Shiro has been around for the last one week and I must say I have actually enjoyed having her here. For starters, I have been spared the morning school run and the homework in the evening. Most importantly, we have made some headway in terms of the car- I think we have finally settled on that.
We started off differing over what would be the right car for our family. I had already set my mind on an Audi, one that would make my buddies envious. Shiro was having none of it and said. “ We need a practical car, one that can drop and pick the kids.” I told her, “Once we have this new car, my old one can be used for the school runs.”
This did not sit well with her so she said: “Why should we hold off all that money, we shall sell your car and just maintain one car.”
Her arguments made sense so I had to let my ego rest. We also had a long discussion on what Shiro said was “our life plan.” This time around she seemed very focused and very determined on getting us to do certain things. I could not help but ask her, “you are so focused, where has all this come from.”
She said, “ the office has assigned me a lady mentor who does not want jokes. She is challenging me on all elements of my professional and personal life.” This was a relief to me because last time, Shiro was getting advice from some bloke I did not like.
Speaking of careers and life coaches, things have taken an interesting turn in the office. Last week, our CEO invited us for a breakfast meeting and by us I mean all the employees.
As usual, such invites result in the rumour mills generating all manner of stories. Suddenly, colleagues who had not spoken to me in a while were calling me asking me,” Jose, what is happening?” I was somewhat embarrassed to tell them that I did not know what was going on and this was making me uneasy.
On the morning of the meeting, the CEO looked rather jovial and excited as he intermingled with the employees— I therefore assumed that it must be good news. He even started the session with a few jokes about the World Cup and then started the business of the day.
My alarm bells, however, went off when I heard him say,” Can Ann (the HR manager) and Lucy help me beam the presentation?”
His demeanour changed as he talked about the need for the company to “ relook at its operations and size to reflect market realities.” He went on and on before he finally got to the ‘‘juicy’’ part where he talked about the “organisational redesign.” He then unveiled a new structure where departments would be merged to ensure “ better business results.”
He then opened up the floor for questions and they came fast and furious. Everyone wanted to know what was going to happen, how many jobs would be lost. The CEO tried to be diplomatic as he said, “ we will treat everyone with respect and ensure minimal loss of jobs.” But there was no escaping the obvious, this new structure would result in job losses and it also seemed that my job was non-existent. I was truly shocked. I wanted to ask the question about my fate in public but I thought the better of it.
As soon as the meeting ended, I went to the CEOs office and asked him: “Am I out of a job?”
He laughed and said: “ Relax Josphat, we want to move you to another role in finance- that is where I think you belong.” When I challenged him to tell me the exact job, he seemed to hesitate as he told me,” you will have to apply like anyone else but I can guarantee you, I have your back.”
This left me hugely unsettled and I as I walked out of the office I realised that I needed to look for a job pronto.