November 26th, 2009
I was running on the treadmill when I got the BBM message from Chidera. It turns out that my former bank, my supposedly solid former bank, had just downsized 40% of its staff, affecting mostly senior management. All of my friends I had lunched with only a week before, have been affected.
I powered off the machine, and sat on a nearby bench, my body covered in goose bumps. I couldn’t help but marvel at the unpredictability of life. Just a week before, these women had no idea that their worlds would soon be turned upside down.
Even though the context of Chidera’s BBM message had been to make jest about the whole thing, especially considering how condescending they had been to me last week, making fun was the last thing I wanted to do. My heart broke for them! Lilian is a single mother, with teenage children in an expensive secondary school. Adaobi has been the de facto breadwinner of her own family, since her husband’s construction company was shut down by the banks a few years ago. As for Ntianu, there is no way her banker husband will be able to sustain their lavish lifestyle on his salary alone. And with the upheaval in the banking industry, who’s to say he won’t be next?
I also couldn’t help but think how I most surely would have been affected, if I was still working at the bank. That thought made my stomach drop. I couldn’t imagine how it would have felt to leave my house thinking I was employed, only to return home a few hours later, pink slip in hand.
When Chidera saw that I was reading, but not responding to her BBM messages, she had called me instead.
“It’s not a laughing matter” I muttered, as she cackled and laughed.
“Biko, spare me the sanctimonious talk jor!” she had retorted “You can’t tell me there isn’t a small part of you that is rejoicing, especially after all the things they said to you last week.”
“To be honest….no” I had responded “I’m not rejoicing…and frankly, neither should you.”
Chidera had paused momentarily, before snapping out it “My bank is solid! It can never happen!”
“That’s what Ntianu and co. said to me last week” I had responded “Babe, instead of laughing and gossiping, we better pray. Look at all the people that have been rendered jobless…just a few weeks to Christmas. Think about all the families whose lives have changed…just like that!”
When I got home, I was tempted to call Ntianu, and the rest, but I knew that they wouldn’t be very responsive to my call…at least, not right now. I decided it would be best to just allow things settle for a while, before reaching out to them. I did, however, call Jane and Moroti, to find out if all was well on their end. They were, understandably, panicked, but assured me that all is well with them…at least, for now.
The silver lining to my day was the fact that my sales figures for the month of November have been much healthier than the month before. My girls say the marked down prices attracted a whole new class of shoppers. While this is good news, does it now mean that I will keep selling my goods way below I should. Yes, it will get more people to move them off the shelves quicker, but it would mean little or no profit for me.
I guess it’s more of an indication that I need to exit the perishable foods business…and fast. Baby food isn’t something I can mess around with. As a mother, I would never…NEVER…buy goods close to expiry, just to make a quick buck. No, I would never do that. But, on the other hand, there’s nothing stopping me from buying marked down baby clothes and supplies, and continuing with my half price bonanza.
It suddenly dawned on me that tomorrow is Black Friday in the US. The day of the craziest sales known to mankind. I immediately grabbed the phone, to psych my sisters to help purchase enough items for me to sell.
After the initial “You will never heard word” scolding from my sisters, I was able to convince them that it would be a good idea, and had then gone online, to send them pictures of the supplies I need. Money-wise, it isn’t a problem as we always find a way to sort each other out.
As JJ and I chatted about the day’s events, later that evening, we both agreed that it was a good idea, what I’d done. With the way this economy is going, mehn, no shaking or dulling oh!
We just gatsta keep it moving!
Catch up on Ihunna’s story here:
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 1: Grubbido
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 2: Fragile
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 3: Defiant
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 4: Progress
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 5: The Gym
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 6: Killjoy
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 7: Pain
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 8: Frenemies
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 9: Exhilarated
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 10: Popcorn
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 11: Free-fall
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 12: Sunday Morning
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 13: Mission Reactivated
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 14: New Things
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 15: Bad Business
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 16: Luxury Items
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 17: The Solution
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 18: Magic Formula
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 19: Date Night
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 20: Quinoa
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 21: Perfect Fit
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 22: Keeping In Touch
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 23: Delete
- Confessions of a Fat Girl 24: Philosophical