This is the final stage of the interview, before now I had passed through three rigorous stages. Ten of us made it to this stage out of more than 100 that started it the process. And that day, we are to meet the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company.
As always, I was prepared. What is he going to ask again? I feel it is just going to be another stroll in the pack. After all, the tough stages have been conquered.
We had to wait for the COO for almost two hours. He could not even apologise for keeping us waiting, such arrogance. The interview went on smoothly. In no time, they finished with the first five. I was the sixth person but by then, it was 1pm already. A lady came to inform us they are going for lunch break and will be back in 30 mins.
The remaining five of us started discussing, we touched on various issues, soccer, politics, economy, our current endeavors and of course, this recession and how it has made life a lot more interesting. We almost forgot we came for an interview as we discussed endlessly and of course exchanged contacts.
‘We are back guys, the next person should come in after 5 minutes,’ the lady announced and went back inside. This was 1hr 45mins after, still no apologies, these people are really rude.
Anyway, I was the next person. I got up after 5minutes. It’s showtime, let’s go there.
I entered to a cold stare from both the man and the lady who came to announce earlier.
‘Please sit down,’ his voice was cold and unfriendly. ‘Can we meet you’, he added even before I could sit.
I did the introduction. I went on to answer all the questions he had prepared, to the best of my ability. But I was worried, why is he looking at me this way? Is it because he was surprised I could answer all his questions correctly or that is just his look when he is serious???
‘Spell Recession,’ that brought me out of my reverie. It sounded more like an order than a question.
‘What does it mean?’ He asked further after I spelt it.
‘It means a downturn, down slide or retrogression,’ I said calmly.
‘Okay,’ he said. He went on to ask other questions, most of which I answered.
Out of nowhere, I heard him say, ‘so you call yourself a communication student and you don’t know the meaning of recession?’
‘I gave the meaning already,’ I responded sharply.
‘You think that is the meaning?’ His voice was low this time.
I was shocked and confused. Abi is there another meaning of recession that I don’t know ni? I started doubting myself. Or could it be that he is just trying to test my resolve?
‘Yes, that is the meaning,’ I replied assuredly.
‘Really! Are you really sure or do you want us to Google it?’ He retorted.
‘I am sure sir, you can google it,’ I said half assuredly this time.
He motioned to the lady, who had remained silent all the while, ‘Please, google recession and tell this man the meaning.’
I do not know the dictionary google directed her to but she read out the same words I told him earlier. The look on his face was shocking. And the lady also gave him a ‘man, you just goofed’ kind of look.
‘So what does it mean to go on break?’ He asked, looking confused.
‘That is Recess sir,’ I answered, almost smiling.
‘Oh! I see,’ he said in a very low tone.
‘So, young man, that’s all from me. We will contact you if you are successful,’ he said rapidly while writing his remarks on my file.
‘Thank you sir,’ I replied calmly as I stood to leave.
As I turned to close the door after me, I stole a quick glance at him. That look of disdain tells it all, I knew they will never call me back. Or maybe they will tomorrow.
Na wa for this recession sha. So far it has thrown so many people out of business and wreaked havoc on the nation’s economy. But ‘still yet’, some people never knew the meaning, and people (like me) that do get denied their dream job.
Even though the Nigerian government say it’s over, I still pray, May you never know Recession.