A story written by STANLEY UMEZULIKE (PHONE: +2347060745771)
I woke up by 7am. I brushed up and dressed up in white shirt and black jeans. I left my car at the garage and carried just my briefcase. I entered taxi and by 7:30, I was on my way to the Airport. At the Airport, I was surprised to notice that Eddie was a member of our team. We were six in number. The rest of the team members were Dan and Lizzy and two guys from human resources, Martin and David. Eddie booked ticked for us at South African Airways. Their smallest aircraft, the Boeing 737-800 was scheduled to leave by 9am. We started getting ready.
By 8:45, we were already inside the plane. Sitting beside me was Eddie. I didn’t know how I ended up sitting with him. I had already sent an SMS to Samantha that I will touch down in SA today.
By 9am, the plane has not yet taken off. What the hell?
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are waiting for clearance from the Air traffic control tower. We expect to depart in 10 minutes. Thank you for your patience.” A voice from speaker announced.
“What kind of delay is this?” asked Eddie. He was glancing through the South African Airways small bulletin.
“It may be traffic problem Sir.” I said.
“The hell it is.”
Seconds turned into minutes. I looked at the time; it was almost 8:09 am.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we will be taking off shortly. Please make sure that your seatbelt is securely fastened. Thank you.”
I fastened my seat belt and in less than a minute, the plane began to make it through the run way. Soon, we were airborne.
A slim man dressed on white shirt and trousers faced us and said, “Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Welcome on board this flight. My name is John and I’m your in-flight service director. Your cabin crew are here to ensure you have an enjoyable flight to Johannesburg this morning. In a few moments, we will be screening a safety video about this aircraft. You’ll also find a briefing card in the seat pocket in front of you. We require that you give us your careful attention. Thank you.”
As the whole thing was going on, Eddie was shifting on his seat. “I hate goddamm air travel.”
He was panicking as they began to talk about safety measures and what we should do in case there is emergency landing.
I raised my eyebrows. So this guy with all these arrogant tough exterior is a baby inside. I smiled.
I spent the rest of the hours perusing through the documents in the brown envelop. I noted some information.
I tried to sleep but couldn’t. I looked back and saw Lizzy chatting with Dan. I put back the envelope inside my pocket.
After 5 hours and 50 minutes, a voice announced that the plane is about to land. The plane landed inside the O.R. Tambo international airport at Kempton Park. We climbed down slowly and passed through customs and immigration.
Soon, we were inside a Sienna vehicle heading to Fairland. The residential suburb is located in northernJohannesburg and is one of the most leafy suburbs in the city. Fairland was developed on land that was originally a farm.
The driver drove us to Parkland hotel and suites where we lodged; each in a comfortable room. All Expenses to be paid by our firm. Eddie notified us that we will be heading to Mtn main office the next day. It was already evening; I was so tired from the flight. I showered and rested. I sent a message to Samantha.
Honey, I just arrived at Fairland. We will work tomorrow. I will see you on Saturday. Will inform you before I start coming.
I slept off.
The next day which is Friday, we converged outside the gate and entered a small bus. The driver drove us to 14th avenue. When we entered the big Mtn building, we were taken to their conference room; there we met with their sales representatives, the main people we are working with.
Introductions were made and soon, a dark fat man in a black Armani suit stood up, put on his glasses and began to brief us on their recent strides, “……Today, MTN Group is a leading emerging markets mobile operator which is at the forefront of the technological changes sweeping the world. We have invested significantly in advanced communications networks, connecting more than203, 8 million people in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East. In the past five years alone, our capital expenditure has exceeded R100 billion in the countries where we operate. In pursuit of our vision to lead the delivery of a bold, new Digital World to our customers, and our mission to make our customers’ lives a whole lot brighter, we leverage the talent of our nearly 27000 employees to offer innovative products and quality customer experience. We recognize the value of diversity within a group with a solid organizational culture….”
It was all talk, talk. We spent the rest of the day helping them to map out the new prepaid plan for ‘the season of love’ billed to start on 14th February and stop at the end of the month. To make more gains and reduce costs, we gave them professional help on how they can get back money from subscribers through the back door trap. Initially, we were the ones that advised them to introduce borrowing of credits to subscribers.
In the evening, I went back to my hotel room. We were to start work with them again by Monday the upper week. We have to spend the weekend here. That works in my favour. I planned to call Samantha but decided against it. I will be going to see her tomorrow morning. I could still picture her smile, her sweet embrace. I could smell her sweet aroma. She remains the best thing that has even happened to me.I slept with thoughts of her in my mind.
To Be Continued…