“Loyalty is the key to eating a better royalty attached to a good act.” But sometimes the key may not open the door and royalty becomes useless. Sometimes the fact you are loyal doesn’t make you a benefit of royalty attached to your act.
February 2015 I finished my NYSC in far North. I returned to Lagos for good. One of my late dad’s very close friend when he was alive had promised me a slot in his company after my service. He was a very good friend of my dad. His name is Mr Earnest (not the real name). They did business together. If not for daddy’s death I’m sure my dad would have gone far.
Na so I return to lasgidi make I come start work for my Earnest company. Only for me to be told that there was no slot for me at the moment. He (Mr. Earnest) said I should exercise some patients, that they would recruit the next 2 months. Since he was a family friend, a trusted friend for that matter! So rather than staying at home doing nothing, being an engineering graduate and it was an engineering company. I decided to come to the company daily in which Mr. Earnest didn’t see any wrong in it. So I came to the company and sometimes I was talking to field. Na so e start oo.
Every day, I go to Mr. Earnest’s house, sometimes I wash his cars in the morning as he prepares for work then I drive him to work. Sometimes I stay at his office and help draft out estimates and some oversight functions. I was practically like his personal assistant (P.A). Yet I wasn’t made a staff, not even half-staff or even on contract. The only thing I was benefiting was feeding money daily and no stipends or allowance at all.
Months came and went and yet Mr. Earnest would still tell me to hold on that the company will soon recruit. But sometimes I see new faces which I ask from some few staff and they will tell me the new faces are new recruits. “But how come this man (Mr. Earnest) would tell me that the company was yet to recruit, but i see new faces almost every two months in the company. Apparently I was engrossed in the thoughts of the good life and huge salary I will earn monthly that I was so blind to see that time was going. And that nobody owes me anything. I was supposed to believe in myself and move out rather than depending on someone who isn’t sure.
Mid 2016, my girlfriend was angry, even my mom too. They feel maybe I had been hypnotized and made to stay at Mr. Earnest company for a year and yet to even achieve anything. And truly I never achieved anything but a few experiences. But I work myself as if I was a staff of the company. People who don’t know might think I was a staff but I wasn’t. Infact they don’t even want to fix me anywhere.
My mom asked me to leave there because I wasn’t paid any salary or any compensation. It almost brought fight between I and my girlfriend because she wasn’t satisfied with me there because I wasn’t gaining anything materially or financially. I was only working tirelessly in the company and sometimes go to Mr. Earnest’s house and wash his cars, I also help his family do some chores, drive the kids to school and bring them back. I did all this job with all my heart as if it was mine. But with all my girlfriend, mom and other siblings told me to stop and leave there because it was obvious the Earnest family wasn’t willing to help me. Still I maintained that I wanted to be patient a little while.
I confronted Mr. Earnest to remind him of his promises, “as if he was my God.” He said I should exercise patient that the company was going to recruit new staff to join the workforce since his trying to diversify and expand. Na so I begin happy because I was going to have the opportunity to be staffed.
A month later, Mr. Earnest sent me on an errand to Ibadan for work with some of the staff. We spent five days and returned. But I didn’t visit the office. I joined some of the workforce on the field for a project which lasted for 7 days. When I returned to the office the next Tuesday morning, I met a little crowd at the company’s gate. Well-dressed young guys and ladies with envelopes in their hands. Na so I ask one of them wetin dey happen. She said that the company was recruiting and they asked that applicants should come to the company to submit their CV in person. “And Mr. Earnest never told me anything about it,” I thought to myself. I went into the office and as some staffs in which they confirmed the company was recruiting and that day was the deadline. One of the staff said they started accepting CVs two weeks back. I was shocked because I wasn’t aware. I called Mr. Earnest since he wasn’t at the office that moment. I asked if I should apply, thinking maybe he was going to tell me not to because I was the special one. My case will be treated specially and differently. “But for were!” He asked me to follow my mates and submit my CV. Na so I rush go print my CV come give the HR. The role I applied for was an engineering related role.
A week later I was invited for an interview and I went like my mates. We were about 40 that came for the interview. I was happy and confident that at least I was going to stand a chance since I have been unofficially working in company for a year, plus I have experience and knows much more than other applicants. And it was senior workers whe were the interviewers.
When it got to my turn, it was fun when I walked into the room. I wasn’t scared. Infact they didn’t ask me much questions as they already knew me. It was like a friendly chat which lasted for about a minute and I was asked to leave since I was the special one.
A week later I and some other staff of the company went to Port Harcourt for a construction work which lasted for 2 weeks. After the work I wasn’t giving anything, as usual that’s how it’s been happening.
When I returned to the office I saw some of the people I did interview week at the company. I asked about two of them and they said they resumed two weeks back, the interview was successful. One of them asked if I was asked to resume that day because she never saw me after the interview till that day. I couldn’t give her an answer because so many things were going through my head. I felt maybe because I was not around, I was successful and my appointment letter will be waiting for me. I went to the HR department only for me to be told that the company hired 14 out of 40 applicants they interviewed and I wasn’t one of them. Immediately he said that, I was just down casted. It just looked as if something left me. “So I was not hired?” I thought to myself.
I waited for Mr. Earnest to come to work. He came and I went to meet him at his office on my job. He said he was aware I didn’t make it and it wasn’t his fault, I should try later in the next two years they will recruit. “So make I come wait for next two years! Abi na there I wan old die?” I left his office so sad. I began regretting. My family was right all along. I had wasted over a year licking and cleaning Mr. Earnest’s ass without a good thing in return. My loyalty didn’t lead to any royalty. And this is October 2016.
Out of anger I left the office and never returned any more. Mr. Earnest never bothered calling me after that day. You need to see me crying like a baby. Thank God for my family who consoled me because I nearly ran mad. I was just acting weird. I trekked from oshodi to Ajah looking for schools that was recruiting new teachers. I came back 10pm and all my legs were aching me. I couldn’t stand up properly for 3 days.
I was just looking for any kind of job. Luckily I got a job at an event center in Ikeja where they are paying me N40,000. It’s not much but at least it’s making me a better person and independent. Unlike when I was at Mr. Earnest’s company, I was still begging my mom N100 for recharge cards most times. I believed I will soon get a better offer.
So my people, sometimes too much loyalty can make one look stupid and foolish. I believe you will learn from this story. I am not saying you shouldn’t be loyal, but don’t allow your values to be edged to the wall. Don’t allow yourself, self-esteem to be defeated because of your loyalty.