Life can have its ups and downs you know. I have not always been at rock bottom in life as I am now. I have been much worse.
I remember being born in a very poor family. Not much to eat. I used to lose a fight with the birds for a worm in the garden. They got there first.
My mom used to make me wear hand-me-downs from my siblings who were older than me. I hated having to wear a dress, bra and frilly underwear.
Our house was very small. So small that even the mice had hunched-backs. And it was very damp too. We had a permanent rainbow in the kitchen. The toilet door had no lock. I used to sit on the throne singing with my foot stretched out behind the door to keep it from opening. I’d forgot it opened outwards!
Even when I grew up and got married poverty followed me around. I used to sell furniture. Mostly my own to make ends meet.
Then I became a door-to-door salesman selling doors. I had three doors strapped on my back to show potential clients the different qualities available; and I also carried two suitcases. One was full of locks and handles for clients to choose, and the other case was full of hinges of different sizes and materials.
I knocked at a door and a very tall man opened it and said: “Yes? What do you want?”
“Good morning Sir,” I said, “I am here to open doors to great opportunities!”
As I stooped down to place the two suitcases on the ground, I bent forward a little, and the doors on my back hit him hard on the forehead.
He had a small cut on his head and it started bleeding a little.
“Do you have any Band-Aid and bandage dressing?” I asked him.
“Do you need some too?” he replied holding a handkerchief to his head, “where did you hurt yourself?”
“Not for me … for you …” I said. He grunted and said nothing.
I then unstrapped the three doors off my back and proceeded to explain how well made they were. He said he already had a front door which suited him quite nicely, thank you.
I then got a job as a junior clerk in an accounting firm. We were at a conference once in a town up North. We all stayed in a big posh hotel. Luxury at last.
After the evening meal, my boss, a woman in her early thirties, went up to her room. Before she left the table she asked me discretely to follow her a few minutes later. She gave me a duplicate plastic card to use in that contraption which opens the hotel room door. She said she wanted to discuss my annual appraisal report.
I was hesitant at first. I sipped my coffee slowly to waste time and to gather enough courage to decide what to do. My boss was not one to argue with. When she said, “Jump” we replied, “How high”, rather than question her request – or should I say her command.
A few minutes later I entered her room and it was empty. I said loudly, “Hello … anyone here?”
Her voice replied from the bathroom, “I’m in the shower. Come in!”
I was astounded and frightened at this request which, as I said earlier, sounded more like a command.
My boss had a certain reputation amongst the office gossip grapevine but I never quite believed it. It seemed that now was the time for me to sample such a reputation.
I did not know what to do, especially since my future career at this firm depended so much on her and her appraisal of me. I hesitated for a while.
“Get a move on,” she cried impatiently from the bathroom, “I’m not going to wait all night!”
Those were her exact words; I still remember them clearly. She obviously meant business and my future life flashed in front of my eyes.
I was totally confused. I sought guidance from my abbreviated Catechism which I carried in my pocket but I could not find an answer in a hurry. They really should have a better index in those books.
I took off my jacket and put it on the back of the chair. Then I took off my shoes. I had a big hole in one of my socks!
Before I could go on any further she came out of the bathroom fully clothed and speaking on her cell-phone. Apparently you get a better reception in the shower than anywhere else in her hotel room.
“Why have you taken your shoes off?” she asked.
“I did not want to dirty the carpet!” I replied unconvincingly.
I wonder if she believed me. Fortunately I got a good annual appraisal although she did say I often get the wrong end of the stick!