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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - London, cash withdrawal, Naira, account, bank, Marina Street, Lagos, Debenhams, manager, branch, travel, fired.

He was casually clad in a red T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans and a pair of simple leather sandals. “Hello he said to the bank cashier,” “Hi,” she replied hastily not even looking in his direction. She was busy wrapping up a hefty wad of Naira notes. He waited for her cue that she was ready to attend to him, but after a few minutes there was none. She was feverishly wrapping notes and tossing them into a box beside her. At this point, she was the only cashier behind the counter at the Bank branch on Marina Street, Lagos, so he waited patiently, whistling softly away. Then, she looked up at him. There was a subtle sign of ‘don’t bother me’ on her face. “I am wondering if you have the time to attend to me,” he said softly. “I am leaving for London tonight. I have a lot on my hands right now. Go to the next cashier,” she replied him haughtily, blowing gum like a child munching on a piece of sweet cake as she spoke. “There is no other cashier around,” he pointed out politely.

“Then go and find another one,” she hollered at him. “Where may I find one?” He asked still maintaining his calm. “Anywhere!!! Can’t you see I am busy?” “Well, since you work here, you may have an idea where I can find your colleagues.” “I am going to be late for my flight to London,” she hollered back at him again, emphasizing ‘the planned trip to London.’ “I would not want you to miss your flight, miss, but I have an urgent transaction to put through. If it is possible, could you please find one of your colleagues to help me with that?” She scanned the hallway behind the counter and there was no one in sight. It was close to the end of the day’s shift, so the cashiers were running helter-skelter to wrap up business for the day. “Why did you have to come so late? I don’t want to miss my flight to London.” He said nothing in reply.

Reluctantly, she asked, “So what is it you want?” He began to speak, but she carried on grumbling about her trip to London. When she stopped, he spoke out, “I would like to make a transfer to this account,” he said passing a piece of paper to her with an account number scribbled on it. She tapped furiously at her computer keyboard and asked him, “How much do you intend to transfer? Can I have your account number please?” He passed his bank card to her. “How much did you say you want to transfer?” She asked him absentmindedly. “A hundred and fifty thousand Naira,” he answered. “I will have to charge you for the transfer. I needed to let you know that.” “Actually, I don’t get charged for transfers below two hundred and fifty thousand Naira,” he said. All through, he had maintained his cool. He smiled as he spoke.

She looked up at him and said, “Everyone gets charged.” “If you look through my account, I am sure there is a message somewhere there that states that I don’t get charged. I have done this several times,” he explained. “It is only hundred Naira by the way.” “I know, but I have other charges that I pay to your bank, and for that reason, I don’t get charged for transfers.” “I am afraid; I can’t effect the transfer then. I think you should come back tomorrow. I have a flight to catch this evening for London. I don’t have the time for arguments now,” she said without even opening his account. “In that case, please can I make a cash withdrawal?” “No, not now. Come back tomorrow.” She tossed his piece of paper and bank card at him with careless abandon. She left the counter and walked into a room on the far end of the hallway. Peeved, he picked up his items and waited for her or any other staff to show up. He could see the security guards shutting the doors as the bank branch readied itself to end the day.

As if on cue, another staff appeared. “Please I have been here for quite some time. I was let in by security and ever since then, no one has been able to serve me. Do you mind if I run one transaction before you close?” He managed a smile on his face even though he was boiling with anger. “Sure,” said the lady. She sank tiredly into a seat and took his details. “So what can I do for you?” “I want to transfer every penny in my account to my other account with Zenith bank,” the man explained. He furnished her with the bank accounts. “You are leaving our bank?” She asked him. “I am afraid so.” “Why is that?” “I don’t like the service I have received here today. I want to go elsewhere.” “I am sorry about that. I will take care of your needs. Please don’t quit on us,” she pleaded with a smile as she tried to lure him back. “I am sorry, my mind is made up,” he insisted. When she accessed his bank account, she found over two billion Naira sitting in it. “I am sorry, I cannot put this transaction through without my boss’ approval.” “Then call your boss to approve it now,” he ordered. Less than a minute later, the branch manager was scurrying down the stairs at the speed of Usain Bolt.

