If anyone told me that Sunday afternoon that I would be at the office going through proposals with Martin trying to save my job, I would have laughed at them and probably searched for contacts to Mathare Mental Assylum. I know Mathare would have been the stronger thought, but as it is no one tells you when you are about to served a good one.
No one also tells you that the person you get along with at the office is the one who wants you out because your department is a liability. The proposal Nicole wrote was based on the never ending war between Human Resources and Public Relations. It was a case of I can do what you do, and can even do it better. Reading her work was like walking on coals trying to strangle your master who was seated at the end watching you with a smirk on his face. For someone whose job was to be aware of my job description, Nicole was clearly off the mark. Even as I read through her working drafts and reviews of the contributions made by the PR department, I found myself torn between dealing with the matter professionally and pushing her down a flight of stairs.
The spreadsheet detailing the funds set aside for the project I was assigned was attached to the proposal together with a reviewed version she had in mind.
“This is outrageous!” I said.
“What? the fact that she stole the document you accused me of stealing, or that you were having the last supper with your friend?”
“Martin, do you know what this means?”
“What? The proposal or the impending apology from you?”
“Look, now is not the time to play games Martin. I understand that the HR department has the right to look into appraisals and make amendments on certain issues, but this is not just a forty percent slash, it is more like a sixty percent slash because there will be no funds for the marketing department to follow up on the project I was assigned. She is…”
“Saying to hell with your project!”
“It is making you mad.”
“That is not all, she is doing this and has got Lillian backing her up, an epic case of HR versus PR with the Board of Directors as an audience.”
“Exactly and would you”
“Stop interrupting you!’
“Well, I am hungry and the food we ordered is cold. We cannot warm it up because the microwave is in the kitchenette and we do not have those keys.”
“I carried my keys. There is a microwave in my office, but there is a way we can save face because I mean that’s what we do. We make other people look good for a living, so here are some notes I took as I was going through the proposal. Read them and let me warm the food you bought.”
“Martin, please don’t call me Boss.”
“For as long as you keep dishing out orders, Boss it is, now what duty did you assign me?”
“Please, just take a look at what I noted down, some are weak points in the proposal and they can be sued to make a counter proposal. Others are just ideas I guess, I would love to know what you think.”
“Now did it hurt you to have started with that Marjorie?”
“Whatever, just read them, I will be right back, I am hungry just going back and forth with you.”
“I know, right?”
I was about to add a sly remark but he smiled. He looked better without those brown sweaters.