Monthly Archives: December 2013

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Leave it behind

You may or may not be those people who make grand New Year resolutions. On the one extreme are those who do not know what a resolution is and there isn’t enough column space to define it; on the other are those who have a New Year resolution book. They have an entire book of resolutions for that year; seeing as they started making resolutions when they were six, they probably have a library by now. This type does mid-year reviews to check how close they are to hitting all the targets of the year. If you have a friend in this last category, go high-five them.

Regardless of which category you fall in, there are a few things that we honestly needn’t carry into the New Year (yeah right, like reading this column will actually make you beat your chest, cover yourself in ash, weep and then change your habits). ‘Leave it in 2013’ trended on Twitter (which is a website that industrious people go to be informed about the socio-political state of the world…and also to run away from Facebook). I stole the topic from there. This sneakily implies that I am also industrious since I use the site myself. Like once a month but still, that counts for something. According to Twitter, one of the things that shouldn’t be carried into the New Year is filling one’s shopping cart to the brim yet you are unable to foot the bill.

Supermarkets are the invention of an evil wealthy man bent on keeping everyone else in the rat race. This explains why you won’t run into Bill Gates in your local supermarket; the fact that he is thousands of miles away also contributes but there’s no running away from the fact that he is avoiding the rat race by not going to one. The thing is that supermarkets line up items so seductively that even if you only walked to get just one item, chances are a light-bulb will go off in your head (or a roach will change position, depending on whose head we are talking about) and then you’ll suddenly reach for more items. Before you know it, your cart is full. You’ll then smile sheepishly as you have to reduce the items at the exit counter after the amiable lady tells you you owe the supermarket Shs 100,000 more than your monthly rent.

End of year party 101

At this time of the year, many companies invite their employees to an all-you-can-eat, take-all-beers-prisoner gig at a trendy venue. End of year parties are generally a chance for you to give your workmates something to talk about the entire year untill you come up with something even more shameful at the next party. You really are good at this. Whispers in the Human Resources office suggest that you are only still on the payroll because of the comic relief you deliver.

They say it is the only thing you deliver consistently. The nerve of those people. This year however, will be different. You are going to be a figure of grace, charm and sophistication at the party. Of course this puts your job on the line since HR will wonder why they need you anymore but that is nothing to worry about for now. Here is how to carry yourself.

Those small bits on platters are snacks. Do not ask the waitress to leave the entire platter with you.
If you are in time for the speeches, do not boo the speakers.
Do not go late. You will want to dodge the speeches but you will miss the food. You will also miss certain crucial announcements, like pay raises, cutbacks and lay-offs. Due to less than stellar company performance, HR could decide to retain only the people that made it in time for the party. Or pay raises could be given to the people seated at the front.

Also, you do not want to be the one huffing into your manager’s office on Monday demanding that the air conditioning be switched on yet in her speech, she mentioned that you would all use hand fans going forward. If you are at a party you have crashed, do not be too loud.

Do not be the one gyrating on tables. Or grabbing the microphone from the MC to send greetings to your family and “everyone watching at home’’
If you give in to the lure of the free alcohol (or if your plan is to punish the company back for paying you poorly by drinking all the alcohol it bought in the hope that it’ll run bankrupt), slow down. There will still be alcohol in the world tomorrow. The company will survive the dent you’ll inflict. Drinking will still be a thing. Your job may not
If you do get inebriated, at least ask for a raise. You probably won’t do it when sober.

So you are back home for the festive season

This time of the year sees a lot of people return home after spending quite a while abroad. Making the transition from that country to here, several high-profile studies say, is usually daunting. Thing is, when you were away, you longed for home. The picture of home you had in mind was a bit played-up though .

Your mind skipped the dust, the potholes, the noise, the disorder, the general sluggishness and all those other nice things my word limit will not let me list. I’m here to gently ease you back into the beautiful place you call home.

Most returning citizens are usually shaken free of the flowery image of home by the heat that hugs them at the airport. That and the number of goats they count on the short drive from Entebbe to the city. Here are a few pointers to ease you back into life in our little cove.

Politicians still behave badly.

There are still moments when, watching news, you need to run and cover your child’s eyes and ears to shield them from being scarred by some things our leaders say and do.

You also need to exercise tonnes of restraint to prevent yourself from saying nasty things in reaction to these things. Traffic cops still direct traffic right next to functioning traffic lights. It is still in your best interests not to make eye contact with them as you drive past-afande might think you hostile.

The high and mighty still cut corners. They still, for lack of better words, embezzle, steal, misappropriate and abuse public funds.

The head of state has not changed. Enough said.

Customer care is still work in progress. Be gracious with rude attendants; it has been a hard year you know.

Queues everywhere are still a mile long.

You wiil find several in the bank and pretty much many places you will go to. Chances are you are in the wrong queue and you will be directed to the correct one by the rude attendant We do use mobile money for quite a few things here. Your credit card will not do you much good.

There is still no winter here though. You will not need your gloves and heavy jacket. Do not unpack your fur coat and thick boots. Or the accent, mate.