So you’re walking in the CBD minding your own business,when you come across a familiar face. Isn’t that the guy(lady) who was my supervisor in that job that I never got paid?
” Excuse me sir(madam)?
At that point they’re expecting you to ask them for directions but instead you ask,
“wheres my money? I want my money right now ,actually i havent eaten lunch ,give me my money”
of course they’re thinking you’re one of those con people they see on the videos making rounds on Facebook. So they try to escape but you grab their coat and they go like
“young woman(man) I don’t know you and I owe you no money “
Depending on their temperaments they are either shouting and acting aggressively or talking calmly to avoid embarrassment.
At this point you say ” Aren’t you blah blah who works for the company blah blah ,well i worked at your place as a casual and you never paid me so call your office or get into your wallet and give me my ksh1000 “
I really don’t know how it ends from here because that’s where my imagination has gotten me so far…clearly i watch a lot of movies but first this is how it begins.
The Data Entry Casual
So mark calls me around 8pm
Him: Hey,you got a job ?
Him : Will you be available tomorrow?
Him : Yes or No?There’s a job available ,data entry,you interested?
Me: Of course I’m interested, give me more details
Him : I’ll give your number to someone called Mike,he’ll call you but meanwhile you should report at blah blah tomorrow by 8am
Next day I arrive at uppercut ,I have a serious problem tracing the building by the time I get to 7th floor its 8:10am.
I’m late but better giving it a shot and being shown the door.So I get into a door and realize its actually a hall with rows on both ends,one is completely aligned with computers while the other is half filled with computers and the other end filled with people sitted stapling papers.
Okay this people look like they arrived here yesterday,they’re already working on their computers and we were asked to arrive at 8:00am ,did they sleep here ?or was it just that feeling you have when you’re late .
There’s no reception desk so I stand at the end of the table right at the door ,three minutes later noone is approaching me people are busy typing, five minutes later a lady comes ,
Her: “who sent you?”
Me : pardon, (wow! So this questions exist and hello to you too),
Her: I asked who sent you ?
Me: I was directed to come here by someone by the name Mark
Her : Who is Mark ?
Me : He’s the gentleman who told me about this job (well he’s my friend,who are you?)
Her: I’m sorry but there’s noone here by that name ,are you sure you’re supposed to be here?
Me :(I got lost coming here there’s no way I’m here by default ) yes,I am
Her. Are you talking to me rudely?
Me:( surely its 8:00 in the morning and I’ve never even seen you before ) No ,I’m not
Her : Did you receive a text message
Me:No but mark told me mike will call me
She walks past me and talks to someone who I think must have been Mike.Mike nods then she comes over and I’m asked to pick a chair and sit at the table with the other ladies stapling papers. I can’t trace an empty chair so I’m left standing hoping the ground swallows me but luckily someone stands up from their chair to talk to someone else on the other row. So i take their chair and hope they’ll find another since they look like they slept here and know the place.
So of course I’m expecting some sort of introduction or orientation since Mark didn’t give me any details like,what time are we leaving? how long is the job? How much are we been paid ?,and what exactly does the organization do ?
At 9:00am,the lady who approached me at the door, lets call her Tina ,comes and quickly explains the stapling to us at the table then leaves .I don’t ask her anything since I’m still recovering from the shock of our firat encounter plus from the way she shouts across the room and orders people around I can tell she’s the boss .
From observation, i can tell that the people at the computers enter the data while the papers they’ve used are photocopied and stapled again by us at the table then placed in a boxes.
Since its 9:30am I think maybe the introduction and orientation was done before my arrival at exactly 8:00am. So I ask the lady sitted next to me whose also a first timer,she tells me no information was given.But why does she look less concerned?
Apparently I’m not that late because some other newbies are still coming in.
Some lady whose computer just stalled is asked to shift to our table .Her body language shows shes more relaxed with the supervisor.So i figure she must be more familiar with what i want to find out..
“There’s no introduction or orientation done”
“Because you’re extras this work has been going on from last week” .
Me : so how do we know when to leave or come in and how much exactly is the pay?
Her: you just talk to someone. You’re normally paid ksh500 per day and leave at 6:00pm
Me: (looking around)
Her. The stapling is actually easiest the computers get boring,like really boring ,thats why almost everyone has earphones on.plus there are daily targets for everyone. And a list of how much work has been keyed in by everyone showed publicly.
Me: And when do the payments take place with the newbies and oldies mixed together?
Her: After five days ,at the end you make a line there (points) and get your money .
Me: So today is Thursday I’m here till Wednesday.
Her: There’s work on Saturday and Sunday but Sunday is optional ,Saturday unless you SDA of course .if you choose not to show up it might bring up issues .
Me: So what happens when you don’t want to come back tomorrow ,how will I receive today’s pay?
Her: I don’t know I think they send it to you or something
Well i figured even if I don’t like the pay or time frame, its already 12noon .so you’re better of staying.
