Julie locked the gate and entered the house.
“Yeoboseyo!” she greeted Hannah who was watching a movie in the living room.
“Huh..” Hannah chuckled.
“What’s up?” she asked .
“Nothing much, just tired,” Julie sighed as she slumped unto one of the chairs.
“Aishhh, you need to rest.” Hannah shook her head at her.
“I know,” Julie murmured as she stood up and walked to her room.
As soon as she got to her room, she undressed and dialed Dave’s number.
“Baby!” she grinned as soon as Dave picked the call.
“Fine.” She twitched her lips excitedly.
“Yup.” She bit her lower lip.
“You?” she asked
“OK.” She nodded her head. “Uhmm, I called to tell you that Dad asked you to see him at the office,” she explained.
“No, not tomorrow, it’s on Tuesday.”
“Yeah.” She nodded her head again.
“You’ll branch by my office too right?” she asked hesitantly.
“Hanhan!” She pouted.
“Awwn awwn.” She grinned.
“Oh, OK. Bye. Love you plenty!” She chuckled.
She sighed and stood up from the bed. She walked to her closet and searched through it before taking out a short office dress. She placed it on her body and stood before the standing mirror, checking it out. She smiled satisfactorily before dropping the dressing on the bed.
“It’s showtime tomorrow!” She smiled mischievously.
It was a bright monday morning. Julie’s alarm rang and went off at exactly 7:30am. She had intentionally set the alarm to ring late. She didn’t want to get to the office early, she wanted to get there late so that the employees would be caught unawares.
She stretched her body and stood up from the bed, kneeling by the bedside before saying her morning prayers. After she was done, she stood up and walked to the bathroom. She brushed her teeth and took her bath before walking out of the bathroom. She rubbed cream on her body, then she wore her undies and the flared red gown she had ironed the day before. She zipped up the gown and wore a pair of beautiful pearl earrings and a silver bracelet on her wrist. She combed her hair and fastened the end in a bun. She touched her face slightly with make up and applied lip gloss on her lips, spraying cologne on her dress. She then took a high-heeled black shoes and wore it. She took her silver wristwatch from the chest of drawers by her bedside and fastened it on her left wrist. She checked the time; 8:40am.
She carried a black channel handbag and took her purse from the dressing table before thrusting it in her bag. She took her car key and headed out of the room. As she got to the front of Hannah’s room, she opened her door and checked inside but didn’t find Hannah in the room, she walked further to the kitchen but she didn’t find her there either. She walked into the living room and didn’t find her there too. She was about to yell her name when she caught a glimpse of her in the dining room. Julie furrowed her brows and walked to the dining room. She then saw the plates of bread and egg, and a teajug filled with tea on the dining table.
“Wow!” Julie whispered, grinning widely.
“All of this for me?” she asked, pointing at the table.
“Nde,” Hannah replied.
“Awwn awwn! You spoil me a lot.” Julie dropped her bag on a chair and covered her mouth with her hands.
“Mwolae. Now, sit and eat.” Hannah pointed to one of the chairs at the dining table.
“OK ma’am.” Julie smiled as she sat down.
“Kamsahamnida!” Julie grinned and bowed to Hannah.
“Aisshhh!” Hannah face palmed herself.
“Dakcheo!” Hannah sighed and also sat down.
Julie smiled and digged in. After eating to her satisfaction, she wiped her mouth with a napkin and pushed herself up off the chair.
“Thank you baby, I have to get going now.” She carried her handbag and checked the time. 9:11am.
“Bye. Muahh!” She blew Hannah a kiss and rushed out of the house.
Three seconds later, she came running into the house, and rushed into her bedroom.
“Mwo!” Hannah yelled as she noticed her.
“I forgot my phone!” Julie yelled back from her room. “Found it!” She came out of her room a couple of seconds later and rushed out of the house again.
“Just don’t twist your ankle!” Hannah yelled at her.
“Whatever!” Julie yelled back as she jammed the door.
