I hate having to work on a Saturday. I hate it more than I hate Jimmy Gait’s fashion sense. It doesn’t help that it is only once a month that I am expected to report to work on a weekend. This is because the Friday nights before such Saturdays my friends always come up with such enticing, irresistible plans. This makes being at work the following day a dreadful experience. More dreadful than being tied to a chair and forced to watch KBC for four few hours.
It is Saturday morning as I write this. I am seated on my desk and my head feels so heavy I am considering going for a CT scan. I am wishing I could detach my head from my body and place it on the table so it can leave me in peace. I had to be punctual today because I suspect my boss has me on close watch. Last month while I was meant to be working I happened to be 130kms away making merry in Embu. My boss found out that I was AWOL so if it happened again I will be kicked me out of this company.
Luckily there’s not much to do today and I hope it stays that way because my mind is not with me. I am actually on autopilot. At least I get to keep myself busy by typing away. That way if my boss had set up a spy camera in the office, I will still appear to be an industrious, committed employee.
Having been out for the better part of the night, I had been operating on energy saving mode since I woke up this morning. Even as I headed to work the only thing that would have attracted my attention was if someone set me on fire, or if I came across a freaking Range Rover limousine. Yep, this morning while coming to work I saw this gorgeous, out of this world Range Rover limousine!
This car (or should I say automobile) was sparkling white and spotless. It looked like it had spent the better part of the morning in a sauna. The way it was gleaming I suspect it had been massaged with Nivea body lotion. The windows were tinted to provide the occupants with their well deserved privacy. That’s a smart move because if I were to see an acquaintance being driven in a Range Rover limousine I would catch up with the ride in traffic, go over and knock on the window and beg him/her to let me in.
Okay maybe that wouldn’t have turned out too well since there was police escort just in case a crazy man tried to cause disturbance.
I saw the ride and I was like bloody hell am I seeing right… did someone spike my tea… did CMC start making Range Rover buses… oh wait is that a Range Rover limousine! Are the Cash Money Brothers in Kenya… In short, Joey was transfixed. The sight of its sheer beauty wiped all traces of sleep from my head. I am sure this is how I looked as it passed.
Some random guy took a photo of the ride at NPC Karen and posted it on twitter. This ride is so awesome I wouldn’t be surprised if the newlyweds will be having their after party and honeymoon inside it. If I happened to set foot in that car they would have to tow me out.
The Range apparently it costs 50K an hour to hire! In the future, whenever the couple fights and things get ugly, it’s not the vows that will keep them together but the memories of the ride they took in that limousine, and the money they spent on it. One of them will go like, “mama/baba nani, before you pack your bags, do you remember how much it cost us to hire that limo on our wedding day? Unless they can refund our money there’s no way we’re getting a divorce.”
If I owned that car I would live in it. Then instead of spending so much on rent I would only be paying parking fees. Heck I wouldn’t even need an office. I would report to work but perform my duties from the car. If anyone needed me, my office would be conveniently situated in the basement parking.
That car can probably drive itself and I have a feeling it can even engage you in a conversation. I imagine when you’re bored it tries to cheer you up and says something like:
“Sir you look gloomy today, would you like to hear an interesting story?”
“Sure go ahead.”
“You won’t believe the cat fight I witnessed last night on the streets. Boy didn’t those chicks tear each other apart. One had her weave ripped right out of her head.”
“C’mon man why didn’t you wake me up?”
“I tried sir but you were passed out.”
“At least tell me you recorded a video.”
“Oh crap I should have thought of that, shouldn’t I?”
“At times you’re so dumb it hurts.”
“That’s a mean thing to say sir.”
“Just shut up and take me home, will you?”
“You mean your parking space right?”
Okay guys I will head on home now before I infect you with my psychiatric disorder. It is half past noon and I am starting to hallucinate. I can see my bed giving me suggestive looks. Thank God I have the week’s post because if I get into that bed this afternoon I might just wake up on Monday morning. This boy is heading home to sleep.
Last week, after we got stuck in traffic for hours, I witnessed a man of the cloth in his full clergy outfit burst into a fit of anger. I watched in disbelief as he started cursing furiously and hurling obscenities and at some point he started banging his head against the steering wheel, and only stopped after his biretta (that clerical hat) fell off revealing an awkward bald head. That’s how bad the situation gets when it decides to start raining at 4:30pm on a weekday.
There’s a worship song that goes something like ‘open the floodgates of heaven, let it rain…’ (Relax there fella I’m not about to get all evangelical on you). It’s just that someone seems to have taken the song literally. The floodgates of heaven have literally been opened! It’s been raining like crazy of late. Normally I do not mind this kind of weather, but when it starts interfering with my working hours it gets me a tad edgy.
