“Hello, good morning sir. Thank you for calling Flying Express Motors, Abuja. How may I help you?”
“Ehhh… What time is your motor to Lagos?”
“The first bus moves by 5:30am, second bus by 6:30 and the third bus, 8am.”
“Okay. Okay, thank you.”
“You welcome sir.”
Ring Ring Ring.
“Good morning, thank you for calling Flying Express Abuja, how may I…?”
“I want to know if you people transit to Yobe?”
“Eh, no ma. We don’t go there.”
“We don’t go to northern routes Ma. We mainly go south and east.”
There’s a long hiss on the other side followed by a ramble in Hausa before the caller drops the call.
The call rep closes her eyes, removes her headphone and softly massages her head. A guy giggles from behind her.
“How’s you first day at work going?” He asks.
She doesn’t have the chance to verbally reply as the phone rings again.
“Hello, good morning. Thank you for calling Flying Express Motors…”
“Good! I want to speak to your manager.”
“Manager?” She raises her head questioningly at her male compatriot and he rigorously shakes it. “What’s the problem sir? I’m sure I can help you…”
“I said I want to speak to your Manager!”
“I’m sorry sir, that’s not possible at the moment.”
The person on the other line briefly pauses. “I saw this number on one of your buses.”
“On the bus was written ‘Do you like my driving? If not call this number’”
“Yes sir. We have that inscribed on all our vehicles to ensure our drivers…”
“Ehn. This one I saw had the number B24. Hope that’s an identifying number?”
“Yes. Yes sir… That’s our…”
“Whoever is driving that B24 is a lunatic. The idiot nearly bashed my car. He’ll only be good for driving if this was GTA or a Need for Speed game.”
“Sorry sir, did he inflict any damage on your vehicle?”
“No, thank God! I managed to dodge.”
“Ehm, sir, your complaint has been duly noted and I’ll get it to the higher authorities for further implementation. Thank you, sir”
Immediately the line goes dead, she browses through her register on her phone and locates the current driver of B24. She immediately retrieves her private phone and calls the trangressor.
“Yes Baby, how are you?”
“Emeka, I’ve received another call complaining about your driving. Slow down na. I don’t know if I can keeping covering your ass.”
Emeka is heard giggling. “What did this one say?”
“He called you a lunatic among other things and said you are only fit to drive in GTA.” She replies exasperatedly.
“Wow! GTA? That’s beautiful. Abeg no delete the call oh. I wan hear am when I return.”
She sighs. “If I don’t delete it, Manager will hear it.”
“Let him hear na.”
She had another call so she had to end the conversation.
“What call don’t you want manager to hear?” Her compatriot asks.
She sighs and replays it for him after which he bursts into tumultuous laughter, so loud and infectious that she joins him in. When his laugh subsides, he suddenly runs out and to her amazement, returns with the manager by his side.
“Play it,” Her colleague urges her, “Play it for him.”
She’s shocked and a little bit apprehensive, but she plays it anyway. The Manager hears it and to her amazement, has the same reaction. He laughs and laughs and the colleague joins him.
When their laughter subsides, the Manager beckons at him. “This one no bad reach that last one na?”
“I no know oh.”
“What last one?” She inquires.
“One passenger Emeka drove some time ago. The guy swore he’ll sue us.” The Manager replies laughing. Then he notices the confused look on his newest employee’s face.
“What is our company name?” He asks her.
“Flying Express Motors.”
“The ‘Flying Express’ isn’t a metaphor.” He tells her laughing.
The next morning the call attendant is just arriving when she overhears a customer talking with the manager.
“I missed my flight, and I have a meeting by 4pm in Lagos. I was directed to you guys, can you get a driver to get me there?”
The manager smiles widely. “I know just the right person.” Then to her he says,