This is my story and i hope you learn from it.

In 2010, i was a cleaner/negative film developer in a photo-lab somewhere in abacha road mararaba nasarawa state Nigeria. My future was so bright in the company as the CEO was fond of me and he also had interest in me. i guess its because i was well behaved and dedicated to my work irrespective of my status and position in the company. I was highly recommended for the position of a studio manager and a graphic artist. There was also an apprentice who is a rising star as well, his name is Daniel. I tutored him and tried to manage his excesses because he was exceptionally brilliant. But, he was lazy and carefree. Hardly would he take corrections and rarely would he apologize for his misdeeds.

My other colleagues wondered what I saw in him, but they weren’t working directly with him. I knew his type: he hated structure and would never last under a corporate environment. Still, he was a brilliant strategist. I handled him well and our results together with others in the company was highly commendable.

There came a time I was having family issues and for this reason, I had little patience with Daniel and his shenanigans. I was short-tempered with him but he had gotten used to me managing his excesses, he didn’t take my anger seriously. In two weeks, I had given him 3 queries which i informed the CEO about. This meant dismissal and when I was asked by my Boss if I truly wanted him to go, I could not care less. I had my own problems and was not in the mood to babysit anyone. Therefore i said to my Boss in these exact words ” Oga abeg, let him go for now”.

Three years later, I lost my job because the company was downsizing. My boss lost interest in the company due to mismanagement of funds. I foolishly assumed I would get a job anywhere, so initially, I wasn’t worried. But 12 months in, I was still searching and my savings was dwindling fast. I decided, since I wasn’t getting any job, I’d drive my father’s Toyota Camry as a cab to those commuting from the airport. This was better than waiting around doing nothing.

The cab job surprisingly was not doing badly as I was picking up and dropping off esteemed clients. It wasn’t a lot of money but it was steady.

In December 2017, an esteemed client asked me to pick up his friend from the airport because his driver had disappointed him. You wouldn’t believe it. This person I was to pick turned out to be Daniel. When he called to confirm his location, I instantly recognized his voice. My heart plunged but I wasn’t going to reject the job and disappoint a long-term client. Daniel exited the airport with only a hand luggage so there was no need for me to alight from the car. As he got into the car, I looked back from the driver’s seat to greet him but he was distracted on the phone and never looked up to notice me. He only answered my greeting and asked me to get going.

As I drove him all the way to a hotel on the Island, I had tears in my eyes. He looked like he was doing well, his conversations on the phone also showed that he was in control. Daniel had done well for himself and I was now driving him. Life is tricky and has a way of making you the butt of its joke. I cannot lie that I was ashamed but I would never forgive myself if I let him go without letting him know I was proud of him.

We got to the hotel and I quickly got down from the car to open his door. This was when he noticed me. He was speechless for a while then he said in Yoruba “Oga (boss) you have been the one driving me since?” He was shocked at first but then he hugged me tight. The tears finally poured, I can’t really say what I felt but I know I expect his reaction.

“ I heard the company folded up and you and others had to go ‘, he said.  ” I sent you a message on my other number to find out how you were but you never responded ” he said while still holding on to my shoulders.

I remember receiving a message from him but he was one out of many that called or texted to pity me. I didn’t want anyone’s pity so I never responded.

Daniel made me park my car and took me in to his room to talk. He immediately told me about his new gig. After he was laid off in 2010 which happens to be my handiwork, he got a consultation deal through a friend with a multinational which opened doors for him in other multinationals.

Now, he has 15 people working for him but he was in desperate need of someone who does the same as him and he didn’t have to worry about their competence or expertise. He just wanted someone he could trust and count on to focus more on bringing business to the company.

My life changed that day. I resumed work with Daniel in one week and I have made sure since then to treat his company as if it were mine.

I don’t know why he treated me so nicely after what I did to him but as men, we have never talked about it. I am sure though, that he can feel my gratitude in the way I work and my zeal in doing all I can to make sure he doesn’t have to worry about the back-end.

I hope someone learns from this. lf the world turns upside down, you may end up cleaning for your cleaner. Please always remember this when you act without consideration of the other person’s future.


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