Over the past week, the clouds have been caving in just when folks are about to call it a day. You know, that time when you’ve already lost focus and you just can’t wait for 5pm so you can get the hell out of the office. For most bachelors, it’s the time when we start brooding over what we’re going to have for dinner. It’s around this time when you realize the only food left in the fridge is raw tomatoes and you start weighing the options between cooking, buying fries or simply going Indomi. By the way is it just me or do all those noodles flavors taste the same? Anyway, when it starts pouring at 4:30pm it means you’re going to have to put in some overtime. In my line of work, as long people can spot me, issues are bound to arise. I’ve had to put in a lot of pro bono work over the past week. And I do not like it one bit.
The traffic! The traffic is simply nerve-wracking. As much as I would like to get melodramatic and curse this traffic to the dark depths of hell, I can’t because someone might sadistically sell me out. The truth is, traffic jam doesn’t really affect me much. My workplace is not that far from my residence and I go against traffic in the evenings. In fact, the first paragraph about Mr. Preacher going all Slim Shady is actually a hoax. But you gotta admit, it made one heck of an intro.
Regardless, I’m sure there are folks out there that are about to lose their minds. When you realize you’ve only covered 10 meters in one hour, you would be excused for going a little nuts. There are probably quite a number of steering wheels with dents on them as a result of brutal head-butts from frustrated drivers. Or even bite-mark engravings.
The traffic jam is a crisis. In telecommunication we have monitoring tools that alert us when shit is not right – like when the service goes down. If there’s a curse-meter up in heaven it must be really beeping and flashing between the hours of 4pm and 10pm on weekdays. The shits and f***s must be on an all time high.
And someone better explain to me how exactly rain triggers traffic jams. I mean do cars suddenly germinate when it starts pouring? Or does the biting cold cause the roads to shrink? I just do not get it. I believe these are the same cars we have on the roads every other day. Anyway, worry no more good people. I have come up with a few ways of tackling this predicament. You might want to thank me later.
The most obvious solution would be to work from home. That way you will be able to get working on time and even put in extra hours in the evening. Traffic will no longer be a menace. I mean, for years we’ve been showing so much loyalty toward our work and it’s high time our employers proved that they too trust us. If there’s home-schooling, why can’t there be home-working?
If the big boss does not agree to our first solution, then you will have to come together as colleagues and do a petition to the HR asking him to adjust the working hours. Think about it, there’s no way one can be productive at work if he/she only had four hours of sleep. People are just sitting around staring blankly at their computer screens and not getting much work done. You would think the sandwich they had for breakfast had marijuana leaves instead of bacon. There’s this colleague of mine who fell asleep in the washrooms while doing his thing. True story. Ok traffic might not explain why he got home at 3am last Thursday but still the HR doesn’t need to know the details. It makes sense to have people work from morning to lunch hours. That way people will get home in good time and get a good night’s sleep. Everyone will be happy.
Speaking about getting home in the wee hours of the morning, last Friday I found myself among folk that were passing time while waiting for the traffic to clear. Of course passing time involved having a drink or two. It’s always a drink or two right? I am yet to come across a sincere drinker who says, “hey guys how about we check into a bar and indulge till like 2am then blame it on the traffic?” Anyway being the nice guy that I am, I empathized with my colleagues and agreed to stay behind.
Someone suggested we head to the nearby Shooters and dips bar in Panari. I choked but still got into the car. It turned out to be quite an insightful night. Word of advice: If you get a chance of hanging out with the big shots, take it. The counsel you get from these guys is priceless. You will never get it at your local.
This brings me to solution number three: When it starts raining in the evening, dash into the nearest pub, order a drink and just chill. Nothing like a cold one after a hard day’s work. You even get to watch the news while at it. Trust me, you will feel so much better. Even though it might not be Friday, don’t restrain yourself too much. The point is being unfit for work the next day. So if shots are going at 100bob, throw down a couple. Those offers don’t come often. If there’s nice music, feel free to loosen your tie and hop onto the dance floor and get groovy. The next day your legs will feel like you were tackling Mt. Longonot. But that’s the whole point. There’s a good chance your boss will notice and release you early.
If worst comes to worst, just fake a fit as soon as you get back from lunch. Make sure your boss is around before you throw yourself to the ground. Then when you’ve regained ‘consciousness’ tell him/her you suffer from Astheosporosis – a rare condition that attacks Asheostropic people when they get rained on… or get stuck in traffic for long hours. Then cross your fingers he doesn’t look it up on google.
I got you back folks. One of those strategies is bound to work. Try them out and see for yourself. Until next week, have a wet one.
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.
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.