‘Would you marry me?’ Mike asked the one million-dollar question he had harboured for ages. His tight work schedule, which had taken the pride of place over virtually every area of his life, had been the major reason for his delayed proposal.
Gazing expectantly at his girlfriend, Adaobi, he could tell that the look of astonishment on her pretty face was genuine.
Adaobi’s eyes roamed from the sight of the gold studded ring before her, back to her sweetheart of seven years.
‘Yes!’ she melted in tears of joy.
Mike hugged her passionately.
‘Congratulations!’ a handful of other diners echoed in the background.
‘Mike, this is more than a surprise package,’ she gasped; ‘just when I thought you brought me here for my birthday party, and now this…’ she kissed the ring now on her finger.
‘No height of creativity is too much for my sweetheart.’
He beckoned to the waitress, and as the couple went through the menu list, his phone rang.
‘Hello,’ he picked it at the first ring, ‘hello chief Tade…okay…where? I’d be there right away sir,’ he ended the call.
‘And where are you off to?’Adaobi’s voice rang in alarm.
‘To fix…to fix…a client’s…client’s machine…’
‘No! I won’t tolerate this, this time around. As the head of your department, why can’t you just delegate responsibilities?’
‘Delegate responsibilities to a bunch of slow learners? I won’t!’ he stood in full resolve.
‘Then I’d go with you,’ she held his hands.
‘No, my love, I don’t want to ruin your day. You just wait for me at the pent house. I promise, won’t keep long.’
‘Please drive carefully; it just rained.’
‘There’s nothing to worry about,’ he smiled and hurried off immediately.
The rains that day had flooded some parts of the streets of Ikeja. And just as Mike tried to avoid a major pot-hole, he lost control of the brakes. As the car wobbled uncontrollably, it skidded off the road and somersaulted several times before it finally crashed into a tree.
For the next few seconds, he listened intently to the wild rhythm of his heartbeat.
‘I’m alive!’ he moaned, ‘It’s high time I awoke from this nightmare…’
He made several attempts to move, but felt the numbness on both legs.
‘For real?’ he whimpered, ‘help…some…body…please…’ but alas, the sound of the rains muffled his desperate pleas.
The mishap had occurred in a reserved area of the city, but somehow, fate smiled on him and in less than ten minutes, a handful of rescue team emerged.
It’s been a week since Mike was admitted into the hospital following the severe injuries he sustained in the auto crash.
‘Doctor, is there something you can do to speed up my indefinite stay here?’ he beckoned on one of the doctors, one morning on ward round.
‘We would try our best.’
‘Please, speed it up; I’m the head of my department, handling a sensitive position. I can’t imagine how my organization would ever survive without me.’
‘Don’t you have subordinates?’
‘I do, but I’m an expert on the job with over ten years of experience and…’
‘It’s okay young man,’ the doctor interrupted, ‘all that is important now is your full recovery. Good day!’
A month later, Mike strode majestically back to his office. And as he was on the verge of assuming his position, his MD summoned him.
‘Welcome back, Mike,’ the septuagenarian began.
‘Sir, I want to thank you for your support while I was in the hospital.’
‘We couldn’t have done less,’ the elderly man acknowledged, ‘but to be honest with you, Mike, the organization lost so much on your account.’
‘I’m sorry sir,’ he nodded, ‘if you would recall, the accident happened on my way for an official assignment.’
‘I know; and frankly speaking, I must commend you for your track record of work excellence, but the missing link here is your lack of delegation of duties. The wide knowledge gap between you, and your subordinates, came to the fore in your absence. Regrettably, none of them could handle major tasks assigned to them. And while we were still trying to figure out how to make the most of the obvious challenge posed by your absence, we lost two of our major clients to our competitors.’
‘We needed to act fast, and that was exactly what we did, Aim High Associates has hired someone else in your place.’
‘Ah, please sir!’ Mike was stunned, almost falling on his knees.
‘Relax Mike, I’m not firing you. Why should I do that to someone as hardworking and dedicated as you? My only problem with you is how that several charges I gave you to raise competent hands in your department fell on deaf ears. Now someone else has been charged with that mandate, and his success within just two weeks has made us believe we took the right step.’
‘The management has decided to keep you, but not as the head of Faults Correction department. You’re now to work in the Logistics department. I’m quite sure you’d finally learn a thing or two about team work; working with the HOD and the rest of the team.’
‘That’s fine sir;’ Mike tries to veil his look of disappointment, ‘thank you for the faith you and the entire management has shown in giving me another chance.’
‘That’s alright. Please, always have this at the back of your mind that Aim High Associates is for team players and not a platform for a one-man-show.’
Final remark: Life is like a moving train. No man is indispensable.
Until I come your way again next week, KEEP MOVING…