I’m Grateful for My Job…Most of the Time

Eze Ihenetu
7 min readApr 13, 2020
Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

I want to begin this essay with a proclamation: I’m so fortunate to be employed by my company.

Because I know what the alternative could be. And that’s waiting. Waiting anxiously for my company to call me back from a forced furlough. Waiting for my unemployment claim to make its way through the labyrinth that is the state bureaucracy. Waiting for a $1200 stimulus check from a government that I cannot count on to function properly. Waiting for the economy to recover from a recession/depression — I would like to find another job one day. I know that things could be a lot worse than they are.

But am I happy? I can’t say that I am.

Every morning I wake up tired and downcast because I have to prepare to go to war. America is fighting a war against coronavirus and I am one of the foot soldiers. Because unlike many of my colleagues at the hospital I am not allowed to work from home. And as the coronavirus wages war against our country, I often think about a story that my father told me about his youth.

He was an infantryman in the Nigerian War. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the conflict, it was a recent war. A group of natives who lived in the southern part of Nigeria seceded from the rest of the country, declaring their independence from fundamental Islamists in the north. The southern part of Nigeria was called Biafra. The secession precipitated a four years long war for Igbo independence (1967 to 1971). More than two million Biafrans died during the war, many of them from forced starvation.

My father, an Igbo tribesman by birth, fought with the secessionist Biafrans. I could hardly believe it at age thirteen. My nearly fifty-year old father with the paunchy stomach and receding hairline had soldiered in an actual war.

My eyes got wider as he delved deeper into his very own war story.

“Dad!” I said. Did you actually shoot your gun at people?”

He hesitated for a moment and then said, “We were fighting for our lives. If I saw someone in the wrong uniform then I had to shoot at them.”

“Did you carry a machine gun?”

“Yes, it was a machine gun.”


Eze Ihenetu

Eze is a teacher, survivor, and politically astute. He is a 2X Top Writer and has been published in multiple digital magazines. ep2ihenetu@gmail.com