African Voices Summer 2017 AV Summer 2017 Digital Issue - Page 26

“ What to do , I know . I will tell you ,” CEO continued , bopping his head importantly . Tosan imagined that if one restrained CEO from gesticulating and bopping his head , he wouldn ’ t be able to express himself . His meetings mostly were not a discussion forum but a classroom where he , the teacher , passed instructions to his pupils . “ We will have to increase ullage by dropping grammage for all SKUs of Mamari without reducing our price .” The Sales and Marketing Director , Duduyemi , seated next to Tosan , tapped him on the knee . The directors glanced at one another furtively from the corners of their eyes . They read shock and disapproval in one another ’ s faces . CEO cleared his throat , reclined in his seat and continued . “ Top secret , this must be kept . So that it doesn ’ t get to the authorities . We will drop 20gm sachet to 19gm , 15gm to 14gm and 10gm to 9gm . But their original labels and prices , they will all retain . Our consumers will not notice the change . With that , from my calculations ,” He crunched his calculator and squinted at the screen , “ an extra N1.23b a month , we will be making .” He spoke in a thick accent , his ‘ T ’ sounding like ‘ D ’.
Tosan couldn ’ t believe CEO was suggesting the company scam the consumers . The directors kept quite . By now they knew it was futile antagonising him . He had become blinded by desperation .
CEO ’ s mobile phone lying on the table bleeped . He said , “ Excuse me . To my wife , I need to speak .” He answered the call , his voice demure . CEO was a henpecked husband . Tosan had witnessed an occasion where the wife talked down to him at the Ikoyi club . The wife spent her entire life socializing at the Ikoyi club and the Boat club . CEO had made the company spend millions sponsoring events at both clubs not necessarily because those events were beneficial but because his wife had insisted . On the phone , his wife seemed to be doing most of the talking as CEO mainly said , OK , OK . Yes , please . Thank you . Done , he hung up . He stood and strolled across the room with one hand in his pocket and the other clutching his cigar . He seemed to feel cool with himself as he continued his conversation with the staff . “ This is an ingenious way to increase profit since we have not been able to grow our volume . Implementation must start immediately and there should be a seamless handshake across all departments . Tosan , the volume of all filling machines , adjust immediately . The production floor , tomorrow , I am coming to inspect .”
Tosan cleared his throat and said tentatively , “ CEO ,” The CEO had insisted he be addressed not by his name but by his job title . “ that would be a criminal offense . You want us to short-change the public ?”
Duduyemi whispered , “ NAFDAC will seal of the company if they find out .”
CEO laughed and said , “ This is Nigeria . Give me a break . NAFDAC won ’ t find out . And if they do , we will settle them with an honorarium .” In his warped mind , a bribe was an honorarium . He plonked on his seat and flicked off ashes from his cigar into a tray . He took a long drag and puffed out a plume of smoke . “ Guys , I did not call you for a discussion . You either implement or your resignations , you hand me .”
Tosan found his courage . “ CEO , I will neither implement nor resign .”
Duduyemi said , “ Me too .”
The other three directors were silent .
CEO sprang up and banged the table . The coffee spilt leaving dirty-brown blotches on the white papers on the table . Wagging a finger at Tosan , he said , “ If you cannot implement , your subordinates , I will get to do it and you , I will be firing .” He sucked in air loudly through clenched teeth . “ I am not liking this . Meeting dismissed !” The skin on his
26 african Voices
“What to do, I know. I will tell you,” CEO continued, bopping his head importantly. Tosan imagined that if one restrained CEO from gesticulating and bopping his head, he wouldn’t be able to express himself. His meetings mostly were not a discussion forum but a classroom where he, the teacher, passed instructions to his pupils. “We will have to increase ullage by dropping grammage for all SKUs of Mamari without reducing our price.” The Sales and Marketing Director, Duduyemi, seated next to Tosan, tapped him on the knee. The directors glanced at one another furtively from the corners of their eyes. They read shock and disapproval in one another’s faces. CEO cleared his throat, reclined in his seat and continued. “Top secret, this must be kept. So that it doesn’t get to the authorities. We will drop 20gm sachet to 19gm, 15gm to 14gm and 10gm to 9gm. But their original labels and prices, they will all retain. Our consumers will not notice the change. With that, from my calculations,” He crunched his calculator and squinted at the screen, “an extra N1.23b a month, we will be making.” He spoke in a thick accent, his ‘T’ sounding like ‘D’. Tosan couldn’t believe CEO was suggesting the company scam the consumers. The directors kept quite. By now they knew it was futile antagonising him. He had become blinded by desperation. CEO’s mobile phone lying on the table bleeped. He said, “Excuse me. To my wife, I need to speak.” He answered the call, his voice demure. CEO was a henpecked husband. Tosan had witnessed an occasion where the wife talked down to him at the Ikoyi club. The wife spent her entire life socializing at the Ikoyi club and the Boat club. CEO had made the company spend millions sponsoring events at both clubs not necessarily because those events were beneficial but because his wife had insisted. On the phone, his wife seemed to be doing most of the talking as CEO mainly said, OK, OK. Yes, please. Thank you. Done, he hung up. He stood and strolled across the room with one hand in his pocket and the other clutching his cigar. He seemed to feel cool with himself as he continued his conversation with the staff. “This is an ingenious way to increase profit since we have not been able to grow our volume. Implementation must start immediately and there should be a seamless handshake across all departments. Tosan, the volume of all filling machines, adjust immediately. The production floor, tomorrow, I am coming to inspect.” [X\Y\][ZY[]][K8'S8'HHSY[\YHHY\YH\H]H\š؈]K8'][HHܚ[Z[[ٙ[K[H[\ܝ X[HHXX'BY^Y[ZH\\Y 8'QP[X[وH\[HY^H[] 'BS]YY[ZY 8'\\Y\XK]HYHHXZˈQP۸&][] [Y^HH[]B[H][ۛܘ\][K'H[\\YZ[ HXH\[ۛܘ\][KHۚYۈ\X][XYٙ\\H\Y\[H^KHHۙY[YY]H[YHو[K8'^\HY[[H܈B\\[ۋ[HZ]\[\[Y[܈[\\Yۘ][ۜ[H[YK'B[[\\YK8'SH[Z]\[\[Y[܈\Yۋ'BY^Y[ZHZY 8'YH˸'BH\YH\Xܜ\H[[ S[\[[YHXKHٙYH[X][\KXۈ\ۈH]H\\ۈHXKY[H[\][HZY 8'Y[H[[\[Y[ [\Xܙ[]\H[]][[KH[B\[˸'HHXY[Z\YHY[YY] 8'H[HZ[\ˈYY][\Z\Yx'HH[ۈ\ŒYX[X\