By Kemboi Victor
The moment I stepped out of my office my eyes landed on her. Madam Boswony, I recalled, was the toughest and the unkindest boss I had ever met in life. I had met her two years earlier at Worldwide Internets while I was an online entrepreneur and I wondered what had brought her to my office that early morning.
Confusion hit my mind but I concluded that she had come to deliver her computer installation proposal since we had advertised a tender on the same two weeks earlier, for our newly built computer lab in our school.
I quickly decided to attend to her first, before the interview which I was to conduct shortly with my colleagues Mr. Munya and Ms. Linge, started.
“Welcome to the office Madam, I can quickly finish with you before I deal with these clients,” I said with a lot of respect. “It is really a long time but welcome, may I see your proposal,” I continued.
“You’re the boss here?” she asked as if it was hard to believe. It seemed Boswony would never have thought of me as Deputy Head of an institution even in her dreams. All I guess it is because of how I used to look like two years earlier when I had met her. I was so broke and my esteem had waned completely that nobody could believe I could one day be trusted in a public office. I never had courage to face anyone; especially those that I thought had money like Boswony.
“Yes. I am the Deputy Principal here. Mr. Nderitu our Principal isn’t in,” I replied. Since I got employed here my esteem had started to grow and I no longer feared the likes of Boswony so much. I also had money after all, just like her. And man, I was now attending to her with the lion’s boldness and some little pride to show her that my problems were solved!
“Unbelievable,” she wondered. “Apparently I have come for the interview and never expected you as the boss. The business started to deteriorate because we could not find clients like we were used to before. So I left the business after the company collapsed. The little we had made got into thin air too. Our bosses too I hear were swindling money and extorting cash from innocent people so we got frozen. Our company got dissolved because of bankruptcy too,” she said.
Now I got shocked! But I didn’t bother to go deep into her problems. Instead, I wondered.
“Hey, aren’t you sure you are lying that the business died? I remember you were doing so well,” I said. If I sounded rude I didn’t know but Madam Boswony would never present herself to a peanut salary interview like the one my school was offering. Never! Teaching jobs to her, I remembered she had said belonged to broke guys those days. From stories, I knew she used to earn something above sixty thousand shillings a month, which is twenty thousand above this job I was about to offer.
“Actually I saw the interview advertisement online and thought I could try it.”
I still didn’t believe her. I wondered where all the money she used to make went; the mansion she once talked about. And as I could see, there was no car like Boswony’s in the compound, the car she had talked about the day she had trained us on online business two years ago? And was I going to interview Boswony today, my two years ago boss?
Maybe you are still wondering what business Madam Boswony was doing but well, let me tell you briefly. For some of us who have come across those guys that will send you a message on Facebook or Whatsapp claiming to show you how to make Ksh 7000 to 10000 shillings in a week at the comfort of your home just by working online with your phone or laptop, either full time or part time, you would understand who Madam Boswony was. But for some of us, Boswony was professionally a BA Arts graduate, a teacher who had dropped her teaching job for the multi level business, which people said she was making handsome pay, or perhaps, I should say real money as she used to say.
Now when she said she had come for the interview I refused to believe. And now, would I really give her the job? Never! I decided to even give the second best candidate if Boswony became first. Before I left the business she had really made me look so desperate and useless. She had branded me all sorts of names: A lazy vagabond, a joker, a poor minded guy and someone never serious with life. I was still bitter about her. I wondered how she had easily branded me those names yet I simply couldn’t understand her business. Even today I still cannot understand how it worked. But people still say you have to recruit a client to join the company in order to earn bonus. Initially, Boswony had actually made me believe the first time I would be rich in a span second, and start owning large tracts of land, drive in guzzlers and live in a mansion somewhere in leafy suburbs, which is why I had entered her dragnet, which started with a simple text message.
Hello Mr. Kiprop, my name is Madam Boswony, an online entrepreneur and a mentor working with Worldwide Internets. Our company is looking for someone that can work with us part time or fulltime to earn income just by working online with your phone or computer at the comfort of your home and make Ksh 7000-10000 weekly working at the comfort of your home, either part time or full time with your phone.
