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Dear Married Colleague,
It was my first day at work as the Admin manager and the HR took me round to introduce me to everyone. I tried my best to memorize as many names as I could while smiling and being all round pleasant.
I was brought to your office; there were three of you in there. You guys are the marketing department. The other two smiled and said they liked my makeup.
You looked up from your computer and asked where I was working before, I told you and you said okay.
Later in the afternoon, I saw you in the Kitchen, “you are Tomi, right?” I asked as I wondered if I got the name right. “Mrs Ojo”, you said.
I didn’t get what you said, so I asked that you say it again, then you said with irritation, “I am Mrs Ojo to you, I won’t appreciate you calling me by name, I am a married woman”
I was baffled by what you said, but I maintained my cool and determined to stay out of your way.
Throughout that week, I tried to observe what other women in the office called you. They all called you by your first name; you didn’t seem to mind, perhaps because they are all married.
In my second week, you came to me to report a driver who didn’t obey your instructions; you called me by my first name and spoke to me so condescendingly as if you were talking to your maid.
You called me by my own first name but you do not want me to call you by your first name? Just because you are married?
Still I kept my cool; it was my second week at work so no point raising any dust.
While clearing some of the documents left in the drawers by my predecessor, I saw passport pages of some staff members; apparently she used them to book flights sometime ago. I saw your passport page, I saw your age. I am four years older than you.
I was so mad that I had taken bullshit twice from you and I was determined to forever call you by your first name and see if you will die because of that.
Unfortunately you did not come to work that day, or the next, or the day after the next. When I asked your colleagues they said you had resigned and the day you came to shout on me about the driver was actually your last.
I felt pained because you escaped the pepper I was going to show you.
In case you are reading this, I want you to know that you are a very insecure woman who suffers from low self esteem if you think you are superior to other women just because you are married.
I hope to see you again one day, I will so shout your first name loud and clear and see if the earth will quake because you are a married woman.