Photo Courtesy: styling straw set

Bottomline: I will ghost her online and offline acquiring new sim cards,deactivating my social media accounts, moving my family to a new estate before beginning a new life in the North, never will I be seen in the capital on transit or otherwise.

Thirty minutes past nine I haven’t reported to work yet but I will just report in the course of the day anyway. Government work in this country isn’t quantified making middle and lower cadre civil servants the most overworked yet underpaid living organisms ever, though slavery levels in our private sector makes us ‘in government’ look like economic saboteurs who deserve to face the firing squad in the nearby public square.

Furthermore, this work doesn’t wind up no matter how many man-hours you put in. Why should I overwork yet when opportunities for further studies,promotions and exchange programmes pop up the lazy ones who are always ‘sick’ ever on maternity, paternity, compassionate and sick leave make the cut at your expense despite of your academic qualification and professional brilliance, it isn’t worth it…

Rarely do I receive calls from the HR section since am neither a serial absentee nor a member of the institutions hit squad (male staffers) who shoot to kill female interns in the process of passing down hands on experience  during industrial attachment.

Most of the calls I receive from this section are friendly fire during those staff appraisal sessions nothing more, however today was different I could tell from the tone. Josh thats how we call him though he is Joshua, who heads the HR (Personnel) section is the one who made the call.

When the head of a section, HR section whom you are just mere acquaintances since you share the same employer calls you via his personal mobile phone thats a problem, a serious problem. Though I sounded composed on phone deep down I wasn’t that composed the moment he introduced himself I knew something was definitely off.

‘Good Morning its Josh from HR are you in office.’ I wasn’t in the office but at 9:30 am even the boss of bosses is somewhere less than 100 metres from the office building. Yours truly was like an hour out, stuck in a traffic jam in a very disciplined Thika Road matatu, yes those matatus with neatly dressed always sober drivers and touts, those matatus that never overlap. Yes those matatus…..

‘I am at The Ministry of Lands there is this title deed that has been giving me headaches yet my folks who are upcountry are pressuring me to follow it up or they may lose the piece of land to some stubbornly stubborn relative of ours who is also laying claim on it.’

A man is allowed to run out of everything but not ideas,as usual I never ran out of them. Land is a very emotive issue in this country thus I gave him this award winning response to explain why I will be running late but am on my way.

‘Since you are on your way, when you arrive come straight to my office.’ Said Josh in a polite way, raising more questions than answers.

‘Yes I will be there as soon as I can, ‘ I replied as I hang up. You can’t have a long delicate conversation over the phone in a matatu full of everyone, more so when you are lying. Everyone will remove their earphones redirecting their Maina And Kingang’i in the morning attention to your conversation thus you have to be as brief as possible.

Josh himself wanted to talk to me. This is when you begin to overthink about all your sins real or perceived. What are we going to talk about? Whose toe did I step on during our team building last week? Or is it about the intern I displaced when I came back from leave? Maybe its that transfer to Madogashi everyone has been talking about?

If it is about that transfer to Madogashi then am not going to that outpost,this time someone else has to go. I just came from Lokichar the other day, as in three years ago I would rather resign than go to any outpost. Outposts aren’t holiday camps, they are far flung remote areas where there is no government presence making you to be the government presence.

The only good thing in this outposts is freedom, freedom to do nothing. There are no entertainment spots, Java Standard eateries,mobile network connection is whack, water is not a problem but the problem is water, health facilities are dilapidated, we receive Monday newspapers on Thursday, one day is 48 hours, not forgetting you can forget your birthday.

Overthinking can really make traffic jam move real quick, I never noticed how we arrived in town. Josh voice was still ringing in my head, so I pass by the cyber cafe to buy an A-4 envelope tucking inside two plain papers just to show how serious the issue I was taking care of at the Lands Registrar is.

Gently knocking the door waiting for that come in response which wasn’t forthcoming so I opened it only be welcomed by a stern looking woman with dyed short hair, yes that  hairstyle for the woke group of women who believe they are equal to men.

We exchanged good morning pleasantries before Josh requested me to have a sit. What was this sit down about? Personnel affairs are personal in nature always discussed in confidence, she wasn’t our staffer thus she had no business being there in the first place.