That was Boswony’s message the first day she texted me. Now tell me how you refuse this business if the last time your hands held a thousand shillings note you could not remember? Apparently I had never heard, leave alone think that online business or online entrepreneurs existed but desperation told me it was a good thing to pursue.
I concluded spot on that Boswony was an agent from Mr. Nyatike, a bank manager I had then met in Nairobi and asked him to help me find a job. How could she have known my name if not through Mr. Nyatike, whom I had scanned him all my documents two weeks earlier and he had promised to submit them to a manager somewhere in Nairobi? In fact the previous evening he had phoned me to put me on alert of a phone call that was to come from a manageress that morning, since my application had been approved. And now I thought Madam Boswony was the manageress Nyatike had talked about.
My excitement suddenly welled up and I felt so excited. I wanted to thank Mr. Nyatike instantly for making my dream come true but shortly I decided it was not kind to keep Madam Boswony waiting, and wrote her a reply:
Thank you Madam, I am actually in need of that job. God bless you so much for accepting my request.
Actually this was one of those times when you know about God so much. As I waited to hear more good news from her, I decided to say a few lines to thank Him and then sat down at a bench out of my cubicle to study Boswony’s profile with a fine tooth-comb. She was a heavyset of yellow skin woman, in grey skirt suit with newly made official afro hair, showing how rich, stable and educated she was. Actually, that look made me to fear her.
So many times I smiled thanking my gods for the new dawn. At times I would stand up and dance for some seconds before I sat down again and again to continue with the chat.
Where do you come from Mr. Kiprop? Madam Boswony wrote back.
Didn’t Mr. Nyatike tell her I was from Eldoret? I asked myself. And hadn’t she gone through my papers? I thought.
Anyways, what was difficult in answering her anyway? I bragged myself and replied. Before long she wrote back.
Can you present yourself at our offices tomorrow if we ask you to come?
Yes, of course Madam, please preserve the job for me, I replied.
I had noticed that my replies were prompt maybe because I was thinking about how I would earn those cool 7000 shillings which had never seen my pockets for so many months, at the end of the week after passing the interview which Boswony had promised.
Okay, Mr. Kiprop. This is how you will find us when you come. We have our offices in Eldoret at Transfil Plaza room 211. You have therefore been shortlisted to attend our 2hours training tomorrow. Do not fail. This offer ONLY comes to you because of your pleasing qualification that shows you are the best person that we need in our company for quality standards.
Kindly come along with a pen, ksh 200 registration fees and a notebook. The training starts at exactly 9am. Kindly keep time. When you arrive, please indicate that you have come to see Madam Boswony. I will also be there to receive you. Nice time Mr. Kiprop.
You don’t want to know the happiness that came into me suddenly. I was so excited that I composed a thanksgiving hymn to God that instance. Then shortly I phoned Nyatike.
“The boss you told me about just phoned me, I am so happy Nyatike,” I said.
“Oh, I told you you will get a job, now please do not let her down,” Nyatike said.
“I won’t sir, let me assure you that. Let me even find the requirements she has said I should attend the interview with, I will call you later.” And I hung the phone after Nyatike bade me.
And I entered some mindboggling session. There was one challenge that I was facing. I had no money to buy the requirements Boswony had written to me; and travel to town the following day, a distance nearly costing 500 shillings from home. How would I even buy my lunch, would I avoid it?
I almost asked Madam Boswony if lunch was provided but feared. This was not the time to think about my stomach, I decided. I was not ready to lose that golden chance and if it meant selling all I had within me, I was determined to sell. After all, there was more money at the end of the month?
For a moment I sat down to think.
I tried thinking about my friends but I found myself the richest of them all. Recently I had been lending them money which at times remained from the change mother would send me to buy her things at the shops but none of them had ever refunded, often complaining that they had not gotten a penny to refund. This government, they would say, has failed us.
But wait, that thought reminded me that my mother could help. She worked as a secretary at a local school and if she heard this good news she would help by default.
She had no money then but she promised to get it from a friend. She told me to start prepare myself for the interview. Or did Madam Boswony say Training?
END OF PART ONE