When you hear that female bosses are mean, you often ask yourself if these stories are real.
I tell you my sister, they are.
The reason I am calling you today is to tell you what happened between me and my female boss.
I work in one of the multinational companies in Nigeria. I am a boss in my own right, having worked there for about 15 years, right after my NYSC. I rose through the ranks from sheer hard work and was given a company car, though I don’t work in the sales and marketing department.
I usually go abroad for my annual leave and when I return, I always bring presents to my co-workers and even for my female boss. I have both male and female bosses; I report directly to the male boss but the female is alike an overall boss to us all.
So, I came back from my annual leave early this year with gifts for my bosses; I went to present what I got to my female boss when she began to fire questions at me like Judge Judy!
What questions was she firing? Ha wait na, let me explain first.
Now, I told you earlier that I work hard; yes, I do. I have a day job and I have a side business that I have built up in the past few years; I make clothes, both male and female outfits.
I also make bedsheets but I only do this business at home; never in the office; which is also why my customers are not from my company.
I do not market my clothes in the office or to other members of staff because they can’t even afford it plus you know that can get me into trouble with management; they could say I am using office hours and office environment to do business. I also wanted to avoid office gossip.
Though I don’t sell to staff, I have a few friends, who are my colleagues at work, who have seen and liked some of my clothes and who agreed to model for me. Of course, all of these are done weekends and I always post ads on my Facebook business page.
This is the crux of my trouble with my female boss; madam found out about my side business but you see as I said earlier, I don’t do this business during office hours, neither do I sell my clothes to my colleagues at the office; so really, she has nothing to hold against me but then, she found out one particular colleague features on my Facebook page and this, has been the main source of her constant harassment for months.
So, who is this colleague that got my boss so riled up?
I told you I have a few colleagues who model for me? Yes, one of them is Joseph; he works in my department and we’ve been friends since I began to work there. Joseph models some of my men’s item and we’ve both come to an arrangement as per fees, more so, because we are friends, he does a lot of other guy’s stuff for me; helps me take my car for servicing or to the car wash when he feels the car is too dirty.
Joseph is like a brother to me and oh yes, he is single but as far as I know there’s no company policy against singles dating but of course when it gets to being married, one person has to leave.
Are we dating?
No, I have a boyfriend who doesn’t work in my office and like I said before Joseph is like my brother.
Let me continue; I was shocked when madam began to attack me over Joseph modelling for me and she was also asking why he is the takes my car for servicing and all that.
I said, ‘Madam, Joseph does all of these things after work, I would never let him use company’s time to run my errands, besides, he’s like a brother to me.’
All my explanations fell on deaf ears.
Madam forbade me from talking to Joseph on company premises and outside and I was later informed she called Joseph to her office and seized his phone so she could read the text messages/WhatsApp correspondences between Joseph and I.
Did Joseph report me to madam? I doubt it because up until that period when I went to present my gift to her, Joseph and I were cool.
Why would madam seize Joseph’s phone to check our correspondences? This isn’t ethical, is it? She is our boss but she has no right to do that…except…hummn, no bi my mouth you go hear say mama teacher born for principal o.
And again, why would she be bothered with what goes on between two single adults…if indeed something is going on? That na JAMB question that I have no answers for.
Needless to say, madam has been making threats, she has been attacking me over my job, suddenly I am incompetent, suddenly I don’t do my job well; suddenly I am being threatened with sack.
Every day, I go to work with a heavy heart. I don’t know when this harassment will end; I tried to get a few senior management staff to prevail on madam; in fact, I got help to answer the query she fired at me, still, madam is breathing fire.
Is madam married?
Yes, she is but I hear her husband is always doing kurukere moves…no be me see am o, na wetin I hear I dey tell you. It’s just that I can’t imagine Joseph…and madam…how?
Anyway, that is why I called you, help me ask Nigerians, o. What should I do? I have an aged mother and siblings I am training at school; I need the job.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)