Man about town

HR wants me to do a dirty job for CEO


I do not know what is going on in the office-everyone seems to be leaving the company. Last month, we had five exits which is a lot considering we have only 200 people in the office. I have been chatting with some of the guys who are leaving, and I must say I am impressed by the profile of companies they are joining.

One of them is joining some global multinational and he told me that he will be making “more than twice of what he has been making here.” The guy whose name is Emmanuel asked me, “Josphat, why haven’t you moved yet, you have such experience and you know your stuff.” I told him, “I have spoken to some recruiters but somehow the right opportunity has not come up.” He told me, “when I cross over I will tell those guys to poach you.”

I laughed nervously as I felt flattered that someone in the company thinks highly of me. What I did not tell him is that most recruiters have been telling me that my CV is a bit too “vague since it is not clear whether I do finance or business development.” I told one recruiter, “isn’t it a good thing that I can do both, why does it have to be one or the other?” The recruiter told me, “that is not what employers want, they want some specialists not generalists.”

I have not revisited this conversation again with the recruiter or with Amisi my life coach. Based on these movements by my colleagues, I might need to reconsider my approach.

However, it seems that this movements have not been all good news for everyone. Last week, the HR manager came to my desk and said, “Josphat, can we have tea?” I assumed she wanted us to have tea in my office, but she was adamant that she wanted to chat outside the office. So, we headed to a nearby coffee house. She seemed very anxious and said, “you know walls have ears, so I would rather chat with you here.” I asked her, “so, what is going on? you seem nervous.” She responded, “things are thick, ni kubaya.”

She quickly told me what her problem was, “imagine the immigration guys have refused to renew the CEO’s work permit.” I laughed and said, “this cannot be, I thought such renewals are a no-brainer.” She said, “usually they are not a problem, but it seems this time round some member of staff went and lodged some complaints with immigration.” This was news to me and I said, “who would do that?” She said, “well wish I knew but it seems that person shared confidential emails, voice recordings which make the boss seem like a racist bully.” I was secretly pleased about these developments because I often struggle with how my boss talks to us and some of the comments he makes.”

I told the HR manager, “well what can I do? I guess we just wait for a new boss.” The HR manager said, “I think you can help. I have a suspicion that one of your friends, that Emmanuel fellow is the one who lodged the complaint. He was always fighting the boss and he is very connected.”

I quickly told her, “we are not that tight, we just joke about football and athletics.” She said, “well a lot of people think he is closest to you, you were even in his wedding line up.” I realised that I was not winning so I told her, “what do you want me to do?” She said,” speak to him, find out if he did and ask him to withdraw the charges.”

She said, “you see the boss has fallen in love with some Kenyan girl and he is determined to divorce his wife and marry her- he cannot leave Kenya.” She told me, “If you make this happen, I promise you he will reward you with a big job and big salary.” I liked the idea of a big job, but I was not sure I wanted to do the dirty work to ensure the boss remains in Kenya.