You’d think stapling isn’t tiring but there are lots of boxes with stacks of paper which you unstaple,photocopy, attach photocopies together, staple back again distinguish between old and new ,put in box ,rewind again selector
when you’re done with one pile you go to the next and next till 6pm where you watch people get paid. But at least the lunch and tea at 10:00am and 4:00pm gives you abit of consolation.
Day two,at 4:30am I’m still debating whether to leave or not but four more days to go ain’t as bad plus you already started though your transport fee is half your salary.
I get at the office ,oh hall ,and at least I’m right on time exactly at 8:00am three newbies come in.
The table is more lively since we are much more familiar with each other .So some minutes to 12noon someone starts a conversation asking the newbies how they find the new place.
Her: so you’ve worked with this organization before?
Guy 1 : yeah, we just came in from the town office though there’s less supervision there.Since the big bosses are here.
Me: so how’s the difference with supervision and without?
Guy 2 : i don’t know ,its okay (shrugs)
From behind me Tina jumps in ,” if you hate supervision ,there’s the door,you can leave”
Guy 1: Noone said they hate supervision ,that wasn’t even the discussion.
Tina : then what were you talking about?(looks at me) actually you have been very rude since you came here( points at guy 1) you don’t want to work.
Me:( I’m still shocked by how she jumps into the conversation like she’s been waiting for someone to bad mouth her)
Her: you see ,i caught you red-handed ,you and you(,points at me and guy 1),you have been giving me attitude ,i cant work with you.
And that’s how demanding of money in the streets comes in
The Promotions Girl
So this night I get to bed at around 10:30pm ,So just as I’m getting comfy my phone rings Ive never seen the number before.
Her: Hey its nani from church, sorry for calling you at this hour but I need a favor.
Me: What kind of favor ?
Her: There’s this promotion’s Job I do at the supermarket located at the mall ,c you know it?I need you to stand in for me since I don’t want to be replaced.
This must have been heaven sent because really I didn’t even have a cent to my name,nothing ,naddah.
Me: Are you paying me?
Her: Yeah ,so normally I’m paid ksh 800,that’s what will be handed to you.
And all i had to do was leave work at 6:00pm.Finally i wouldn’t have to get harambees done just to raise money for credit.
By 8:00am I was at my spot in the supermarket ready to get my very expensive biscuits sold .So the tiniest pack of eight tiny biscuits cost ksh100 while the largest pack had an assortment of ten going for ksh 350.
The first rule about promotions is if you’re promoting food you can eat as much food samples as you want from the display cart,but no carrying.it does feel funny when you’re eating while people are passing by at first but hunger plus free food knows no embarrassment .
So there’s something that i actually learnt in the first two hours
“you can tell who will buy and who won’t” from as far as they come in from the end of the aisle and no its not the walking style or cologne scent.
Human beings actually have interesting behavior patterns,For example, a customer staring at the aisle section with biscuits that cost ksh 100 for 100 biscuit pieces ,has a 90% chance of not buying even if the offer is a buy one get two free.
If I see you staring at a pack that goes for ksh500 for 100 biscuits you are definetly my kind of target.And that’s why you’ll wonder why that promotions girl stared at you and let you pass while she ran for the next person,its nothing to do with how you look.
But there’s also something else I noticed.
Couples are easy to convince because really who’s going to want to say no to a promotions lady when their girlfriend is around.
Plus that’s the moment I dish out all my PR unless you want to look stingy or mean there’s no way you’ll say no.
Though there are one or two guys who really didn’t seem to have the money so there’s no way you’ll make them look bad.
Any family that had the dad with them were easiest to convince.Plus the kids would do all the work for me and fathers having soft spots would buy the most expensive.
Well mothers seem to be cut from the same cloth or something. Especially if they’re carrying a shopping list with them ,even if you tell her she looks familiar.she will keep to her “no,not today” or ” the budget is too large blah blah”.
Young people well,were an interesting lot,ladies are so soft they’d pick because they don’t want to hurt your feelings ,*laughs* then after a few minutes the guy at the counter would return the pack because a customer had to leave it behind.
But there’s the funny lot, you’ll say a whole speech plus show them notes and after listening ,they’d still be like ” you know I’ve heard this biscuits are really sweet ,but you know I’m used to the others(looks at the others on the next shelf then at her friend),what do you think Cindy ?(cindy shrugs) I feel like I’m betraying the others(looks at next shelf) I’m kinda used to them ,can I just have yours nextl time ( looks at me with puppy eyes) please don’t feel bad.
Me:( still at the betrayal part ) its okay ( wide smile).
Sometimes they’d be a really chatty customer who wouldn’t buy of course but taste everything.sometimes id say my speech explaining about each and every different pack then after all that someone would be like ” I work here,I just wanted a bite? ” lol.
So the thing about promotions is we promoters are actually kind to each other you could stroll at the noodle corner and have noodles ice cream corner and have ice cream by the end of the day you’re full.
By 6pm you’ve gotten used to the standing.I sold all the boxes 150 of them apart from 5 but unlike in the movies noone came looking to employ me .lol.
(All pictures courtesy of google images)