Fired From The Burger Giant

Updated on October 17, 2019
Takesure Danga profile image

Takesure loves sharing his real life experiences. Here he talks about losing his job of many years & how he struggled to cope initially.

My Protégés

"How are you Mr. Danga?” asked Malvern, one of the young men from the accounts department. He was talking to me while standing in the door way of his office, to my left, as I approached it along the passage from Ben’s office. I was so deep in thought and grief that I didn’t hear or see him. I walked past him, his hand outstretched to greet me, as if he wasn’t there. “Mr. Danga are you okay?” He continued but still there was no answer. He had to run after me wondering what was wrong with “Elder” as he and his friends affectionately called me. He wondered if I had suddenly lost my hearing or something terrible had happened at home. I couldn’t just ignore him, he thought, it wasn’t in my nature! When he reached me, he pulled my shoulder back gently and asked again with a look of great concern on his face. “What’s happening Elder, I’ve been calling you since I saw you leaving Ben’s office?” “Is everything okay?”

Malvern joined the company slightly over three years before this day with four other young men, straight from college. They joined as trainees in the company’s accounts department. As part of their training they were required to be familiar with all the company’s departments hence spend three months in each of the company’s main departments namely procurement, preparation & processing, retail, banking, maintenance & support services, and human resources. Though they were training for accounting positions, management felt that it was necessary for them to have an appreciation of all the company’s departments. This would give them a better understanding of the business as a whole. They would understand better the business workflow from procurement to banking and the resultant flow of accounting information that they would use in their department. This, management argued, would put them in a better position to execute their accounting duties effectively.

I was tasked with training the five young men when they came to our department. I took them through the routine duties from money collection at the shops through consolidation and banking to reconciliation and posting to the accounts department. They were very impressed by the way I introduced, explained and evaluated the practices of the department. They really liked spending time with me, both at work and off it when they could. They loved my soft spoken and easy to approach nature. The boys affectionately called me Mudhara which literally means “Elder” in our native Shona language. Every day, it would be: “Mudhara can you help me with this?” or “Mudhara let’s go for lunch now” or “Mudhara can we have a drink after work today?” We had such a wonderful time during their training such that we built lasting relationships. I was more than their trainer, I was their “Mudhara”, their “Elder”, their adoring father figure at work.

“I’m not fine at all sonny,” I replied “I have just lost my job!” “I have been fired sonny!” “Come on Elder, are you serious?!” He asked shocked by my words. “Why would I joke with something like this sonny?” “I’m very serious!” “Oh I’m very sorry to hear that Mudhara!” he said, not sure what to say to make me feel better, “What happened?” He continued. I, as briefly as I could, narrated to him what had happened from the offence, the charges preferred against me, the disciplinary hearing, the verdict and the final determination. He could see from how I spoke and my body language that I was devastated by the loss. He too was devastated but there was nothing he could do to help. He offered to buy me something to eat which I politely declined, I had no appetite! He took me to the stairs at the end of the passage and assured me that everything was going to be fine then we said our good byes.

My Walk Into Town

“Where do I go from here?” “Where do I start?” “Is it even possible to start all over again at this age?” The questions kept coming as I laboured down the stairs. I didn’t believe it was possible to start all over again. I was completely overwhelmed. It sure felt like the end of the world for me. I just wished the earth would open up, swallow me and take me out of my grief. “What value can you possibly add to a new employer at your age?” The small voice asked. “Anyone in their right senses will never employ you!” “Don’t even get me started on the rate of unemployment in the country!” It continued. I believed it, what it was saying seemed to make sense. My working life is over, I thought, long before retirement age.

While I was deep in a question and answer session with myself, I found myself at the main entrance to the head office. I was stepping out of that place for the very last time as one of them. Leaving behind a brand that I had served so loyally all my working life. A brand that felt like family. A brand that was a major part of my history and that of my family. One that I had shared so many good moments with. It was over and very painful. Only if I hadn’t done what I did, I could still be part of this huge brand. If only I knew it would get me into so much trouble, I would’ve acted differently for sure! “Crying over spilt milk will not help!” “You can’t undo what has already been done.” That voice whispered again.

The Burger Giant's head office is situated just under a kilometre outside Harare’s Central Business District. I didn’t feel like driving so I had taken the bus into town and a taxi to the place. Instead of taking a taxi again, I chose to walk back into town. I thought walking would give me some time to self-converse. I had a lot to talk about! I would catch a bus to take me back home at the bus station in town. I was so deep in conversation with myself that I didn’t pay any attention to the actual walk. I kind of suddenly found myself at the bus station, paying for the bus ticket, but not sure how I got there so to speak!

My Neighbour

After paying for the ticket, I got on the bus and looked for an unoccupied seat close to the back of the bus. I wanted to continue my self-talk, at least until the bus filled up. “Baba OJ how are you?” asked Mrs Murehwa, our neighbour and friend, as she sat next to me on the bus. I’m known as Baba OJ in the neighbourhood. It literally means OJ’s dad. OJ is our first born son. “How is your Sammy?” She continued. “I haven’t seen her in a few days. How is she coping with your situation at work?” I hated that last question, it seemed everyone would ask me that at every chance. I summoned all my courage and forced a smile. “She is very fine. She seems to be coping much better I am.” I responded. “It’s me who is finding it very hard to deal with.” I continued.

I intentionally avoided telling her that my worst fears had been confirmed hours before. Even if I had told her, it didn’t matter to her, she considered the matter closed the day I received my guilty verdict. This is judging by how she responded when Sammy told her a few hours after I received the letter. She had come in and told me how sorry she was that I had lost my job. She had said she truly felt I was very unlucky to lose my job over something so trivial but didn’t see any chance of me getting my job back through mitigation. “When these large corporations want you out, they will get you out!” She had said while citing examples of recent cases where people were fired over something that was similarly trivial.

Mrs Murehwa is one person who is not afraid to speak her mind out. She will give you “what’s on her mind uncensored.” Seated next to me on the bus, she impressed upon me how bad the country’s economy was, not that I needed any reminding, and how it was almost impossible to find a job. She challenged me to “man up” instead of running into Sammy’s arms for comfort whenever I feel overwhelmed. “You‘ve to be strong and implement some austerity measures back home. Maybe sell your cars and consider starting a business with your wife.” I was lectured on just about anything from financial management and economics to faith, religion and spirituality. I hated her lectures. It was the longest trip I’ve ever taken from town to my neighbourhood in my whole life. Little did I know that those “on the bus lectures” were going to change my life forever. How priceless they’ve remained to this day!

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Takesure Danga

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)