Mondays are always bluer at the IDP camp especially if what you first see when you enter the camp is the tattered polythene tents, greeted by famished kids – naked and half-naked still cobwebbed by sleep of not-oh-so good night – the melee of the IDPs demonstrating over governments lassitude to resettle them, and above all, so much paperwork to be done.
When I settled in the makeshift office – after double parking my Vitz in the stopgap parking lot – I started going through the stack of incomings. Not surprisingly, the vast majority were from donors and government and NGOs. I knew what all of them wanted. They could kiss my hipster-clad butt.
Just then, my workaholic boss stomped in. Think of the devil himself. He stood there breathing fire like the ancient dragon.
“You are making a sad mistake, Folami. What the hell do you think you are doing? Are you trying to get me fired?”
I said nothing and continued riffling through the messages. They all proved my worst fears.
“I asked you a question,” my boss said loudly, leaning on my desk. I could smell his trademark cologne. “Very civil. It’s not like am asking you for a date. And I am here, if you haven’t noticed.”
Still, I remained unruffled. I was seeing another side o f my boss I had never seen. My silence caught him by surprise, and he was silent for a moment, too good to last. He got his second wind as I put another incoming in the out-tray without even acknowledging receipt.
“Well, I certainly want to hear what you stand to gain,” he said firmly. “By ruining my career? I trusted you, held you in high esteem, now this is how you repay me after all what I have done for you?”
At my continuing silence, he changed tacks. “Well, I heard about what happened on Friday,” he said. “I don’t know what on earth is wrong with you. Do you know what damage you’ve caused? And rightfully so. Because you are so full of idealism bullshit and you happen to be wrong, for we live in a real world. This is the only chance we’ve got to pay ourselves for the donkey work we do that often goes unnoticed. Without everybody else we can’t do this.”
“Thank you, Mr. Mwangi,” I said at last. “For the lecture. I mean, I really appreciate it.”
He was about confused, almost in time to change his tone. “You are lucky I’m here to do damage control,” my boss went on. “We’re going to meet all the stakeholders at two o’clock at Merica Hotel.”
I crumbled an envelope and dropped it into the wastepaper basket.
“Are you finished?”
His eyes blazed.
“One, I don’t think, I know, what I’m doing. Two, I ain’t after seeing you jobless. No, I stand to gain nothing. That’s three. Four, you’ve done nothing for me to deserve my pat on the shoulder.
“Now, onto those stakeholders and partners of yours, I’ve got nothing to say. This discussion is over. We will never talk about it again. I am not going to abet in stealing from these poor victims. Our donor money should go where it should. I got the funding. I do the transactions. Trust me; I am not going to take even a single cent from the fund. Not for you, not for those so called stakeholders and partners. I never want to discuss this again.
“So, boss, I am afraid meeting with those conceited, money-thirst nincompoops is out of question. I have got no comment on your lecture about my ideals. I dictate my life, and I am not really interested in anybody waking me out of my idealism dreams. And you know what boss? I got you.”
My boss stared at me as though I had sprouted antennae. He opened his mouth to say something, something I doubted would be good, and then closed it. He stammered for a few seconds then stormed out.
Copyright ©Elove Poetry, 2012.