Man about town

My brother lands mum in hospital


I was somewhat disappointed with the President’s announcement extending by 21 more days the period of containment and the curfews. I feel like the novelty of working from home, homeschooling and being home by 7 am is wearing off. The guys from the global head office have been sending me all manner of strange templates and questionnaires to fill out. They tell me that those will help them map out some of the “evolving scenarios”, which to me does not make sense.

The other day they asked me to share some of the likely tax increases and breaks that are expected to happen in the region. Surely! How am I supposed to know! I shared with them what is in the public domain but they came back to me but one of them came to me in an email and said, “ You can share based on the insights from your technocrats.”

This had me laughing out loud, “ does he realise that our so-called technocrats are also in the dark?” I wanted to respond and tell him, “ You should also tell us your insights based on what Trump is saying.”

I however decided to defer to my boss for guidance so I called him. My phone went unanswered only for him to return my call after two hours. He sounded a bit tipsy as he asked me, “Josphat! Whose house is burning? Why were you calling me up so early?”

I chuckled because he is the boss and I did not want to tell him that I had called him at 8.30 am which technically is working hours. I instead told him, “ So sorry to call you so early but I have been under tremendous pressure from the head office about some numbers.” He laughed and said, “ Yes I have been seeing the email trails.”

I was a bit annoyed that he had not chosen to give some direction but I kept quiet and said, “ That is why I need your guidance on how to deal with these guys.”

He said, “ Listen, those guys are just trying to show that they are relevant so just send them some random number and they will shut up.”

His advice made sense, but I knew better than to come up with just another “random number.” So I said , “Why don’t we just discuss line by line and agree on what number works. He said, “I would rather be sitting on my balcony drinking wine instead of doing this.”

To persuade him I said, “ It will not take too long.” So we took about 10 minutes and the boss gave me some numbers, which he said, “ Some are pure guesswork but some are based on what we have seen countries do in the past.” He then said, ” Listen young man! Everyone right now is trying to show their use to the company so that post-Covid they will all have jobs. I do not care- I plan to retire. Just remember that! With that, I was dismissed.

I collated all the numbers shared them and breathed a sigh of relief when I received an email saying, “ This is perfect! Many thanks!” I wish they knew.

I was enjoying that moment when my phone started ringing non-stop. It was my mother’s phone. I was not looking forward to talking to her as she keeps on asking me the same old question, “What are we going to do about your brother?”

She does not want to accept that I do not want to get involved in sorting him out. I braced myself to have the same conversation with my mum. I was shocked to hear a strange voice on the phone. The voice was that of my aunt saying, “ Josphat, you need to come home, your mother is in hospital. Your brother beat her up!” Just like that, my world came crashing down.