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How to stay employed this year

If you have a boss that’s always breathing down your neck; if you are one warning letter away from being kicked out of the building; if you’re sitting there wondering if you’ll still be on the payroll come December, worry no more. I got you. I have come up with a bagful of survival tactics that could help you avoid the impending axe. But if you take me too seriously and you get fired on the spot, don’t come after me wielding a machete.

Shift the blame

A colleague told me a story about his cheeky five year old nephew. Last Monday she was dropping him off at school and she asked him if he had completed his homework. He started panicking and said he hadn’t. She asked him why and after careful thought, he said his mommy took him to Westgate!

You gotta writhe out of those tricky situations. Don’t let the buck stop with you. You are not Jesus. If you are asked why you are late, blame the righteous matatu driver for adhering to the traffic rules. How were you to know that there are matatus that don’t overlap? If the boss points out your decline productivity, blame the January heat wave, and the government for doing nothing about it. Do what you have to do. Blame the Ocampo Six, blame Arsene Wenger. Just shift the blame. But don’t get your colleague fired.

Act like you know

I know a guy who never lacks answers. Dude can justify anything. You can never corner him. Even when he’s clueless he’ll give a lengthy and complicated explanation by the time he’s done you’ll be so confused you’ll just let it go. There are many times he has no idea what he’s talking about but he would rather just keep going than back down. He talks eloquently and with such confidence you will be drawn to his side of the story.

This quality would really come in handy in my line of work. I’m always bombarded with questions when things go wrong. I am expected to have all the answers. I’m supposed to be a walking Wikipedia. On that note I will google a list of technical jargon as soon as I’m done with this piece. If your boss is not as well versed, create a story. Be a bit dramatic as you tell it. As they say if you can’t convince them, confuse them.

Charity in the office

If you watch the tv series Dexter, then you’ve noticed that the main character has a habit of walking into the office with a boxful of donuts. He passes by each desk and his colleagues excitedly help themselves.

If you are not sure how that appraisal will go, you should try this. And make sure you start with your boss. There’s a good chance when it’s downsizing time the axe won’t fall on you. But you need to be careful here. Especially if you have haters in the office. You can imagine how nasty it would be if a colleague screws you over and finds a way of contaminating your snacks. Then a few minutes after helping themselves, stomachs start rumbling and people start lining up in the washrooms! There are malicious people out there you know. You would be screwed.


During my internship I worked with this guy who never smiled. The office radio was always tuned to Classic fm and once in a while Kingangi would say something hilarious and we would burst out laughing. You know how you can hear something funny and you turn to your colleague so you can all laugh together like happy retards, you would appear like a bigger retard if you turned to Ogolla. He never laughed at anything. His sense of humor was as dry as that of a goat.

Boy wasn’t Ogolla intimidating. If he told you to do something you would get onto it. Immediately. Even the boss approached him with caution. Whenever he approached Ogolla he would clear his throat and talk to him politely. I never once heard the manager reprimanding him. Dude owned the boss.

If you can pull off a mean-ass look, you can employ this tactic and see if those deadlines won’t get extended.

Suck up

There’s this pal of mine who is from a well off family. His first job was at the very bottom of the corporate ladder but he used to drive to work every single day. A few weeks into the job he realized he had been parking right next to his manager.

Wrong move. His contract was never extended. He was even lucky the boss didn’t pinch him on the nose and tell him to know people.

Bosses want to feel like bosses. They like to be revered and they hate competition. More so from their juniors. If you want that job, if you have hopes of climbing up the corporate ladder, you gotta keep it on the down low. You have to suck up. I do not mean sneaking under the desk whenever he passes by your desk, just don’t compete with him.

Sucking up can be done tactfully. If you observe closely, even the meanest boss has his match. There’s always that person who somehow manages to cheer up the boss. There’s always that special person who is never yelled at as loudly as the rest of you. It could be that this guy is good at his job. Or it could also be that he is just a bootlicker.

When the boss is in a good mood chat him up. Say good morning to him and tell him that you are more energized than ever to get shit done this year. Flash a smile while at it. A genuine smile is hard to resist. But if your boss is of the opposite gender then you need to be careful. The last thing you want is your smile to be misconstrued as flirtation. You can imagine if he is a family man and all of a sudden he starts exhibiting pictures of his beloved family. Or even worse, if he is a sick perv and he starts grabbing your behind in the elevator. Not pretty.

Act a fool

If worst comes to worst, just act a fool. If you are busted napping on your desk, say that you were working out a solution in your head and you are just about to figure it out, then go back to sleep. Act like you had no idea the report was due that day. Act like you never saw that email. Act like you never got the meeting invitation. Heck, swear that you did not show up at work coz you thought that Monday was a holiday.


This should be the last arrow in your quiver. If all fails, start crying as your boss yells at you. I do not mean sniffling with tears running down your cheeks. Bursting into tears is what I mean. Trust me he wouldn’t know how to react. Take advantage of his bewilderment and excuse yourself. Later on apologize for the incident and tell him that you had received some saddening news that morning. You might just get the day off for not finishing that assignment.

Categories: Nonsense
  1. Anonymous
    January 23, 2012 at 8:33 am

    ha ha ha “He was even lucky the boss didn’t pinch him on the nose and tell him to know people.” hilarious!!!!

    • January 24, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      Hehe powerful people have a thing for peoples’ noses u know…

  2. Rita Murugi
    January 23, 2012 at 9:56 am

    hahaha,i think al take up the crying tactic!!!!

    • January 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      You do what you have to do Rita!

  3. Anonymous
    January 23, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I think am doing ol this already

    • January 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      Very funny. Then your only option is standing on top of your desk and screaming “to hell with this! i quit!!!”

  4. thatguy
    January 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    yeah…wenger sucks ass!

  5. Mercy
    January 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Half of this would probably get me fired but oh well, its wort a try :-)…i like.

    • January 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      Mercy, you wouldn’t know until you’ve tried…

  6. madrine
    January 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Whatt last born u have made my day ati ogolla wouldn’t laugh!!hehehe gosh how did u survive

    • January 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      By never telling him a joke. Or trying to laugh with him…

  7. MAMA Lauren
    January 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Ati blame
    the Ocampo Six, blame Arsene Wenger! aki ill try that. nimeisha!

    • February 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      Nice to see you here Sylvia! Hehe I must admit I also laughed as I typed that…

  8. Linda
    February 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I like this piece…funny enough it has useful advise. Its your first DIY post 😉 As for “I’m supposed to be a walking Wikipedia”….trust me everytime I call you its because I know you have the answers to all things technical, so get to writing down that list 🙂

  9. Liberty
    August 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Dude you know you should check yourself into a mental asylum right???? Hehehehe Love the post Joey:)

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