Man about town

Shiro’s fury as I skip parents’ school event


Somehow, the dilemmas in the workplace have sorted themselves out and I no longer look like the bad guy. Early last week, the IT and Facilities team came to our floor to do what they usually like to call “office configuration.” I asked them, “who are you setting up for?” They told me, “we have been told that they are three new people joining this team.”

This was news to me and so I called the HR manager and told her, “ I hear we have new people joining us, how come you are not telling me.”

She chuckled and said, “you were away last week so I did not get a chance to update you. I am heading that way for some meeting so will stop by your office and update you.”

This sounded juicy and I was looking forward to hearing all about these developments.

Just as I was settling in to do my work, my phone buzzed— it was Shiro calling me on Whatsapp. She did not sound very pleased and said “babes, why are you so forgetful?”

To be honest, I had no clue what she was talking about and I said “now what I have forgotten.”

She said “I have received a message from Mwendwa’ s teacher who is complaining that you have not shown up for the last teacher- parent consultations.” I told her, “ I did not forget, I just had an important office meeting, so I asked aunty (the nanny) to attend on my behalf.”

Despite the distance, I could tell that my response did not sit well with Shiro for she said, “I ask you to do only one thing and you delegate it, the school wants you, not the nanny to attend the consultation.”

I was tempted to tell Shiro that these consultations were tedious and a waste of time— what is so special about hearing how well or badly your child plays. Over time, I have learnt that the quickest way to end an argument with Shiro is to apologise. So, I said, “I am really sorry about it, it will not happen again.” This seemed to calm her down for she said, “you had better ensure it does not happen again, I do not want traumatised children.”

The HR manager walked in just as I was winding up my call with Shiro. She seemed very pleased with herself and I could not help but comment, “ you look very happy with yourself, what is happening?”

She giggled like a 16-year-old girl and said “I usually do not like telling people my personal stuff but since you are like a brother to me, I will tell you.”

I was hoping that she would give me some juicy news about office changes but what she told me really stunned me, “ I am getting married in December.”

I did the right thing and said, “Congratulations are in order! Who is the lucky guy?” Once again, she continued to giggle like a small girl and said, “you know what is even better, we will soon be in-laws, my fiancé is from your village. “Now, she had my attention and I asked her, “tell me his name.”

My heart dropped the minute she mentioned her fiance’s name. The guy is well known in our village but as a conman, having swindled some of my parents’ agemates.

The HR manager was waxing lyrical about the guy and for a moment I thought I had gotten the names wrong. When she showed me his face, I was in no doubt that my colleague was marrying the wrong guy. She seemed soo pleased with herself that I dared not tell her my fears. Instead I said, “so tell me about these new hires”