Short Story: Corporate Tensions | By: Jerry Cheimeke

Photo Credit: themuse.com
make sure you report early to the office tomorrow. Remember you’ve got a
journey to make.”
Sir, wouldn’t it be better if I just took off from my place to the park, I
mean, to save time and….”
here, I don’t know how you want to do it. Even if it means waking up by five,
better report here at the office. You keep acting like you know it all. I don’t
like it, you must take my instructions….maybe I should contact  your previous employers, so I can find out if
you have a history of insubordination.”
really?  I spent the next half a minute
trying to process what I had done wrong, by suggesting what I felt was a better
way to carry out the following day’s tasks. All that bile from his lips, just
for thinking on my feet! For this boss of mine, it was either his way, or the
knew that I should have got used to his vitriol and bile by now, but there was
something about his recent utterances that found their way to my bone. It was
probably the fact that it was past the day’s closing hours and so I had drawn
down my mental anti-employer defences, letting the venom from his words seep
in….or maybe it was because he had not paid my salary, ten days after
everyone else in the office had received their paycheques! He had cited
financial difficulties, but was it not I who did the most work the previous
month (even doubling as clerical staff on certain days), and had he not only
yesterday instructed the secretary to pay out some money into a relative’s bank
account, money which amounted to twice what I earned?
had also been the multiple episodes of being dressed down for errors as grave
as a double line spacing instead of single line spacing on a document. Failing
to mentally regurgitate one point out of ten points made by him during a
previous interactive session would usually lead to questions about the
authenticity of the excellent academic qualifications contained in my resume,
and on more than one occasion he had called me out for not making efforts to
bring more clients, reminding me that marketing prowess made up half of my
assessment points (never mind that the office had no marketing department). I
did not even want to recall the days that my one-hour mandatory break was cut
short after less than ten minutes, or the threats he made about my having to
forfeit a month’s worth of earnings in the event that I desired to leave. I did
not need to watch the movie “Horrible Bosses”; I acted it out every day.
would often go home depressed because of this man, and during my intense battle
with malaria I did not get so much as half a day off; as a matter of fact more
files were placed on my desk. I had long chosen to ignore, patiently waiting
for a much better opportunity, upon which I would withdraw my services without
so much as a warning. I took a deep breath and picked up my jacket, getting
ready to go face the city’s gruelling traffic, when he began to speak in his
trademark annoying tone:
clerk said he got to Yaba with those documents by 4pm. Why so late?”
that was because he also had to get to Victoria Island earlier in the day. I
gave him both sets of documents, and he said traffic contributed to the
don’t know, there is so much inefficiency and incompetence on display here”, he
cut in. “Why didn’t you call him from time to time to track his movements? I
don’t care about the traffic situation, I want things done. I am many years
ahead of you in this business, you don’t know everything. I am beginning to
think I erred in hiring you.”
that moment, I decided that I had heard enough.
looked around the office. It was only slightly larger than an average living
room, the beautiful design of the firm’s website obviously made to deceive
desperate jobseekers before draining them of their souls once they got their
employment letters. It was nearly 6.30pm, and we were the only living creatures
in the building. I saw that he was putting some of his personal effects (such
as his food flask and mouth spray) into his bag, I quickly reached for the
office scanner, and in a matter of seconds, I had applied it to the left side
of his head with considerable force.
was fully aware that my stint as an employee in this low-level firm would come
to an end, but I was determined to make an impression. I gave him a cold stare
as he lay on the floor, clutching his head in pain, and I swung the scanner
again, only dropping it when I began to spot some red liquid on it. I then
grabbed the charger of the laptop assigned to me, that laptop which stood for
all the oppression I had endured in the last three months, and I wrapped the
chord around his neck, knotting it tightly and dragging him around the office,
but not before tying his hands behind his back with the ropes used in sealing
some of the office files . He would not stop screaming though, groaning in
typical work-hour-whining fashion, and I took hold of his jaw, clipping his
lips with the stapler I picked from his table, before proceeding to close up
shop with a maxing tape. Reasoning that I had to finish what I had started, I
pulled down the office printer, set his bloodied head on it, and forcibly
brought down the scanner repeatedly until I was sure that he had gone
motionless. Satisfied, I dragged his body to the door and hurled it down the
stairs, before returning to clean up all the blood left in the wake of my
notice of resignation.
where has your mind gone?”
boss’ voice jolted me back to reality. It had all been a figment of my
imagination, another one of many times I had sent my boss to permanent sleep in
my head. Sure enough, I had a mind to put him away, but the law prescribed a
death penalty as punishment for what I desired, and I was not quite sure as to
whether the hangman would make a good host. I grinned as I picked up my bag and
jacket, ready to close for the day, when I heard him say:
many times will I tell you to leave a line, and not two lines, between the
address of the recipient and the salutation? Incompetent thing, maybe I should
even further withhold your salary. Your appraisal is up for next month, and if
I must say, you have done nothing to merit a raise.”

fact that everyone else had departed helped the echoing effect of the words. I
looked up and saw him putting some of his personal effects in a bag. For me,
having no dignity was worse than making a necklace of the hangman’s noose, and
my boss’ statements stripped me of my dignity with each passing day. I stepped
to the right and reached for the scanner.   
Jerry Chiemeke is a lawyer and freelance writer who lives in Lagos. An amateur photographer and sports enthusiast as well, Jerry’s works have appeared on Blanck Digital, Elsieisy and Oshodi.tv. You can follow him on Twitter @J_Chiemeke, and also check out his craft on his blog at pensofchi.wordpress.com )
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