I do not write much these days. I have also overcome the guilt that comes with that, and I certainly do not have to give an explanation. Having said that, I can say without exaggeration that reading this blog is the absolute best thing you can do with your free time, assuming you don’t have friends, a family, a job, or any hobbies. If your life is as empty as mine, you’ll find a home here. A lot has happened in the past few months… I turned a year older but I’m basically the same person: I still hate cooking (In fact if you visit me after 8pm and found no food, you’re better off going out and looking for that food yourself because I wont flinch); I still lose friends at a rate of 3 every week because I don’t care much beyond what brings money to my pocket and I still love my mother. Age is only a number, but it’s an important one since it gives me an idea of how much time I have left before I die. Baring an early end at the hands of the many enemies I’ve made over the years, statistics indicate I can expect around eight decades on earth. I’ve already burned through more than a third of my anticipated lifespan, and it’s debatable how much I have to show for it. My life turned out exactly like I thought it would. In reality, I don’t particularly like excitement. I aspired to a boring life and I achieved it so far. The scariest part of all this is just how close I am to the age of 30.
I’ve missed writing, but there’s nothing much I can do. You’ll have to take what comes.
A few months ago, I attended a team building exercise, which I must say was mandatory. I dislike work related social-functions. Remember, I am a holder of journalism-related degree (which apart from the Bsc that precedes it, is mostly an art based degree with a lot of writing), I feel threatened by people who actually learned things in college. Almost all of my colleagues have careers in the hard sciences. I go out to social functions with these people and always feel like the dumbest man in the room. You can’t even watch boxing with these guys. I watched the Pacquiao vs Mayweather match at a bar with a medicine graduate and an engineer. As I enjoyed the spectacle of two highly skilled athletes beating various bodily fluids out of each other, my friends ignored the action and instead talked about computer modeling for data sets. I understood some of what they said, mostly words like “however” and “the.” I was clueless on the rest, but that didn’t stop me from trying to jump in: “That’s a great point.” When I decided to major in journalism, I wasn’t so much attracted by the written word as I was repelled by the thought of doing math. I’ve heard a lot of people say a journalism degree is a waste of money and time, and these people are absolutely right. I specialized in a subject with no wrong answers. Having said that, you can understand why I hate work related functions. Social or not.
Also secondly, I once attended a family fun day at some place I worked before. I saw like seven sets of kids who looked alike. I assumed they were siblings and occasionally sent them to say hello to their brother… Guys, they were from different mothers. I swear on the heavens they looked alike. You can imagine the looks on their mothers’ faces when the child goes to report to her that I sent them to say hello to their brother, who isn’t their brother but looks frighteningly alike. What I’m trying to say is that if you cannot connect the dots here, then you probably deserve Mike Sonko as your Governor (For the next election, we should save ourselves some trouble and just pick a winner by coin toss. This doesn’t mean I’d actually bother to get in line at the ballot box. Voting seldom makes people any happier than hitting the snooze button and sleeping through Election Day). But I am not blaming the mothers for anything. They probably slept with some cruel moneyed man, which is normal. In fact, if women truly had a selection bias toward polite men who treat them well, the world would be overrun with kind, understanding children who grow up to be compassionate adults. Instead, we live in a society filled with selfish, impulsive individuals who are as likely to ask you about your day, as they are to bomb your house. That’s why insurance premiums are so high. Also lastly, I like keeping a low profile in a job industry where your performance is linked to your pay increase about as strongly as gospel music is linked to intestinal cancer.
Back to the team building…
I was constantly walking next to a lady who is just as disturbed about these activities as I was. The only difference is she was there to find a man. Women believe that seeing men out of their work element is a great way to know them better. They are wrong. When out of our work element, we still dress up in fancy track bottoms and speak in alien accents. We are never ourselves. Having known that overactive ovaries would impair this lady’s judgment, I could not trust her. But I still walked with her, for the company. While at it, she brought up the topic of ‘Samantha’, a sex doll (Yes that’s how far back it was) and I could not contribute. When a women gets a vibrator, its seen as a bit of naughty fun but when a guy orders a 240volt fuckmaster pro 5000 blow up latex doll with 6 speed pulsating pussy, elasticated anus with non drip collection tray with optional built in orgasms scream 7.1 sound system he’s seen as a pervert (Forgive my language, but that is how emotional I am about this topic).
After an hour of time wasted on office yidi yada (I don’t know about you… But there are people in some work places who will give a speech about the importance of a certain speaker’s speech, then also speak after the speech), then came the sporting part. Sport is an exaggerated word for this… It’s too short to help anyone get in shape, and the only thing it teaches is that employees should’ve tried harder to get out of the office. Its main purpose is to harass employees while making HR feel like they’ve done their part in the war on obesity. With Kenya falling behind the rest of the developed world in corruption, there are better ways for employees to spend 3 hours of each year than studying the finer points tug war. Team building exercises are also the moment where you will appreciate the effort and work that has gone into the cannabis and confectioneries industry… People have weed in cakes that take them way higher than alcohol does, at 70 shillings only.
I don’t know who came up with these games people play at team building exercises. Sack race is as far as creativity should go.
This is where I rant…
So after all these normal games, running around, pulling ropes, hitting on a colleague you have eyed since induction but you couldn’t speak to her at work because she looks at you with that face that looks like she thinks you have 18 toes on your feet or something (consider this extreme sport)… then came the oddest game of my lifetime.
Becky, whose best contribution at the workplace is unloading the printer, suggested we play a balloon game. Becky is the cheeky married type. You know those who are married and have this game with their spouses where they throw something in each other’s mouth every time they yawn and only realize eight years into their matrimony that they have not had a decent yawn all that while… She’s that type. So she had come with balloons, which she was inflating for an hour. She suggested we play a game where you tie a balloon on your back, run and bend at point B from point A, then someone runs from point A and rams into your back repeatedly until the balloon bursts and the it’s your turn to bend and have your balloon rammed into… It’s a round game until all balloons are no more.
I stood there in awe and disgust as the first five balloons were burst. It is like watching extended puberty late into your thirties. Luckily for me, my brain is always alert to anything that would bring me within a distance of 43 centimeters of a fellow male. I have not hugged my own blood brother in 12 years and was not about to ram into another man’s back. I did my math properly, which is simple because the male to female ratio was imbalanced. It meant that in after six people it would be me ramming into a man and a man ramming into me.
I have explained severally before that Complaining is a valuable survival technique. And in an environment where Becky has favour in offices you have never stepped into, complaining is futile. I convinced the two guys who were next to me what the game meant, with such bile and venom that they were disgusted in me. We had no choice. One of us needed to fain an epileptic fit to save us all. It was quick, a colleague called Kihika, by virtue of his tiny body stature, would be the easiest to carry away. This despite him being the guy who eats more than anyone I’ve met in my adult life. Kihika is the type of guy who’ll tell you with a bold look… “Irvin lets eat then we go get something to eat”.
When it was about two people remaining, the guy fell down and acted out the most epileptic fit I have seen in the history of my contact with epilepsy. I couldn’t even understand where the foam in his mouth came from. It was a world-class performance, so good it even scared me. I thought it was real, so bad that I panicked. We carried him, while five other ladies, now in tears, joined us. Of course we couldn’t take him to hospital… We went to a secluded part of the field and asked people to give him space just so they don’t figure out what brought us to that point. We were safe… In fact that game stopped completely.
All for a game.
Just because you’re dazzled by something mundane doesn’t mean it deserves a three-hour participation by all employees in your department.