CHAPTER 3: SURPRISE

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January 2013

We got back to our hotel room a bit late today, around 08 pm. I was exhausted because of walking around the malls and market just in the name of shopping.

I had to convince Ihuoma to follow me to market. So we went to Aguégué market at Ikeja. We also went to computer village to buy software for my cousin Terry who lives with me in Dakar.

As soon as I stepped back into my hotel room, I started packing my luggage. I did not want to be in a hurry. I finished arranging my bags around midnight. Wow!!! Looking at my watch, I knew that I just had 02 hours to sleep.

I went to bath, and when I finished, coming out of the bathroom, my phone rang.

Him: ”hello, babe!”

It’s was who you know… throughout the day, I decided to reject his calls. But he kept calling so I decided to pick this call.

Tomiwa: “yeah! Tell me, what do you want from me?” I answered the phone rolling my eyes.

Yul: “I want you to give 30mns to talk to you and clearly explain what happened at that time.” He said literally begging.

Tomiwa: “look, Yul, don’t even bother yourself. I am not in a good mood to talk, my flight is in less than 8 hours, and I need to relax” I replied giving him hope I guess because he kept begging.

 Yul: “ok, but I was hoping you could say yes to our next meeting.”

Tomiwa: “do you realise that this will happen the next time i’m in Lagos right? I asked.

Him: « … »

Tomiwa: »ok, yes!” I promptly answered accepting his invitation because I knew it would take me long before we see each other in Dakar or Lagos. However, his silence intrigued me. He is not the type of man to keep quiet.

 Yul: « ok, babe! Relax well. Take care! »

 Me: » take care. »

 Yul: kiss!

 Click……

 Hum. Let me tell you, and I will not deny it. I like that man, but something happens last year that has made me angry towards him up till now.

 Yul Peter Ekeh is the Space Control Officer of Voyager Airlines Ltd. He is the person in charge of dispatching domestics and international flights and coordinating correspondence flights with other airlines we have an agreement with for all our stations.

 Early last year, our Station Manager resigned, and the country manager of Dakar station asked me to be the acting station manager untill they send somebody from headquarters.

I was the Airport Services Supervisor and acted as Station Manager for 06 months until the HQ called for an interview to found out if I could handle the work.

 Can you imagine! I was disappointed with our HR team to tell you the truth. Under normal circumstances, in my opinion, they should have conducted a promotion process, and also follow the evaluation process or mid term review to evaluate my performance and see that i was qualified for the job.

Instead, they called me all the way from Lagos, and made me travel all over there, for me to take an interview and the only question that was asked was about knowing if I was available and willing to take that offer.

I have been working for Voyager Airlines for five years now. Nothing was new for me. I was a simple operation agent back then when I started working at the airport with Voyager Airlines. Still, I have been gathering experience since then. I got trained and even studied operation management and graduated. So I knew I was well prepared enough for the position.

 So when I eventually went to Lagos for that f*****g for the test and interview to be Dakar station manager, everything went well until the last step which was my meeting with « Mr. I know it all  » Yul Peter Ekeh. He kasked me only one question. « How old are you ? » I started introducing myself narrating my educational and professional background until I gave my age… and “bam” he stopped me.

Yul: » hum. Well, thanks for your presentation. It’s ok, but for me, I think you are too young to have this position. We will get back to you soon. » That said he stood up and left me.

 I was shocked. I did not expect to get that kind of comment. I am young, but I proved by my work and commitment that I could handle the position well enough despite my young age . So that day, from the office and went straight to the airport back to Dakar.

From the day of the interview till now, it has been six months now, the headquarter has not sent another person to take over the position. So I am still the « acting station manager » of Voyager Airlines in Senegal.

 After that interview session, Yul started to come to Dakaron a regular basis. I even thought he blocked my candidacy because he wanted to put his relative or apply by himself. But no.

I was frustrated and disappointed. I was not fully appointed, my salary was not matching yet i was doing the work and and going overtime because of flight delays and all.

At some point, The guy told me one day that he is not interested in the position. He started giving me trouble each time he was in Dakar, concerning the way I was dealing with our partners, service handlers, and government agency like ASECNA, ANACS, and even Total company for fuel supply, saying that I was delaying the flight while fueling the aircraft and that I should do such action early enough for the plane to leave on time and so many other things…

And one day we had a severe clash, and since that time, I don’t even want to see him anymore. I have been avoiding him as much as possible. He has been apologizing, but I don’t f*****g care about him and his excuses.

 After Yul’s call, I just laid down on my bed to relax. Thank God Ihuoma woke me up. If not, I would have slept till the next day.

 

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 Early this Sunday morning, around 2 am, Ihuoma and I, and some other colleagues left our hotel to the airport. we had a bus taking us to the airport.

