Once again, the alarm goes off. Kimani hesitantly gets up from his bed. It’s another Friday, his best day of the week. At least he can smile because he can do what he does best after a long week, get drunk. He, however, wants to avoid what happened the previous weekend. “What happened?” you may ask. He doesn’t know either. All he remembers is waking up with a swollen cheek. Someone must’ve punched him really hard. This made him come up with an excuse to tell his boss while he was heading to work but he knows his boss wasn’t impressed with his story about getting knocked by a stranger’s elbow by mistake while boarding a matatu.
Things weren’t always like this for Kimani. He was brought up in a middle class family, performed very well in school, graduated with a first-class honor in Information Technology and was hired almost immediately in an IT Consulting company. You could say that things were really looking up for him. Of course, you can’t talk about a man’s success without mentioning a beautiful lady beside him. Asha was her name. Kimani knew he hit the jackpot with her because they just clicked ever since they first met. Things, however, took a 180 degree turn.
His work life became frustrating as he was getting calls from very many people about simple software and hardware issues. Almost all the solutions were to simply restart the computer. This made him stressed out and started drinking to relieve himself. It wasn’t bad at first but it became a nasty habit. He slowly became an addict. Asha tried to help him but he got violent whenever she brought it up. Soon afterwards, she left him seeing that there is nothing that could be done to help him. This hurt Kimani so bad that the only way to cope with the pain was to, yes you guessed it, drink some more. He became sloppy at work with several cases of him either reporting late or reporting to work while he’s drunk. How he retained the job was a miracle itself. Someone out there was going through a lot of trouble to protect him. On this day, however, it seemed that his luck had run out.
To Kimani, it was a normal day of work. He’s a little more productive at the end of the week but it will all go to waste once he goes to drink. As he sat down at his messy desk, he immediately got a phone call from the secretary. Perhaps she was just saying hi.
Susan: Good morning Kimani. The boss would like you to see him in his office.
Kimani: What does he want now? I finished all the monthly reports on time.
Susan: It looks serious. There are two other gentlemen in his office as we speak.
Kimani: I wonder who they are.
Susan: You should go and find out instead of trying to figure it out using the company’s phone line.
Kimani: Okay then. Tell him I’m on my way.
He hangs up and slowly heads upstairs to Mr. Omondi’s office. Who are those people in his boss’ office? Maybe they are planning to dispatch him to another company and act as their IT expert. It happens all the time. Most of his workmates have been dispatched to several companies and report on how the experience is challenging. Perhaps this was the only way his boss would be able to handle him at the moment. Who knows?
He knocked on the open door and saw the two people. It was a young man having several bruises on his face and an older man who Kimani thinks is the governor of the county.
Omondi: Have a seat Kimani.
Kimani: (looking confused) Thank you, Sir.
Omondi: Now, before I start addressing the situation, can you at least try to figure out why you’re here?
Omondi: (smiling) Come on, Kimani you’re a smart guy. I’m sure you can figure it out.
Kimani: I honestly can’t tell.
Omondi: Okay. Let me refresh your memory. Do you remember that story you gave me about how you got that bruise on your cheek?
Kimani: (startled) Yes.
Omondi: Apparently, this is the stranger that “accidentally” hit you with his elbow.
Lumumba: Is that what he told you? He beat up my son!! What did he do to you to deserve such a beating?
It was all coming back to Kimani. He was in a certain club busy having his drinks at the bar. The bartender kept on giving him new bottles of his favorite beer. As he was about to take a sip, the bottle got shoved away by a random guy. It seemed that he was trying to turn to the bartender and his elbow hit the bottle and spilled on the floor. He could see where he got his excuse from. All he remembers was that he shoved the young man and he responded by punching him. This made Kimani go berserk and beat the living hell out of him. They were eventually separated and Kimani was kicked out of the club.
Turns out the young man was the son of the governor and from the looks of things, he may have inflicted too much damage. The governor wants answers. It’s either he pays for what he has done or the company suffers the consequences. Whatever happens, Kimani is screwed.
Lumumba: Are you going to keep me waiting young man? When was the last time you even bought yourself a good shirt? Jared, are these the kind of people you employ in your company?
Omondi: Absolutely not. Kimani is aware of the working standards the company expects all the employees to meet when they work here. Kimani, do you have anything to tell us? How come you roughed up the guy this bad.
Kimani: He…spilled my drink and I got angry.
Lumumba: What? You beat him up this bad because of one drink? Just one? I’m sure he would have bought you 10 others as compensation. But no, you decided to take matters to your own hands. Look! He now has a chipped incisor. Did you want to kill him?
Kimani: That was not my intention Governor Lumumba.
Lumumba: This is unacceptable. I demand compensation for this incident. As you know Jared, it is not my wish to drag your company into this mess. Let it be solved right here and should never be brought up again.
Omondi: I understand Governor. (Turns to Kimani) As you have heard, swift actions must be taken. This company does not tolerate any form of bad publicity. Your actions are unacceptable and the company must now sort the mess which you created. You are suspended for two months without pay. That money will be used to compensate the Governor’s son and his family. I’m really disappointed in you Kimani. You were a man full of promise. I don’t know what has happened to you now. It is my sincere hope that you take this time off as a moment of reflecting what you want in life. If it were someone else, I would’ve fired them immediately. You, however, have untapped potential. Don’t disappoint me when you come back.
Kimani was really angry. He didn’t even talk, he just walked out of the room. What is he going to do now? 2 months is a really long time to survive without a stream of income considering the fact that he has loans to pay because of his drinking habits. He grabbed his coat and stormed out of the building to the one place where he can drown his sorrows. He was going earlier than anticipated but he appreciated the head start.
To be continued…