Mike Adewale was the kind of boss who never mixed his home life with his business life. It wasn’t until I got a dot com break through that I went to his house and met his wife.
It had never bothered me that he never invites any of his employees to his house. To my understanding there was nothing special about a boss who takes his employees as part of his family. It just seemed aberrant to invite your employees to dinner and chew over non work related issues.
Mike Adewale wasn’t that kind. He was strictly the medieval type of boss.
He hunted for the best IT professionals the country can provide and lured them from their working place with high salaries and perks. To loyalist geeks this was disgusting, but to geeks who ventured into Info tech to make a living if not a fortune this was music to the ears. Earning high salaries and perks as an IT guru was rosy aspect of being an IT specialist. But the requirements were sometimes hefty: no office romance, your only companion is your desk and everything on it, deliver before deadline, coming in before opening time and leaving after your supervisors. Though tedious, the money and perks involved made it worth it.
I had been a freelance developer, doing spare time projects and trying my hands on web app startups, getting little or no revenue for my brilliant ideas I had switched to blogging, affiliate marketing, domain flipping and mini importation.
As none of these were my passion I had quit and left someone else to run them and tried my hand one more time on developing solutions through mobile apps and desktop soft wares. One of these caught Mike Adewale’s attention.
I remember checking my mail box on that cold Sunday morning on Christmas Eve to see a new message from contact@ tmn.com. I was mystified; the name TMN was synonymous with the biggest tech company in Nigeria. Seeing an email from a well-known tech company sitting in my inbox, without further ado I clicked and waited for the usual process of sending to and fro to the web server, the message I saw was brief but enough to get me on my feet.
My cellphone started ringing, I checked the caller id, and it was my close buddy Ken.
Ken and I met at MacDonald University where we both studied, I was a computer science major and he was studying mechanical engineering. We kick started our friendship after sharing similar interest in robotics. Ken and I haven’t spoken to each other in quite some time.
“Hey Ken! Where have you been?” I said.
“Hey buddy it’s a very long story.” came Kens reply.
“Ok where are you now? Want to come play call of duty with a master?” I said jokingly.
“No thanks think I will pass” ken’s voice sounded agitated.
“What’s the matter bro? You are sounding strange.”
“Look Charles I am in serious trouble and I need your assistance”
“What kind of trouble and assistance?” I said knowing what the reply would be like.
“I need cash bro and you know…”
“Not going to happen” I cut him short.
“Pardon” – ken.
“I said No Ken!”
“I don’t need a reason for refusing to give you my money, but here is a few.” I was already clicking on the mail fuming. “I don’t pick money from shrubs, I work hard for it and that’s what you should be doing instead of always asking me for money by the way what do you do with them and what makes you think I owe you a dime! Look Ken… hello hello” the line was dead.
Looking at my computer screen and holding a cup of hot coffee with my left hand I leaned closer to read the email.
Mr. Charles michael, TMN Inc. noticed your new app on play store and would like to make an acquisition, please visit our office at VI to finalize the deal if you are interested. Ps meet with mike adewale the CEO.
I sipped at the Nescafé and deliberated over the message, the phone call with Ken still bothering my mind!
Last I heard TMN was going through innovation block, nothing new to present to the customers.
This was bad news for the company but good news for me. A desperate company would be willing to pay high for a product and a developer would be willing to charge high.
Now I don’t feel certain that the app I developed albeit useful would be of any good use to a company like TMN, but since they were pricing then I was definitely selling.
VI – Victoria Island. The company’s headquarters, my residence
If I stood from my apartment’s window, I could see the company’s logo on the top their building, a yellow background with the circled text ‘TMN’ written on it.
Starring at the last sentence in the message I downed the remaining Nescafe.
This was going to be a huge sale.
My phone vibrated and checked to see who the message was from ‘Ken’
I hastily opened the text which content read; “Back stabber! I can’t believe we are friends, am in serious need of money and you can’t come through for me, you wicked soul am cutting all ties with you! Go to hell I shall pay you back for this, I will deal with you idiot! Your Mother!”
I wasn’t surprised this wasn’t the first time Ken sent such messages when I refuse to give him money, but this one came with a threat. I scoffed at his threat ‘this broke a-s couldn’t harm a dead mouse’
Christmas to me was a scam activity so I don’t celebrate, I left the next day to TMN, I was going to make a sale of course!