The Job

Change of guards, the nation couldn’t decide yeah or nay.
When last week I got a job, or what appeared to be a job
Screaming jubilation broke out of me into the open day.

Was this the job I was looking for or a flop of a job? Drop!
The unemployment figures drop that month was a needle,
My gob got me a job unlike any other job before this job.

‘Together, we’ll build an empire!’ You kept saying until I
Lost count. Nothing said of incentives, just sustenance and
That was all. The transactions were mine to make; sell until

I die or something to that effect. I signed off being unemployed.
I signed off from the dream of free money, from getting fat
And atrophy. Signed off? Or was I cajoled into signing off?

The benefit advisor suppressed a smile, behind tight lips, a smile!
A co-signatory that didn’t want to sign; he dithered, dropping abuse.
While the counted seconds piled up to minutes, then hours in a file.

The new hot government advisor’s lip service grew slack and slacker.
I got a job that wasn’t paying a wage. Four weeks on and no money.
Bills stacked up in triple towers and threats of eviction. Job or flack?

I wouldn’t know which. Toilet roll runs out, damp patches spread out
Far and wide. Team leaders’ toughness training leads to sexual abuse.
By the third week I’m being groped for all to see. No one asked questions!

‘Together, we’ll build an Empire! Do as I say or fuck off already! Form a
Close circle, squeeze tightly together… now sit on the laps of the person
Behind you… No, not just lightly touching but all the way, all the way!’

I have never felt so uneasy in my working life, a finger strayed around
My upper legs. So this is what sexual abuse felt like enacted with impunity.
No sale no pay and groping fingers around, around, abound!

I knew you were a supee1 from the first. Flashback! Sagba2 boy too grabs hold.
After I told him, ‘I am a supee, you’ve no need to make me feel isolated?
Profuse apologies; what good are they when the laughter is still young & bold?

I pushed sagba boy away. ‘What makes you feel sagba? Are you sure you
Are not straight? You needn’t corner me to teach me impact factors!’
That instance he moved sideways and tried teaching me, afresh…

Mia Nikasimo © September 2010

1 Supee -Ibo meaning a woman who loves women.
2 Sagba -Ibo meaning a man who loves men.