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How to give customer care a black eye

If you own a restaurant, this piece is especially for you. How do you keep your customer’s pallet wet while your staff runs off to the Nile to capture fish and chop off their fingers to prepare the fish fingers the customer pointed out on the menu? The customer is king…and  the king is hungry.  Also, the king wants chicken embrronganaise with obsidian topping. We all know making that dish involves karate-chopping a chicken on the head and plucking all its feathers off even before it hits the ground. How do you keep your customer from storming out protesting how long you’ve taken to bring what they’ve ordered? Yes, we do understand that the Chef has to wait for the chicken to collect itself before attempting the karate chop but still….the customer is hungry. Here are ways that research has proved will keep your customer happy as he/she waits:


If your customer is a guy, his hunger will be momentarily forgotten if while he waits, a team of four to six belly-dancers show up and start to wiggle their money-making bits in and around his general perimeter. Anywhere within a five meter radius of him qualifies as ‘in and around his general perimeter’.


For your female customer impatiently waiting for her meal, a waiter and waitress should walk past her several times, casting each other furtive, lustful looks and referring to each other only as ‘Ricardo’ and ‘Santa Maria’. Ricardo should keep mouthing “But I can’t be with you Santa Maria, you are my cousin” to which the waitress should respond “But I love you Ricardo. I.love.you”. At this point it would be nice if the waitress dropped and broke a plate or two.


If the customers waiting to be served are on a date, send a waiter over to suggest topics of conversation. He should go and stand right next to the table and keep reading out a suggested topic of conversation every ten minutes.

“Gold digging”, “Digging gold”, “Fast food”, “Why fast food? Fast water”, “Alien invasion” and “Terrorism” are usual favourites. Make sure they make your list.

By this time the meal ought to be ready. If it isn’t then the customer has every right to storm out and curse your establishment on every social media account they can create. Even MySpace. Ok not MySpace. No one’s there

How useless some sayings are

The English language, and other languages actually, is flowered with sayings. These are things that were said by old, frail men and women years ago but at the time they were spoken, someone was present with a tape recorder. “A cat may look at a king”, “Every dog has its day”, “A stitch in time saves nine” and all the rest that were drummed into our young, perceptive brains by Mrs. Katwesigye, all those sayings were spewed out several years ago before you, dear reader, were born. Their existence is evidence that tape recorders existed eons ago seeing as some sayings seem to have been uttered at a time when dinosaurs walked freely on the earth surface. Dinosaurs now live underground and come out at night to torment politicians; this explains the mental state of many of them but that’s not today’s story. So, some of these sayings are not entirely accurate. Let’s explore:

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush

This saying was probably coined at a time when birds were used to pay for goods. Instead of money, people walked around carrying birds. More colorful birds denoted bigger currency. It is during this era that peacocks became popular…before this they were considered unsightly creatures fit only to be food for hyenas. It is during this era that peacocks experienced their re-invention; their rebirth.

One day an old man went to the market to buy some sugar (for even in those days, old men liked getting some sugar). He carried only one bird with him. On reaching the stall (which was conveniently located five miles away from his home-miles because kilometers had not been invented yet), he handed over his bird and waited for his sugar. The shop keeper studied the man carefully before breaking the news to him. He’d once told a customer bad news and he passed out. Seeing that this particular old man looked strong, he went on and told him that unfortunately, his bird couldn’t afford him sugar. The old man then remembered that he’d left  two  fine birds back in the bush at his place. That’s when it hit him; “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush”. Of course this saying is no longer useful in our day and age. We now pay with money.

 Published on Sunday June 9, 2012

How to stay awake after lunch

As humans, we are creatures of habit. One thing we usually do at work is go for lunch. In as much as this habit deprives our employer of the one, two or three hours we spend having lunch, we still insist on doing it every day with no regard to the masked person that sends money to your bank account every month. Legend has it that some people spend days at lunch going by how many calls they pick up and say “I’m still at lunch, please call me back later”. One direct result of having lunch is  the urge to sleep after. For your employer’s sake, stay awake. Here’s how.

Jog around

Pull out your spandex from that drawer you keep your paper clips in, squeeze into it(the spandex, not the drawer. Though truth be told if you can fit in one you can fit in the other), throw on a red headband, plug earphones into your..wait, no not your nose, Allan. Into your ears. Now jog around the office chanting war songs and occasionally letting out a native Indian cry. This will ensure that you stay awake for the rest of the afternoon but also, no one will assign you tasks for fear of being tackled by you. Winning.

