Letter to my employer on the new ways of interacting
Monday, June 22nd, 2020
The double gender salutation is not a mistake. It falls within what my high school teacher said is within reasonable doubt about the recipient of my letter.
I pray that you are keeping well, which most of us are trying to do with little success. Nevertheless, the fact that we are alive and kicking (and not the bucket!) is reason enough to be optimistic.
The reason I am writing this letter is beyond knowing whether you are keeping well or not.
As I will demonstrate shortly, I am about to suggest far reaching changes in the way you and I interact, which is to say this time round, the ideas are not trickling down as usual but the other way round.
If you have been keeping informed, which I strongly reckon you have, you must have heard of that MCA at Nairobi City Council (sorry, the councils went the way of the dinosaurs but those were the in things when I was a flashy teenager).
That is a story for another day.
I was telling you about the MCA at City Hall who has been drawing a salary for two years without ever setting foot at the County Assembly.
We will not name her at the moment because her identity is the least of our concerns.
I am told she is trying to talk her way out of the rigmarole and hullabaloo that she dug for herself. I also hear, which I suspect you have heard, that she said she was unwell blah, blah, blah...
There was talk she even brought some documents from a doctor or other to prove she was under the weather.
That is what the English folks say when different parts of the body refuse to work in sync. What it has to do with the weather eludes me completely.
Well, back to our MCA. Did you hear she thought it is okay to keep away from her workplace as long as she could prove she was unwell?
This is where our deal comes in. You and I. As I have demonstrated, this our mutual friend, the MCA started long ago what you folks allowed just three months ago: working from home.
Or what do you think she was doing for two years? It can not have been a holiday.
So, if you have read between the lines by now, I am simply saying if I do not appear in the office for the next six months, you will understand that it is okay.
If a doctor can write to you folks saying I was sneezing continuously and would have infected everyone in the newsroom with an unknown ailment, the better. You get the drift?
So, this should serve as a sort of agreement between us that should I keep away even for a year, it will not be deemed as desertion. I will just be keeping up with the trend started and made famous by that MCA. I mean what’s the big deal if a folk keeps indoors even if its for two years?
By the same token, we need to get a sort of understanding from all our doctors, including the fake ones, that a normal employee can be unwell for two years and undergo treatment and should not lose their jobs.
I think that kind of genius thing should be captured in the Hippocratic Oath, you know that vow doctors take when they start practising what my uncle Habbakuk calls inexact science.
He also calls the oath Hypocritical, for reasons that we will discuss another day.
But the point is that it is okay that a perfectly normal guy such as Yours Truly can decide without as much as informing the employer to work from home for as long as two years.
No bones broken, as we used to say those good old days when as a teenager we broke some rules and got away with it. Again, that is topic for another day.
As I was saying, even my friend, Mzee wa Corona alias Mutahi Kagwe will tell you that if guys can keep away from the office, the better for everyone’s health.
So, who are you to insist that you have to see me in person to appreciate that I am working? That, too, went the way of the dinosaurs. I am sure we are in agreement.
If you are in doubt, go ask that MCA. She will tell you her capacity for innovation and creativeness shot to the level of genius while she worked from home, as we are wont to say.
Finally, I still recall my request to work under new conditions in which I will get six months leave twice a year. I promise you miracles. Dare me.
Sincerely Yours, Habbakuk’s favourite nephew. – The writer is Special Projects Editor, People Daily