‘Okay Herty’, Bright Koomson, the Manager, said, ‘you are welcome to Esiam. I hear you didn’t have much time to prepare for the move here. But I can assure you that this is quite a nice place. Most of our customers are cocoa, coffee and oil palm farmers.

We also serve some of the buying companies. We also have a couple of fruit plantations, one of which has a processing plant. We get a little busy during the harvest season, but I would not say that activity here is very hectic. Social life here is certainly not like you have in Accra, but there are one or two very decent spots here. Moreover, you have DSTV here, and of course, your mobile phone! So you should be fine’.

‘Thanks, Mr Koomson. Actually, I’m not apprehensive or even worried about coming here. It’s just that it came unexpectedly. I come from Cape Coast, so in a way this is home territory. And I also want to interpret things like this as God’s own way of directing a person’s life. I don’t feel bad about coming here, at all. In a way, I am looking forward’.

‘That’s a great attitude’, Sabina said. Personally, I have not experienced any of the issues related to transfers, but what I’ve heard is that most of the people who are unwilling to go on transfers end up having a good time. Some of them get involved in business, and many people consider coming to branches like this opportunities to save money. So I’m glad you already have this attitude. It’s refreshing’.

 After an hour they said goodnight to her, and she went to her room. She switched on the TV, but her mind was full of thoughts about the transfer. She was looking forward to starting a new day. Mr Kingsley Dankwa may be gloating about punishing her for rejecting his proposal, but she was going to make this work. She didn’t give the driver one moment’s thought.      

She started enjoying the Esiam branch from the very first day. She was struck by the camaraderie among the 16 people who worked at the branch. Although Mr Koomson had said that work at the branch was not frenetic, they were quite busy. There were all kinds of projects involving payments to the farmers. Supply of fertilisers and other inputs, provident and insurance schemes, and farmers cooperative association credit schemes.

Although the farmers in that part of the country were not very wealthy, they seemed to be quite okay. Of course, she later learnt that a good number of them had two or three wives, and there were often interesting incidents at the bank involving wives and girlfriends cashing cheques.

On her second day, she stopped at the waakye spot which had been well recommended by her colleagues to buy breakfast. Just after she was leaving for the bank, the mini-van stopped, and the driver came out and walked towards the next shop. Their eyes met, but she looked away. This was a small town, and she didn’t come all the way to make friends with tro-tro drivers. She did notice, though, that he was very good looking, and rather decently dressed for a driver. Well, she thought, at least she can report that in Esiam, even the drivers dress well.

Two days later, Ralph Debrah, the Regional Manager dropped in for a quick, on-the-spot inspection. After spending some 30 minutes with the manager, he went to the cashiers’ booths and the clerks’ desks. Although he was checking for the slightest sign of error, he mostly chatted and shared jokes. At Herty’s desk, she was telling him about her former department at the head office when he answered a call, after which he looked towards the entrance at a young man walking in. It was the tro-tro driver.

‘Ralph’, the driver said, ‘I’m dashing to Cape Coast. I should be back by one at the very latest. But everything has been taken care of, so we are expecting you’. Mr Debrah gave a thumbs up sign, and he walked to the door. My goodness! Herty said under her breadth. What does this mean? The Regional Manager makes friends with a tro-tro driver? Or what does this mean?

Ekow de Heer

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