The Good Boss(es)

Cheers to the good bosses
Cheers to the good bosses. Image/ Memecrunch

It’s being a long long time now, since we groove together like this

A different vibe is in the air, reggae music again

This is our first post in a long time and let’s make one thing clear before we are too far gone. This post is not about one night stands or anything sex, so thank you for reading up to this point Ritchie Kama. We’re sad to see you go.

If you are wondering whether that disclaimer was necessary, get it from me, it was absolutely necessary. Without it, he’ll spend the whole day in my inbox whining about how I’ve wasted five minutes of his time (yet again) with a post that isn’t “exciting” to read because it had nothing sexual. It doesn’t matter how many times I remind him that this is not And oh, he claims to speak for all of you. So you see why a disclaimer was necessary?

Back to business. 

This is something I’ve wanted to write about for so long now. But as you know, juogi didn’t believe it was yet time for it. In other words, the writer’s block. It’s about one debate that has refused to go away, and given Kenya’s employment environment, isn’t going away any time soon. 

“Be grateful at least you have a job” is the anthem in the streets.

The employment situation is sickening and only keeps getting worse. Everyone seems to be surviving a horrible boss. Well, everyone except me.

I have never had a horrible boss. Even when I was an intern. If that sounds like I’m nearing retirement, I’m sorry for misleading you. I’m those type of people that if were to be invited to the panel of a TV show, we would be given titles such as “Former Child.” No notable achievements yet. But the few bosses I’ve worked with have been so graceful and kind to me.

My first boss was a nice gentleman who taught me a lot. On random days, we would go for two-hour lunch breaks (out-of-office meeting, duh), eat 900bob fish, talk about life, and give me priceless wise advice. On some days, we talked about life in general, why I needed to respect the cleaner as much as I respected the guy at the corner office. On other days, we talked about my career and how to do my job right regardless of the circumstances. We worked in a political office where decisions were informed by political factors. That meant that resources for the job were either available or not for you to do your job depending on whether it had any political mileage.

“The quickest way to get fired is to tell your boss you couldn’t do something because you didn’t have the resources. Work with what you have, then tell them how additional resources would make the results better. Because no employer has everything you need after all.”

When my contract was coming to an end, he took me for a drive and coached me on how to pass interviews. Here’s how it went:

“So, how do you answer when you’re told to tell them about yourself.”

(I say some dumb shit)

(Him, almost screaming) “Say something dumb one more time and I’ll throw you out of my car. You’ll walk back to Siaya.”

I didn’t say any more dumb shit and I was dropped home later. Since then, I’ve only failed two interviews. For the first one, I was very sick and the guy turned up at 11 am for an 8 am interview. By that time, the painkillers had started wearing off and I just wanted it to end so I could go back to rest. We had also spent five minutes arguing whether I was sure he was the one who’d invited me for the interview. I had to show him the call log for him to accept he’d invited me for an interview (but he had no problem remembering he had invited the other lady to the interview).

The next three bosses that followed were also nice and helpful to me. One of them used to buy me mandazis every tea-time because “he knew bachelors don’t eat at home.” And he bought me a coffee table when I told him I was (finally) moving out. There was this one time a foreign journalist refused to sign some forms they were required to sign before attending the press conference because “she didn’t take instructions from interns.” I wanted to cry. The sad cry. But he straight up told her she had to do as I had told her. And she apologized too. I still wanted to cry, but the good cry now.

In return for the kindness I’ve received from my bosses, I’ve learned to put in an honest day’s work and give my all at work. If I had a chance to work with them again, I wouldn’t think twice about the offer.

Enough talking about myself. Now I’m going to tell you about a man you should know about. Thomas Omondi Were.

You don’t know about him. He was my father’s boss and the dad to two of my best friends. Besides my grandfather, he is the only other man I have ever seen my father proud of and listen to. When we were growing up, Thomas Omondi Were was the principal at Rangala Boys High School. And my father was his deputy. One night, the students decided to run riot and went to stone Omondi Were and his family. My dad was called to school after Omondi had handled the situation. He put on his Undertaker overcoat and took along his konya go meru and whip. He stayed in school the whole night. It was a first. And we knew he did it for Omondi Were. In his previous school, Ambira High School, the students had tried a similar stunt and he’d told them they could go ahead and ruin their future if they wanted because that wouldn’t stop his salary from coming in. The students went back to class. You know you are a great man if my father is willing to lose his sleep for you. 

Get Candle In The Wind and read about the awesome life of Omondi Were. Image/ Ian Duncan

Unfortunately, Thomas Omondi Were passed away. And I don’t have the wherewithal (I’ve always wanted to use that term) to tell of his legacy. But his first-born son did tell his story in a book titled Candle In The Wind. It’s only a 1000bob. You can call 0758242612 to order your copy. It’s a book you’ll absolutely love reading. 

PS: You might need to put onions in your breast pocket while reading the book so you have an excuse for crying.

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