It was 6:23 pm, and he was still on his work desk. Life and work balance has been a mirage so far for him. He has to slave, if he wants to eat.
“Yusuf, the presentation should be ready before 7 am tomorrow. I cannot fall behind schedule, you know this is very important”.
There was no better word to describe his boss than the word: taskmaster. All Yusuf wanted was a paying job, he never signed up for this. Having to leave his one room apartment by 5 in the morning, waiting in the hellish traffic for hours, getting to the office by 7, and slaving till dusk. What other description would fit HELL better? The worst part was the low wage premise the job resided on. Even with all that slaving, comfort was still a luxury he couldn’t afford.
“I got this assignment last night, and I’m to finish tonight. Oh God, why? This is a 3-days minimum job, and I’m doing it in a day? With no added incentives? No better word than slavery. I only have one of those, just one lifetime. I think I’m done. I feel I’m done. I KNOW I’m done. I’M DONE! It’s gonna be Paycheck and Zoom!” Yusuf declared.
“Hello Boss. Good evening, sorry for the disturbance, I just wanted to inform you that I’ve sent the mail containing the presentation.”
“That’s very good of you, good night”
It was past 10 pm, he just got home 30 minutes ago. It was always like that. There was no food left in the house. The little Caroline cooked the last time was finished. He remembered Caro, as he fondly called her. His jaded girlfriend. He couldn’t blame her, she was not getting any younger. Marriage was an issue he feared a lot. Where would he start? He was not ready financially, emotionally, physically and otherwise. Caro would definitely leave him soon, the signs don’t lie. Pangs of hunger returned, Mama Ade to the rescue!
It was morning already, the 30th day of the month, and payday too. That single word was one of the few things that lit up Yusuf’s face. Nevertheless, it also brought along sadness. His salary was always long finished before he even got paid. Chain indebtedness.
“God save my soul” He would always say.
He remembered his plans for the day, and excitement crept through his spine. He had gone to and read a thread on “How to quit your job”. He rushed through shower, took his left over fried potato, Mama Ade always rescuing! Office in a bit.
“It is 2 pm already and this man Jonathan is not here. Gross disregard!” Yusuf cursed.
His Boss, Jonathan always came around that time, never before 1 pm. He had competent hands of course, Yusuf was around still.
“Good afternoon sir.” Boss was back.
“Yes, good afternoon Yusuf.”
“Sir, I quit” Yusuf said with a bland face.
“What! Why? Are you joking?” Boss Joe queried on.
“You can organise a press conference if you have more questions” He said this one with a mischievous smirk.
Yusuf definitely rehearsed his script perfectly. This was actually done after he got a credit alert for his salary. Salary payment was one thing his Boss was good at. Prompt and smooth. He couldn’t have left the money too, he worked for it. He couldn’t shoot himself in the head now, he already had a broken cyanide in his mouth. He was no Adolf Hitler.

AFTER SCHOOL, life is never smooth.