“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer
“Damn!” I screamed, thumping the steering wheel a few times in frustration. Why my car would break down on me in the early hours of that Monday morning was unfathomable. I had brought it back from the mechanics just the day before. I cursed the damned clunker. I turned the ignition on again in my umpteenth attempt to start the car, as if the rickety assemblage of a car set out to mock me, it coughed three times and began to laugh out loud likea damaged Nigerian generator. It went off by itself but not before it coughed twice again. The whole thing was so funny that I burst into a very loud laughter too.
I stepped out of the car and the sun smote me! I looked up to the blinding rays of the hot sun hoping to see God and ask Him why he was treating me to punches of recurring misfortunes that morning. First, the tap went off when I was taking a shower. I had to come out with foam all over my body to fetch water from the barrel to continue my bath. All this was at the expense of ridicule from my neighbors. While ironing my lucky shirt to start the week with, I burnt it. As if all these were not enough, I forgot to turn down the stove heat under the leftover Jollof I was warming to eat for breakfast that morning. The saucepan was completely charred when I realized what was happening. And now my car!
I was completely distraught! I sought for my phone so I could call a colleague to give me a ride to work yet my phone was nowhere to be found. I remembered leaving it on my bed when I was looking for my car key earlier. I shook my head in disbelief. I kicked the car tires, threw some punches to the air and set myself up for a turning kick to the invisible forces that were working against me that morning. I set my left foot firmly on the ground, did a 270-degree turnabout and threw my right foot into the air and… tssssrrrrr; my trousers tore in between my thighs.
At this point, the frustration was unbearable. I burst into another bout of laughter; this time, a streak of tears fell from my face. How I could manage those two; crying and laughing, at the same time was mysterious. I was a miserable man indeed.
I contemplated going home but it was not an option. This very day was my first day as acting manager at my workplace. And my first task was to interview some new workers. It would be a shame not to show up. Besides, a lot of people were clamoring for the same position and if I failed at it, my detractors would be happy. I nibbled a few holy tongues under my breath, asking God to forgive me for the content my last cleared browsing history and not put me to shame.
A little after the prayer, I saw a motorbike coming my way. God was not a sadist, after all, I thought. I flagged the bike down but the merciless rider sped off. I looked up into the sky again, shook my head at God and chuckled. Just then, I heard the sound of the motorbike again. It was coming up. The young man riding it stopped in front of me, took off his helmet and looked at me with a what-can-I-do-for-you look on his face. Being that we were speaking in sign languages, I shot a look at my car, looked at the gaping hole in between my legs and looked back at him with my best impression of a puppy face.
“Boss, where are you going?” He asked.
“Charlie, do you think you can take me home to change and pick my phone that I left at home?”
“Where is your house?” he asked. When I told him where I live, he laughed hard at me. “Boss, but you know that is not possible. The place is far. Me too, I’m going somewhere. I’m late. This one di333 I can’t help you”.
I tried to explain to him that it would be difficult to get a commercial vehicle from where we were and that he was my only hope but he would not have any of it. He cranked his cycle and vroom he went.
After thirty minutes of waiting there, a private car driver gave me a lift till where I could get a drop taxi to pick. I went home, changed and reported to the office two hours late. While I was setting up and putting my desk in order for the interviews, I mistakenly knocked off a china that has sat on the manager’s desk ever since I started working there. What a bad omen! I called the secretary in to help clean the mess I had caused.
“Abigail, why is the air conditioner not working?” I asked the secretary who was sweeping the floor.
“Sir, it was working when I came in oo”, she replied with a confused look on her face. She came over, collected the remote and pressed a few buttons. “I’m sorry, sir. I think you would have to manage it for the day. I will get Akwasi to come and check it out after working hours”
“What the f…” I stopped myself from saying the curse word. Sigh! “Are the interviewees in?” I asked Abigail.
“Sir, it’s an interviewee – one person. He has waited over an hour now”
“Ok. Please open the windows to let some air in and let the person in”. She obliged and headed for the door. “Thanks”, I said to her.
Three minutes later, I heard a knock on my office door. I responded and asked the person to come in.
“Jesus!” came the voice. I am not sure he intended for me to hear that.
I lifted my head and imagine my surprise. It was the motor rider who refused me the lift earlier.
“Holy cow!” I could not hold myself back. “What a small world it is”. I struggled to hold myself from laughing. I had to keep my composure and be in charge of the situation.
Before the next word could come out of my mouth, the young man was on his knees apologizing. Now, that was really funny. Karma indeed has a good sense of humor. Just when I thought I was experiencing my worst day, karma turned it all around. I did not mean to laugh but he gave me no other option. I bet the young man was cursing his stars. When I was satisfied with myself, I asked him to sit down and assured him that I would not let what happened between us cloud my judgement and the work I had to do. He had been served his own karma. I was not going to set mine up by paying him back. It turned out he was a fine gentleman and I hired him.