I stood by the wall looking through the huge transparent brown tinted windows with both my hands in my pockets, admiring the city view from my 5th floor office in Harare CBD. With our offices in the heart of the city, noise from the moving cars and traffic was quite distinct but not to the extent of disturbing peace and quiet in our offices. I am the CEO of one of the biggest insurance companies in Zimbabwe.
This was a family appointment by my father who passed it down to me after it was passed down to him by his father too. Make no mistakes, it wasn't out of obligation, I worked my ass off enough times to prove my worthy and finally I was given the chance to rock this ship. I must say though without sounding too pompous or too arrogant, things have significantly improved in the past three years that I have been leading this company.
Both my father and granddad are proud of the man I have become. It so happens that these are the only two men I always want to prove my worthy too. Even a slightest compliment from either of them is enough to put me in good mood for a few hours at least.
Naturally, I am a man of a few words. I don't necessarily rule with an iron fist, but I obviously earned every ounce of respect both in my business circles and my social circles. I don't have too many friends because I don't believe in friendship anyway. I do hang out with guys during weekends and grab a drink or two but I don't really chase after social activities.
My brother Delan on the other hand is a man in his own league. I don't judge him too harshly for his wildness and outgoing persona given that he is literally a celebrity in a way. He plays for the national basketball team and he is very good at what he does. He is easy with everyone and no offense taken but I am sure he is most loved and most preferred by everyone at home. That is my sister Daisy included. She is young and beautiful so I am naturally compelled to protect her and keep her sheltered under my eye which makes her hate me so much in a loving way though.
She is the only person apart from my mother who can put up with my bullshit. She is free to tell me off and there is literally nothing I can ever do to her. For a nineteen year old girl, she commendably outdoes herself. She pulled out a fight when our parents tried to convince her to go and attend university in Europe but she kept insisting that she wanted to go to Midland State University in Gweru because that is where most of her friends were going to.
I didnt think my dad would curve but he surprised us and she is finally in a place she wanted after all. My choice of university wasn't even a matter to discuss, it was simple, my dad had already decided for me that I would attend Oxford university and that's what I did. My Masters was a different thing altogether because I now had the freedom to choose anywhere else but I still stuck to Oxford.
I was very luck to have parents who were willing and capable of affording me the best quality of education. After graduating, I interned with a big company in the UK for a year and I was offered a fulltime job for two more years in the same company. I made every moment count because I knew that eventually I would come back home and take over the family business. So not only am I qualified for my position as CEO but I am undeniably experienced for it.
*** *** ***
Like every other last Thursday of the quarterly, I had to prepare for the boardmeeting which was always scheduled for 11am. I had sacrificed last night to polish up my presentation because I had so much to lose if I didn't impress the board members. It is not losing the CEO post that bothered me, it was infact losing my hard-earned integrity, my long worked respect and my ultimate confidence. I could never trade these for anything.
I was startled by the soft knock on the door and that riled up my irritation. I felt annoyed entertaining audiences in my office because I didn't like people infringing in my space and disturbing my quiet moments. In a low but authoritative voice I said, "Come in!" as I made lazy heavy strides towards my desk. Rosa my PA waited politely as I got settled into my big leather seat as she waited for my permission to let her speak. She knew better to keep her mouth shut and wait than to undermine me in any way.
"What can I do for you Rosa?"
My gaze was starring at her in an unwaivering way
"I needed to let you know that everything is ready for your 11am meeting"
"Thank you Rosa" I received the files and did a quick sweep through the content. My nod was the only confirmation she got from me and my expectation was that she would immediately walk out of my office as she must have but she remained rooted to the floor.
I partially raised my head and spoke in an irritable manner, " Was there something else?"
" Actually there is Sir. There is a lady at the reception who needs to see you"
"Does she have an appointment?"
"No!" Her voice came out so small betraying her confidence. I wonder what made her so scared of me to that extend.
"Then you know what to do. In less than thirty minutes I should be in a meeting and I would appreciate it if I am not dirstubed. Close the door on your way out!"
That came out exactly the way I was feeling inside which was extremely irritated. My staff sometimes acted so dumb. It is simple protocol, No one could see me without prior arrangement. If my father could respect that then who else would ever think they are special enough to demand my attention like that.
I watched Rosa breath so hard as her chest rose steadily but visibly through her grey suit jacket before she made her way to the door. She barely made it out to the corridor before she was shovelled out of the way by 'Miss Arrogant' who was screaming and screeching demanding to see me without fail.
I must say, this must be the lowest level of disrespect I had ever received my entire thirty years of living. I stirred in anger and my eyes almost bulged out of my leads as I maintained my angry stare into Rudo who was making the first embarassing scene in my office ever since I stepped my foot there. I didn't breath a word to her or to Rosa but it must be the stern angry face I was wearing that send Rosa running out of my face banging the door after her.