Almost doesn’t count…
“……….Here’s a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don’t worry, be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy………….”
The above is the opening verse to Bobby Mcferrin’s song titled, “Don’t worry, be happy.”
Thursday, 4th August 2016.
Tick tock! Tick tock!
Congratulations on passing the Aptitude test.
You are invited for a company Presentation and Interviews on :
Date: 5th August, Friday, Time: 08:00 a.m.
Confirm your attendance by replying to this E-Mail
Fill the attached Questionnaire and send it back by4th August together with your resume….”
The email read.
What a relief it was! You mean I passed the test despite all that Russian roulette?
“Heheh, Bryan! We ni ule msee!” I confidently whispered to myself as I thumped my chest in delight like King Kong.
A critic would say it is not over until it is over. They would also say that that did not mean I got the job. Pause!
It was on a windy Thursday, 9.09 am. to be precise, when I received the email inviting me for the interview. As a prerequisite for any interview preparation, I expeditiously research on the company’s interview process. What I find out concerning the company is shocking! Have you ever been scared to the roots of your existence? Have you ever felt confused like a maggot in a collapsed latrine?
“What is 9647 multiplied by 312?”
“What is the cube root of 405234?”
“What is the square of 641?”
“What is the square root of 7586?”
Well, these are the types of questions asked in the company’s interview. Each is to be answered in less than 10 seconds. To make matters worse, one is supposed to calculate them without a pen and paper! Kwani, am I going to be hired as the company’s calculator? I stood there puzzled like Kobe Bryant in a tight basketball match. Eish! That is not what I signed up for! Surely, are these people even realistic?
A puzzled Kobe Bryant
Oh! No! Damn it! For a moment, I contemplated missing the interview because that is not what I signed up for. However, what prompted me to proceed with the preparation is the sacrifice I made on Tuesday. Do you want to know what the sacrifice entailed? Well, you will know it soon.
“What is the length of this room?”
“What is the height of this building?”
“How many computers are there in our office?”
“If I were to give you $5,000 would you jump off the 7th floor of this building?”
The questions got crazier.
“If I were to give you $3,000 would you go out there in the street and kiss any random lady?
Enhe! Kwani was I auditioning for “Naswa” or “Kaa Rada?”
The four-lettered word that begins with an “S” got real. The types of questions asked by the company were not the conventional ones like:
“Why should we hire you?”
“Where do you see yourself in the next five years?”
“Why do you want to work here?”
No way! They were different. Sooner or later, different scares people. I was as scared as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs (you never want to imagine the fate of the tail, heheh). It is at that moment that I recollected Hessy’s words, “utajua haujui” and they rang deafeningly in my head to the point that I became thoughtless.
How frustrated I felt.
Image Credits: Pinterest
Just then, an idea struck my mind. I logged into Youtube and searched for multiplication tricks. I searched for “square root tricks,” “how to find the cube root of a number in 3 seconds,” “how to multiply 4 digit and 3 digit numbers in 5 seconds.” For a moment, I felt like a Form 1 student being asked to take on KCSE after a single term in school. I just could not get the tricks. Besides feeling frustrated, I reminisced campus moments when we used to run to Youtube for quick fixes especially on topics such as Markov Chain Analysis, Kolmogorov Complexity, and Stochastic Modeling.
Image Credits: Qualitats
1.07 pm. Damn! Time was moving as fast as an old maid trying to catch a bridal bouquet. I decided to tackle the questionnaire. Things got thick! I seemed to be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. I felt as muddled as a man trying to understand how women work.
I tried to guess who was on the door. Well, I first imagined that it was the caretaker by virtue of the date and day. On opening the door, I saw my longtime friend. He looked hyper. I wonder what psyched him up and for a moment I wished that I could feel the same way.
“Buda, rada ni gani leo?” He entreated as he boxed my shoulder. I nearly fell (of course you know why).
“Eish, boss iko nini? Ugoigoi nini? Ata umekula kweli? Mbona mnyonge kama fan wa Asenali ivi?”
