Monthly Archives: October 2011

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Questions To Ask In A Job Interview

Many times in my life I have found myself sweating behind the ears because of an impending job interview. You spend the night up memorizing all these nice things to say to ensure you get the job. It is a very trying time I tell you. Throughout this hard situation, no one takes time off to think about the interviewer. He/she too is probably in some house in Kampala tossing and turning in bed, wondering what questions to ask to ensure that the best person is picked for the job. I am here to help that interviewer get some sleep. I present top-notch questions to throw at the interviewee.

Interview question: If you were in a jungle and a hungry lion attacked you, what would you do?

Possible answer one: I would run

Analysis:  This person will make a wimp for an employee. Do not hire him/her unless you are the kind of company that prides itself in having spineless, hen-pecked employees. Such a workforce is especially useful if your company thrives on working employees like horses on steroids and paying them with cowrie shells.

Possible answer two: Stand and fight it

Analysis: This person will be a liar at work. Do not hire him/her. This is the kind of person who’ll migrate office furniture to his/her home and relocate that TV in your company boardroom to his bedroom. Six months after hiring him/her, your office will have no spoons, forks, staples, door knobs and in extreme cases, doors. This employee is the kind that will fail to deliver a very crucial tender document in time and on being asked why he/she didn’t deliver, the answer will be that he was abducted by an irate mob from Kireka and held hostage for the entire weekend. Needless to say, the irate mob stole the finished tender document and formatted the hard disk that had the soft copy. Only hire this person if you plan to sell the company to a politician in the near future.

Interview question: Can you play a guitar?

Guitar-playing skills are very useful at work especially after lunch when morale is low and everyone is asleep. My apologies, not everyone sleeps at work after lunch. After lunch at work, everyone is asleep …except the boss.  The boss leaves for a massage at the spa next door. It is not possible to sleep during a massage after lunch, I have been told as much.

Possible answer one: No, I can’t play a guitar

Analysis: This person would make a useless employee, only good for finishing company sugar by taking too many cups of tea and then taking sugar home wrapped in company headed paper. Hire him/her at your own risk.

Published on 23 October, 2011

How To Gracefully Lay Off an Employee

I have heard of how companies lay off employees and I think there are better ways of doing it. Much as the people behind the layoffs, the ones in Human Resource, have several degrees under their belts, I have spent several hours on the internet to back my findings. You cannot contest internet findings. It is important that I share these tips on how to lay off an employee because generosity is the key to wealth. And I want to be wealthy. So, here are the tips.


In this column, I’ve shared top tips on how to run an organization before. I revealed that when someone first joins an organization, it should be company policy that he/she sends a friend request to his/her boss. Now to lay them off, no need to call them for ‘the talk’. All the boss laying off the employee has to do is unfriend the employee. They’ll be glad that you didn’t feed them the cliché, “This hurts us more than it hurts you…” On noticing that they’ve been unfriended, the employee should pack up and leave.


The entire Human Resource force should show up at the employee’s desk just before lunch and break into song.

“You…have been laid off. Fired. Retired. Laid off” (repeat till fade)

This requires a human resource team with great voices and one of them ought to be able to play a guitar, preferably the Human Resource manager. The upside of this method is that the employee will leave the company happy, singing along to the catchy lay-off song.

No desk

This method will require Human Resource to send in the cleaners over the weekend. When the employee shows up on Monday, he/she should have no desk. Everyone should be instructed to stare at their computers and whistle if the fired employee attempts to make conversation with them. Anyone who makes conversation with the black sheep will find their desk missing the next Monday. This method is effective since it eliminates the need for embarrassing eye contact with workmates when you’ve been fired. The employee will also be grateful that you didn’t publish their passport photo in a leading daily.

Public Address System

This will require a bit of monetary input from Human Resource. Have you seen those trucks with speakers and guys with unwashed dreadlocks that go around announcing album launches? If, like the rest of us, you live in normal areas then you have seen them. Kololo doesn’t have them though. So, Human Resource should hire one of these trucks to go park outside the home of the fired employee and inform them of their newly-acquired freedom. The beauty of this method is you save the employee the stress of getting to work that day. He/she will be grateful that you helped them save transport money that day.

Published on October 16, 2011

Save Energy, Enjoy Life

In these days of no electricity, it is only prudent that we save as much energy as we possibly can. Electricity is so scarce, if it were possible to fill basins with it, I’d strongly encourage you to do so. I do however have some tips that will help you sail through these dark days relatively unscathed by the miserly ways of the power-generating company. Here, I share with you a few things to use to help you beat the energy crisis.

Charcoal iron

This handy device will come into play to remove creases from your clothes whenever power goes back to Jinja in your house. The modern charcoal iron is so versatile it allows you to use other stuff besides just charcoal to produce the heat; you can use almost anything. Old furniture, old newspapers, empty beer bottles, the microphone in the noisy church next-door, anything.

