Surviving the Job Market

I remember in 2008, Obama was my greatest inspiration. His speeches seemed to open doors for me, they had a bigger effect on me than a huge part of the then American audience I suppose. The same feeling was hardly anyway near me this 2015 on his much publicized visit to his fatherland I happen to live. I probably found out over time that speeches and a great feeling can’t change anything. The reality is the sad and difficult toil i have to put up with to experience any worthwhile good.  In fact, I now prefer the much blunt Donald Trump.

A lot happens after every step beyond the hype. This is what goes on when you finish college and get stuck in being a perpetual unpaid intern. Even after you finally get someone willing to pay something for your services, they just feel don’t ashamed offering 10,000 shillings to starve with every month. Yes, Mr politician, life is that hard, Instagram photos notwithstanding.
As a person with first hand experience, I can with with lots of authority, give some advise regarding this pitiable situations you might be finding yourself in.

Firstly, I want to start by saying, the economy is f’ed up and nothing other than sweat and brains can get you through. Nothing is actually easy for the majority sons and sons of peasants. So please know yourself and know that – your problems are from the village you come from and shaking them off isn’t easy.

Having known that, stop living like you are not. You might want to cut down on the expensive Tuskers (yes there is such a thing puppy), the expensive girlfriend, and the multi-bedroomed house (when you have been sharing a room with ten siblings all your life). Please don’t get comfortable with money. It’s what you don’t have. If anything, you have to cut costs to get anywhere with your peanuts. In case you have a problem, just remember that your dad had a decent salary but still blew it on alcohol and other poverty seeking habits.

Whatever you do, make sure you put away something for the rainy days and something worth mentioning in a drinking party back home (I’m not talking about the oversize suits I see in church though).

This discomfort will also put you in a good position to keep your job seeking business up despite the futility it keeps showing itself to be. I can’t emphasize this well enough, finding a good job is very difficult, but keep trying while getting very good at your shitty one. It is never easy.

Lastly but very importantly, please have fun. Nothing is as wrong as being a sulky underpaid person. Look at the carwashers, the bodabodas and the mjengo people. They have fun at their jobs and everything, what are you sad for? You have things that happy people don’t have. So thank God and make merry, of course without blowing away any hopes of advancing financially. Don’t also forget that only prayer will push you, pray and be very thankful while at it.

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Here is to my Humility

As I write this, my  colleague is on phone talking animatedly about what I would obviously consider nonsense. Despite the fact that I can hardly know whether the conversation is about politics or religion, I know that there is possibly nothing that can make you so oblivious of a neighbor’s need for calmness and silence. She must be making an attempt at showing me she has a life beyond the office, but of course i’m not fooled. Who wants to hang out with such an obnoxious character? Then again I remember there is an acute shortage of people like me – a calm person, the object of desire for many who desire great company and friendship, the small matter of my never-ringing-phone notwithstanding.

So I bear with my rude sister as I continue to type and retype a nice technical document. The document’s  importance has not escaped me from the first sentence. It will  certainly sway decisions of the powerful, feed desolate families and above all shape laws that govern the high and the mighty just as much it does “the rest”. The document is, in its full essence, my small contribution to humanity’s improvement. It has to sing my praises. That  explains why I have to stretch my neck for the right vocabulary, it has nothing to do with your stupid text messages!

For I know that when the document reads right, I will reward myself with a bottle or two (three on a nice day) of my favorite drink. I’m certain that powerful people will finally take a break from reading fashion magazines and at least skim through the work of an experienced hand. Who knows some real value might come out of it – you know like money or a parade or something. Moreover, though highly unlikely, I might get a colleague who happens to have at least acquainted themselves to the dictates of polite society. This breed would offer me a compliment for my good work. All the same I know I would have done a great service to my world and maybe to somebody else’s conception of “my country”.

But in the meantime, I have to put up with other people, those with little vision, not even the promise of a fulfilled evening can jerk them from engaging in trivialities during the day. They talk about their underachieving overage boyfriend like they would be talking about John F. Kennedy or Mahatma Gandhi. They bring up Lil Wayne’s birthday like it wasn’t a sad day for all of us. What is even more painful is that I have to put up with ramblings about my apparent arrogance with the humility of a saint (though I know the self promotion needed for one to make a saint). Lest you forget, these people are arrogant enough to think that I would tone down my strong character and moral standing just to accommodate a bunch of mouth-breathers. The same kind that make long faces when I perform my God-given duty to educate and amaze others in the form of an informative lecture.

As I have earlier indicated, my phone rarely rings, but when it does, it is bad  news. I have had a problem in deciphering what I am to many of my friends. For many, I’m a confession box or some kind of Santa Claus that shaves an under-grown beard. The phone calls and text messages would most likely be far from my expectations from them. For instance, I would expect a congratulatory call just for the other grumpy friend of mine to spew a litany of unfair and uncalled for complaints about something I did yesterday. The only thing I want to hear about yesterday is “congratulations!”. Anything else like trying to extort money from me based on obvious false pretenses is unacceptable. But I still have to keep my phone on, silently praying that some angel Bernard will call to congratulate me for my good work or at least offer a deal not so shitty.

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