Drink a lot

Go and pick up the water dispenser and relocate it to right next to your desk. Keep sipping water whenever you feel drowsiness kicking in. Charge your workmates who try to use the dispenser one thousand shillings for a cup of water. This will have the double effect of setting you apart as a go-getter (since you went and got the dispenser) and also as a team player(since you charged workmates only Shs. 1,000 and not exorbitant fees like the ones charged by insert-name-here). Both these qualities are desirable in HRs eyes and be sure to mention them when you apply for a raise.

Carry your desk and put it right next to the loos. When you finally recover from passing out due to the stench, start charging anyone going into the loo something reasonable…like Shs. 3,000 for a short call. Hand a cup to anyone who doesn’t want to pay and ask them to use that to ease themselves instead. Do not allow their pleas to weaken your resolve. Great leaders are merciless leaders. You are a great leader. Show no mercy.

Published on   Sunday, June 3  2012

How to be broke at work

How does one get through difficult financial times? How should you deal when you are broke? Crying doesn’t help. Wailing will only bring the inquisitive gatekeeper to your bedroom window. I know it is still early in the month so you won’t need much of the advice I’ve spent these past three years collecting. The beauty of this is that in the digital age, you can bookmark this page or you could just keep the newspaper till later this month when you are stone broke and can re-read some of these priceless tips that only years of pain-staking research can produce. So how should you deal when you are broke?


The first meal at work is usually an indicator of how things are down south. ‘Down south’ being your wallet my friend. Yes, even you my lady friend. You do have a wallet too no? Good leather, burgundy in color, five zips in places you can’t reach and two pictures of smiley kids in them. But it will be empty at month-end. Yet, at breakfast, the people you work with are doing not-so-silent justice to pieces of pizza (that’s not counting Buyos who’s silently munching what looks like cold Matooke. Let’s leave him out of this). So how do you deal? Well remember how you’ve always wanted Jane to explain to you what Legacy Loans are? Now is a good time to ask. Walk over and ask away and while the conversation flows naturally, let your hand, just as naturally, reach into whatever she’s having for breakfast. Do not break eye contact-doing so is considered rude in many cultures. Why would you want to be rude to someone taking off time to give you information? Have your poker face on during the entire act. Eat to your fill then ‘receive a call from your other business partner in Shanghai’, pick it up and walk away.


With the advent of a health-conscious generation, there is no harm in jumping on the bandwagon when it suits you. Leave several tabs on your computer open whenever someone approaches your desk. Anyone within a ten meter radius of your workstation should only see you reading articles like; ‘Fitness. Fit life’, ‘Live like a health freak today. Or just a freak. Or just a health freak’, ‘Exercise. Diet. Good life’. Then at lunch say you are on a diet.

Published on Sunday, May 13,   2012

Determine your nickname today

All those who were cool in school have had a nickname or two. Many times however, nicknames are chosen for us without seeking our consent (so are our real names but that’s not the issue here). But is it right? Should you be ok with being called ‘porno’ your entire life? How would you feel if I told you that it is possible to determine your nickname? Wouldn’t you want to look me up and pay me top dollar for this information? No worries; I’ll proceed, here and now, to give you the information free of charge. I’ll still take the top dollar though; my number is +256 (0) 7. I hope the editor leaves that bit intact. So, onto the nicknames you should ask your friends to call you.


If you are Greek and you’ve recently landed in the country and you are still at the airport, in the terminal, feet in the air, reading this paper, and your name is Flypopocus, then you could convince your friends to call you Fly. Think about it.

You walk into a bar “Hey Fly, long time man” (fist thump)

Your boss is recommending you for a promotion “This young man here is Fly. Give him the promotion”

Your friend is complementing you “My Fly friend doesn’t walk to work”


For you the young, driven, hungry, sometimes sweet, sometimes angry Aussie called Florence Ursula, insist that your friends call you Flu. Think of all the awesome things that would come from having that as your nickname.

