The most traumatic transition I have gone through in the recent past is moving from campus life to working. That is folly to a normal adult who is used to working to earn a living but it is the truth. I landed a job this past holiday which was quite a task. I was supposed to work from eight to six with no real break in between. Half the time was spent on my feet attending to all kinds of people. The first day on the job I was so beat, I could not stand up for about an hour once I got home.
I wake up quite effortlessly today. It’s Friday, I can smile at how fast the week ended. In addition, I can’t wait to get out of the house and meet all kinds of people and analyse them. Here goes.
The first person I meet is a girl with earphones in place, probably listening to Maina and King’ang’i in the Morning. I reserve my comments, I can be too harsh to people of my sex.
A young man passes by me. This one decides we all need to hear what he is listening to. A Rose Muhando tune is struggling to emanate from his tiny phone. I am briefly reminded of the days when men like him actually walked around with radios. Talk about technological advancement.
There is a guy on a bicycle with crates of bread on the carrier. He has to get all those shops supplied. The whole village depends on him for breakfast. Of course there are the few who actually buy some bread the night before just to be sure.
The matatu conductor who’s managed to dent the matatu door with his consistent coin-rapping is up too, ready to go for as many ‘rounds’ as possible while changing the fare according to his expertise. Wanjiku the Teacher calls them forgetful thieves. (She calls them forgettable thieves for comic effect.)
On the other side of the highway, a guy is literally running to work at 7; running as if his life depends on it, running to please that fire-breathing boss who will probably fire him at the slightest wrongdoing.
The gentleman in dress pants and a matching sweater, carrying nothing but his well-groomed self to work, smiles at me. I can safely say my day is made.
A lady with a backpack sits next to me. I cannot figure out whether she’s going to work or school. It is hard to tell the difference nowadays. She is probably doing both at different times of the day.
The woman in the next seat is reading a motivational book she got from her colleague at work yesterday. She is so focused on it that she, almost certainly, does not even know what is going on around her. Hopefully it helps her get rid of her stress.
A snarl up ahead makes the matatu stop next to a Mercedes-Benz. There is a well-built man seated in the back left seat. He’s probably a director in a big company somewhere. I envy him.
The traffic starts to move and I spot a man munching peanuts in his Subaru Tribeca, hoping against all hopes that by the time he gets to Museum Hill, there is no traffic jam. At least that is what I imagine he is thinking because he has no other worry.
I get out of the matatu. I can see the man who never feels the chilling cold in his T-shirt, or maybe he does but can’t do anything about it. They are several like him by the way, in an assortment of fake football league jerseys. They call themselves hustlers and sufferers. I should not pity them, they don’t pity themselves. They have accepted who they are and are clearly up to build the country legitimately.
There is the well-endowed woman in torn canvas shoes, several paper bags in hand. She has taken every possible short-cut, criss-crossing the urban office buildings and residential flats just to save money for her kids.
I have to walk for a while too. The security guard seated at the company gate looks like he was made for this job. His uniform is perfect for him; his attitude too. He gave me the directions to work on my first day.
Someone walks up behind me. Oh brother, not another one who wants to give me ‘a company’. Yes, a random guy asked me that yesterday morning. This one is huge, so huge I wonder why he wants to bother such a tiny girl like me. I feel weird walking with him. He proceeds to ask for my number. Really? Why would someone wake up in the morning to specifically look for a girl to pester over a number? So for the whole twenty minutes that I walk to work, he relentlessly asks for it. I do not give him. I know how that goes.
And he has distracted me from my human analysis. I will continue on my quest tomorrow. I may have made too many assumptions but I have to make them anyway. It is more fun in my head that way.