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Man about town

Shiro’s niece to the rescue as I prepare presentation looms

I cannot leave anything to chance. FILE PHOTO |
I cannot leave anything to chance. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

This is week three in my new job, and I feel like there is so much expected from me. I could be paranoid, but it seems that everyone thinks that my former employer was quite something. One guy came to me and told me, “Josphat, it is finally good to meet you. You come highly recommended!”

I could not help but respond, “Really, who is spreading such falsehoods?” The guy who introduced himself as Ernest said, “Well we were told that there is this new guy who is a guru on strategy and procurement, and he will change things.” I chuckled and said, “wish people really knew- I am just an ordinary guy.”

I was not talking these comments when the Strategy Director came up to my desk and said, “Just came around to see how you are doing. We are looking forward to looking at your 90-Day Action plan. We believe that we can learn a lot from your previous experience.”

All along, I have been operating on the premise that I will be presenting only to the Strategy Director but the mention of “we” had me worried. So, I said, “Who is we?’ He said, “The leadership team of course.”

Those words changed everything for me. This means that I must bring my “A” game to the presentation.

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I decided to contact Shiro and ask her about how to approach this 90- Day plan thing. Shiro is very good at these kind of things. She told me, “You have to make sure that you dazzle them.”

Even after all this time, I am not that great in presentations, I would rather work on spreadsheets. As always Shiro had a solution for the issue. She said, “you know my niece works in graphics, she can come sort you out, just give her the outline and she will take it from there.”

Based on the stakes, I had no choice but to accept the offer and I reached out to Tina, Shiro’s niece.

I have never met this Tina before and so you can imagine my shock when she came to our house for us to work on the presentation. She had a nose ring and some tattoos, but she had the perfect English accent. She told me about herself—she is a finance graduate with a minor in graphic design. She must have sensed that I had my reservations and said, “Fear not, I am pretty good at what I do.”

She then proceeded to tell me about her life, “I came back home after my studies and was hired to work in a bank. Imagine they were paying me 70k. This is not enough for me- so I decided to work for myself.” She then took me through her portfolio, everything from “providing financial advice to helping executives with presentations and their executive presence/packaging.” All this sounded so lofty and so I asked her, “And do you make enough money?”

She said, “Of course! You will be surprised. I make close to half a million and get to work from home in my pyjamas. Shiro is one of my biggest clients. That is why I can work on your stuff for free.”

I must say I was taken aback by hearing that Shiro has paid someone to help her with presentations—I wonder how much she pays. I was also taken aback by how much Tina makes—clearly these millennials are something else.

By the end of our session which was four hours long, I had to reluctantly agree that Tina is special. She had taken my information and turned it into a dazzling presentation as she said that “always remember less words, more impactful graphics.”

Tina stayed back after the session to play with the children as I tried to internalise my presentation

I cannot leave anything to chance- maybe I might consider keeping Tina on a retainer.

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