Tapiwa had served his employer faithfully for fifteen years. He had joined the company at the age of twenty and thrived to excel in every task that was given to him. The company rewarded him handsomely. He managed to get married to Tafadzwa after working for five years, and they had two beautiful children. The family enjoyed life since they could afford the very basics. Tapiwa drove to work while Tafadzwa stayed at home and took care of the household chores. The economy of the beautiful country of Zimbabwe began to nosedive and inflation reached its peak.
Everyone felt the pinch of the inflation and Tapiwa was no exception. He switched to using public transport as driving was now a preserve of the rich. He would wake up as early as 4AM and get his kids to school. This routine became unbearable because he had to collect them from school into town and assist them to get home. He would get back to work after lunch . He started having problems with his superior’s . Although they understood his predicament they could not justify his lateness to work. Frustration began to creep into his mind and he began to lose weight.
He felt he could not continue and decided to resign from his job. He sought for his father’s advice who advised him to wait a bit longer as he had hope that the economy would soon recover . After a long argument, his father gave in and asked him to go ahead with his plans. He asked for a second opinion from his immediate superior at work. He was advised not to quit but wait a little longer. But, Tapiwa had already made up his mind . He tendered in his resignation notice which was accepted with reservations.
He was told his termination benefits would be processed within three months as this was company policy. Tapiwa left for South Africa where he hoped to get employed as a chemist. When he got there he discoved that life not as easy as he had expected. Getting a job in his area of training was proving to be a big challenge. He hopped from company to company and from pillar to post seeking for employment as a chemist, but the result was the same, negative. He eventually decided to get employment as a general hand.
Working as a general laborer was not easy for Tapiwa. Frustration continued to grow within him. Many times he would curse the leaders of his country saying they were responsible for his problems. In many instances Tapiwa would go to sleep on an empty stomach. When he phoned his wife back home she would be complaining of hunger and how bad things were . It pained him more because the company he was now working for did not honor its part of the contract. After working for six months, he was paid the equivalent of three months’salary.
The reason that his employer gave was company was reeling under the effects of the global economic meltdown. Tapiwa began to lose weight and his face could be mistaken for a patient. One day he decided to call his former employer back home. He was trying to negotiate for re-engagement. He was told it was told no longer possible because his position had already been filled . It pained him more to learn that people at the company were now earning foreign currency. After the call, Tapiwa took a walk and could be seen talking by himself. Tears rolled down his cheeks and he wept bitterly.
He regretted why he ever made a decision of leaving his job for greener pastures which he discovered they were not green after all. He blamed no one but himself for putting his family into deep problems. He thought he should have taken a few days’ leave for a feasibility study. Memories of how he had enjoyed life before the hyperinflationary economy hurt him. Comparing his present style of living in South Africa to the life back home haunted his mind even worse. Given a choice between the two he would choose to stay at home with his family.
Every time he would sit to meditate, he could not help but recall his father telling him not to quit his job, but to wait for a while. The discussion he had a year ago with his immediate superior at his former employment, vividly played before him. He regretted he should have taken their advice . He had learnt that in life you do not make rash decisions when it comes to important matters. His tummy made a noise indicating to him it was time for refueling. It had been a while since he had a decent meal. He had learned it the harder way.
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