She got into her car and a couple of seconds later, then she got down and raced to the gate to open it, she then raced back to her car and drove out if the compound. She got down from her car again and raced back to close the gate. She then got into her car and drove off.
She drove for about fifty minutes before she got to the office. As she drew nearer to the office, she saw the big billboard; ADAMS CEMENTS. She smiled and drove into the building. She parked her car and stepped out of it. She then threw her car keys at the security man. It was not the first time she’d be doing that, so the security officer quickly bowed and turned Julie’s car around so that it’d be easier for her to drive out of the building.
Julie walked briskly to the ground floor of the building and passed by the receptionists who stopped chattering immediately they saw Julie step in.
“Good morning ma’am,” they chorused, bowing.
Julie walked away without responding to their greetings.She had not walked for too long when she noticed almost a hundred people standing opposite the reception, in the waiting area. She stopped and looked at them for a while before walking back to the receptionists.
“Are those people employees?” she asked as soon as she got to them.
“No ma’am,” the two receptionists chorused.
“Then who are they?” Julie asked.
“Ermm, they…erm..” one of the receptionists stuttered.
“Are you alright?” Julie asked irritatedly.
“Yes ma’am.” The receptionist bowed.
“You, who are those people?” Julie turned to the second receptionist.
“Ermm, they. ..are…erm…some of the people that want us to…s-s-u-ply them…cement ma’am,” the other receptionist stammered.
“So, why are they not being attended to?” Julie enquired.
“Ermm…I-I-erm…” the receptionist stuttered.
“You know what, just hold your peace! Tell the manager to see me in my office with immediate effect and automatic alacrity!” Julie clicked her tongue before walking away.
She took her personal elevator to the top floor. As soon as she got out of the elevator, she walked a bit and swiped her swipe card before walking to her office. On seeing her, her secretary hastily stood up and bowed.
“Morning ma,” she greeted.
“Get those stupid receptionists to get me the list of employees that are absent today, not excluding a single person, sick or not! And you, go to the registry and get me the official records for last week. Don’t forget to brew my coffee on your way back and bring it to me. It must not get cold! Make a call to Delight Company and remind them of our deal. Make it clear to them that the deadline’s this afternoon. Cancel every ordered cements that’s not been paid for. I saw a leakage on my way in, get a plumber or whoever to fix it.Make a call to the industry and tell them to deliver a million bags of cements. Understood?” Julie rapped as she walked briskly to her office,her secretary following closely.
“Yes ma’am,” her secretary bowed and stopped when they reached Julie’s office.
“Good!” Julie replied.
She got into her office and sat on her swivel chair. Her office telephone rang and she picked up the receiver.
“Let him in.” Julie replaced the receiver after she was done talking.
“Good morning ma’am,” the manager bowed.
“Mr. John, can you explain to me what exactly those people at the ground floor are doing there?” Julie asked, picking up one of the files on her desk and going through it.
“Ma’am, they…we have already told them not to stand there,” Mr John stuttered.
“Is that the correct answer to my question?” Julie asked, not looking up from the file.
“I—” Mr John started to talk but Julie stopped him.
“Never mind!” Julie raised her left hand, signaling for the manager to shut his mouth. She picked up the receiver and dialed her secretary’s number. “Please, get me one of those people waiting at the reception.” Julie’s lips twitched.
“Ah…Ma’am please, I’ll talk!..I’ll talk I swear!” the manager hastily pleaded as soon as he heard Julie.
“Never mind Alice.” Julie replaced the reciever and folded her hands, looking up at the manager for the first time, in a way that implied ‘Talk…I’m all ears.’
“Uhmmm…I…we…i-in-creased t-t-the pr-i-ce o-of-fff th-e ce-ce-me-ments” Mr John stammered.
“Mr. John, when I hired you, you were not a stammerer and we both know that you’re not. So, please,speak properly. Like the gentleman you are.” Julie winked and let out a gusty sigh.
