Heels and Valleys Chapter Six

Humming a cheery tune as she and her secretary walked to the big office where a brainstorming session was to happen, Favour had the reins of the situation in her hands. Just as she was about to step into the open office, she saw a hand stop her. Favour stopped and looked at the face of the distraction. She looked sideways and smiled in amusement. Miss trouble was really in for trouble.

“You sure do have spunk. The ever dynamic lady director” Cynthia wore a grin on her face. On her body was a blue gown similar to Favour’s Monday vermilion red gown.

“What is it this time?” Aanu asked behind Favour. Favour looked at the already angry Aanu. “I’ll handle this. You go in, we can’t be late” Aanu heeded the advice and left for their original destination, but not without giving Cynthia a look that could make the footsteps of someone with unsure footing falter. Cynthia returned the look with an equally deadly stare before facing her arch enemy.

“Miss Director, I know what you’re up to. Dressing all fancy throughout this week. You should consider stepping down from being a director. That icy feel your appearance used to have isn’t there anymore.” Envy was boldly written on Cynthia’s face as she faked her confidence.

“Are you telling me this as a friend?” Favour asked calmly.
“What have we always been?” she snorted. “You’re unbelievable. You think they’ll accept you if you start acting like a woman?”

“Your dress tells me a different story though. We can talk later. Please, out of my way” Favour bypassed Cynthia who rolled her eyes.

Favour walked into the office and found them all with their eyes closed. Sanmi was leading the prayers already. She found herself smiling. “I must have judged a book by its cover.” she thought before closing her eyes to join the prayer.

When they said their last “amens” Favour and Sanmi’s eyes met. In embarrassment, both looked away immediately.

“I guess I have the floor now. Let’s start immediately. One after the other, I want to hear progressive suggestions. This year has been awesome no doubt. But next year should be better.” Favour started.

Aanu checked her wristwatch and jotted down something in her notebook. When no one was speaking, Favour looked directly at Tony whose legs were shaking in anxious anticipation.

“Tony, we’re waiting to hear from you. Please speak your mind.”
He stood up and adjusted his tie. “My suggestion is something I’d like you to look into.” Favour nodded and motioned for him to continue.

“Since I started working here, that’s three years already. I’ve been under your directorship and I could tell that we were doing all we could. But, since Monday, I thought about how we could make things better.”

Favour continued to scroll at the tablet in her hand. She wished he’d just get to the point.

“I realized that each one of us, except Sanmi of course who is a new member, was doing the same things even though every one of us has different areas of specialization. It would help a lot if we can approach the next year with the approach of the division of labour. Every one of us should be given the chance to work according to the areas where we excel. For example…”

“Thank you, Tony. Your point has been noted. We are running out of time.” She cut his sentence short. Boluwatife was raising her hand.

“Please” Favour granted her permission to speak.
“Without wasting time. I’m in full support of Tony’s point. It makes a lot of sense. However, the difficulty is this. Our department is solely concerned with advertisement and general awareness of the public. Each one of us did not have to major in marketing, advertisement, etc. at our higher institutions to get the jobs we hold in this department. We were glad to be employed, that was all that mattered. So, versatility is out of the question even though we were trained specially by the company. My suggestion is simple. Though we have a departmental secretary who does her job. The rest of us should be able to point out what area we think we can handle best in the advertisement and marketing.”

Favour was awed. Here was another person she had judged completely based on her appearance. Bolu had spent just six months at the company, giving Favour less than enough time to know her.“Can you elaborate on that?” she probed further.

“Making myself as an example. I take care of the newspaper advertisements even though I’d prefer being sent to media houses. I mean television and radio to create awareness about our company.”

“Our secretary who should be solely responsible for recording our activities and keeping of files is also in charge of internet marketing. Although she does not complain about it, she’s torn between giving her best to what she understands how to do best and the additional job she was asked to do.”

One of the two unpopular members in the meeting nodded vigorously. Boluwatife continued her discourse. “With Sanmi’s temperament and his majoring in architectonics or what’s the name of that course again?, I think he can do well in internet marketing. That’s if he wants to though…”

Boluwatife kept on rattling sense, keeping the people present at the meeting in shocking awe.
When it was apparent that Boluwatife was done, Favour sighed. Every inch of her wanted to give a round of applause but she restrained herself.

Tony had been the one to talk about it at first. It had been one of her plans, but Boluwatife had just shown to exact way to go about it. She checked the wall clock. The time looked odd. She checked her wristwatch. Aanu who had followed Favour’s eyes knew what was happening at once.

“That wall clock would soon be years behind us” Aanu commented.
“I brought a battery for it today. It eluded me to fix it before this time” Sanmi spoke up for the first time.

“That’s so nice of you.” Favour’s smile was wide. In no time, she found herself staring right into his face.“God, what’s this?” she said under her breath. Things were almost going as planned until this. “Are you sure that a battery is its problem? The other unpopular member who hadn’t spoken at all spoke, bailing Favour out of the dilemma she found herself.

“Are you sure that it is a battery problem? The other unpopular member who hadn’t spoken at all spoke, bailing Favour out of the dilemma she found herself.

“If there’s a problem with the wall clock even after fixing the battery, report it to me. I can’t always come and be a mother hen. Sometimes, you have to speak up. I know you need proper ventilation here. It’s so stuffy. If it is an air conditioner that would be fixed here or even a fan, I can’t request it on your behalf if you don’t report it to me.” she said and the members cheered.

“Please. Thank you.” She said, to stop the cheering. “But the condition is this, do exceptionally well for the rest of this December to the extent that this department would be listed as the top three departments during the New Year eve’s party. Requesting simple things like that next year shouldn’t be a trouble for the company’s finances.”

“We have just five minutes left,” Aanu said, drawing Favour’s attention who nodded.
“I wanted you to still have thirty minutes for your break. So, quickly, let’s have any other suggestions you have before the conclusion”

Sanmi raised his hand. “If it were possible, could we have a few minutes like this to just pray every Friday?”
Boluwatife had a funny look on her face at the question.

“With a few permissions, we can. But, we have someone who’s not Christian among us.” Favour answered cautiously.

“If it’s about me, you can stop worrying. Just do your thing” Boluwatife replied.

“Thank you,” Sanmi said to Boluwatife who shone her lipstick-smudged teeth. Discussing her ideas so passionately with excess lipstick on had caused that.

“Right now, we are done with the meeting. In conclusion. One thing I want you to focus on is the fact that we have to stay true to ourselves, the company, and our God. C’est finis.” Favour spoke before her phone rang.

“Someone should close this meeting with a brief prayer. I need to receive this call” with that, she walked briskly out of the office.

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