There goes the lizard boy,
The lizard boy, the lizard boy…
Mike stifled a smile as he recalled one of his childhood games. Playing the lizard boy back then used to give him pleasure. Ironically, twenty five years later, as he gazed at himself lying on his stomach in the hospital bed, he was not about to do a repeat demo of that game, rather, the series of injections which had pierced both sides of his buttocks was accountable for that posture.
‘How long more do I have to remain in this hell?’ he cast a worried gaze at one of the doctors on ward round.
‘Until I see a sign of recovery,’ he smiled.
‘Please doctor, do everything within your power to release me as fast as possible. I occupy a very sensitive position in my office and I can’t imagine how Aim High Associates would survive if I continue to lie here for God-knows-when.’
‘Your health is your greatest asset and that should be your primary concern.’ The consultant concluded with a note of seriousness, as he moved on to the next patient.
A sharp pain tug at the young man’s heart as the thought of the numerous unfinished tasks in his office flashed through his mind. Nothing was more exciting to him than having to resume work daily at 6.00 am and closing at 9.00 pm!
His subordinates held him in awe as the only man with the magical hands to handle any IT challenge in the department. On several occasion, his prowess had gone ahead also to earn him several awards…
‘Yeh! Mo gbe o!’ the groaning of one of the patients cut short his daydream.
He craned his neck as he watched two medical personnels attend to the ailing man. The curtains came down, and then the battle to revive the patient began.
Mike’s anxiety hung in the air and for the first time since his admission, his attention shifted some 360 degree away from himself to that of his co patient.
After what seemed like eternity, a solemn voice resounded from within the curtain. ‘Please, prepare the body for the morgue.’
Beads of perspiration dripped down the young man’s brow to form a puddle at his neck region. The stark reality of death was just as close as his shadow is.
‘Health is wealth,’ he mumbled under his breathe, ‘Oh Lord, please save me; I don’t want to die…’
A month later, Mike strode majestically back to his office. Beaming all over, he went straight to assume his position but got an urgent call from the MD.
The septuagenarian heaved a sigh of relief when he saw him.
‘You sure gave us quite a scare Mike,’ he began trying to conceal his shock towards his emaciated employee.
‘Sir, I want to appreciate you for all the support you gave me during the period of my ailment. God bless you sir.’
‘We couldn’t have done less but to be honest with you, Mike, the organization lost so much on your account.’
‘I’m so sorry sir,’ he nodded, ‘and I would make amends.
The elderly laughed wittily like someone in a comedy show.
‘And what magic are you going to perform? Are you going to offset the company’s losses by forfeiting a large chunk of your salaries?
Mike shifted uneasily on his seat and randomly cast a glance at the table calendar.
‘While you were away,’ the elderly man continued, ‘I discovered to my utter disappointment that none of your subordinates was able to perform any major task. The cumulative effect later resulted in the loss of some of our clients; the most painful being the contract from Chief Mrs Pepple.’
‘My initial action was to fire every single person in your department, but a quick confession from one of them saved the day. Their complaints ranged from your preference for personal glory rather than team work; your underestimation of your colleagues abilities, and the annoying aspect was your usual sniggering slang, ‘Rome was not built in a day; if it took an intelligent person like me several years to master the job, how much more you?’
‘As a measure to keep the work flow going in the department, the management took a drastic decision to outsource an IT expert. And do you know what? The crazy bills reared its ugly head, toppling our budgets for that period. In the long run, we resorted to training your supposed incompetent subordinates and you won’t believe the outcome – they are now experts on the job.
Mike’s countenance fell and a cloak of remorse blindfolded him.
‘I’m very sorry sir. I will turn a new leaf.’
‘I’m afraid, there is no room for such here any more. We have lost so much on your account Mike. You just have to thank your stars that your desire for personal glory did not claim your life. No man is an island of knowledge and with team work, you can never go wrong.’
‘Please sir,’ he fell on his knees in tears.
‘There is nothing I can do; your position is already occupied by one of your so-called subordinates. I wish you good luck in your future endeavour. Aim High Associates is for team players and not a platform for a one-man-show.’