Otike said, “I was told so by Bamidele. Right, five hundred. I thought you should have demanded for more long before now”.
“I’m not squawking,” Dike said softly. “I guess a man is paid with regard to what he puts in”.
Otike looked at him searchingly. “That’s not the way most guys think. They’re always demanding for more money whether their performance is satisfactory or not”. He lit a cigarette and sipped more of his whisky.
“I’ve been thinking much about you lately. You’ve been very good to me; maybe it’s your shooting. I wouldn’t have been alive were it not for you. Five times, wasn’t it?” Otike asked.
“Yes sir” Dike said.
“Five times.” Otike shook his head thoughtfully. “Godd shooting, my boy”. He paused again and then said, “If you had ever come to me for
more money two years back, I’d have given it to you. Why didn’t you?”
“I have told you, sir, a man gets paid for what he does and nothing more. I don’t think I contribute
much. Maybe you’re trying to exaggerate”.
Another long pause.
“For your loyal services, I’ve decided to get you nearer my fold. By that I mean you’ll be closer to me. I shall
provide you accommodation and the furnishing but that will take
effect by January after you have taken on a new assignment” Otike said.
“I’ll appreciate that very much, sir”. Dike said
“Do you get along very well with Nwabueze?” Otike asked
“Yes, sir”. Replied Dike
“I suppose he’s scared, hates the job, doesn’t he?” said Otike.
“He’s scared alright but likes the money”. Replied Dike
“That’s good. I’m thinking of making some changes, a kind of reshuffling for greater efficiency. You know
that keeps business going. One gets tired of one’s job after
a couple of years. A change is vital”. Otike said
“What kind of change do you contemplate, sir?” Dike asked anxiously
“A complete change. You and Nwabueze would be re-assigned to new jobs. Six years is a hell of a lot of time for one to be doing one type of job” Otike explained.
Dike reached for another cigarette while watching his boss intently. He was now a little more relaxed than when he
first came in.
“You talk to Nwabueze and tell him that he’s going to move to the accounts section next january. How much is he paid at present?”
“Two hundred”. Dike answered
“Tell him his new pay will be three hundred, understand?” Otike said
“Yes sir” Dike replied
“Now you, Dike” Otike said, “You’re a well known figure in this vicinity. People know you’re tough. They like and respect you and, what is more, no dare devil will come near our warehouse if they know you’re there. How would you like it?”
Dike stiffened. He hadn’t expected this kind of job which exposed him to rascals. He recalled that six months ago the man stationed there had to be amputated after receiving injuries
from gangsters in a bid to break through the warehouse.
The man become disabled although he was being looked after by the Organisation.
To be continued