The Highs and Lows of My Life in Campus

The highs:

First day in campus- definitely a life changing moment. I was so excited to be joining campus, though the queues to register and what not were the longest I’d ever seen. Campus meant new relationships, another chance to shine academically, the pursuit of computer studies, fashion etc. campus was everything.

Numerous crushes. I think I lead the list of the highest number of boys I have crushed on. And when they responded I was the happiest. At least for the week or two that it lasted.

Babaroa announcement in 2008. Babaroa is the award for being top of the class for your course. What do you know, working hard actually pays off. I was a diligent student in the first year and was rewarded with a trophy, certificate and 10K in cash. I bought a phone, Nokla 95, which was stolen from my room about a year later. Sadly, Babaroa has eluded me in subsequent years. Blame it on my competitive class.

Nokla N95

Writing/blogging contract- this came in June 2009. I signed a contract that would pay me about 10K thereof per month, and they used to delay payment, so after three or so months, you got yourself a nice fat cheque. For a student, 30k or more of your own cash, awesome. Sadly, it was not renewed come June this year.

Hanging out with my friends. One night in particular stands out, sometime when we were in third year. It’s my first ever twitpic.

My crew

The class trip to coast in third year. Our trips are purely un-academic.

Traveling to Uganda in September this year. I just packed my bags, called my ex-high schoolmate over there and off I went. I used my own hard-earned cash 🙂

Internal attachment (internship in campus) at the beginning of 2009. It was the most idle time of my life. I watched so many movies and series.

The day I bought Z (sometime in 2009). Z is my laptop.

Zee

The day my blog got a mention in Zuqka.

Getting a place for internship at the beginning of this year was not hard. In fact, I had two offers and I chose the better one. Turns out everyone else who was interning there knew somebody, but my papers spoke for me.

And now I have two job offers out of .ke, of course am yet to do even do my exams, let alone graduate. Decisions, decisions, don’t know which job to take. Hope I make the right choice.

The lows:

Having this fight in third year. I still bear the scars 😦

Soon after, somebody stole my Nokla and wallet. They didn’t just take the cash, they took the wallet and all my IDs, school, national, ATM card etc. I had to struggle to replace them. And I know it’s those chicks in the next room who took my stuff. Am watching you, if you’re reading this.

Every year, whenever the Babaroa list is out, and everyone is making comments like “Savvy, am sure you’re getting it again” and I just wish I’d never got it in the first place so guys don’t have to remind me every time of my earlier successful days 🙂

I’ve ever had a bad experience with Naps. First and last time to take it. Enough said.

Had a disastrous last day at work during my internship (Jan-April 2010). Almost got in the middle of some office politics, ended up not going home that night and got lectured the following day by my dad. He said stuff like, “if you want to get married, just tell us. You’re an adult now.” I’d never felt more of a kid.

Also during internship, I met a tweep who borrowed me my savings, to invest or so, I was stupid and all yeah. Anyway, it was hell getting it back but after a long struggle bravely borne, he finally MPESAd me the cash and I erased him from my phonebook. So long, sucker.

During internship yet again, I went to Naivasha for a weekend, and on my way back, my wallet was nicked by a pickpocket. I had to start replacing IDs and ATM cards all over again.

Last month, I’d just had a new Nokia C3 for about six days when yet again I was pick pocketed.

And so many more, the good and the bad, these are just but a few highlights of my adventurous life in JKUAT.

The Young Writers Project: Public Reading

It’s been ten (I don’t want to use the words glorious, hectic, exciting or marvelous) so I’ll just go ahead and say it’s been ten weeks of glorious, hectic, exciting and marvelous fun and learning. This writing project was an experience I’d want to relieve. I haven’t really had time to sit down and blog about it, but I will.

And so it has come to an end. I’d like to invite you all readers of my blog to a public reading of the short stories we wrote over that period. I’ll let you take pictures with me 😉 and then I’ll put them up on the blog.

Time: 22 August · 14:30 – 18:00

Location: Sherlock’s Den (Nakumatt Lifestyle)

More info
The participants of the Young Writers’ Project invite you to a public reading on Sunday, August 22. They will read selections from short stories written during the ten-week fiction course led by Makena Jackline and Natasha Smith.

Participants:
Sylvia Aleso
Linda Ayuma
Ben Chege
John Kalya
Linda Khejeri
Paul Kioko
Timothy Kyalo
Aloysius Maina
Grace Mogire
Tom Nyangari
Alphayo Nyarera
Harriet Ocharo
Lionel Oduol
Claudette Oduor
Sheila Okongo
Geoffrey Sore
Joshua Wera

To read all the stories, please visit the STORYMOJA website beginning August 25, 2010.