Frustrated Arsenal Fan
Image Credits: Arsenal Fan TV
I scratched my unkempt and nearly-dreadlocked hair as I answered him,“Ustakejua buda. Kuna interview moto hapa joh! Ndio najipanga joh. Siko rada ata. Yaani nko nje design ya Wenger.” (Lol! We usually enjoy dissing Wenger and Arsenal in general).
A quashed Arsene Wenger.
Image Credits: SkySports.
“Mguyz, usiwahi-tense. Interview tu? Heheh. Achanga izo. Form ni kuchillax na kungoja ikam vile itakam,” he remarked encouragingly.
“Ehe!” I snickered.
If only he knew the ‘trouble’ that I was in then, he would have given me heart in a better way.
I wanted to shut him up but I could not. I just decided to “bite the lemon and swallow the bitter juice” (kuuma ndimu lol!).
“By the way nko na bike!” He retorted suggestively.
Now what? Damn! It had been over a decade since the last time I rode a bicycle like silly.
Image Credits: Pinterest
“Good idea!” I responded assertively.
“Iko wapi nitoe stress nayo?” I asked.
“Cheki hiyo kitu,” he answered as he pointed at it through the window.
“MTB! Wow! Nooma design ya very,” I answered as I quickly went down the steps to have a ride.
The bike was light and comfy to ride. Wow! What a nice feeling. To me, the ride proved true the saying that goes, “you never know what you’ve been missing till it arrives.” Indeed, I had missed a bicycle ride.
A Maasai man riding a bicycle joyfully.
Image Credits: Alamy
5.22 pm. 3 hours later.
I came back to the house feeling wasted away after hours of a fun ride around the neighbourhood. For a moment, I had suppressed the feelings of anxiety and tension. However, as scientists say, the act of resisting emotions is the act of granting it life.
“Acha niende ninyoe. Kesho ni nomareh! Si tuendanishe hivi,” I suggested as we left the house.
“Chillax buda. By the way, niliday kukushow that wasee hupatana hapo kwetu ku-fellowship pamoja kila Thursday. Sa si tushuke hivi angalau uulize Sir God akuokole kesho,”
“Eish buda! Manze time imeenda na siko rada bado. Itabidi nikutume na prayer request yangu joh! This is a do or die situation. Nielewe tu!” I begged.
“Cheki buda falai! Unafanyaje Sir Jah awe optional? Muombe na atakuhelp. Heheh wacha tension joh! Aminia!” he encouraged me.
“Zi!” I retorted, “Muniombee tu. Ntaatend next time.”
“Haina noma. Lakini usikuange hivyo. Huyu ni Sir Jah. Si wa kuchezewa ka besteako.” he replied.
He accompanied me to the barbershop as I instructed the barber get me a ‘jordan’ haircut. As the barber continued to gladly shave my head, I reminisced those days in the lower primary when the default haircut was ‘jordan.’ As I reminisced, I just wondered at how time has flown and at how far I had come from.
A kid getting the jordan haircut.
Image Credits: Pinterest
9.37 pm. Tensed night.
“Take this number and find out the next odd number and write it beside the number…” Whatever the hell that is….
Video Credits: Youtube/Mandhan Academy
I was still streaming Youtube videos like the one above. As time flew second by second, I grew pale and tensed as a tree in a hurricane. I knew I stood no chance. Then a thought crossed my mind, well you got nothing to lose Bryan! I encouraged myself.
10.04 pm. Moments to happy hour in slumberland.
“That’s enough Bryan. Don’t worry, be happy!” I murmured to myself encouragingly as I bounced to Bobby McFerrin’s “Be Happy.”
Bobby Mcferrin’s Don’t worry, Be happy
Video Credits: Youtube/ BobbyMcFerrinVEVO
I counter-checked whether I had filled the questionnaire as required.
Shirt, check! Trouser, check! Certificates, check! Transcripts, check! Stationery, check! Mwakenya, check! (Heheh, ata interview mtu huhitaji mwakenya lol!)
I was warily ready for the next day – let me call it – the scariest day of my life.
To be continued………