Ngugi admired his new decent haircut at the barber’s shop, he even smiled at his reflection in the mirror. He hardly ever left change but today kshs 500 was no big deal.
The barber was surprised as this wasn’t the Ngugi he knew. “Kwani umepewa promotion nini?” the barber asked in disbelieve.
“Utajuaje! Next time I might not pay though.” Ngugi said with a grin.
The barber smiled back. “Are you serious though?”
“Yeah! Believe it or not.”
He left the shop smiling. This was the new version of him since his boss uttered the words he had always wanted to hear. “You will be representing the company in this year’s international meeting.” Since that day, which was one week ago, everybody he interacted with from the soldier at his apartment’s gate to the lady who sold to him vegetables at the ‘kibanda’ could tell there was some change.
The letter confirming the official invitation was always on the small table beside his bed. He would check it and revise his points for the meeting on his personal computer. This opportunity motivated him to work even more hard. For the past three years, he had been working hard for this opportunity, proving through his results that he deserves the opportunity but without success. Everyone else in the company also worked hard for this once in a lifetime opportunity and only one person was selected every year.
Each company that was part of this meeting had two reserved positions; one for the president and the other for a representative from the company. These were companies from all over Africa and thus provided a great opportunity for one to showcase their professional potential and also maybe network. The meeting was held in the coastal city of Kenya ‘Mombasa’.
Ngugi wore his best white shirt, a black respectable trouser, and fuscous leather shoes. It was the big day. He was all geared up for the life changing moment. He packed his documents in a brief case and walked a 10 minutes walk to where he would take a taxi. Normally he would go to town using the public transport but today he couldn’t afford to maybe sit next to a mother with kids and luggage and be forced to help her or have his well polished shoes stepped on by another passenger.
On arrival to town, he realized he would be two hours early to the airport so he decided to have a lunch with his fiance which she was ok with, so she met him. 45minutes to the hour, he escorted her back to her workplace which was a bit down town then he would take a taxi from there to the airport.
Outside her workplace, they hugged and in the blink of an eye, his brief case was gone.
“What now! It has everything I’m required to present in the meeting.” Ngugi covered his mouth with one hand, his eyes wide open staring at the direction the man ran to. He had always heard of those individuals who grabbed items from people on the streets then rushed to narrower and darker streets where you couldn’t follow them. He hadn’t experienced it, so it remained a tale until today.
He knew his presence wouldn’t mean anything without the data as he was expected to present with facts and figures. Time check was 12:50. He boarded a taxi to the airport. As he sat in the back seat, his mind was on how to get back up data during his journey as he wouldn’t afford to miss the flight. All he had, for now, was the tablet he borrowed from his fiance and his phone.
Throughout the journey, he was very disturbed. He kept wiping sweat from his forehead, scrunching his face as he ran his hand on it. At one time the air hostess inquired if he was well.
When he got to the meeting and the workmate he had given his password to forward the data from his computer at work had not done so yet, his head was spinning. He couldn’t maintain composure one more second, he felt as though his oxygen supply was cut short. He had waited so long for this meeting but it seemed to turn into a nightmare .
When it was his time to present, his mouth kept opening and closing but no words could be heard not even by the closest person. He was sweating, hands shaking and the tablet fell from his hands. The cameras shifted to his company’s president. He shaking in anger, disappointment written all over his face.
“Sorry,” Ngugi said and sat down looking at the people around him as if he was just dropped in strange land. He remembered his boss’s words clearly “You slightly fail us, no negotiation.” How would he explain the events? Would he even be given time to explain? He dreaded his encounter with his boss.
“I’m human, I understand. That said, no more such opportunities for you.”
Ngugi could hardly believe the words coming from his employer’s mouth. How did she even know before he explained! That he would find out later. For now all that mattered is that he didn’t lose his job.
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