Woken up on time today, check. Feeling ready for another day at work performing at your best, check. Resisted the urge to grab your phone first thing in the morning, check. Talked yourself out of procrastinating your exercise routine, check. Warmed up and feeling good about the next 25 minutes, check. Just for you to be interrupted as you are about to do your first press up. This time its something about how you left the kitchen untidy yesterday night. You look at your mom as she tells you that she needs you to go clean up after yourself, wondering why she could not see that she was interrupting something important. How she could not see that from the moment she started talking she wiped the smile off your face.
That’s how you find yourself twenty minutes later still cleaning up the floor. Cleaning it up with your sporting apparel on. Feeling very frustrated. Wondering when what you wanted to do would be respected by people around you. Before you can finish your thought process, you realize that you lost track on time and if you don’t hurry you will be late to work. For the first of the year !That is not the kind of start you want to have. You shrug and quickly storm out of the kitchen to finish up the rest of your morning routine.
You smile ruefully, as you look at your phone time display and realize you were 5 minutes ahead of time. You walk to your public transport terminus with a multitude of other people around you. Everyone looking formally dressed. A bit down though, wishing that they had another day to sleep in. You hope that no one notices your smile, its illegal out here not to feel the very same way as everyone does. So you avoid everyone’s gaze hoping to at least keep this feeling of joy you have for the rest of the day.
The bus leaves the terminus and moves for about 20 minutes at a steady pace. This is the ideal time to go to work. Just 10 minutes ahead of the entire city. Early enough not to be caught in traffic and late enough to have a goodnight sleep, or so you thought. As you join the highway you realize today is different. Its 6.30 am and it seems like everyone woke up early. At least that’s what the 2 mile pile up of cars in front of the bus you took tells you. You silently hope that this is just a small problem and the traffic will clear up.
Its 10 minutes later and your location has not changed. You can feel the impatience in the air after you are triggered by a car’s horn blaring behind you. You can’t now help but glance on your phone every minute or so. As every minute passes you picture your boss ever changing face. Like an animated GIF that gets angrier and angrier with every passing minute of your lateness. By the time the bus crawls into town, you want to scream into something. You actually do it. You scream into the back of the seat in front of you.
Holding it with so much strength that you would probably rip it off its torso. Good thing is no one is seated there, they chose to drop off and walk the last mile into town. The other good thing is, you are sane enough not to shout into a seat, its a feigned shout. You see we are losing control, feeling like nothing we want to happen for us is happening , yet we should not seem like we are. You feign composure, cause that’s how a Nairobi Citizen responds. There is nothing knew under the Nairobi Sun, or so you tell yourself.
You actually cant believe that you managed to salvage this day. Its 20 minutes to lunch and you have been killing it at work. All the days tasks that were to be done have been submitted and await approval for your immediate superior. You see, we arrived late today, but no one senior was early to notice. As a result you avoided all the morning negative energy. In fact you kept telling everyone who entered past you good morning with a triumphant flair to your voice. Sadly though it seems you have not learnt from your day.
You realize this, when an hour later you are summoned by your boss. Who for about 30 minutes takes you through why your work did not meet the standard. Why you were poor at following instructions. Why if you kept doing work like this you would be up for probation. You wish you could feign a shout but here not even that will cut it. You have to have a straight face on. Remember? You have to look composed, even when you are not. Cause as he labors about how a poor employee you are , you cant help but go back to the fact that he had signed off this work before the Christmas holidays. He had told you that the work was good and it met the requirements that were required. In fact he was criticizing the peace out of the rest of your year for a revision that had been brought about by a senior executive’s preference. Something none of you could have predicted.
How many days in a year feel this way? Many? Most of them? A day that starts so well ending up being a very bad day. So how do you get some semblance of peace in your life. Some semblance of harmony? Now that we all realize that control, at least you being in control, is a fable?
Stay tuned to the next part of this series!