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He is a first-timer in official dress code. He is a big fan of Breezy, Rae Sremmurd and Fetty Wapp. He says Kenyan music is holy crap. And only listens to Octo. Hip hop is the only music he recognizes. See, his idols hardly clad in office-based so does he. Our guy has ear piercings where he wears earrings – it’s called swag. He is well updated on latest trends in hip hop. A borrowed Jamaican accent he speaks. He’ll hardly complete a sentence without mentioning ‘nigger, full, ’ and the likes. Occasionally, he speaks real shit. Girls flock his way. But he’s a good man, at least good enough to say. Never holds grudges and is mature.
He makes his way into an interview. A job interview. He looks sharp, neat and canny today. And weird, to those who are used to him, those who’ve never seen him in a tie. His cherished curls have been reduced to nothing. Locks that he sheltered for three years are now gone. Instead, he is wearing a fade-away hair style – the late Dharwesh’ favorite hair cut. He has been rehearsing formal English for some time now. Possibly since the day he learnt about this interview. That you can easily tell from the way he’s straining to let go of the fuckin accent. Will he reclaim it?
The turn-up isn’t so bad. The reception desk is encumbered. Hopefuls are seriously engrossed on Google and on Wikipedia. They are probably trying to find out the company dealings and querying google how applicants are supposed to present themselves in an interview (for first time attendees). Among them are contenders who graduated 10 years ago. They’ve appeared before not less than 7 panels but landed no job yet. They are veterans in job seeking. They know the basic rules. For instance, closing the door behind them will be the first thing once they step in the interviewing chamber. Obviously there will be an empty seat in the interviewing chamber, but they’ll remain standing, folding their hands, and wait to be told to sit. Then one of the panelists will direct them to take a seat. And they will smile, and say ‘thank you’ and take the weight off their feet. Then one or two interviewers will nod and mumble something, and record marks of good discipline in the sheetsy before them.
Where is this story again? Ooh! We’ve reached the part where all applicants are busy on their phones.
His head too is buried in his Phantom 7. A phone he purchased last month. He barely hangs onto a handset. In their midst is this guy called Tom who’s so loquacious. Unlike the rest, Tom is not sharply dressed. But he’s not chubby. He appears so social and friendly. Chats up the rest, inquires everyone’s names and invents ways to rig the pending interview. Which includes forming a whatsApp group. This idea is received with mixed reactions. Majority back it. Tom suggests that the group, once formed, should last. He says he has connections and will be informing them any vacancies in town. That’s sounds like a good idea to them all.
Minutes later, the gateman bounces in with a contribution card. He needs funds to settle his son’s hospital bills. Tom has now gained popularity. He’s now their spokesman. So when the security guard explains how madly he needs funds to settle his ailing son’s hospital bill, Tom butts in with, “boss! tuko hapa kutafuta kazi”. And tells the guard off. He then instructs the guard beg for money elsewhere. Not from folks trying their lack to secure a job. A good number of applicants giggle and contend to Tom’s reaction. Only the kind ones sympathize with the wotchi and hand him alms. As little as fifty-bob. Our hip-hop guy cashes him a 100 bob. You see? That’s why I said our guy is a good man. Isn’t he? That way, the watchman’s part is done. He matches out with lots of gratefulness.
Five minutes to 9. Tom leaves the reception. Enters some office. And tramps back, now neatly dressed like the rest. The receptionist stands as a sign of respect as Tom passes. He then waves at the applicants and proceeds to the room on the right. They all watch him, mouths agape! Acute disbelief drawn all over their faces. And the interview begins right away. Examinees stride into the interviewing chamber (the room on their right where Tom entered after he changed clothes). One after another. In the order they arrived.
The hip-hop chap’s turn glides in. He buoyantly trudges into the office and finds Tom in there. Tom introduces himself as the HR manager. With Tom are four other assessors. Tom informs the panel how our ‘Mr. Hip-hop’ is a kind man. How he offered the guard 100shillings. Our guy is then subjected to the usual queries. Like explaining who he is, why he thinks he deserves the job, and what he would do to achieve the organization’s objectives as well as his goals. He is sharp. He explains and presents his well-organized thoughts so well.
A laptop is then passed to him. He’s instructed to type his name. At the back of his mind he knows he has already qualified. He grins and thinks that the panel want to add his name in the company’s database. He cannot conceal his joy. The joy of landing a job on his first ever interview. So he types his full name. And is told to click the search button. He does exactly that. Every panelist is glued on the screen. Two nude women pop up on the screen. He’s perplexed. His chest heaves. Mouth ajar, he wants to cover those naked photos. He regrets posting the two picturesque on his Facebook wall a year ago. This is the least test he expected in an interview. He curses social media. He curses Zuckerberg! He pulls the black tie off his neck, bangs the HP laptop, and walks out.