Your friend warning another friend “Say that one more time and I’ll send Flu your way”


If you are Russian, and you like Vodka and you are reading this off the internet, and your name is Poopchoski, then you need to re-brand. Tell your friends you want to be called Poo. Short. To the point. Think about all the good things that would be a direct result of your amazing nickname

You are at the pool, swimming, working up a sweat and your friend, at the poolside, is asked whether he’d like to swim “No, I don’t. There’s Poo in the pool”

 Published on Sunday, April 15  2012

Eat your meat first, here’s why

Easter’s here. It is an amazing time send some of the carbohydrates floating around in world to the lower part of your belly. It is also a great time to spend time on urbanlegendkampala.com. You can also use this time to re-evaluate the unrealistic goals you set at the beginning of the year. At this point in the year, you know for sure that ‘to be a better person’ isn’t working out; we know that you put laxatives in your neighbor’s dog food.  ‘To drink less’ isn’t going too well since we know about that time you drove into your gate at home. Today however, the message I’ve been instructed to bring to you is one that should have been delivered on the day we got independence. I bring hardcore facts on mealtime; why you should eat your meat first (as opposed to saving it for last):

Hawks may swoop in and take your meat

You might be in a cozy restaurant, with nice jazz tunes playing in the background, carefully doing justice to all the greens on your plate and saving the meat for last. Keep this in mind;

Fact one: When its meal time, a hawk several meters off the ground can see a tiny mouse on the ground.

Fact two: That hawk in fact one can see your meat. It can swoop in and take it; that would be tragic. Why should a hawk take the meat you’ve paid top-shilling for? It probably won’t enjoy the meat anyway. Or maybe it will. But the point is it didn’t pay for it. There’s also the small issue about whether there are actually hawks in Uganda. Homework



A strike may break out

Given how many strikes we hear breaking out in this country on a daily, there is a finite possibility that one may break out before you get to swallow your meat. Tear gas. Running. Chaos. Mayhem. No meat. It stands to reason that you eat your meat first. Do it now

The waiter may spill a drink on you and then spill said drink in your food

Customer care being what it is in this country, the waiter may slip and add inedible contents to your plate. Like the Guinness meant for the guy in the dark corner. So eat your meat first.

Published on Sunday, April 8  2012

Be thankful or else

We usually get so caught up in life doing very many things; running around trying to get a ninja costume that fits well, mooing in office meetings and pointing at the newest recruit, keeping tabs on our intake of carbohydrates, finding new and advanced techniques to sneak food into a library, feeding laxatives to our neighbors cat and spiking the water in the aquarium. We get so caught up doing all these things that we forget to be thankful for the small things in life. When done reading this, you ought to be a changed being; you ought to see beauty in every raindrop, a sunset in every blade of grass and to feel a world of gratitude with every breath you take. Presenting, things we totally forget to be thankful for;

That flies fly


Imagine those cretins didn’t fly but walked instead. Or worse, tiptoed. You’d be seated at a posh café somewhere in Kampala, reading a book, looking sophisticated and all things nice and then a fly would tiptoe into your fries. Imagine your shock when just as your one free hand reached for a fry as you chuckled over a witty Ivan Musoke line, you picked up not a fry…but a fly. (Insert horror soundtrack)


I have eyes on you

Flies that walk would creep up on your food while you were updating your status saying the national park you are in so beautiful while you were seated in a steamy room in Makerere food market sucking soup out of molokony.

That mosquitoes make noise

Picture a life where mosquitoes didn’t make that annoying sound. We’d all die. By ‘we’, I’m referring to all of us who live in the tropics. That means you, dear reader. You’d be dead. I know grim, right? I didn’t want to say it, because of the humanitarian heart that God put in my chest, but the editor insisted I put it there. I was at pen-point for thirty three minutes before I gave in.

The mosquito would silently position its proboscis (kudos to my Science teacher) on the fleshiest part of your right arm and proceed to drain you of your hard-earned blood while you slept, dreaming of walking on a pink moon. But thank God the little ingrates aren’t silent; that way we can send them to their makers by making it clap.

Published on Sunday, April 1, 2012

How To Make Her Yours

This was a particularly hard article to write seeing as I’m not too popular going by how agitated the dogs in my neighborhood get whenever I’m running furiously and jumping huddles to get back to my digs.

That said, the power of the internet and my unflinching resolve to bring you nothing but top-notch information ensure that you get only the best. I present to you ways to make the apple of your eye dig you fully. Here are ways to make her yours. Please read this only if you aren’t married. I’m writing it in a coded language that only unmarried people will understand. Married people reading this will only see the the the the the the. Now for you unmarried friend trying to get that person you like, do the following things:

Get into a fight

Girls love a strong man. That’s why they don’t blink when re-watching Rambo. They may not say it to your face but they do. So what better way to show-off your strength than by taunting a dirty boda boda man about his hygiene and when he dares to get off his bike to say something to you, wrestle him to the ground and race off on his bike screaming “suckaarr!!”

