🍋THE HATE 'THIS MAN' GAVE: MY STORY
🍋When life gives you lemons, make lemonade - ELBERT HUBBARD 
When I first had my interview for a dream job, it was in 2018. I performed so well that the chairman and two other members of the governing board recommended me for immediate employment. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into a year. I left and resumed my freelancing and contract work after not receiving a call to collect my official appointment letter.
On December 3rd, 2021, I received a call from the Personal Assistant (PA) to the states minister congratulating me on my appointment and informing me that my resumption of duty would begin on that date. It was inconvenient because I only had the weekend to pack and travel. My family and friends called and texted to congratulate me shortly after.
I arrived on December 6th, 2021, and completed some paperwork. The next day, I was told, there would be a mandatory exercise, identity verification, and ranking.
I arrived home exhausted from my paper-related activities. My father called me shortly after he got home from work and inquired about my day and other details. I then told him about it and showed him a printout that I was supposed to bring to the verification.
He began reading with a smile on his face because this time I had a higher ranking. For the first time, my credentials and work experience were taken into consideration. But, all of a sudden, the smile faded and I sensed anxiety.
He sighed and asked me to take a seat before telling me something shocking. He said that one of the signatories on this slip was the HR director from 2018 and that the reason I never received my appointment letter was that 'THIS MAN [censored]' tore it up, calling me a "kafiri" (en: infidel/non-believer) and claiming that I'd never get a job because I didn't share his religious beliefs and my Middle name [censored] was an insult to his religion. That's when I became concerned but reasoned to myself that his viewpoints must have evolved over time.
I'm at the verification venue and have submitted my file so that the board can review it before calling me. Two hours later, I was called in. Three elderly men were spread out from right to left, with a young man setting up his computer by the far end. One of them was an elderly man in white Arewa attire seated in the middle, glasses dropped below his eyes, who had been watching me from the door until I was asked to sit. I ignored it because it made me uncomfortable.
Questions about the authenticity of my documents started to flood in. Then I noticed the elderly man with glasses staring at me with a hateful expression on his face. Then he whispered something into the other board chairman's ear. "Oh, Damn!" as I realized what had happened. This is the then HR Director to whom my father was referring, THIS MAN.
I was called to the side a few moments later and told that there was a problem with my appointment letter and that I didn't qualify for the job. What, exactly, are you talking about?
I was speechless, and THIS MAN demanded that my verification be stopped and that I go to the HR department to be demoted to a matching position.
I couldn't say anything because I was confused. I was unable to think clearly. Something was preventing me from speaking and inquiring.
I was then assigned to an attendant. My position was changed from L2 to AS after I went to HR. He signed and cleared me to have my data captured when I returned. I was still feeling numb.
When I returned home, my mother greeted me with a huge smile. I burst into tears right then. When my father and brother returned from seeing the mechanic, I told them everything that had happened. I was demoted from a position for which I was qualified simply because a man felt I didn't deserve it, and no one could do anything about it.
My mother called me to the living room later that night, before I went to bed, and asked me to kneel. I obeyed, unsure what she was up to, and she placed her hands on my head, said a prayer, and then asked me, "What is your name?" [I was thinking to myself, "Oh Mum, please not now, I'm a grown-up"] I replied to Starr, and she asked me to go sleep.
I went to my room, and every time I thought about what had happened, I would cry and pray until I fell asleep.
On December 8th, 2021, I received a phone call that woke me up from my sleep, and it was the P.A who had previously called me for my appointment. He sounded very urgent and told me I needed to go to the verification venue right away with my documents.
When I arrived, THIS MAN was sitting there, looking as if he had no idea what I was doing there. I politely greeted him and inquired about his well-being. The minister then abruptly enters and requests my presence.
I approached him with my file as he sat down. I could see already that THIS MAN was trembling. THIS MAN then claimed that I lacked the required three years of work experience and a professional membership certificate for engineers [COREN]. The minister flipped through my file and inquired about my age, qualifications, and graduation year. "How did you finish school so early and achieve everything listed on your resume?" he asked. Because it was rhetorical and a huge compliment, I blushed. The next thing I knew, he had THIS MAN'S attention and was asking why I had been demoted when I had over 5 years work experience and my field was Architecture, not Engineering, hence I have no business with COREN. He, the Minister, personally reviewed my application and determined that I was a good fit for the position.
THIS MAN still trembling then apologized, and the minister stood up and asked for me to follow him. He requested and signed my first appointment letter with L2. He then went on to raise my salary above the standard, collected the demoted letter, and tore it up. I was speechless until he looked at me and said, "He doesn't know me, but he was troubled, restless, and couldn't sleep last night." That he kept seeing me and immediately called his P.A to see if I was finished with my verification and everything. The P.A informed him of what had occurred, which is why he came himself.
He then turned to THIS MAN and said, "He doesn't want me to have any problems working here, and he wants my office to be ready and the keys handed over to me."
"Well, it was dancing and singing with everyone crying [we cry a lot in my house], tears of joy and laughter," when I told my family I was reinstated back.
The hate he gave me? The lemons he served me? turned to sweet lemonade.
I've been at work for about two months now, and it's been wonderful. What keeps coming up in my head is;
Should I have spoken up and demanded my rights from THIS MAN?
Was keeping quiet the right thing to do, and was it the right response that led to my reinstatement?
This experience has shaped my mindset in such a way that I can now double-check my reaction to situations. Plus, as always, my faith in humanity is being restored as I see more and more goodness.
Good news! We had a send-off party for THIS MAN today because he was transferred to another state office. I'm still new, learning a lot on the job and figuring things out, but I'm confident everything will work out.
SOME YOU HAVE TO FIGHT FOR AND OTHERS YOU HAVE TO REMAIN SILENT, TRUST YOUR GUT FEELING AND LET A HIGHER POWER THROUGH OTHERS FIGHT FOR YOU.