‘Do you like what you do?’
Confused, I looked round to see if anyone else heard the question. When nobody reacted, I turned back to the customer in front of me.
‘There’s a reason I asked,’ she smiled.
‘You’re damn right there has to be a reason why you’d come to the place where I work and ask me that question in front of all these other customers and my colleagues.’
I smiled back.
‘I love what I do.’ I replied.
‘What do you love about your job?’ she asked.
‘Hian. Which kain ting be this?’
‘I love that I don’t work 8 to whenever, that my job’s done in shifts. Above that, I love dealing with people, resolving their difficulties.’
‘It shows,’ she nodded. ‘You used to be at your E-Centre office, right? I recognised you as soon as I walked in here.’
I work with a telecoms company, and during my GT program I worked in the call centre at HQ. Six months ago I got transferred to our office at the E-Centre, Yaba where I worked for five months before being moved again to our office at the Domestic Airport.
The first transfer happened within weeks of my brushing Rolayo’s Sugar mommy offer to one side. She did not take it to heart, making me wonder if she ever really meant it.
So there I was at the airport office attending to customers when this lady walked in. I raised my head to see who made the bell above the door tinkle, and then I returned to the customer whose query I was dealing with.
The new customer walked slowly round our phone display rack, lingering at a phone for a minute or two before moving on.
When I was done serving the customer in front of me, she came and took his place.
‘Good afternoon ma, how may I be of service?’
When she said she recognised me from the E-Centre office I apologised for not recognising her too.
‘I hope I wasn’t rude to you then.’ I said in mock horror.
‘Far from it. I was confused about the different plans you guys offered and you took your time to explain them to me. I would have thought it was my fine girl charms,’ she fanned herself and drew a laugh from me. ‘But you had done the same with the customer before me. And just now see how you attended to that man as if he was the only person in this shop. That’s very good, keep it up.’
I didn’t know how to take the compliment, especially coming from her.
“Keep it up.” I smiled and thanked her retreating figure. She was gone before I realised she hadn’t told me what her complaint was.
‘Oh well.’ I shrugged.
Two weeks later she came into the shop. We exchanged pleasantries and she stood at my desk to talk with me for a while. Before she left she slid a business card across to me. I didn’t even see it palmed in her hand all the while we spoke. The move was so smooth, I was sure she had practice.
Ene, my colleague saw and teased me no end.
‘Will you call her?’ she asked.
‘I dunno. Just no.’
‘Stop it. It’s not pride, it’s just somehow.’ I said defensively.
When my phone rang a few days later, I picked it up without checking the caller ID.
‘Hello Bobo,’ a could hear the smile in the voice.
‘Hi,’ my response was hesitant.
‘When you’re not dealing with customer complaints or ignoring a fine girl’s come-on, what do you do for fun?’
I knew who it was without asking and I could see her behind my closed eyelids, head thrown back, hair cascading down long neck. Her throaty laugh did things for me.
‘Not a lot,’ I said. ‘You, when you’re not stalking… wait, is this you stalking me?’ I asked.
‘Of course. Know how I got your number?’
‘I have a rough idea.’
‘Good. So, about fun things to do,’ she said, ‘wanna go see a movie with me?’
She wasn’t like any girl I’d met. I liked her confidence, and her wit.
‘Sure, why not?’