Of course you’ll need to return the bike in an hour and apologize to him. Explain your actions and any sober boda guy will say “Dogga, steady” and let it slide. You can then pay him for a ride to her place.

If you are the type that’s scared of boda guys, get a friend she doesn’t know to snatch her bag and run off. Run after him, tackle him and beat him up. Of course this only works if you are ready to do the same for your friend and also if he won’t really run off with the bag.

In the know

It’s not enough that you read urbanlegendkampala.com like all the other cool kids. Show just how much music you know. While having a meal together at Javas, stop her fork as she lifts it to her mouth, put down your own, push your chair behind, stand up and break into song. Show her just how many Celine Dione songs you know. Sing them word for word. The fire in her eyes will be all for you.

Published on  Sunday, March 25  2012

Fuel the rumour mill

Every so often, there you are seated, trying to find ways to justify the money you are going to be paid at the end of the month by resisting the urge to upload your most recent singing-in-the-shower video to YouTube when suddenly, someone comes in and interrupts your national calling and gives you some trivial information. “Did you know that Jeremy, the one who sits in the corner and seems to care for rodents in his free time, did you know that he is actually a professional cat fight referee?”. You pause. Punching useful digits into an excel sheet will have to wait after-all.

When such information hits you, do you, like the rest of mankind entering digits into excel sheets, attempt to guess how many “did you knows” are going around about you? It is time to control these things being said about you. It is time to feed the rumor mill.  A few suggestions about a few things you could let them mill about

Let them know you are tough; tell them you are a don

Casually mention it to Jimmy at lunch that you have an underground empire of obedient minions running your seedy not-too-legal businesses. To make this believable, have the waiter come over, prostrate, approach and kiss your pinky ring, put a small note on your table and stand and wait. Pick up the note, read it and then say to him “Oh yes Dennis, it’s ok, you have permission to go ease yourself”


Let them know you are enterprising; tell them you organize mud wrestling

While standing by the water cooler waiting for your cup to fill, nonchalantly mention it to Amina that you secretly have a very lucrative female mud-wrestling league you run after-hours and that you are currently recruiting.  Offer her flyers

Instill fear; tell them why you can’t be fired

In the lift, mention to anyone in it how you are unnerved by the fact that strange things always happen to anyone who tries to fire you. Speak of how the first person had a skiing accident in which their nail polish got badly scratched. Another one’s cat dropped dead while it was watching re-runs of ‘The Jeffersons’. Point out that you fear what would happen if anyone else tried to fire you


 Published on Sunday March 18, 2012

What is in words?

Several times in life, you’ll find yourself in a situation where you may take something said to you literally. This guide is of save you from the tones of embarrassment these situations come with.

Let me come back

The first time I heard this phrase being used, I was only a child. I actually sat and waited for my uncle who’d used it to come back. I’ve since grown to learn that it says that the person is going to get up, go buy some roast maize by the roadside, walk down to the taxi stage, give the conductor two hundred shillings less than the agreed-upon fare, argue about it, almost fight about it, pay the rest of the money grudgingly, alight, walk home, not shower, watch a soap, tire, get into bed and sleep. Don’t wait for them

I was at a bar last night and got a little bit tipsy

This means my friend was paying for the drinks so I took a little too much, got excited, picked up a wheel barrow from the back of the bar and started offering free rides in it to everyone in the bar. I then offered to donate the clothes I was wearing to charity. Charity, I was later told, is a girl I met at the bar. She turned them, and me, down. She even turned down the wheelbarrow ride.

I was a great soccer player in school and could have made the national team

This basically means I used to be in the stands cheering the soccer team with all the decibels I could manage. If ever the entire school suffered from food poisoning and they all couldn’t leave their beds, including the cooks, I’d have had a chance to play for the soccer team.

Let me come back in two minutes

This means set your watch back by an hour and two minutes, go visit your ailing goats, check their fecal matter and from your expert analysis, send your report to their veterinary doctor. The worried doctor will show up and force-feed the poor goats some herbal medicine. When that’s done,  go back and meet the person ‘two minutes’ later

I don’t drink

This phrase can be completed by adding ‘…when people are watching’.

Published on 4 March, 2012