Josphat grapples with Shiro’s long absence


I am very pleased that the children are now on half term because now I can get some semblance of rest.  In the middle of last month, Shiro called me with a lot of excitement and said, “babe, you will not believe what they have offered me!”

I have tried many a times to tell Shiro not to ask me to guess anything but to come straight to the point but somehow it never seems to work. She finally got around to telling me that her employer has seconded her for a two-week training in the UK. 

According to her this is great as it will help her “get considered for the next big job”.  I was genuinely happy for her because I know Shiro works very hard and is focused on higher office. 

Shiro left for her course on a Saturday evening and so since the next day was a Sunday I really did not feel the impact of her absence. I just stuck to our Sunday ritual of church then lunch of fast food and play, which seemed to make the children very happy.

Monday morning was a bit tough in terms of getting the children ready for school, but at least I had help from the househelp. 

By day four, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the duties of running the house.  I must say I was enjoying dropping the children and getting to listen to them narrate stories from their school — in fact, I now feel like I know most of their friends.

The one aspect I did not like was the picking up in the evening and the doing of homework. I cannot understand why a six-year-old should do homework and why the parent must be part of the completion of the homework.

To make matters worse, come 8pm every evening Shiro would Skype-call us and demand to get an update of how the day went and would ask me silly questions like, “what break did the children take to school? How many pages of homework did they have to complete? Have you signed the school diary?”

She would then proceed to give me yet another list of things that needed to be done, people I needed to talk to and birthday parties that I needed to take the children to.

No matter how hard I tried to tell her that I had things under control, she would still insist on wanting a full brief of how things are going.

The work front has not been any better — so much has been happening.  Last week, we got an email from the CEO informing us that the head of HR is leaving the company to “pursue other interests”.

Of course, I have seen enough of these kinds of announcements to know that this was not an amicable separation and I was of course curious to find out what had happened. The big question was who would I ask because these days one can never know who to trust.

The matter resolved itself a few days later when the HR manager walked into my office and asked me, “have you seen the news?” I feigned ignorance and said, “what news? The politics?”

She laughed and said, “you saw my boss quit, what have you heard from the CEO?” I told her my truth which was, “there is no way I can ask the boss about such an issue, I was hoping you would tell me.”

She changed her voice into a whisper and said,” I hear she was asking for bribes to recruit people the CEO found out about it and you know he cannot stand such things.”

The HR manager went on to give me a list of other complaints about her former boss. Only at the end of the conversation did I figure out what she actually wanted.

She said,” since you have the CEO’s ear, you need to put in a good word for me so they give me this job now. I am more than qualified.”

Once again, here is someone assuming that I actually have influence.