Last week, I had an interesting conversation with one of my colleagues called Andy. He has been in the company for over 15 years and always looks rather pleased with life. Every time I go to his desk, he seems to be having fun as he listens to music on his earphones. I was somewhat surprised when he invited me for lunch and told me “ Josphat, let us go for lunch, we have never had lunch together.”
I have been avoiding meals with my colleagues ever since they told me I am a bootlicker and that I do not share company information.
Lunch with Andy was nice and he told me about his interests and his side hustles. He told me about how he owns “a fruit farm and a number of car washes in Eastlands.”
I must say that I was very impressed because I never thought Andy would be that kind of guy. We also got into the general chat about politics and football and just when I was getting cosy about things Andy told me, “you must be wondering why I pushed for us to have lunch.” I jokingly said, “ I thought you wanted to catch up with me and talk shop.” He said “I wanted to catch up with you but also wanted to interest you in something.
The long and short is that Andy is leaving the business come end of July and he wants me to take up his former job. I could not help but ask him, “where are you going to? Have you found another job?” He laughed and said, “ no way I will work for anyone else, I want to go home and do my own thing.”
I told him, “what makes you think I can do your job? I have never done research and analysis before.” Andy laughed and said “ it is not that complicated, all you do is look at numbers and make sure they tell the story you think the bosses want to hear.”
He then proceeded to tell me of numerous incidents when he had made sure that his research story was aligned to what the boss wanted.
I was flattered that someone as experienced as Andy thought I could do a good job in research and analysis. However, I could not help but ask, “is this not a lateral move, nothing about my grade changes.”
Andy laughed and said, “you need to take a second look at the organogram, the research job is two grades higher and I do not work the crazy hours that you guys do. How else do you think I have managed to keep my side hustles going?”
I told him, “ let me think about it and revert.”
As soon as I got back to my desk, I looked at the organogram and I could see that Andy was right—this job was one step up. However, I was not too sure that I wanted a job in research. It would be a different kettle of fish.
Just as I was relaxing, my phone rang. It was Shiro. She sounded relaxed as she gave me an update of what has been going on in her life. She then proceeded to ask me, “what plans do you have for the long weekend?” I could not help but mutter, “what long weekend?”
That is when it hit me, we have a long weekend and Shiro had made reservations in some camp near Mt Kenya. I was supposed to have made payment last week but that had completely slipped my mind. There was no way I was going to admit to Shiro that was I was not on top of things— I laughed and said, “fear not! We have it all covered.”
As soon as she hang up, I called up the camp to enquire about my reservation. The receptionist responded in a cool voice and said “ when you did not pay within the stipulated period, we sold your slots to someone else. And now we are full.”
I needed to think very fast about a Plan B before Shiro kills me.