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 was tutoring; basic computer skills. There was the grandmother who wanted everything done her way. Then there was the man who was my former high school teacher. Then there were always cheeky dudes who were just interested in a particular girl in the class. The character that really got on my nerves is the girl who thought that just because she is a girl, she cannot be good at computers. Annoying. Then there were the characters fresh out of high school who felt so bright, they would ask you questions that only Bill Gates can answer.
The first day, I told myself that I would get used to it. I kind of did. That could explain why people keep telling me that I fed well over the holiday. But I never got contented with the whole deal. First of all, I have always believed I am not a good teacher. The reasons for may be less than the reasons against this idea. Both my mum and dad are very experienced and lovable teachers. That must mean I have some teaching genes somewhere. Ultimately, my life is what it is because of what the profession has enabled my dad and mum to do for me. When you teach you learn in the process, so much so.
Then there is why I feel I am not cut out to teach. I have a very low level of patience. You do not get something, I get mad. I might even shout. (Like you will get it better then.) That is it. I cannot think of another reason why I feel that way. Repeating the same thing over and over again may be another reason.
Anyway, I came up with a theory in those two months. Every day, I would wake up and join millions of other people in the world in eking a living. Inside that Citi Hoppa, I would look around and think how nice it would be to be back in bed. Back to my big warm bed with no worry in the world. Coincidently, most mornings, it was either rainy and muddy or just cold. The few times it was neither, I thought I was running late.
Back to my theory, all those people trying to beat the morning jam or hoping the matatus are not on strike or just walking to work are driven by anything but passion, myself included. Most times, it is the money that keeps us doing what we are doing. What else is there to keep us working anyway? Humans have a natural tendency towards pleasure.
Then there is passion.
A lot of things spring into my mind when I see or hear this word. The first thing that registers is The Passion of the Christ for some strange reason, unknown even to me. Maybe it is because of the images it left in my head that Saturday night we watched it in high school. Then there was Passions, an awesome American soap that I watched in primary school despite my having loads of homework to do. Thus I would do it in weird positions just in case my mum busted me doing it. I never even got to see the end.
You wake up every day and get out of the house. People around you are busy trying to get somewhere all in the name of earning a living, I always stop to wonder how many are actually driven by passion for what they do. I doubt they are many. If most people had a choice, they would quit their jobs for something else. It is not a secret that money is what keeps us doing what we do. The countdown to the end of month. Just look at how many people are delighted on Friday, simply because they get the chance to be away from work for two days. I used to think Fridays are overrated. I do not any more.
I closed school knowing that I would open in August, after an awesome three months at home. If only I knew. First, I landed a job (thank God). That day it hit me that I am 21 years of age and need to figure out how to make it in this world without holding on to mum and dad all the time.
Now I cannot wait to stop working. Ironically, that takes me back to the passion word. I am, simply, not content with what I am doing. At the moment, I am seated at this office doing a lot of nothing because Kenya Power has switched off the lights. That means my job cannot go on because any more because it is solely dependent on power. It also means I cannot leave because payment is by the hours I spend here. That’s a good thing because I ended up writing this.
Two short pieces I wrote between 6/5/2011 and 3/8/2011 and pieced them together here.
However disjointed this may seem, I know you can relate if you ever interned or worked at a place that sucked the first time you were thrown into the 9-5 world. I felt this should close my unpublished Monday memoirs because I intend to share work thoughts in October. And, you are always welcome to share your experiences too, in whatever format. Let’s see how we can help each other be better out here, for the everyone’s sake. Fresh thoughts and stuff from now on, until next time!