Hot comb

This work of pure genius eliminates the need to drive to the saloon, queue for three days, get into that hot helmet-like thing they put on heads in saloons, only for power to go off 17 minutes later. With the beauty that is a hot comb, you can do all your hair-styling at home. All you need is a mirror and an honest friend. The latter will warn you if you look like a wet chipmunk.


For guys, trips to the trusty barber are useless if he has no electricity. Buy yourself a pair of scissors and whip them out every month to do things to your hair. The advantage here is that you can draw fancy lines in your hair, things even your barber cannot do.  I’ll caution you to first practice thoroughly before attempting your first trim. Find a willing friend to try on. If your friends are true and are not scheming free-loaders who are only with you because of your money, they will willingly offer themselves for your experiments.

Send hand-written letters

SMS and email have since taken over as trusty methods of sending information, putting carrier pigeons out of work. The downside of these methods is that they need electricity. Hand-written letters do not. Instead of wasting precious phone battery typing ‘lol,whr r u nw nw?’ while waiting at the venue of an appointment, write a letter and hand it to your trusted carrier pigeon for delivery. Naturally, some weeks will have to be taken off to train the pigeon to identify the recipients of your mail. You’ll need to feed the pigeon too, and clean up its droppings. All these are small prices to pay. For the mail, you’ll need to re-learn proper spelling, punctuation, grammar and standard mail jokes. You’ll also have to write a few song dedications at the end of the mail.

 Published on October 9, 2011

Let’s Cook

Many times you may find yourself alone at home with raw food staring sullenly at you. This sad situation is not helped by the fact that all the recipes out there are written for people who know what ‘spread dressing mixture evenly over each half’, ‘broil until lightly brown’ and ‘bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies set up. Do not over bake!’ mean.  Do not over bake indeed.  Very helpful. Today is your lucky day. I reveal easy-to-follow, full-proof ways to turn that raw food into a yummy meal that will have your friends and foes sing your praises till you ask them to take a break. Today, we’ll start small. We’ll make Crunchy cheddar Egg Beronganaise.


  • 2 eggs
  • Beronganaise cheese
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Oil


  • Get the egg and shake it vigorously. This should ensure the demise of any un-hatched cretin swimming about in there
  • Hit the side of the egg with a fork to crack it open
  • Pour the gooey insides into a fairly clean bowl. If you do have a clean one, use that one instead
  • Beat the gooey stuff with a fork, spoon, knife, clean stick, remote control, ladle, old empty beer bottle, full beer bottle or whatever is nearest to you
  • Bring the onions and cut them up using something sharp and resistant to tears. A knife comes highly recommended, a nail cutter comes in close second
  • Hurl the onions into the gooey mixture and beat the newly weds
  • Get some oil and put it in a (clean) saucepan. A frying pan would serve the purpose better if you have one. Put this on a source of heat. Stove, cooker, cigarettes, candle, tadooba, any will do the job
  • When the oil starts to stink-up the kitchen/bedroom/sitting-room/wherever-it-is-you-are-cooking-from, carefully pour the beaten gooey stuff into it
  • Marvel at your work. Answer your ringing phone. Tell the person on the other end that you are in the middle of something very important and that you will call them back.
  • Stir the mixture. You may have noticed that we haven’t used the salt and Beronganaise cheese yet. Throw them into the pan. Stir with everything in you, till you feel muscle spasms begin to build
  • Serve yourself and eat

Nutritional Information (Amount Per Serving):  Calories: Enough to enable you push your car to a petrol station alone | Total Fat: Enough to keep you warm every night | Cholesterol: Not enough to give you a heart attack

Next time we’ll look at how to make ‘Spicy tea with spices’, a delicacy in Alaska.

Published on Sunday September 18, 2011

Office Tips

My incisive research and extensive interaction with Human Resource executives both locally in their air-conditioned offices and globally on the internet in my Gmail account have given me deep insights on how to make a very productive company. Because I do not want to be lonely at the top, I’ll share these insights with you so you too can take your company to the next level. Here are some tips on how to make your company become like Google.

Roll-call: At 0800hrs every morning, a stern individual should go from desk to desk checking to see who is present and who isn’t. Those present should place their thumbprint next to their name and also breathe into a tube-like gadget (to pick-up on those who came in straight from the bar). Anyone who isn’t at his/her desk at the time of the roll-call will find their chair missing. They’ll have to work while standing that day.

Bonding: There should be a group hug after lunch, while singing ‘Oh when the saints’. Those who do not know the words to the song will be allowed to sing a Justin Bieber song they so choose

Science fair: There will be an annual science fair during which employees showcase fascinating stuff they made on their own using random household items.  Annual bonuses and promotions should be based on one’s position in this fair.

Event Sponsorship: For brand visibility, the company should sponsor at least one awesome event a year. The company can choose to bring an artiste from outside countries to town, or give money to the annual Uganda national beauty queen contest. The money for the sponsorship should come directly from the employees. A pretty lady in a yellow dress should go from desk to desk with a brown envelope collecting contributions from employees, stopping only to announce what each one has put it.

