ZIMSEC English Language: Narrative compositions: Sample
I later realised l was taken for a ride
The line stretched on forever. Like a human-made millipede, it coiled from the passage down the stairs, out the front door and around the corner. People shuffled and stomped like a restless herd as they waited for the business day to begin.
I had woken up early- 1 am early- but I was surprised to see thirty people had arrived before me. The recruiting manager arrived at eight O’clock accompanied by two ladies whom he referred to as his assistants. He was wearing “preacher” clothes. A cheap looking suit which revealed a stripped Hawaiian shirt and suspenders when he took off his coat in the heat of the day.
He looked nothing like a supermarket manager. A fact he easily explained by saying that his company was called Quantum Recruitment, an employment agency. He stood at the door of his one-roomed office and spoke in an even voice half-mumbling and half shouting.
Quantum Recruitment had contracts with all of the country’s major supermarkets, bakeries as well as a host of other businesses. They recruited, screened and trained prospective employees on their behalf. He went on to cite some well known supermarkets which he called his clients.
Finding a job on your own was not easy with unemployment as high as it was. If we joined his agency employment was all but guaranteed. All we had to do was pay him two hundred dollars in training and placement fees. After a two week period of training and induction, we would be placed into the businesses which he represented. The fifty dollars he was asking for would be nothing compared to the salaries he promised.
After he finished talking he moved away from the door to reveal two desks which were manned by his two exquisitely dressed assistants and declared that we could now go in two at a time. The two ladies served with a machine like efficiency and in less than ten minutes I was astonished to see it was my turn.
The lady who served me said her name was Samantha. She had a mesmerising smile that would rival any toothpaste commercial. She asked for my curriculum vitae which I promptly handed over followed by the crumpled money bills to the tune of two hundred.
I was surprised that she never asked me about my qualifications or work history. She barely looked at the copies of my certificates and handed me a spiral bound book. It had the title Quantum Recruitment training manual and a logo that looked like it had been taken from Microsoft clip art and dismissed me before I had a chance to ask any questions and told me to return the following day.
I woke up Tuesday morning in bright spirits happy to put the stress of looking for employment behind me. I arrived at the Quantum Recruitment offices to find them locked. I and my fellow naive idiots waited and milled around for hours but no one came. The door remained shut. We decided to ask the guard when the Quantum people were coming.
A bemused expression crossed his face and he almost fell from his chair laughing.
“Welcome to Harare fools!” He said. That is when I realised I had been taken for a ride. We all had.
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