I abandoned those kids. I am sure they really hate me right now. I have tried to explain to them on phone that I’ll be back soon enough and we will finish our practises but I doubt they’ll ever find it in their hearts to forgive me. I don’t think they’ll want to hear whatever I say even if I bring crates of sodas and boxes of biscuits. It was totally wrong of me to leave just like that.
Internship issues. I blame the education system. No. I think I blame society as a whole. I have been looking for a place to be attached for the longest time. Since October imagine! And I had sworn that I wouldn’t take a position anywhere unless I thoroughly worked to get it myself. “I am not going to propagate the vice of corruption by having my relatives work things out for me through to big corporations.” So I have been at home applying and waiting for responses. And a call came in a week or two ago (depending on when I post this).
We had just finished Sunday school practice. The holidays are here and the kids will be going for camps and Christmas tunes will soon fill the air. So we need to prepare before we are time barred. Just after the final prayer that evening my phone started vibrating in my pocket. I ignored it thinking it was the usual carrier junk Airtel and Safaricom always send. We closed down the place. As I approached the gates the phone now in my hand goes off again. Truecaller can’t recognise the number. I receive not knowing what to say.
“Hello, Dickson…” says a voice that I first mistake to be pre-recorded only to realise some people can talk so stunningly you’d confuse them for machines. “…Thursday 9am for an aptitude test”.
I am 450km away and you want me to be there by 9am for a test. And I have only but asked to be attached at your firm?
“Okay, I’ll be there at 9am. Thank you very much”
“Looking forward to having you Dickson”.
I actually love the fact that she called me Dickson. I hate it when someone tries to make me a Mr Dickson or a Mr Otieno. Unless the Queen herself (or King) knights me, I don’t want a title. My grandfather was a Sir by the way. I’m just saying.
After the call I was thinking of what to do. I don’t have a house in Nairobi and sure hell I don’t want to inconvenience any of my good people in town. But I had to. Yep.
So here I am in Nairobi and I learn that a classmate of mine, in Moi University, is accompanying me to the test. I am wholesomely relieved. The firm has very huge towers and the security is tight outside. The car park looks awesome with high end cars. If I was to attend this test alone, just the sight of the building would cower me. I wouldn’t have entered that gate. Ningepinduka tu kwa upole nipande basi nirudi nyumbani.
But she is courageous, my classmate. She walks to the gate and talks to the security chiefs. We leave our IDs and laptop serial numbers. I am so sure they’ll be making people leave their faces (photos) soon enough. High resolution photos, not the crap on IDs.
The entrance to the building is glass. From high above to down below. You didn’t get that I know. It is the type of building a guy in open shoes thinks twice before entering. And I was in open shoes. I thought ten times, if that makes sense. I have a lot of closed shoes. I don’t love closed shoes. Plus IT doesn’t need me to be in all professional dressing and shit. So we walk in and head to the reception.
If I was alone, I am sure I wouldn’t have made it that far. I’ve watched Suits and their offices and receptionists are all cool and awesome but leave that to acting. I thought this would be some small thing. I didn’t expect an aptitude test would be something on such a firm’s daily agenda. They had a waiting room, or whatever the receptionist called it, to our disposal. And we were walked there. Man it felt like we were bringing them some million dollar ideas. In open shoes.
Now things got bad when we, me and my classmate, found another being siting in the waiting room. She was all composed up and hell. In a suit. Those professional lady suits. She had glasses. Very expert like. Plus she’s the very same girl (woman/lady) who first walked out of the bus we were on. My classmate and I hadn’t known where the main gate to the firm was after alighting from the bus we had boarded. A classy chic who had alighted just before us smiled at us before heading on to wherever she was going. Here now she was in the waiting room looking all ready. She was damn confident like this was nothing to her. You know what I wanted to do? I wanted to walk out at that instance and go attach myself at a cyber café and call my supervisor. She was sure getting that ‘job’. So was my classmate. I was just an eyewitness.
Two ladies. And me. In brown open shoes that looked like dirt. In the waiting room for 1 and a half hours. If they had secret cameras, they probably saw me drain my phone battery playing Flappy Bird and Swing Copters.
The person who called me for the test got in right at 9.10am. She didn’t need introduction. Just her voice. And she picked us up to the 1st floor. We were joined by a couple of others who were also attending the test. Or some other tests.
We were now standing at the hallway. We looked like a bunch of hopeless individuals who’ve been tarmacking for the longest period of years. We had these visitor tags on us (given at the reception) that tried to console our cluelessness from passers-by. Our host had disappeared into some classy room. She came out and called us in. There were four papers on various sections of the table and seats arranged. Damn it was an exam.
“Okay sit anywhere, this is a very easy paper. One hour only. Very easy Maths and English questions.”
She was saying it in a poised manner as if it could stop the I-don’t-know-why-the-hell-I-am-here sort of anger that was boiling in me. LOL. Looking back I think I was overreacting. I should have known what exactly to expect with an aptitude test. Well now I know.
I took the chair closest to where I was standing and placed my laptop bag on the table. “Okay let me teach them some Mathematics,” I say to myself only to realise that I didn’t have a pen. See the last time I carried a pen was in October during the exams. The only pen I need in my life is the S-pen. Hoping to have one soon.
“Anyone with an extra pen?” I ask politely. And I was really, really polite I swear.
We were two guys and two girls (the others were somewhere else) and they all looked at me like ‘You’re serious you didn’t carry a pen?’
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