Man about town

Rumour mills in top gear as I return to the office


Last week, I was feeling that working in the office was a good idea‑‑way better than working at home. I have changed my sentiments this week because being in the office has become super depressing.

The few people in the office have all manner of theories about what will happen post- coronavirus. The other day, Ken, one of my colleagues came to my desk and asked me, “ what are you working on?” To be honest, I really do not like Ken that much. I find him very nosy and one of those guys who really sucks up to the bosses. I told him, “ I am preparing some possible scenarios on how the business might evolve post-corona.” He laughed and said,” what business, I am hearing other things.”

I wanted to brush him off so that I could continue with my work, but I also know that Ken usually has information on what is happening behind the scenes. I could also see that he was itching to gossip so I asked him, “ what have you heard ?” He said, “ the bosses are not happy with the way things are going. They are already thinking of salary cuts and retrenchments.”

I was taken aback by this and said, “ already, we haven’t even done a month of the lockdown and they are going to the extreme end?” He said,” I Know! They keep talking about our healthy cash reserves, yet they are unwilling to use them to at least keep people afloat.” Ken then went on to rant about how he has numerous obligations. “ I cannot afford to be jobless.” I was unsure of how to steer this conversation. I was not going to let Ken know that I was quite shaken by his “news” but also no way I was going to say anything about the leadership lest it comes back to bite me.

Ken then hang out at my desk for too long telling me lots and lots of stuff about coronavirus. By the time he left half an hour later, my head was spinning. Just when I was exhaling after Ken’s departure, in came the HR manager. I have been avoiding her since her debacle with the CEO and she also had noticed for she asked me, “Josphat, have you been avoiding me? I have called you on many occasions and you do not answer my call.” I told her, “ I can never avoid you. It is just that I am overwhelmed at home since I am baba na mama.” She then proceeded to inquire about my family situation, going as far as asking after my wife.


Her seeming goodness had my antennae up for I knew she was up to something. She said, “ I need you help on how to navigate some challenge.” I was all ears now as she told me about her predicament.

“ It seems people have been telling the boss that I am not a good HR Manager and so he has not been pleased with me.”

I wanted to chime in and say, “ I agree with the people” but instead I stayed mute. She went on to give me a litany of her woes which she described as “ just people being jealous.” Feelings aside, the CEO is putting her on “ personal improvement plan( PIP)” and according to her, “ he just wants to fire me.” I was not sure what to say as she concluded her whining session by saying, “ I need your help to influence staff to say good things about me.” I laughed and said, “surely I am too new in the organisation to have that kind of influence. “ She quickly responded, “ you might be new but people like you- that is not common.” I must say I was flattered by her sentiments, but my inner voice told me to stay clear of all this office drama- it never ends well.