This is our last article in 2020. I write it with a heavy heart. Last month a friend referred me to an opportunity in public service that I felt well suited for. Everything about it felt and looked right. I even got some good counsel on how to go about applying for it. Seeing that I have never done a CV in my life (or applied for a job) this was quite a strange experience. It was much more work than I had thought.
Trying to put four decades of life on paper. Then being a gava job I had to get all those chapter six requirements on leadership and integrity. Despite the tedious work of going for fingerprints and visiting government agencies I was impressed at how our government has gone digital. They may not be as efficient as corporate in some ways but out of the five requirements outlined in chapter six, I got four online. I was pleasantly surprised. I expected worse to be honest. Maybe it’s because the last time I was in a government department I was hit by the sight and smell of old paper. A lot of it in heaps of tattered files threatening to bury the occupants in those offices. I’m sure those are still there but my experience was promising that we are moving in the right direction however slowly.
After a lot of effort and assistance especially from mummy shark, I finished my application and emailed it the night before the deadline. The following day I drove to the offices of the organization to drop my well-labeled envelope containing my cover letter, resume (at six pages imagine. Never thought it would take that much paper to describe me), and accompanying documents.
Now, this is why I’m writing with a heavy heart. I decided to exercise all my faith and claim this job for myself. I remember telling myself on the way to drop my application that this will be the road I’ll use going to work kila siku. I even dry-cleaned my only suit which I haven’t worn in years in preparation for my interview. It was good vibes all over so I knew I’ll be shortlisted at the minimum.
Earlier this week I decided to check my mail before I went to bed and there was an email from the organization. Short and curt saying I did not meet the criteria so will not be proceeding into the selection process. I was dumbfounded. Sadness embraced me like a duvet cover on a cold night. I stared at that mail for a long time hoping it was sent erroneously.
Yaani I had even planned for next year with this job in mind. I was that confident, maybe overly confident. My son walked into the room and asked me, ‘’What’s the matter daddy?’’ I told him I didn’t get the job and that’s why I’m sad. He knew about it. it was a family prayer petition for the last three weeks. He gazed at me for a while then advised to shut my laptop and not to read that email again because the more I read it the sadder I would get. He also encouraged me not to think about it too much. I did as he said, at least the shutting my computer part.
I think part of the reason I was so looking forward to this opportunity was two-fold. First, it had all the indications of the big platform I’ve been preparing for in public service. Secondly, it was like my get out of jail card. In that my baby sharks would be resuming school in January so they wouldn’t need me as much as they have over the last six months of school. I’d be free to finally manifest in public what has been prepared in private.
Well, that one email has knocked me back to the drawing board. I feel clueless about what my next step should be. It’s uncomfortable and foggy again. I’m consoled though by the fact that I gave it my all so I didn’t contribute to that door closing by sheer carelessness. Steve Jobbs encouraged us to be a yardstick of quality and I believe that’s what my application was.
As I went to bed that night my son and his older sister made me a card encouraging me that I’ll get a ‘’new better job’’- their words. That touched me and scared me at the same time. I felt my small people have my back always. But I got scared that I cannot let them down. The last line of their card said, “we know you try your best to give us everything we want”. That made my eyes sweat (not tear) instantly.
Despite the disappointment (which will pass) and the unknown future, this experience has reinforced one fact for me. Family is a strong anchor in life especially when it gets turbulent. Being a father (and loving it) has been the one constant that hasn’t shifted throughout my halftime transition. Those small people give me some good grounding. My life just like the boat on a rough sea may be rocked by the current but it doesn’t move far because the anchor on the sea floor keeps it in location.
Folks as we close this crazy year, what’s been your anchor? What’s that one thing that hasn’t shifted despite circumstances? once you identify it, hold it close and take care of it for if you let it go then you’ll have no anchor and life will toss you about like dry leaves in a whirlwind. If there was a time when we needed an anchor the most it’s been this year.
Happy holidays folks. We are here and that’s reason enough to be happy. It’s that time again where the WIFI disappears for two weeks or so. Looking forward to catching up in the new year.
Live long good people.