FREE. Snacks will be served.

PS: Look for the advertisement in this Monday’s Daily Nation (August 16).

Wacky Wednesday

The day started great. Even a bad day starts well. I got to work in time, and met Moneyman at the stairs, waiting and watching as I walked across the expansive lobby that is the reception. He said when I reached the stairs:

“I like the way you walk. So confident.” I smiled and confidently walked up the stairs to the office. No sooner had I settled than the guys in the department across call me. Their printer is acting up.

Turns out NA was the last one to twinkle with it. For those not in the know, NA is the one to take me to lunch-that’s-now-a-dinner-maybe-breakfast-too. I give him a call. One of the worst calls I’ve made in recent times.

“Hi, Mr NA. Uliharibu printer yao.”

“What? What kind of language is that?” Mr. NA barks into the phone.

“Savvy, can you speak the correct language. We don’t use such words in the office. Go there, diagnose the problem, then call me back. Withdraw those words…”

And a long lecture along those lines. I was livid. This is much more than just the words, “uliharibu printer yao.”

So I found out what the problem was and called him back, this time using crisp, official language. I just wondered what was up. It’s him who brought about this nonofficial nonsense in the first place.

Anyway, he came back to the office, shamelessly eyeing me from here to Timbuktu, and then proceeded to give me a lecture on solving user problems.

Am thinking this is a power issue. He wants to make it clear who is in charge. If it’s games, we’ll play. And oh, am the one in charge. He’s the hungry one, and am the one being chased. I think I hold the Ace. I can scarcely believe am writing this.

My immediate boss is in the funeral committee of this guy who was battered to death by his wife. Irrelevant, I know. Anyway, I was taking his evening shift at work meaning I’d leave at 9pm. He’d then give me a lift home after he was through with his meeting.

As I wait for him at the security desk at the reception, the security officer on duty is one L who has been asking me to buy him lunch. I promise I’ll buy him some day. He’s busy now answering phone calls, who knew there were so many night callers?

“Place of Work, hello. May I help you?”

He also made lots of personal calls, talking for long, saying stuff like:

“You wouldn’t believe who am feeding fruits right now…” he said as he extended a plateful of assorted fruits my way.

My boss came and we left, but only managed to move for about 10 minutes before we got into the major(est) traffic jam ever! For 2 and a half hours, we were stationary for 30 min, and mobile for 30 seconds. Guys got out of their cars, and were walking up and down the road. If there was booze, we might have had a street party. This guy ahead of us goes to his booth and takes out a bottle of something fishy, and while he’s sipping, the matatu conductors get out and start making jokes about how the food will be cold by the time we got home.

Boss’ car has a TV so I watch Boston Legal. I tweet on my phone until my credit is over, and we are still not moving. AFC Leopards have just won their match against current title holder Sofapaka. I get home at midnight just in time to catch the ending of the Real Madrid Vs Lyon match and some cold supper.

Am glad the day is over. And I just became an AFC Leopards fan. Even bad days have good endings.

Sauna

I am not the world’s fittest person. I used to jog once in a while, back when I was in school…anyway, where I work, it has complete sports facilities. Name them, we got them. From monopoly, chess, to table tennis, squash, to gym and aerobics, to swimming pool, sauna, steam bath and jacuzzi. Never mind the latter two don’t work. Only thing missing is massage and personal arrangements can surely be made for that. 🙂

I love swimming. This one Saturday, I was determined to swim no matter what. What this time happened to be rain..it was drizzling when I changed and dived into the pool. Not dived per se, more like jumped. It did not deter me from doing a few laps (you know, taking plenty of rests in between.) I then braced myself for the jump from the diving tower…some 3m, 5m and 8m high. The highest I could jump from was 5m. Let alone dive. But that is a story for another day.

After the pool, and since it was cold, I headed for the sauna. I met E taking a break on one of the sunbeds in the waiting room. I was still dripping wet and was thirsty, so I lay back to chill out. She made a call:

“Buy half a Kg of meat…no, wait 3/4 Kg. And some tomatoes.”

Then she looked at me smiled, and remembered something else.

“Also buy onions…and green pepper. Some coriander too..”

I was just finishing my glass of water when she called again.

“And cook ugali..for 5 people. you can cook ugali, right? Am coming…saa hizi tu.”

Then she turned to me:
“Aki sauna inachokesha.” I nodded. Then I sauntered to the sauna and lay back on the hot wooden er..lying-places. She came in and peeled away all the lesos, and stark naked gave me her life story.

I know you are supposed to dress lightly for the sauna, but stark naked! I’ve never forgotten that life story. Everytime we meet, her naked body flashes before my eyes, her life story runs through my head again, all this before we say hi and part ways.

