The part II of this Saturday story is the most painful part for me. Forgive me because I have to start from the beginning…
Some months ago, we did a recruitment project for a classy, 5 star hotel in the exclusive Victoria Island area. The job was to provide staff for all the restaurants and bars in the hotel. It was a really big deal because we had never done anything remotely similar before. For some roles, we needed highly experienced people, and for other roles, our client was willing to train on the job.
We started out by putting up adverts and the response was overwhelming. Every Tom, Dick and Akinjide who had ever worked in a hotel/motel/guesthouse/brothel/bang-as-you-go-house applied for the roles. In those months, I met all sorts of human beings… I met professional bartenders who could throw flames and knew the ingredients for cocktails that I had heard of only on Sex and The City. They dressed up in bow ties and waist coats, had excellent posture and called me “Madame”.
Then there were bartenders and waiters who showed up in ripped skinny jeans, whose highest level of experience was serving beer at Mama Iyabo’s joint behind their house.
The recruitment process was quite tedious. The first step was meeting with an interviewer. Then, if successful, the candidate will meet with a second level interviewer (yours truly). Then, if deem he/she worthy, they will meet with the client. That’s three levels of interviews. At the stage where you meet the client, the interview style is a panel interview. The panel consists of four big men (top shots in the industry) and little old me. So you guys can imagine how intimidating it is. And it’s not a one day process o… You can have your first interview one day, and not get to stage three till several weeks later.
Also, as an integral part of this gist, you guys should know that I have a reputation for being quite tough with candidates. Rumour has it that I am a rigid, evil, demon possessed witch. I can’t stand late comers, bad breath, bad dressing and bad grammar and I have a hard time hiding it.
Anyway, back to present day…
On Saturday, I got to the hotel and just as I hoped, the pool, the bar and the poolside restaurant were deserted. Only two cleaners were milling around with brooms and buckets so, with minimal shame, I stripped down to my bikini, with my stomach hanging down to my knees, and stepped into the pool. The pool is a small secluded pool, surrounded by trees and plants. I loved the level of privacy the place offered. I practiced my diving, I splashed about aimlessly, I dipped and made fart bubbles to see if the water would boil… I was having a blast.
Then, just as I was practicing my Baywatch ocean run, a guy came out of the bar and walked hurriedly towards me. He had THE DAFTEST SMILE plastered across his face. As he got closer, I recognized him as one of the candidates I had interviewed before. He looked genuinely happy to see me… Nigga couldn’t stop smiling. His head looked shrunken in his red bow tie and over-sized black suit.
“Goo morning ma”, he gave a small bow. “Well done ma”.
I didn’t know what to do in my half naked state. I thought of diving to the bottom of the pool to hide, but I was at the shallow end and I would’ve cracked my skull on the tiles. I lowered my knees in a weird squat-ish pose till the water was shoulder level and I was covered. The mumu guy was still standing there with a smile on his face.
As if I hadn’t heard him before, he greeted again but this time louder.
“How are you?” I asked.
“Fine ma. Taink you ma.”
“You work here?”
“Ehn. Yes ma.”
“What do you do for them?”
“The F&B supervisor ma. I supervise.”
“Alright…” long pause… “Okay… Well done.” There was really nothing to say. Still crouched awkwardly like a crab, I turned to half-swim-half-walk away.
“Ermmm… ma. Sorry ma. Excuse.”
“Erm, ma, after that time you interviewed me, I’ve not heard from you. I don’t know if there’s any problem or maybe if I dinnor pass.”
I was already very close to losing my patience. The nerve of this idiot! What was I supposed to do? Check the pockets of my itty bitty bikini for his CV and interview rating sheet??? I didn’t even need his CV because I remembered him clearly. Yeah, the guy looks and sounds daft, but he’s an excellent restaurant supervisor. He was one out of about nine people whose names I had forwarded to the client for the final level interview.
With all the calmness I could muster, I told him that I was sure someone would get in touch with him at the right time. He hesitated, then fidgeted a bit, before grudgingly accepting my response. Maybe it dawned on him that there was nothing I could do at the very moment.
“Okay ma. Taink you ma.” He bowed again, then he left with the same stupid smile on his face.
My country people, my dilemma now is, how am I supposed to sit in that panel next week Thursday? Maybe I’m overthinking it but I can’t imagine that the young man will ever look at me the same way again, with fear and trembling. What will be the point of wearing my power suit and high heels if all he will be picturing in his head is me like this?
Abeg, I think I’ll just call in sick on the day of the interview.
You guys should enjoy the rest of your week…