Monday, November 20, 2006

One year of employment

Time surely passes fast. Last week marked one calendar year of formal employment. It's been an interesting period, marked with lots of learning about the corporate world. For a guy who'd just finished his undergraduate studies, these are some of the highlights of the employment world that I've encountered:

1. The 'reply to all' and 'cc' buttons: Two obscure yet dangerous elements of the email world. So much drama when the wrong mail ends up in the wrong hands or a jamaa intentionally cc's the management to get you on the firing line... The interesting one is usually the rookie employees (I'm already a pro after 1 year) who send mails to a whole department asking obscure questions LOL!

2. Making your boss look good: This is an unwritten law that serves the interests of all parties. Any attempt to undercut one's boss results in serious repercussions. It's the same guy who'll sign your performance audit so you'd rather play safe and only shine when they get the gloss and not the shame. Apparently management is 90% political and 10% technical, so getting to grips with culture is a prerequisite. I got the experience of working a couple of weeks under a female boss who's rule is her way or no way...

3. This isn't home: The work place has a way of making itself entrenched into your entire life's being. However, the reality is that this place is temporal. Guys get fired, departments get 'right sized' and blunders, 'domes' or missed targets end up messing people's careers. Playing it safe doesn't work in this setting and it's better for one to invest in diverse sources so that the salo doesn't end up being the only bread winner month in month out.

4. The sky is as high as you set it: Opportunity exists everywhere, the most important thing is to be keen enough to smell it out. Someone said something like "Opportunity doesn't knock on the door, it stands silently outside. The key is knowing and opening the door at the right time!" I've seen guys who figured out that contractors were being paid outrageous sums of cash for work they could do in their sleep, so they quit and became contractors themselves. Others were offered international opportunities by colleagues they befriended while working on joint projects. Others got opportunities by virtue of volunteering in CSR activities. The list is endless, it's just the eyes and the mind to see...
5. Lose yourself: It's hard to maintain integrity especially when colleagues all around look for every opportunity to fleece the organization. Choices are tough to make plus lifestyles are so diverse, especially when guys are out of the office mould. I guess it's all about identity, who you are, whether or not guys are watching. I still haven't found a reason to drop the faith though.

All in all, it's been fun and enjoying every moment of it. How long will I be here, the contract says 3 more years, guess better make the most of every day. At least I get something to blog about...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

the single rose theory

Over the last one month, I've had two interesting experience that has got me perturbed. It was coincidental, I got a yellow rose from someone who was setting up decor in church one sato afte and was told to give it to someone special. The other time, was last sato when I attended a pal's wedding and picked up a pink rose from the decor on my way to hook up with my advocate pal (refer to last post), to verify if the effect of the first rose was the same.

The reason I say this was that the kind of looks I got from ladies. Now I'm not the entire TDH package (T - not short but not tall either, D - I'm chocolate so that's halfway, H - Relative, depends if I shave and get the clad combination right else I'm ok) so ladies don't pay attention when I'm on show, but the effect of a single rose is amazing!!! The first one I was actually in shorts and open sandals, strolling through town and almost all the ladies looked at the rose, looked at me, back at the rose, and looked away when I looked at their eyes.

Both ladies who got the roses were plesantly surprised (these are pals, period) and especially for the latter who helped me with the 'experiment'. We'd analyze the looks, this time lady looks at the rose, my pal, me, then looks away. I wonder, what exactly goes on through their minds when a guy is carring a single rose? What if I saw them staring and decided to make conversation. Would they talk to a stranger because of a single rose that intrigues them? Agur wrote that: "There are three things which are too amazing for me, four which I don't understand: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent on a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maiden." A site here has a take on the single rose.
Wedding season is alive and kicking and my week is sandwitched between 2, last sato a pal, and this sato a workmate. The pal is son to a family friend, so my mom made me attend. It came as a great surprise that my mom's pals are of the opinion that I should be on the way now that ' nani amefungua njia.' (These words unfortunately return to haunt me when I quoted them when asked to speak on behalf of 'watu kutoka nairobi' earlier in the year when my former campus mate had her traditional Kalenjin bride price paying ceremony - which is actually bigger than the actual wedding that took place later). In defence, I started counting for them the years that I still need i.e. 3 for the job trainee contract to isha, 2 for Masters abroad, 1 to settle back, 1 to look...) = 10!! They were not amused...