Man about town

Josphat uneasy after corporate affairs job offer comes calling


As usual, HR is baffling me with their decisions. Last week, this guy called Nicholas who works in the department called me into his office. He recently joined the company as talent manager because the CEO said that we need to have a more “scientific approach in how we approach our people”.

Nicholas looks like a good person and has an impressive CV but I do not trust him just like I do not trust any other HR people

So, when I got into his office, he started off by making some idle chitchat. He asked me about my thoughts on Sharon, the murdered university student. I have my views on the issue but I was not going to share them with him and so I kept quiet.

On sensing my discomfort Nicholas said: “Let me get to the point and tell you about what the business is thinking about your career.”

This piqued my interest since I have been very distressed about the ambiguity in my roles. He went on to tell me that the leadership team have, “noted my versatility and capacity for hard work” owing to my double-chatting over the last two year.


Nicholas told me: “Since you know the business so well, we think you should join the corporate affairs team to drive the engagement with relevant authorities.”

I laughed out loud and said, “are you joking?” I was even more amused when Nicholas went on in his attempt to ‘sell’ me the role. He told me, “this role is very exciting, you will be at the centre of all that is happening here.” I said, “well I am not a lawyer or communications expert, I surely cannot do this.”

Nicholas said: “Do not doubt yourself, the business will help you learn the ropes.” I could tell that Nicholas was a bit disappointed by my reaction — I think he had expected some more enthusiasm from my end.

So, I said, “thanks for the consideration, can you give me some time to think about it.” Nicholas quickly responded, “sure you can but we want someone in the role by October 1.”

I walked back to my office and tried to replay and digest my conversation. My mind was divided — I really do not have the capabilities for this corporate affairs job but perhaps this is an opportunity to learn a new set of skills.

I decided to call Eva who used to work here in the corporate affairs department but left two years ago for ‘greener pastures’.

Eva sounded so happy to hear from me as she told me, “Josphat, you are one of the guys I miss, you were cool people.” This was music to my ears and paved the way for our discussion. I told her what the business was proposing and asking her view.

She was very clear: “I think you would do the job, even without the legal background. It is not rocket science but do not take the job for now.”

This stunned me, and I asked, “why not?” Eva said, “the current corporate affairs boss is a boss from hell. Why do you think we all left?”

She went on to tell me about Steve the head of corporate affairs.

According to Eva, he is a bully, likes to harass, especially women and is very poor in helping people advance.

She said: “Working for this guy is terrible — stay away.”

Eva spoke to me for half an hour telling me a litany of issues about the corporate affairs boss.

I decided to ruminate over all this and discuss matters with Shiro and Amisi, my life coach.

The next day Nicholas called me in the morning and asked, “have you decided?” I told him, “we agreed that you give me more time.” I could not help thinking, “why is there such a hurry for me to move?”