‘She is Phanice,from that organization of women lawyers. She is here on the behalf of Jael who claims you abandoned your duties to provide for your child.’ Josh said passing me a one page court attachment which I casually went through without uttering a single word till I came across the bold highlighted statement requiring a third of my gross salary to be deducted from my salary every month to be deposited to her account by my employer before the 3rd day of every month with immediate effect until the child completes college. Yes a until a three month old winds up his college education.

A third of my salary every month to raise up a child with all the loans am servicing, this won’t be possible, I tell myself calmly as I returned the court attachment to Josh.

‘Are you in agreement with this court attachment so that we can adopt this monthly deduction as requested?’ Asked Josh.

I took my time with cementry silence concentrating the room as I contemplated my next move. We already had an out of court settlement over this issue three months ago where we verbally agreed on the amount I was to contribute towards child support every month.

All of a sudden she realized the amount we agreed on is way below her entitlement, she wanted much more. Much more that I couldn’t manage since I have a family, a wife and two children to support. If she takes a third of my gross then I will be running on negative salary making me to live in debt.

Our relationship with Jael was a mistake, those mistakes that have outcomes and the child was the outcome.She knew I had a family yet she got herself pregnant, we never agreed anywhere that we would start a family. She deliberately became pregnant to trap me so that she could get a pipeline of never ending financial support.

Personally I had no issues with the child thats why I never went berserk requesting for DNA tests before taking up parental responsibilities. I could have gone incognito ghosting her offline and online, but I didn’t. She claimed the contraceptive failed but I think it was deliberately made to fail when I refused to commit to a long term relationship. It had already happened the child was here with us what next.

Janice broke the silence asking Josh to adopt the deduction since I had no objection. My silence was a yes to her so it was all systems go. Josh turned to me asking for a go ahead to adopt the deduction in next month’s payroll. As Janice stood up preparing to exit the office her mission was accomplished. As she greeted Josh on her way out I decided to talk.

‘I have no objection to the deduction, however we had an out of court settlement with Jael and I have been supporting the child all through but it seems my support wasn’t enough. What she is demanding is a lot it will bankrupt me since I won’t have anything to support my family. So I will be handing my resignation letter tomorrow….’

As I was speaking Josh was doing the calculations on what will be left after the court attachment deduction, he too realized if a third of my salary goes to Jael then am toast as I would be running on negative salary.

Janice was shocked, ‘so you rather resign than support your child?’ she said sitting down. It was an unexpected response from my side. She never expected that from me, I don’t think she has ever come across such a response.

‘Yes am resigning my resignation letter will be ready by noon today.’ I replied

‘We should think this through if he resigns your client won’t be entitled to any financial assistance this will be a lose-lose situation,’ Josh jumped in trying to mediate.

‘I have already made up my mind, allow me to go draft my resignation letter.’ I responded as I stood up and left the office despite of Janice pleas that we can work something out.

I left the two in office as I went to my work station to see what was going down that day. It was already noon time to go for lunch, so I went for lunch. As I was having lunch Jael called satirically asking how was my day, she knew how my day was that was a rhetorical question. Her lawyer had definitely told her how my day was.

‘My day has never been better infact I have resigned from work thus I will relocating my family upcountry by the end of the  month. I have decided to be a subsistence farmer.’

This shocked her she never saw it coming,my resignation would be bad news for her than  for me. She pleaded with me to think things through, ‘think about your family don’t act out of anger.’

I wasn’t listening to her nonsense. She now cared more about my family yet a few hours ago she only cared about herself as she attempted to legally milk me dry. I told her it was already done thus there is nothing much I could do. I wasn’t buying her new concern about my well being yet she nearly bankrupted me.

After lunch I went back to the office to read the days newspaper admiring auctioned vehicles and properties I couldn’t afford as I fine tuned the day. Today was a slow day there was nothing much to do. I wasn’t going to draft any resignation letter, government jobs aren’t easy to come by in this country thus I was considering the deployment to Madogashi as a way to get away from this melee.

The following day Josh called inquiring about my resignation letter,  I told him there is no such letter. I just threatened to resign so as to manage the ‘rogue’ baby mama and her toxic lawyer.

Volunteering for the Madogashi deployment to get away from this shenanigans after which I will ghost her online and offline acquiring new sim cards,deactivating my social media accounts, moving my family to a new estate before beginning a new life in the North, never will I be seen in the capital on transit or otherwise.