“Actually, I increased the price of a bag of cement from N2,500 to N2,700.” Mr John bowed his head.
“Hmm, wow! Mr. John you are one hell of a ‘behd guy‘,” Julie chuckled. “Hmm, I like that,” Julie added, licking her lower lip. “Hmm, so,1,500 bags of cement makes #4,050,000. Wow! Nice one!” Julie clapped her hands and smiled.
“Please ma’am, it was a mistake,” Mr John shivered.
“Oh yes, I know it was a mistake!” Julie laughed. “Anyways, I don’t need to tell you what to do,” Julie smiled. “I give you ten minutes to return the money you swindled from those that have paid and attend to those that are at the reception. When you’re done, bring your ass back here immediately. Undersood?” Julie’s smile disappeared instantly as she talked.
“Yes ma’am,” Mr John bowed.
“Good. Now scram!” Julie dismissed him.
The manager hastily opened the door and ran out of Julie’s office. Not long after, her secretary came in, carrying a file, a cup of coffee and a sheet of paper.
“Here are the records ma’am.” She gently placed the file in front of Julie. “And here’s your coffee.” She gently dropped the cup of coffee on the desk. “And here is the list of the absent employees.” She handed the list over to Julie.
Julie rested her back on the chair and went through the list.
“How many are they?” she asked.
“Ninety-four ma’am,” Alice replied.
“Good. Type their sack letters!” Julie grinned and tossed the list at Alice.
“Ma?” Alice widened her eyes, looking dumbfounded.
“You are not deaf, are you?” Julie narrowed her eyes as she looked at her secretary.
“No ma’am.” Alice quickly bowed, shuddering. She had always known her boss was heartless, but she wasn’t expecting her to be that heartless. ‘SICK OR NOT!’ She shuddered at the thought of it. “I’ll do that right away ma’am.” She looked her slightly, before bowing.
“Good.” Julie nodded her head.
Alice turned to walk out of her boss’office when she heard her boss stop her.
“Wait!” Julie raised her left hand in the air.
“Yes ma’am.” Alice turned back to look at her boss.
“Type Mr. John’s dismissal letter too.” Julie grinned mischievously. “Make it grand and expensive,” she added.
“Y-yeesss Ma’am,” Alice stuttered and took her leave.
As soon as her secretary left, Julie gently carried her cup of coffee and sipped from it, gently rocking her chair back and forth. Shortly after, her telephone rang.
“Let him in.” She picked up the receiver and spoke up even before her secretary could speak.
Almost immediately, Mr John entered her office.
“I’m done with everything ma’am,” Mr John bowed his head as he spoke.
“Good!” Julie rapped her knuckles on her desk. She then picked up the receiver and dialed her secretary. “Please make a call to the two assistant managers and tell them to see me in my office,” she spoke into the receiver before replacing it.
“So Mr John, since when have you been ‘mistakenly’ increasing the price of a bag of cement?” Julie smiled.
“Ermmm… j-j-juuu-st last week ma’am, just last week,” Mr John stuttered.
“Oh. ‘Just’ last week.” Julie nodded her head vigorously. Her telephone rang and she picked up her receiver.
“Yes?” She pursed her lips. “Let them in,” she bit her lower lip as she talked. She dropped the receiver and continued to stare at Mr. John. Soon enough, two young men stepped into her office.
“Good morning ma’am,” they chorused.
“Morning, Mr Alex. And morning to you, Mr. David.” Julie smiled sweetly at them. “Give me a second please.” She swiveled her chair to the left and picked up her receiver, dialing her secretary.
“Have you typed what I asked you to?” she asked as soon as her secretary picked her receiver too.
“Good. Bring it into my office.” She licked her lips before dropping the receiver. “Sorry for keeping you waiting gentlemen.” She smiled at the men standing before her.
Within a short while, Alice came in with a blue beautiful envelope (grand and expensive looking). She handed it over to Julie.
“Are you sure this is grand?” she pouted, looking up at her secretary.
