Well, that didn’t last long.
I’m already exhausted by my new job. Don’t get me wrong. The atmosphere is conducive and the coffee is plentiful and my colleagues are interesting people with perfectly lined teeth and cool sneakers. And, critically, the writing isn’t too hard when I can quickly come up with punchy one-liners for hair shampoo. Plus my supervisor is only what can be described as a “Peng ting”.
But, to tell you the truth, my body shuts down a little every day. It’s the daily commute. It’s the early mornings and late nights. It’s the mental math, of bus fare plus meals minus vodka multiplied by 5. It’s the deadline that never seems to be met, or the client that is never satisfied, or the Emails that start by hoping I am well. And I agree with my sister when she says it’s only a matter of time before I completely shut down.
It’s hard, really, to notice the decline when you’re having fun at work. And it’s even harder when you’re on a steady diet of coffee and pot.
Swimming in the corporate pool is going to be tougher than I thought.
Today someone actually told me I look beat.
Which caused me to sit back and remember the last time I had a goodnight’s sleep. And that was in….hold on, today is Wednesday, so that’s…1,2,3…oh yeah, two bloody years ago.
Needless to say I’m beginning to notice small changes in my body. I barely have any appetite in the morning. A little breeze from a car window gives me coughing fits. MosKill smoke hurts my nostrils. And my left shoulder will snap if I as much as needle my bag strap onto it.
During the interview they asked me if I thought I could do this job consistently for three years.
And my smart ass led me to say: “Just three?” This made the CEO chuckle, and I bet he must have thought I have the work rate of an ox.
Most times I try. But when it’s Tuesday something weird happens. It’s been happening for as long as I can remember.
Tuesday was the day you had double Maths. Tuesday was the day the Chemistry teacher decided to return the CAT papers, not forgetting, of course, the whip of the damned.
When I went to campus, Tuesday was the day we had Chapel, an hours’ worth of singing and praying and some wise words from the school Chaplain.
Tuesdays have never sat well with me, especially this last one, when I had a series of horrible moments that made me come to the firm conclusion that Tuesdays may in fact be cursed.
It all started at lunch time, when you found out with some glee that it’s Payment Week. And it was just as well because you’ve been drawing up all sorts of plans to spend the loot. Then you got an Email from HR telling you how to go about collecting your wages.
NSSF, NHIF, KRA Pin, Utility Bill, ffs,
It was all too confusing for words, and the HR woman had a good laugh when you asked if you could simply get your salo on Mpesa. Then she went on to explain that you could just fill the bank details and that you could send the KRA and NSSF stuff later.
“Can you do that in the next 30 minutes?” She asked.
“Of course,” you said. (There you go again, running your mouth like a goddamn marathon)
Anyway, remember when you said you’d finally open a bank account, and then never got around to it?
It seems your procrastination has come to bite you in the ass. The chickens have come home to roost. The fat lady has sung. The jury is out. You can hear the faint whoosh of the whip of the damned in the echo of the night. (Too much?)
This Tuesday was also the day you realized –slowly but painfully– that the corporate beast isn’t your mother.
And that’s before we get to the commute back home, when you got a 14-seater mat soaked in red neon light which gave you a migraine. Then there was the insensitive bloke who had the audacity to open a bag of chips in the stuffy cabin. And what about the time you accidentally locked eyes with a faeces-wielding street boy? When you made a swift turn to try and get away, you suddenly found yourself wedged into the mass of Kenyans, directly behind an old man with a walking stick having a bit of look-around.
Wait…I was saying something.
All along my brief writing career, I’ve always had my payments via Mpesa. The client didn’t want to know if I was drunk when I did the copy, or that I was only wearing purple boxers. There was no HR to report to in case of some sexual harassment.
I could be forgiven for thinking on pay day we just queued up at the Finance desk where there would be a clean-shaven pot-bellied accountant with stubby fingers and a large blue file full of receipts and a purple stamp that says, “Paid”.
I thought all I had to do was say I preferred the money to be wired to my mobile and that was that.
Turns out the company doesn’t do business like that. And, because I was late in submitting my bank information, my name wasn’t put in the payroll, which means I have to wait till next month to get this bread. (Hehe, always wanted to say that. Get this bread)
I’d like to think I didn’t bother with the banking issue because I only want to do good work, and making people smile is payment enough for my little heart. But regularly seeing a nice set of teeth isn’t exactly going to get me that bike.
Thankfully, I’ve decided I won’t procrastinate any longer. Tomorrow I’m going to walk into a bank and open an account. The tragedy, though, is that I won’t know opening a bank account requires me to have a KRA Pin (or is it the other way around?)
And I don’t even know what a utility bill is.