“I received an alert that you want to move your entire money out of our bank, Mr. Uzor. What is the problem? You are a valuable customer. What prompted the move, sir?” Mr. Uzor, a reputable business man who was in the habit of maintaining a low profile explained his experience with one of their staff. “I am sorry to hear that sir. She is fired as I am talking to you. We can’t have you leave our bank just like that,” the branch manager pleaded vociferously. The cashier who was keen to catch a flight to London reappeared, clutching a bag and a purse. She walked briskly towards the counter intent on taking the door on the west end of the hallway to the car park. “There she is,” Mr. Uzor pointed out to the branch manager. “What do I buy for you in London,” she shouted at a colleague in the inner room as she hurried into the hallway. “I want a blouse from Debenhams,” shouted her colleague. “You know Debenhams on Oxford Street don’t you?”  “Of course I do,” she answered. “Good, get me a blouse or skirt there. I will pay you back when you return. Please don’t buy me a cheap material from Primark!” Her colleague warned. “Come on, you know me better than that! Does anybody else need anything from London,” she shouted as she neared the door. “You should remain there, Bukky! I said when you get to London, don’t even bother coming back because there will be no job to return to,” her boss yelled.

“What is it sir?” She asked with a worrying look on her face. “Do you know this gentleman here?” “I don’t know him, but he came in late asking me to serve him. It was too late for me to do what he wanted.” “And you could not even try? Now he is withdrawing over 2 billion Naira from his account in our bank to another bank. Do you realize what business we are losing? Do you really know what that means to this bank? Simply because you are in a hurry to get to London? You have been shouting about this trip to London for weeks now as if you were going to heaven. I wish you a safe trip. Be sure not to return because you are fired!!!” “I am sorry sir. Please, I did not mean to be rude. I did not know who he was,” Bukky pleaded. “That is the point!” Explained her manager. “Every customer ought to be treated the same. You could have tried, but you chose not to. You did not even access his bank account as Bunmi did. If you had done that, you would have known not to turn down his request. You are fired London woman!!!”

“Please sir, beg him not to fire me. I am sorry sir,” Bukky pleaded with Mr. Uzor. “You must be running late for your flight. You should be leaving,” he answered. “Please, I have younger ones and parents that depend on me. Please sir, talk to my boss. Oga (boss) please.” She dropped her bag on the ground, dropped to her knees and groveled for forgiveness. “Mr. Uzor, what do I do to pacify you? My boss will certainly fire me if you pull all your money out of our bank. Please reconsider your decision,” the branch manager pleaded. “As you can see, the rude cashier is fired. She will not be working for us ever again. I can assure you that. Please don’t do this.” Mr. Uzor looked at him, then at Bukky and Bunmi. Bunmi’s hands were clasped over her chest as though she was praying. “What do I do to get you to change your mind?” The branch manager asked. “Reinstate her,” he said pointing at Bukky. They could not believe what they heard. “Reinstate her?” The branch manager asked wide-eyed. “Yes. Don’t fire her. It serves me no good to see her suffer. Jobs are hard to come by in this country. Lady, be sure to treat people well no matter how small or big they look to you. I have decided to pardon you. Don’t do it again!” “I won’t sir. I promise,” she answered with massive relief. Mr. Uzor did his transfer and left. Bukky left in tears. Her appetite to travel to London had waned. All the noise she had been making about her first trip to London suddenly made no sense. As she turned on the engine of her car, dense balls of warm tears fell off her face and landed on her hands and laps. She drove to the airport in absolute quiet. Her boyfriend was waiting to pick up her car at the airport and return it to her apartment. She narrated her experience to him. “God saved me from a catastrophic one,” she said conclusively. “He really did,” her boyfriend answered.


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