I haven’t been back to the sauna since.

To all aspiring Managers…!

Here is something I got from a friend on Facebook..

Lesson 1:
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings.
The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.
When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, ‘I’ll give you $800 to drop that
towel.’
After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked
in front of Bob, after a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.
The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.
When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, ‘Who was that?’
‘It was Bob the next door neighbor,’ she replies.
‘Great,’ the husband says, ‘did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?’

Moral of the story:
If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with
your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Lesson 2:
A priest offered a Nun a lift
She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg.
The priest nearly had an accident..
After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.
The nun said, ‘Father, remember Psalm 129?’
The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide
up her leg again.
The nun once again said, ‘Father, remember Psalm 129?’
The priest apologized ‘Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.’
Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way.
On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It
said, ‘Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.’

Moral of the story:
If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great
opportunity.

Lesson 3:
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to
lunch when they find an antique oil lamp.
They rub it and a Genie comes out..
The Genie says, ‘I’ll give each of you just one wish.’
‘Me first! Me first!’ says the admin clerk. ‘I want to be in the Bahamas
, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.’
Puff! She’s gone.
‘Me next! Me next!’ says the sales rep.. ‘I want to be in Hawaii ,
relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina
Coladas and the love of my life.’
Puff! He’s gone.
‘OK, you’re up,’ the Genie says to the manager.
The manager says, ‘I want those two back in the office after lunch.’

Moral of the story:
Always let your boss have the first say.

Lesson 4
An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing.
A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, ‘Can I also sit like you and
do nothing?’
The eagle answered: ‘Sure, why not.’
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a
sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:
To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson 5
A turkey was chatting with a bull.
‘I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree’ sighed the
turkey, ‘but I haven’t got the energy.’
‘Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?’ replied the bull.
They’re packed with nutrients.’
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him
enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.
The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.
Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top
of the tree.
He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story:
Bull Shit might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there..

Lesson 6
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird
froze and fell to the ground into a large field..
While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.
As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to
realize how warm he was.
The dung was actually thawing him out!
He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.
A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate.
Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow
dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:
(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your
friend.
(3) And when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep
your mouth shut!

THUS ENDS THE FIVE MINUTE MANAGEMENT COURSE

Drama At Work

Where do I start? Oh yes..let’s start with interns. I heard someone gave some interns in an un-named department a telling off. More like a yelling off.

“All you do is Facebook, and entertainment sites all day!”

“And entertain men.” This is to an intern who was very friendly to an intern in another department.

“And what is between you and MoneyMan?” This was to intern 2 who was seen smiling to MoneyMan. MoneyMan is married with two children. He says fat men are disgusting (he is more of rounded to me…talk about the log in his eye), also that he can’t allow his wife to trap him to have more children. Anyway, MoneyMan flirts with everyone. Maybe except the one giving the yelling-off.

The yeller was on my case this morning: “You are not good with user support. I wish Andy was here.” Ouch! That was after I had reported a user complaining about their Ms Word. Ms Word! I could write the program. So I went anyway and solved the problem in about…10 seconds.

“You must have struggled..” Yeller quiped when I reported that all was ok. Am not having the best of days. At least the supervisor is talking to me. Yesterday he just shook his head and said, “Just go back”. That was after I came late and he had been looking for me. He did not speak to me the whole day.

Which reminds me last week, I missed a whole day of work. I was called to school, something about a scholarship. I knew no details except to be there by 8 a.m. I thought by noon, I’d be done. Anyway, it’s a long story…something about the department nominating two of it’s best performing female students (yeah!), then they had to identify those who really needed help with paying school fees this year. So to cut the story short, it was 4.30 p.m. when we were called for the interview and Oh la la! Where has he been hiding all these years? I’ve just got a new crush.

Am sure you are confused. Ok, I did not get the bursary because there were others who needed it more. So he works in the Dean’s department and he was a part of the panel of interviewers. He is tall. He is dark. He is handsome and courteous. He said we should not worry about not getting the bursary..being nominated in the first place was an honour. He said we can pursue other avenues. He said he’s always there, any problems, financial or otherwise….am thinking of developing an addiction so I can go for counselling when we open for session. He made my day.

All this talk of crushes has reminded me, this fellow intern. She has a crush on The Light One. He is tall and yes, light. And very good looking, polite and friendly too. But it’s her crush not mine.

Today isn’t over yet and still…there is one more story to tell. I really should stop this joking around, because last week I jokingly said, “lunch?” and NA took that up as an invitation. As far as it stands now, it’s become a dinner. And it’s also become a “just between you and me” affair. It’s a dangerous affair. No, he’s not married…just a little bit older. Okay, just very much older.