“Shs200,000 from Mr Okello” (round of applause)

“Mr Kakoma has said I come back tomorrow. That today he has only transport.”

Those who do not contribute should be subjected to disciplinary action and money deducted from their monthly salary.

Water dispenser etiquette: Employees should not be allowed to stand near the water dispenser for more than 3 consecutive minutes. If one wishes to be near the said dispenser for more than that time, he/she should ask for permission, in writing, from the boss. A dispenser chit will be given to the requester and a timeframe specified.

Social networking: It should be company policy that on joining the company, the first course of action is to send the boss a friend request. That done, the employee will then be required to send an email to that boss with details on what lol, rotflmao, hehe and lbft mean.

 Published on Sunday September 11, 2011

One Queue Three

Queuing up in banks is quite an experience. If for some strange reason you’ve never been in a queue in a bank, like maybe you’ve been away training circus monkeys how to do a perfect back flip, or you keep your money in a hole under the mvule tree in your backyard, I’ll be kind enough to let you in on the mechanics.

Banks are fancy places where only people with money are allowed to walk in, nose in the air, shoulders high, bosom out and head to the counter and say “Here, keep my dime you people.”  As you walk out, the bank people are supposed to pick up your money and run out and invest it in stocks, real estate, massive pig farms and tomato research. When later in the day, a taxi driver swerves into the road without indicating and hits your car, you will turn down the volume on your I-pod and let out a small wail. You’ll then walk back to the bank and say “Now that dime of mine that I gave you, give me some also me”. But before you can get to the girl with long hair and a pretty smile behind that glass with a hole in it for you to put your hand through, you have to go through a queue.

The normal queue will place thrusty Tom behind you. He is that guy who is so eager to get to the counter, he’ll stand close enough for you to know exactly what he had for dinner.

In the queue, chatty Charles will usually be within earshot. He’s that person who will keep going on about how his dollar account has been blocked. And how he needs the money badly because his goods from ‘The States’ are stuck at the border.

Penless Prisca is usually that one who’ll borrow your pen and not return it.

There is also usually one person in the queue listening to music. He chose to listen to the music alone, so he has earphones on but then he got to the queue and thought better of it; he suddenly wanted to share the music with the rest of you, so he chose to sing it to you. His awesome music collection usually has Celine Dione, Mariah Carey and Awilo in there.

When, two days later, you finally get to the counter, there is always something wrong with your paperwork. Either you didn’t sign in enough places. Or you signed in too many places. Or you didn’t punctuate the amount you want to withdraw. You wrote ‘Ten Thou’ instead of ‘Ten Thousand Shillings Only Madam’.

Published on Sunday September 25, 2011

What School Ought To Have Taught Us

School was all fine and dandy. We were taught all kinds of cool things like all that stuff about logarithms and how to find the area of a tetrahedron. These are all very useful life skills that we undoubtedly use every waking day of our lives. No single day goes by without us running into tetrahedrons that make us stop and try to calculate their area. Much as school covered a whole lot of useful stuff, there are still a number of things that ought to have been taught to us, to prepare us better for ‘the real world’.

Handling taxi conductors

Taxis are nice places to meet people you’ll never meet again in your life. They are also great places to show you just how unprepared school left you. After your awesome trip from crowded town towards your peaceful abode, you pay the taxi fare and you want to get out of the taxi. Since you are at the back of the taxi, you squeeze past a few people, go under an armpit, gently nudge a goat out of the way and disembark. The conductor then hands you Shs400 less than what your change should be. School doesn’t prepare you for this. You are well-dressed; the purple shoes you are wearing did not come cheap. How exactly are you supposed to man-handle the evil conductor man for your change? How much is too little to shake-down the evil man for?

Handling tear gas

The average Ugandan will face tear gas three times before they are fifteen. I have no data to back that fact but my research team is out there doing the rounds. So with tear gas being a part of our reality, why aren’t we prepared for it? When walking down the street whistling your favorite Marc Anthony song and suddenly mayhem breaks out and tear gas is fired, what do you do? How do you run without looking like one of the miscreants? Do you kind of sashay as you run? Do you try to run stylishly? How do you flee while clearly distinguishing yourself as a tax-paying, law-abiding citizen? We need these things taught to us in school.

Handling security guards

A security guard is that person who has permission to grope you before granting you access to premises. The guards in Uganda take offence very easily.

“Sir, there’s nothing in the bag. See. (Unzipping the bag)”

“You think I cannot unzip for myself? You think I did not go to school?”

“Good morning Sir”

“What’s so good about the morning? You think I can’t see that it’s a good morning? You think I didn’t go to school?”

We need to be given skills on how to keep security personnel happy. Do we bow down? Kneel?

Published on Sunday October 2, 2011