“Yes ma’am.” Alice bowed her head.
“Good.” Julie smiled at Alice. “Uhmm… Mr John?” Julie called, turning to the manager.
“Yes ma’am?” Mr John raised his head slightly.
“This is for you.” Julie smiled sweetly at him.
Mr John looked at Julie hesitantly. He looked at the envelope and looked back at Julie’s face, biting his lower lip.
“Awwn awwn. Come on, don’t be shy…you can have it, it’s yours.” Julie grinned.
Mr John hesitated for a while before collecting the envelope from his boss. As soon as he collected it, he wanted to tear it open but was stopped by his boss.
“Aww-aww…No. No. Don’t do that. You can gently open it when you get home today.” Julie pouted. “In fact, it’s a generational thing. I’m sure you’re gonna show it to you coming generations.” Julie winked and bit her lower lip.
“So, the thing is…I’m gonna tell you what’s in that envelope.” Julie’s smile vanished from her face as she sat upright on her chair. “It’s a dismissal letter!” She turned her head to the side.
Mr John couldn’t believe his ears. He knew what he had done was wrong and he knew that he was going to be punished for it, but what he didn’t know was that it was going to be a lifetime punishment. He can never get to work in a company as good as Adams Cement.
“Ma’am?” He looked at his boss bewilderedly.
“It means thst your service will no longer be needed here Mr. John. You’re fired!” Julie crossed her legs.
“I’m so sorry Mr. John, I’m deeply sorry. But it’s not me, it sincerely isn’t me, the company finds you incapable of managing it. It’s the company.” Julie pouted and looked at him pitifully.
Mr John knew there was no one else above Julie in the company. He knew that Julie was the company and the company was Julie. They both knew it.
“Ma’am…I …We…Please…” Mr John stuttered.
“Please leave my office Mr John.” Julie entwined her fingers and rested her hand on her desk.
“Ma’am, please, I …” Mr John squeezed his hand and tried to plead.
“Humph!” Julie sighed.
“Mr. John, please don’t make me do this the hard way.” Julie narrowed her eyes.
Mr. John looked at Julie for a while before dragging his feet towards the door.
“Uhmm… Mr. John?” Julie paused her lips.
Mr John quickly turned back, hoping she was going to forgive him. “I think you’re forgetting something.” Julie nodded her head as she spoke. “Please, kindly drop the name tag and swipe card with you on my desk.” Julie rested her chin on her left hand.
Mr John dejectedly dropped the name card that had inscribed on it: EXECUTIVE MANAGER” on Julie’s desk. He brought out the swipe card in his pocket and dropped it on the desk too.
“Uhmmm… Alice, please help John with his things and help him out of the company,” Julie said to her secretary.
“Yes ma’am,” Alice bowed and walked out of the office with Mr John.
“Now, over to you two.” Julie smiled and faced the two assistant managers who had been standing, dumbfounded before her.
“Yes ma’am.” They quickly collected their brains and bowed at their boss.
“Hmmm. Who do I appoint as the manager between the both of you? ” Julie stroke her chin with her left thumb and index finger, looking at the two men as if deciding on who to make the new manager. “Hmmm!” she sighed and stuck her pen in her mouth, chewing it like she was in an exam hall and didn’t know what to write.
“What time did you arrive this morning, Mr. Alex?” she asked, removing the pen from her mouth.
“I got here at exactly 7:30am ma’am,” Mr Alex bowed his head.
“Wrong!” Julie smiled and rested her back on her chair. “You got here exactly 7:33am.” She folded her arms and twitched her lips.
“I’m sorry ma’am.” Mr Alex bowed his head again. He bit his lip and looked at the floor speechlessly. How did she know?
“Mr David, what time did you arrive?” Julie asked, looking at the second assistant manager.
“I got here at exactly 7:32 ma’am,” Mr David quickly replied. He knew his boss would know if he lied, so he said the truth anyways.
“Correct!” Julie smiled. “Bravo!” Julie clapped her hands.
