his bosses not to
take notice. Twice in the past year he had been recognized with an employee-of-the-month award, and just last October he had been promoted from being a supervisor in Sales Section, to Deputy HOD, with his salary being more than trebled.
So, that Monday morning after he'd received a phone call from HRM office, Elijah guessed there was another good news coming. He gingerly walked into the HR office and cheerfully greeted some of the personnel, before he walked in to HRM cabin.
"Morning, Madam!" Greeted Elijah as he stepped his foot inside HRM cabin. His eyes flashed first on her broad classical desk that fitted well with the
decor of the neatly-polished space, before they climbed up to her light purple satin blouse that fitted well on what seemed like unadulterated bosom which made Ms. Ritha Gakere look a decade-and-a-half younger than her actual age of 45.
"Morning, Elijah." A dark-skinned Kenyan lady, Gakere, had her slender back leaned against a brand-new reddish brown leather throne. "Please have a seat."
Elijah took the hard stacking chair that had replaced the usual plush guest chairs, a total contrast to hers. In just two months at the company, Ms. Gakere already had made more
enemies than friends. Well, as the script goes, several guys had crushes on her, but nearly every woman hated her.
"I am sure you are aware that since the financial crisis begun, we have had to make certain changes here, in order to stay competitive in the market," As she paused, her hands ran shortly over her long black synthetic dreads that were pulled back in a strict ponytail. "It also means many have had to be let go of."
Elijah nodded a few times, in a mild
"It's predicted this crisis might go on for at least the next 18 months. And whilst the company is strong enough to continue making life comfortable for its remaining employees, those that leave might have a better prospect of finding meaningful employment in the near future." Ms.
Gakere preached, and paused to let her words sink in. Her long legs crossed over one another, exposing her shapely black leather pants to complement her already-cheating looks.
"Now, the bad news is, there is not going to be a position for 'Deputy Head of Marketing' until things pick up."
Elijah felt a thud in his heart. His upper body leaned forth. "You mean I'm being…?"
Ms. Gakere frowned as if confessing of the plot. "I'm sorry," Her face got sympathetic.
"This is impossible!" Elijah spoke through compressed lips. "I always thought that in this firm, you value good staff, and don't just let good
guys go in these sorts of situations..."
Ms. Gakere ran her fat, glossy lips over one another, "I personally think you are too valuable to keep, but this is for the best interest of the organization," Her voice became unusually polite. "And, um...you know, we always have to put company interests first."
There was something in her tone of voice that left Elijah pondering audibly, "What the hell is happening to me?" His hands gripped firmly on the chair to steady himself. "Why are you doing this to me?"
Ms. Gakere flinched, like someone expecting a jab in her stomach. Hesitantly, she slid the white envelope across the table. "You don't have to sign it right now." This time she avoided eye contacts.
"You may bring it any time before end of day."
He gulped, and paused for what seemed like eternity. "C'mon," He snapped himself back to reality and his eyes burnt directly into her glinting ones. "You can't do this to me!"
Ms. Gakere said nothing more. She was just staring at him.
Elijah thought for a moment, in an ominous bank of dark clouds. "What about--?" He started to say something, but decided against it. His insides still shook with shock and anger. He stood up, picked the envelope and shook her hand shortly. And, as their hands detached, Ms. Gakere kept on standing as she watched Elijah stumbling away from the chair, and towards the door, unsure of whether he had strength to make it back to his desk. She shook her head slightly before resigning
back to her elegant chair and lifted her desk phone. In gritted teeth, her inch-long glittering-purple nails punched the numbers.
Bwire Amos © 2012
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN