She strutted up the stairs, up to the first floor and before a reception counter handed over her card. The woman on the other end, barely looking up at this cherubic but ashen face due to over application of make-up, mumbled something between her teeth as she studied a list before muttering.
” Door 5 to the right.”
” Excuse me,” the new comer raised her brows because she wanted to be certain.
” Are you deaf? I said door 5, Angela!”
The older receptionist was now glaring behind her red rimmed spectacles,her eyes hot and hard like granite sparks. She knew this type who were a threat to her authority.
One glance at her face, vampire lips, a whiff of some cheap River Road perfume, copper coloured braided hair pieces tied in a pony tail behind her head, some silver studs on either ear, a white lacy top loosely holding sentry to her firm and sharp breasts, a grey tight knee length skirt that accentuated her backside and a green tailor made collarless blazer on top. The skirt was tubular with slits on either sides to allow movement of her well shaped long legs and the jutting proportions that confirmed fears of threats.
Her over a decade devotion with the struggling company as the only woman staff had made her a piece of attention. ” Some flower among thorns,” as some male customer had mischievously remarked once during the annual party where friends and customers were invited to share in the good fortune for a company that made profits in hundred of thousands.
Those were days when the boss and other male staff would party with her to wee hours,pinch her bottom and sing her praises, liberties she allowed because she was also young and adventurous.
As a pioneer in telephony and communication firm, there were road trips, emergencies and other high notch clients to be handled in twinkling of an eye and odd hours. And the company grew and it’s business expanded beyond one office in Nairobi’s Westlands, to other offices within the city, outskirts and other counties. A new breed of all knowing girls were absorbed, trained by her in the nitty gritty of operations and went to find their perches elsewhere. Others were in engineering and media skills but company survival and interpersonal skills remained her docket. And she was now pushed into reception with the new management as the company had changed hands. She missed the attention, the one the newcomer could obviously get and by the way, why was she dressed as if she was advertising herself?
Angela only cocked her head to one side in a gesture of defiance to the hostility of the receptionist and could have told her off but she remembered her mother had always said.
” People could be plainly rude to you, but be gentle and patient. Let them learn they were mistaken.”
Thus, she confidently sauntered to door 5 which was hidden among a series of doors along a clean and polished corridor that made the Platinum Telecommunications. She had been to the right colleges, acquired the correct academic credentials and after a year of waiting she had seen the advertisement tucked in a social wall and applied. This was among the many applications and with As in engineering telecommunications who wouldn’t give her a chance?
Their interview had gone smoothly with the usual mundane questions about her social life, childhood dreams, the current affairs and one cheeky question about her knowledge on finances. Nothing on professional qualifications was uttered as the panel gawked at her grades. She had managed anyway, and a week later she had received an SMS congratulating her for successful appointment as a trainee manager. She was dying to start the job, whatever it entailed, to buy herself credit, own clothes, fancy entertainment gadgets, assist her mother and relieve her from paying school fees for her siblings and being a Christian,she had God to thank for this opportunity to serve.
She got to the door and pushed. Inside there was another corridor with a raft of doors.
She was about to rap the Managing Director’s door when a cockish middle aged man breezed from the other end of the corridor. He was balding a little,wore a checked tie, starched shirt, grey trousers, shiny black pointed shoes and a brown belt that he hooked his fingers into a glimmering buckle bearing the company’s logo.
” Hi cute?”he said exuberantly, his eyes and airs obviously patronising. Angela chose to remain silent.
” You’re the new girl on the block? Shake my five.”
She wanted to ignore him, his wet hands (could becoming from the Gents) and rap the door and walk in and face the boss but the man’s stretched hand hovered before her. She coldly took it.
” I am Dave Siro, the company’s managing director. Let’s get in and you tell me where you want to start.”
Angela felt deflated. Her strut was gone as her knees turned jelly. She twisted the handle to the cozy office lined with cabinets, telephony cables, screens on walls, a huge magohany table with paper racks, several phones, laptops and four easy revolting chairs strategically positioned. The scene was breathtaking.
She stepped aside. As the managing director let the way in the receptionist was dragging up another dark- eyed swarthy and girl Angela had seen at the interview.
” I think there’s a mix up, sir. This one here is also Angela.”
There was a look of triumph in the receptionist’s eyes as Angela’s mouth dropped open in petrification.
© Alfred Nyagaka Nyamwange 2020