Ethan was clearly a brilliant chap. He aced all of his courses and finished on top of his class with a first class honours in information technology. As an undergrad, he had added two internationally recognised certifications to his feathers. Occupying himself with online trainings in key aspects of his field of interest was his extra-curricular activity.
Meanwhile, while he strove to achieve academic excellence, he engaged himself in a couple of side hustles as well. The idea was to boost his pocket and resume alongside thereby getting ready for the cooperate world.
Smart move you’ll call that. In a country where businesses required a minimum of 3-year working experience from a fresh graduate, anyone with as little as a grain of sense should begin to save for the rainy day.
“This position is mine“, he affirmed as he prepared himself for the interview he had that day with ITech the most relevant IT firm in the country, and his dream workplace too.
Yea, he had just returned from the compulsory one-year youth service program (NYSC). A pure waste of good time in his opinion. Anyway, he landed on his feet upon his return and got an invite for an interview for the post of UI/UX designer he had applied for a few months to the end of his service year.
“The interviewers can try all they want. I’m the man for this job”.
That same morning, on the exclusive part of town, Mr Smith was in a frenzy, trying desperately not to be late for work. He hurriedly arranged his papers in a bid to dash out of his apartment. He had worked late into the night dealing with some office work and finally slept off a few minutes to 3 only to wake up with a start just before 6:45am.
Locking up the front door of his apartment, he made for his car and tried to start it immediately. But much to his chagrin, the engine refused to come alive after several attempts. Unknown to him, he had forgotten to turn off the tail lights upon getting home the evening before. The light was on for hours until it finally drained the car battery.
“Damn“! He cussed in frustration. “This is a bad time for this ride to develop a fault, not when I’m already running late“.
Meanwhile, it was still way too early to get his mechanic to come fix it. “Thank God for Uber”, he sighed as he reached into his pocket for his phone. He began to navigate through the Uber app in order to hail a cab but discovered he couldn’t connect at all. Upon closer look at his device, he realised there was no single bar on his network.
“Phew! Heirtel has done its worst“. At that point, he knew he had only one choice – an unpleasant one at that: Take public transport aka ‘danfo’! He hadn’t taken a public transport in 4 years. As far as he was concerned, those buses are mobile contraptions to be avoided.
But since when did beggars become choosers. He found his way to the bus stop and joined the teaming number of workers struggling for spaces on incoming busses. After a seemingly endless period of struggle, he finally got into a physically battered one with bare woods as seats.
As he made his way to the rear seat where there was available space, he stepped inadvertently on the well-polished shoe of a young man. The victim moved his leg immediately and railed at him.
“Are you blind or what? Don’t you know you just stepped on my shoe? Why can’t you watch where you’re stepping”?
Wow! Mr Smith was dumbfounded. All these just because he stepped on a shoe? He took a good look at the assailant. The young man looked too well-groomed for his ill manners. But rather than hit back at him, he simply apologized and took his seat.
“Sorry for yourself“, the young man re-joined, hissing perfunctorily.
An elderly woman was unlucky to sit beside him. Because she was closest to the door and was barely sitting with a pair of her butt, she turned to the young man and appealed to him to “kindly ‘adjust’ a little” (move over) so she can sit a bit more conveniently.
“And where do you want me to move to, he responded. You shouldn’t have joined the bus if you knew the sitting position was inconvenient for you“.
Other commuters tried to make him see reason but he shouted them all down. He even used the f-word on one. Mr Smart took all these young in and wondered what the world has come to. The younger generation and their ways.
In the meantime, he decided to alight a walking distance away from his workplace so he could
Fast forward to an hour and a half later, that same morning, Ethan had already successfully gone through the first phase of his interview and was left with the final and determining interview with the head of HR.
After waiting for a couple of minutes to see the boss, the secretary ushered him into the office of the HR boss. Upon hearing the door open, Mr Smith looked away from the system he had been staring at to see who the newcomer was.
Alas, standing before him was the young man from the bus, the rancorous one. His personality was too striking to be easily forgotten.
Interestingly, Ethan couldn’t recall having an encounter much earlier with the man who was about to decide his fate as a potential employee in the workplace of his dream.
He offered the young man a seat and asked if he recognized him, perusing his CV.
“I don’t think so, sir” was Ethan’s courteous response.
“That’s strange. Just a couple of hours ago, on the bus going to Kingsway, you lashed out at a man who stepped on your shoes. Remember“?
Ethan looked closely at the man before him for a minute and then his countenance changed, looking crestfallen as reality dawned on him.
“Yes, I was the one you lashed at. Now that I think of it, I may have overlooked your verbal assault at me and considered you for this position regardless. However, your overall conduct on that bus showed that yours is a case study in vulgarity, one that is impossible to overlook”.
“I must confess you look good on paper and surely have the technical skills required for this post. However, there is more to the job description than the technical-know-how. It requires a person with a human phase – one who is empathetic and can relate well with people”.
“I’m afraid I have to turned you down“.
Someone once said that a bad attitude is like a flat tire. It won’t go anywhere until it’s fixed.
Physical endowments and unique abilities are great requirements. However, a right attitude is a necessity.
Many times, folks need only to look in the mirror to check what the problem is.
Image Credit: Scruggs Auto