My first job was a contract. It ended and they didn’t renew it. They promised to call me when something turns up but they never called. I guess nothing turned up. I stayed home for six months before I had a new job. Just a year after my new job, Covid hit. We were sent home and were never called again. That was around May 2020. I was home going up and down looking for something else to do but nothing was working for me. I opened a thrift shop, they bought on credit and was hard to get my money back so it collapsed. My boyfriend was helping me small but he changed his mind along the line. I don’t know what he saw in that lady. He left me for her and the support didn’t come again. I relied heavily on my parents for support until one day I had a call for an interview.
I attended and delivered. They told me they were going to call in a week’s time. A week later, their call didn’t come. I called the HR; “I’ve been waiting for your call.” She asked my name and I told her. She said, “Oh I was supposed to call you yesterday but something happened and I forgot. I was going to call you today. You have been shortlisted for another round of interviews. When are you available?” I answered, “I’m available today or tomorrow or any day. In fact, any day you want me to come, I will be available. I’m not engaged.”
So the following day, I went to see them. We talked about salary and talked about strategies. They dug deeper into my background and I opened up to them in a special way. They sensed my eagerness for the job and saw how desperate I was. They told me, “We will call you. A week by this time, you’ll have a call from us.”
Three days later they called; “Congratulations. You’ve been offered the job.”
I jumped high up in the sky and fell prostrate on the floor in gratitude to God. “It’s been two good years God. Thank you for another opportunity.” I went for my appointment letter and the salary was even more than what I negotiated for. That increased the feeling of joy in my heart. I was given two weeks to start working. I came home, bought a new dress, and learned things online to help me deliver on the job.
Two weeks later, I was in my office, ready to deliver. The HR came in. She said, “Follow me. Let’s go and meet the General manager. Like a lamb being led to the altar of sacrifice, I followed her. Immediately I saw his face I recognized him. He was part of the panel that did the interview. The guy on the left. I took a particular interest in him because he was very nice to me. He asked the easiest questions and he smiled a lot. When my words weren’t coming, he threw the words at me and I caught onto them. I remember thinking, “This guy is singlehandedly winning me this job.” I didn’t see him during the second interview but that was ok.
In his office, he smiled and shook my hand, “Welcome to the so-so-and-so business centre. We believe in your capability. That’s why we’ve brought you on board. The talking is over now, show us what you’re capable of.” I courteously answered, “I won’t disappoint you. I will deliver just as it’s required of me.”
I don’t report to him but he took a special interest in helping me settle. I remember asking a colleague, “Is the GM always this nice?” He answered, “He likes to be involved but he can be very stern and demanding. You’re new here that’s why. Enjoy until the newness in you fades away. Then the pressure will come.” I will go to his office in the morning to greet him because he asked me to. I will go there again in the evening to say goodbye because he asked me to. I gave him my number and showed him where I live because it came up in one of our conversations.
And then the calls started coming. The messages kept dropping in. It wasn’t about the messages or the text messages that piqued my concern but the times he sent them. He didn’t have a barrier. If I sought to create them, he would jump over them and come right in. I knew what he wanted from the tone of his voice and the texture of his messages. He said, “Can I come and visit one of these days?” I answered, “I live with my parents. If you don’t mind, then you can come around.” He asked for direction and I sent him a Google map of my place. Guess the time he came to visit…in the evening.
Because of my parents, he couldn’t come inside. I sat in his car and he drove away. I wasn’t properly dressed but he didn’t care. He drove until we were completely out of my neighbourhood. We ended up at a food joint that looked like he visits there a lot. He bought me food and drink and we talked for the rest of the night. He brought me home and proposed to me just when I was about to get down. I was still shy of him. I saw him as my boss. I called him Mr. I was very vocal around him but I lost my voice immediately after he proposed. I told him, “We will talk about it when I come to the office.”
We continued chatting after he had left. I laid out my fears and told him about the concerns I have regarding a relationship. I asked, “Do you want a serious relationship with me or you just want to have fun with me?” He said he wanted something serious. “Something that can lead to marriage.” I asked, “I don’t know much about the company policies regarding relationships. Is it allowed?” He answered, “Yeah it’s allowed as far as it doesn’t affect your work and mine.” I asked again, “And you’re sure that you’re single? There’s no other girl in your life, especially girls from the office.” He answered, “There’s no one. You should have been here to read my lips. I’m as single as Adam before Eve.”
I said yes to him and the following day he brought me home., He even said hi to my parents. It continued until one day a lady in the office approached me and said, “It seems you’re the new favourite huh?” I didn’t understand her question but I smiled thinking she would elaborate. She didn’t. I pressed her for answers but she wouldn’t go beyond what she said. That weekend after work, My boss took me to his place and I spent the weekend with him. He had a typical bachelor’s apartment where there was everything but nothing essential. Common cooking utensils he didn’t have. I believed in his single status and fell deeper that day.
On Monday when I went to work, that same lady came to my desk again looking at me like I’d stolen something. I said, “Bene, if you have something to tell me, just go ahead and stop acting weird around me. You’re making me uncomfortable.” She said, “We are not going to use office hours to discuss that. If he won’t take you home after work, then we can talk.”
I was with her after work. She said, “You’re new here. This is just your second month. You should have asked around before doing certain things. You’re not the only girl he’s doing this to. I can count about five ladies. The one whose position you’re occupying now left because of this same situation with the boss. She didn’t listen to us. In the end, she lost. Of all the five women I know, there’s only one woman who survived and she’s still working here. That’s the HR who held your hand and sent you to him. The rest left. Don’t let him make you feel that you’re special. No, you’re not.”
“Bene! Why didn’t you tell me earlier? If you told me that very day when you made that statement, I wouldn’t have been in this mess. What were you waiting for?”
“I was waiting for you to ask. You didn’t ask. I came because I like your innocence and your free spirit around here.
I had already slept with him but I told myself, “It’s not too late to pull away.” I started giving him excuses. I refused his calls and didn’t respond to his messages. I don’t report to him so I stopped going to his office. One day he came to my desk and asked me to see him in his office. He said, “You’ve started listening to gossip, right? Don’t believe everything you’re told because they are not true. I love you and I want to start a life with you.” I said, “I’m not listening to anyone. I just don’t feel right about it. We go out there and do all that and come and pretend around here? That’s what is bothering me. I’m pulling the plugs so I can concentrate on my work.”
We had this conversation two months ago but this man continues to chase me around. At some point, I wanted to believe him. I went to Bene again; “Are you sure of what you told me? He seems genuine.” She showed me text messages between herself and the boss. He took it on her but she was smarter than I was. She said no to him and stood on her ground. My respect for her went up. She did what I couldn’t do.
I have the facts to argue against him but unfortunately for me, I can’t name Bene and I can’t bring her into the frame of our argument. Whenever I tell him I’m not the only one he’s doing this to and he asks for evidence, I’m not able to provide it. He has been coming. He gets angry with me unnecessarily at work. He piles pressure on me only to call in the night and apologize. This work is good. It’s solving all the problems in my life. I don’t want to lose it but he also doesn’t want to lose me. He said I’m too good to let go. He hadn’t met a well-behaved girl like me and he would do everything to have me back in his life.
How do I get out of this situation I’m in? I’ve started looking for a new job but I wish it doesn’t have to come to that. I want to keep this job and also keep my boss off my neck. What should I do?