 The checking was starting around 05h30am, but we had to leave early to be on time at the airport. You know Lagos, with the long-distance we never know what can happen on the road.

 The flight was full from LOS (Lagos) with PAX (passengers) returning from their holiday. I was departing that Sunday early in the morning back to Dakar, but I had to operate Our flight from LOS. With LOS station manager, Mrs. Bukky Ademola’s coordination,  I sent some information to Dakar like the PNL ( passengers name list), Lagos taking off time, Dakar EAT( estimate arrival time), and wheelchair request for one Pax.

 After that, I enter straight to the boarding room.

 Ihuoma: » ok, babe! It’s time for us to go now. I’ll give you a call when I get to Jo’burg, ok! Take good care and safe flight back to Dakar » she said hugging me.

Tomiwa: « ok, dear! Stay well and do have a nice trip too » i said.

 She left me where I was sitting, and as soon as she passed the boarding gate, someone came to a seat near me.

 Him: « eh! Tomi, how you doing? » Yul surprised me.

Me turning back to see who the person was.

Tomiwa: »Sheytetete! you again! You are the last person I will like to talk to this morning » I told Yul.

Yul: « my dear, you will need to because let me tell you something, we’re going to be on the same flight. » He said smiling back at me. I melted😊🤦🏽‍♀️

Tomiwa: « what the h*? Don’t tell me you’re going to Accra! » I completely turned to face him.

 Yul: « point of correction, I am going to Dakar on a mission dear ».

Tomiwa: « and you’re just telling me? » He could see my frustration. My mind went back to our last conversation.

 Yul: » I tried to let you know, but you didn’t allow me…. » He was right.

 Me: « whatever… » I ignored him and put on my sunglasses and position myself as if i wanted to sleep on the bench.

Few minutes later, I stood up and entered the plane, knowing fully that this guy would disturb me throughout the trip. This man knew why he was asking me for a rendezvous yesterday. He knew he was going to Dakar, and I accepted to see him like a real dummy!!!!!!!

 ***************************************

We took off from Lagos at 08.00 am. After 34mns, we were in Accra.

 Before departing from Accra.

 Pilot speaking:

 « Good morning, passengers. Captain Richard COOK speaking.

First, I’d like to welcome everyone on Voyager Airline Flight 86A onboard to Dakar.

 The time is 8.34 am. The weather looks good, and with the tailwind on our side, we are expecting to land in Dakar approximately at 3.15 hours, 45mns ahead of schedule.

 The weather in Dakar is clear, with a high of 18 degrees for this afternoon.

If the weather cooperates, we should get a great view of the city as we descend.

 The cabin crew will be coming around in about twenty minutes to offer you a light snack and beverage, and the inflight movie will begin shortly after that.

 I’ll talk to you again before we reach our destination. 

Once again, we thank you for choosing to fly with us today, and we hope you enjoy your flight. »

 And then the Hostess:

 « Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the crew, I ask that you please direct your attention to the monitors above as we review the emergency procedures.

 There are six emergency exits on this aircraft.

Take a minute to locate the exit closest to you.

 Note that the nearest exit may be behind you.

Count the number of rows to this exit. Should the cabin experience sudden pressure loss, stay calm and listen for instructions from the cabin crew.

 Oxygen masks will drop down from above your seat. Place the mask over your mouth and nose like this. Pull the strap to tighten it.

 If you are traveling with children, make sure that your mask is on, before helping your children. In the unlikely event of an emergency landing and evacuation, leave your carry-on items behind.

 Life rafts are located below your seats, and emergency lighting will lead you to your closest exit and slide.

We ask that you make sure that all carry-on luggage is stowed away safely during the flight.

While we wait for take-off, please take a moment to review the safety data card in the seat pocket in front of you.

 After the hostess passage, I immediately put on my headphones and glasses wind down the window cutting, and slept off.

 I did it because I did not want to have any conversation with that stupid man called Yul.

 It is Captain COOK again that woke me up once we landed in Dakar.

 I carried my handbag and immediately went to see our Country Manager (CM), Mr. Moyosore.

 CM: « Hey, Liane! » He likes to call me by that name because he said it is the first time he hears that kind of name. « How’re you doing? Welcome back! I hope you had a nice journey! »

Tomiwa: « Fine, Sir! » yeah, it was not bad! » I replied.

 CM: « ok. Take these documents, drop them at the office, after that you can go home. »he instructed me.

Tomiwa: « Thank you, Sir! » see you tomorrow at the office then. » I left.

 Mr Moy probably knew I did not want to handle the flight because I was very tired. I left him, dropped the documents, and went straight to my house.

 I was living at Sacre Coeur 3 behind the « boulangerie Jaune » in a three-bedroom duplex.

As I got home. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr you can’t imagine what I saw….

 

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