“I gave you a thousand naira, and my balance should be six hundred and fifty naira,” blared Francis in an angry voice.
“Sir, please calm down; it hasn’t gotten to that yet,” replied the lady behind the counter.
“Don’t just patronise me. You want me to calm my voice when I’m being defrauded? Is that how you do things here? I want to see your superior.”
“My brother you should,” came a voice from another customer behind him. “I’ve had a similar experience here. Especially with this lady, Miss Tamara,” he said, spelling out her name from the crest above her left breast.
“You see, here I was thinking it was an accident but it now seems to me that it’s habitual.”
“Good evening, sir. Please calm down,” replied a neatly dressed middle-aged man. “What seems to be the problem, sir? ”
“Are you the manager?” he asked eagerly
“No, sir. I am Mr. Tari Ebimie, the supervisor in charge of sales and customer satisfaction,” he said with a smirk on his face. “So, can you tell, sir, what the problem is?”
“I made payment for this drink here which clearly states that it’s three hundred and fifty naira. After giving her a thousand Naira, she is trying to shortchange me with claims that I gave her five hundred naira. The money here isn’t important but integrity… As a matter of fact, consider me a customer you’ve lost already. As for this, I no longer want to make purchase; I need a refund.”
“Miss Tamara, what do you have to say for yourself here?”
“Sir, with all due respect. I’m certain that this was the note he gave to me,” she said, waving a five hundred naira bill.
“There you lie again!” Francis cut in, “I brought it out from this stack of naira notes,” he said, showing off a stack of newly printed one thousand naira note. “There it is,” he said, pointing to a new note resting at the top of her cash register, unique from the other notes and peculiar to those being handled by Francis.
“Just admit to your offense and keep your job. Else, you can kiss it goodbye.”
“I’m sorry sir but I can’t admit to what I didn’t do. It’s as a matter of fact something I can never do. I don’t mind being fired for it either.”
“If that’s the case, get your things and report to my office for your pay-off. You have so many reports about you that I just can’t stand”.
“Can I say something sir?” asked the petite lady behind the counter next to Tamara’s.
“No, Cynthia, you can’t. You want to defend your own. I’m already aware of your cooperation here. If you want to keep your job, focus on attending to the customers queued in front of you.” Turning to Francis, he said, “Sir, please can you join me in my office to make your complaint official.”
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“Follow me please,” he said leading the way.
Inside a simple yet comfortable and well decorated office, Francis took a sit on a sofa at one end of the office. Engrossed in a hilarious conversation, both men nearly did not notice Tamara’s entrance.
“Sir, before I leave, here’s a clip from the surveillance room, covering the transaction,” she said handing her tablet to Tari.
“Don’t worry about that, it was all a prank,” Tari said waving off the gadget.
“I don’t understand, Prank, how?
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“Before I go on, let me start by introducing myself, my name is Chief Francis Agogi, the father of Jim Agogi, whom I’m sure you know very well. Tari here is one of Jim’s closest childhood friends, but you never met him because he had some business out of town. So, when my son approached me about wanting to get married to someone he couldn’t resist talking about, I wanted to meet her in person.”
“Chief here is like a father to me. So, when he came with the plan, I couldn’t turn him down. Besides, I felt it would be a pleasant way to break the news of your promotion.”
“Yes, you’ve earned it. You’re now the assistant supervisor in charge of sales. You earned it.”
“You’ve also earned my admiration and blessing. You’re what my son really needs, someone with so much integrity, intelligence and dedication. And above all, you’re beautiful.”
“I’m short of words, right now,” Tamara said, with tears running down her cheeks.
About the Author
Rex Dogood is an English Language graduate of the Federal University, Otuoke. He considers himself a patriotic Bayelsan and is a literary enthusiast.
Photo Credit: Essence WebMag