Just when Bridget thought her family was freeing itself from its financial shackles, another ugly incident reared its ugly head.
Mike, her husband was virtually jobless for almost five years when he eventually got the well-paid job he deserved. The icing on the cake was his overall boss who is Gbeke, a second cousin’s good friend.
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“I was pregnant with our third child when Mike got this new job”, Bridget said. “Before then, his lack of proper job had almost pulverised his confidence and depleted our savings. I have a fairly well-paid job as a graduate teacher in a private secondary school. But my salary didn’t stretch to cover the rent and look after a family of four. The new job meant we could afford a third child and plan for the future.
“You can therefore, imagine how high my blood pressure shot when Mike came home to tell me about the massive redundancy exercise that way taking place at the manufacturing company where he worked. He feared that since he was barely a year in the company, he might be one of the first to go.
Could I have a word with Gbeke, his overall boss, who was the company’s hatchet man? I felt really dejected. I’d never particularly liked Gbeke – an extremely unpleasant and snarly bald toad. Judging by what Mike told me of him, to say he wasn’t well liked amongst the staff is an understatement.
My feelings, however, had nothing to do with the situation on ground. I was pregnant and the school fees were due. So, the next day, I made my way to see Gbeke. He made a great fuss of my visit, asking me to what did he owe the pleasure of my visit.
Looking at him sitting there in his leather chair, taking in the smug look on his puffy face, the way his flesh rolled over the waistband of his trousers, I started to wonder if my visit wasn’t a mistake. But I thought of my husband and my children and swallowed my resentment.
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“It’s about my husband”, I began tentatively. “I’ve heard there are going to be some redundancies and I wondered …” The look on his face changed immediately. “You are worried he’s going to be given his marching orders, are you?”, he asked. What did the toad expect of me? To get down on my knees in front of him and beg
?” He confided that Mike’s name was already on the redundancy list as he was one of the newly employed. I pleaded with him to help and it was obvious he was getting a kick out of watching me grovel. Suddenly, he leered at me. “Actually”, he huffed, “maybe there is something you could do to help change my mind … “It took a moment for what he was suggesting to sink in. I felt sick to my stomach. It was decision time. How far would I go to protect my family? My pregnancy was barely showing but I’d do anything for my children.
He assured me that whatever I decided to do, I had his word that my husband would keep his job. When I nodded, he buzzed his secretary and asked her to hold all calls and no interruptions for the next 30 minutes. Thank God the whole episode lasted for less than ten minutes, every second a grind eternity of shame. I felt like throwing up. `I’ll keep my word’, I wouldn’t describe the lecher in those words.
“The next day, my husband came home with treats for the whole family. He said it was a celebration as Gbeke had assured him he’d be keeping his job. Seeing the job on his face, I told myself again that my humiliating afternoon in Gbeke’s office had been worth every degrading moment …”
Biola, the wife of a top executive of a conglomerate had accompanied her husband abroad on a working holiday when they went to dinner with the foreign head of the company. “He was a young handsome man,recalled Biola, “and his wife was well groomed. We all got on well together and as good food and champagne flowed, David, my husband’s boss, let it slip that when one of the expatriates in the Nigerian office left, they would be replacing him with a Nigerian. He wasn’t sure who the replacement would be but my husband was one of the three people being considered.
“We saw David again, but he was in deep conversation with Mide, my husband. The following evening, we didn’t have anything planned but Mide said he’d promised to visit a business associate. Could I take a sealed envelope to David in the office for him? It was something to do, so I took the official car we were given to David’s office whilst Mide took a cab. David was pleased to see me and offered me differ at a nearby hotel. I phoned Mide and he said I should go ahead and take as long as I wanted.
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“When we got to the hotel where we would have dinner, David took me straight to one of the suites. It was then it dawned on me that my husband had once again set me up as a sexual bait. Thankfully, I’ve always been a sophisticated lady and that night, I looked as stylist and fashionable as any member of the well heeled.
David made a pass at me as soon as dinner was over. He told me straight away that Mide was aware of what was going on and I believed him as I’d travelled this route before to help my husband keep his job. That night, the sexual provision this pervert required of me was of a particularly degrading nature. For the kind of job my husband was hankering after, sex had to be more than the ordinary.
“He got the job as I knew he would. He makes sure I don’t want for anything and our two children have the best education and life-style money can buy. I would do it again if I have to. Things like this go on all the time and I don’t lose sleep over whatever I have to do to make me financially independent. It is less risky than dealing in hard drugs or the 419 business”.