Special assignments lift my prospects for top job


I have barely slept and frankly I wish I did not have to be in the office since I have only gotten about two hours of sleep.

It all started last week on Friday when the Uganda branch manager sent an email to our CEO requesting for support in making some presentations to some honchos from the Uganda Ministry of Finance.

I did not know about all until much later when Mike the Uganda branch manager called me and said,” Jose, have you booked your flight for Tuesday?” I was taken aback by this and said, “what flight is this? I have no clue.”

He explained to me that he had sent an email request to the boss asking for my attendance. He forwarded the email which amongst other thing said “we are requesting that Josphat attends the session since he is very conversant with procurement and matters tax which these guys will want to know about.”

The boss had received this mail on Wednesday but it was Friday and he was yet to mention anything. What was I to do? If I went ahead and asked him about it, he would feel like was I was giving him orders and talking his back.

Frankly, I was not too keen to go to Uganda— all the fuss to and from the airport for a one-hour flight is not worth it. However, there was a part of me that could not help thinking that the meeting in Uganda could give me some much-needed visibility for the COO position.

I opted to stay mute and avoid any discussion with the CEO regarding the matter. In fact, I was pleased when Monday came and by 4pm, there had been no discussion on travel.

I was getting to leave the office at 6pm when the CEO walked into my office and said,” Josphat, do you have a minute?” I assumed that he wanted me to complete some assignment so I said, “sure!”

It turned out that the CEO had made the decision that I needed to travel to Uganda for a day. He said,” you need to go Uganda and support Mike in some financial engagement, but we need you back on Wednesday to present to the Board on where thing stand from a procurement point of view.”

I was not aware of the Board presentation but I realised that it would be career suicide to say no to any of the requests from the boss.

So, come Tuesday, I had to wake up at 3am so that I could be at the airport on time. I must say I enjoyed the Uganda presentation and I was feeling pretty achieved as I headed back home on the last flight home.

As we were approaching Nairobi, the pilot made a shocking announcement. He told us that owing to flight conditions, he would redirect the flight to Mombasa. This announcement had me reeling for how was I going to make it for the Board presentation at 9am on Wednesday.

We landed in Mombasa and were told to stay in the plane till the pilot secured clearance to fly back to Nairobi.

After one hour we got permission to come back to Nairobi— all of this translated into a five-hour delay and I only managed to get into my house at 4.30 am.

Before I could even settle into my sleep, it was time to wake up and head to the office. I got into the office 10 minutes just before the board meeting started.

To keep going and stay awake, I had to take many energy drinks. Now that the presentation is over, I feel so tired and in need of a nap. I, however, believe that after this my boss will view me as a good candidate for the COO position.