Metamorphosis: Tales of a Lawyer Girl
Episode 1: The Rat Race
The sound of the pop up sprinkler had been Tola's constant alarm over the weekend. The fresh plush flowers giving off effervescent scents and the wet soil, an earthiness that made nature seat so close to modern day artificiality.
Aisha turned on the light, she had just returned from her morning exercise, a routine she had kept to for sometime. It's mandatory she would insist, for a sedentary artist.
By the way, you have to leave the house by 7am latest, if you want to beat the morning traffic to Lekki. Lateness would be a bad indicator for any interviewee she said casually, as she brewed coffee, another routine that had lasted from their early University days. Mum would really be upset too, you said you want to serve in a law firm innit?
Tola paced, as she made her way to the bathroom and in no time she was out, rummaging the room as she anxiously assembled her work paraphernalia. I overslept she said, I dosed off reading the website of BECKROFT PARTNERS, am not prepared for this interview she whined. Oh God, did I leave my house in Festac to sleep at the zero hour.
Aisha laughed as she settled to her laptop. She clicked the VideoScribe App (an animated and explainer video software) on her PC , glancing at Tola momentarily.
Why do you always chuckle inappropriately? What exactly is funny about my predicament? Tola whined.
Get use to it, I think you should order a ride from Uber.
I didn't expect your mummy's driver to drop me off, Tola snapped.
You’re towing different routes anyway, the Federal High Court and Lekki are parallels, Aisha chuckled again.
No need to tell me what to do. Tola chimed before Aisha completed her statement. I have already ordered one. Her phone buzzed.
Hello my name is Mohammed, the Uber driver said. It’s about time.
Oh, thank you, good morning. Tola fumbled. I better get going.
Aisha, threw a bar of Snickers at Tola playfully. Chocolate love, ace this interview. Tola, catching it right in the air like a skillful twirler, winked as she left the room.
Strutting down the stairs, she meets Aisha's mum.
Good morning ma, she genuflected.
How are you doing?
I'm fine thank you ma.
Yes ma, she said, trying to hide her hesitation. She would not admit her unpreparedness to Honourable Justice Olabimpe Otaru, especially when she had offered to salvage the situation by using her influence to secure the interview slot.
If you pass, then you can apply for a rejection at your primary place of assignment. All the best she added.
Thank you ma.
The green manicured grass stretched to the back of the house. The peacock greeted Tola with a wide embrace as she passed by the coconut tree.
Ina kwana, she saluted Saliu as she headed for the pedestrian at the gate.
Lafia, he responded, Se anjuma
The weekend had been an eventful one. Aisha’s elder sister, Rashidat got married and it had become a soft sell subject for tabloid speculators: her Vivienne Westwood wedding gown, her Cartier tiara and earrings her make up artist and stylist. Every detail, documented by A list bloggers. Lost in the frenzy of the event, she busied herself with uploading pictures on her Instagram page. She had over indulged in taking selfies. The NancyBrown Bridesmaid dress was a gift she adored much. The euphoria passed away, but the memories lingered. She’ll catch up on Sunday, she encouraged herself. She made remarkable progress, until Aisha had informed her that she got tickets for "Fela and the Kalakuta Queens". Such necessary evil, who would have let such opportunity slip away! Especially when they were going to catch up with friends.
Aisha persuaded her that they needed to socialise more. You know I need to build a network to sell my art works. Socialising is work too you know.
And that was how the weekend breezed through like a flirty pretty girl.
I’ll catch up, she told herself as she scanned through " About Us" "Vision" and "Mission" "Core Values", "Practice Areas", but skipped " Our People".
It was a 50 minutes drive from Alfred Rewane to Remi Olowude.
I’ll just do a transfer, she said as she pulled her laptop bag close, while tucking in her Company Secretarial Precedence, a gift from her mum after law school.
She got down, calmed herself of the nervousness and made her way through Beckroft Partners.
At the spacious lobby, she sights a familiar face as she introduces herself to the receptionist.
She settled right next to the lady.
Hello she said.
She was sure it was Naomi. Snobbish Naomi, the fellow law school attache she meet during her Court Internship. Her natural hair gave off the familiar mixed fruit fragrance. The white Briton in black skin as she and her friends would tease when talking in codes.
A perky lady halted in front of them.
Good morning, I am Mrs Olasore, the HR Manager.
Good morning ma, Tola stood as she greeted, then Naomi followed suit.
We have a long day, Mrs Olasore said as she directed them to the library.
You have 40 minutes to attempt the multiple questions. Connect your laptops to internal network, scribbling the username and password she handed it over to Tola and Naomi. Good luck she said as she left the library.
Both interviewees settled quietly, facing each other.
Just two of us Tola thought to herself. God! I can't afford to fail. I won't fail, I can't fail. She said it over and over until the nervousness fizzled away.
Instructions: Read the questions carefully before ticking the answer. You would not be able to swipe left once you proceed to the next question. You are to attempt the entire 40 questions. The average mark is 65% to proceed to the oral interview stage, otherwise you’re allowed to repeat the test.
She had already spent almost 4 mins.
Repeat?! Am I suppose to join the next batch of corp members because I want to work here! She quizzed.
The questions were on email etiquette, business memo, mergers and acquisitions, foreign investment, corporate governance and derivatives.
Oh dear she calmed herself, I didn't read that question properly, just as it occurred to her that she had missed the question. She had already attempted 19 questions in 15 minutes. I still have time. She encouraged herself, repeat the question quietly if you don't understand it. She almost said out loud.
25 minutes later, Mrs Olasore walked in. You can check your score with this information. She scribbled and left. You’ll be called on the intercom once the managing partner is ready.
Thank you, they both chimed.
Oh goodness! I scored 80% Tola exclaimed, what did you score she asked Naomi.
What! Naomi responded
What did you score? she asked gleefully
Just silence, that was all she got.
The intercom rang, Naomi reached for the intercom quickly.
Hello she said, OK
She heard, call Tolani Balogun
As she got to the conference room as informed, she knocked
She stood frozen at the door. It was her ex boyfriend’s elder brother!
Sit down, he motioned.
Good morning Mr. Akinsanya,
Actually you performed below expectation, he began. I just wanted to give you another chance here. I’m BA, initials for Babafemi Akinsanya.
Like she didn’t know!
Another partner walked in and settled right next to the managing partner, morning she chimed. I’m NA, initials for Nfon Abassey.
Good morning Ma!
She tried as much to comport herself while responding. Somehow, she heard herself using her personal experiences to answer the questions.
It was over in 40 minutes. She felt a little relieved until she heard; the HR Manager will communicate the oral result to you.
As she was about to leave, she said, It was really a pleasure to have met you.
Goodness, she’s too confident Nfon. How possible did she beat a graduate from Birmingham University?
We’ll just tell her she failed the oral, NA said.
We don't even accept 2:2, I just didn't want to turn down Justice Otaru's request.
55% is not shabby though for trick questions, Naomi didn’t even finish. He reached for the intercom, beckoning on Naomi.
Congratulations Naomi, they said after the interview chat. So we see you on Monday.
Later in the day, BA calls, his friend at Grey Wing Practice. I just found a brilliant new wig for you, he said!