Mr. David gave himself a thumbs up in his head. He smiled nervously as he knew that he was the one that was going to become the next manager of ADAMS CEMENT’s immediate branch.
“Wow, well I’m happy to announce to you, Mr David that you are going to be assisting Mr. Alex.” Julie beamed with smile.
Mr David was all smiles when his boss started her sentence but his smile immediately turned to a scowl, when he heard the last part of her sentence.
She made a mistake. A slip of the tongue, he assured himself.
“I mean, congratulations, Mr. Alex, on your new position as the manager of ADAMS CEMENT’s first branch.” Julie stood up and shook Mr. Alex’s hand.
Mr Alex couldn’t believe his ears, he was super elated. He just grinned at his boss as she shook his hand.
Mr David was beyond shocked. He tried his best to put on a smile on his face when his boss shook his hand too.
This lady is weird. I am the one that got the correct answer, he thought.
The two men thanked their boss and left her office. Throughout the day, Julie was busy with the files on her desk, signing some and ignoring some. After a while, her secretary stepped into her office.
“I’m through with the dismissal letters ma’am.” Alice bowed.
“Good! Hand them over to each of the heads of departments. And tell them to hand it over to them when each of them comes back to work,” Julie replied, still signing some files.
“Have you contacted DELIGHT COMPANY?” Julie asked, raising her head from the file she wanted to sign.
“Yes ma’am,” Alice replied.
“And?” Julie raised a brow.
“They said that they’ll pay before the deadline today.” Alice’s lips twitched as she explained.
“Good. If they don’t pay before the deadline, cancel their orders.” Julie sighed and signed the file, picking up another one. “And did you contact the industry too?” she asked.
“Yes ma’am. They said that they’ll deliver the bags of cement tomorrow evening,” Alice replied.
“Good! Well done.” Julie smiled.
“Thank you ma’am.” Alice smiled. She then turned to take her leave.
“Uhmm… before you leave, I need you to type Mr Alex’s appointment letter and hand it over to him.” Julie swiveled her chair as she spoke.
“OK ma’am, I’ll get it done.” Alice slightly bowed her head and headed out of her boss’ office.
Julie sighed and checked the time.2:30pm. She signed the last file and took the official records on the table, she opened it and glanced through it for a while before dropping it on the table. She picked up the receiver and dialed the company’s bookkeeper.
“Miss Gloria, please see me in my office.” She crossed her legs as talked into the receiver. “And come along with last week’s ledger,” she added and hung up.
She took the official records and glanced through it again. After a short while, her telephone rang.
“Let her in.” She replaced the receiver and continued glancing through the records.
“You sent for me ma’am.” Miss Gloria stepped into her office and bowed her head.
“Huh, yes. I think there’s something wrong with the financial transactions stored in the official records. So I want to compare it with the ledger.” Julie smiled. “You may have your seat.” She pointed at one of the two seats across her desk.
Miss Gloria sat down and they both spent roughly two hours comparing the financial transactions in the ledger with the ones in the records. After a while, they were done.
“Wow. The records are correct after all.” Julie smiled. “So sorry for disturbing you, you may take your leave.” She handed the ledger over to the bookkeeper.
“Thank you ma.” Miss Gloria smiled and took her leave.
Immediately the book keeper left her office, Julie stretched her body and checked the time. 4:30pm.
She gently arranged the files on her desk. After she was done, she stood up and carried her bag. She took her phone from the desk and walked out of her office.
Immediately her secretary saw her walk out,she stood up and bowed.
“There are some signed files on my desk. Hand them over to the manager. See you tomorrow.” Julie smiled and walked to the elevator.
Julie entered the elevator and pressed the button that led to the ground floor. She looked up and saw that her secretary was still staring at her, so she winked at her and blew her a kiss before the door of the elevator closed.
Alice saw what her boss did and chuckled as she took her sit.
“My boss is crazy!” She smiled to herself.
To be continued…