Paul and Mercy saw each other every morning at the bus stop and sat together in the bus on their way to work. After seeing her every morning for more than a month, Paul finally worked up enough courage to ask her on a date during the weekend and she agreed. Paul was ecstatic, although everyone had noticed a change in his attitude and demeanor at home and at work, his joy on this particular day knew no bounds.
When he got to work that morning, he gave the guard at the gate a mock salute and wished him a splendid day, the guard was too stunned to reply; when he could finally gather his wits, he wondered as he stroke his beard; ” One of the most sullen workers in this factory, who never gives me tips, actually smiled and talked to me, maybe he has been promoted, which means I could get tips, today is going to be a good day indeed”.
Paul got to his work station and his supervisor Mr Taj was already waiting for him with a huge scowl on his face. His supervisor was a huge man with an abundant waistline, such that you were never sure if he had a belt on or not, he also seemed to have no neck yet he always wore a tie which looked more like a noose, you never knew if you should pity the tie for being so squashed or him for looking like he was being strangled. He always used too much hair cream and perfume such that his presence anywhere makes eyes to sting and people to cough.With his mass, fiery scowl and hair sticking out from his ears,nose, eyebrows and a wild mustache, he would look intimidating until he spoke. Mr Taj had a tiny voice like the voice of a 10 year old, a voice that did not match his body, but what he lacked in boisterity of vocal chords, he made up for with his ability to stare you down until you began to twitch and whimper. As soon as Paul saw Mr Taj scowl and all, he remained unperturbed and with a huge smile greeted him, Mr Taj continued scowling but grunted a barely audible reply while still staring at him, Paul humming a tune, turned to start work for the day since it seemed his supervisor was just doing the usual when he felt his hand on his shoulder. He turned and looked at Mr Taj asking if all was well, he noticed immediately that Mr Taj wasn’t scowling so much and he wasn’t staring at him, infact he looked somewhat uncomfortable. Mr Taj looking everywhere but at Paul said to him; ” In the last one month I don’t know what got into you but you have been doing an excellent job and coming to work early, whatever it is you are doing, please do not stop because if you continue this way, you would definitely be recommended for promotion, congratulations, you are our employee of the month” After he said that, Mr Taj gave him and envelope, shook his hand and went back to his office. Paul and his colleagues who had heard all Mr Taj said were taken aback, that was the first time they had heard Mr Taj say anything good to anyone. They turned to Paul,each one asking simultaneously; “Hey Paul, tell us what’s the secret, what have you been doing, what makes this job easy for you all of a sudden?”
Paul smiled and shook his head, they would not believe it if he told them, a chuckle began to build from within him and his shoulders shook until it became full blown laughter, ” If only they knew”, he thought.