It would be imprudent of me to go on without talking about the company that took a chance on me.
Let’s be clear, I am not writing about this company simply because they paid me. Money can indeed buy happiness but I do not worship it. I only worship Yahweh. For Yahweh’s creation, the bags of meat and bones, death before dishonour. Neatly fold every dollar you have and shove it up your ass. Keep your dirty money to yourself!
I am writing about this company because I worked with good people and in a healthy working environment. Before we go any further, allow me to skip the interview process and the events leading up to it for a later date.
I would also like to state for the record, as an intern, I was entitled to a stipend which I am grateful for. We are living in an era where more and more employers especially those in the creative industry opt to compensate their industrious interns with monopoly money or a non-bankable cheque, popularly referred to as exposure.
The amount I was being paid is somewhat equivalent to the stipend I was being given by my parents back in campus. But considering the nature of the job, workload plus qualification and experience requirements, I found the remuneration to be fair. I worked for the best employer in Kenya’s creative economy.
On paper, this job seemed like a piece of cake, like something you could do in my sleep. What’s more, it is an online job meaning you work remotely. Before COVID-19, it was a proper office job; 9 AM to 4 PM instead of 5 PM to give you a head start on traffic. Go figure.
The problem with working from home is disciplining yourself. It’s much easier if you live in the middle of nowhere, not when your boys are your neighbours. In the beginning, I would go chill with the hommies and put off work until the last minute. Yes, I was overconfident but could you blame me? Nobody was there to supervise me. Furthermore, the first month of work, the last month of the past decade, was quite chill and I assumed that’s how things would be all through. And even if things got thick, how hard could it possibly get?
Come January, my training wheels were taken off and the rubber met the road. I soon realized Ctr+C and Ctrl+V could not hack it here. Menial as it may seem, the job required adequate research and planning. There was just no winging it. I had to apply myself fully.
Another important lesson I learnt is team work makes the dream work. Self-made or not, you must get along with other people. Either way, nobody truly does it on their own regardless of how much they try to make it seem so. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Mr. Owuonda, my high school Religious Studies teacher, once told us.
I physically got to meet the dream team on Wednesday, 16 December 2020 at For You Chinese Restaurant for the end of the year luncheon. This was my first time at the said restaurant but my second time at a Chinese restaurant.
Apart from good food, laughter and great conversation, we also received a gift hamper containing a season’s greetings card, a couple of refreshments and a hoodie. I shared the non-alcoholic drinks with the boys back home during the weekend. As for the hoodie, it’s red, warm and swaggy. I tried it on as soon as I got home, and it fit perfectly. It is identical to the sweatshirt Lil Tecca dons in “Love Me” (Official Music Video). Which reminds me, still on the same day I first rocked the hoodie, one of my girlfriends hugged me, pecked me on the cheek and whispered into my ear, “I want!”
Anyway, let me tell you a little bit more about my fellow cart pullers.
The CEO/Boss (& Director) grew up in Riruta, Nairobi. He schooled at Kilimani Primary School and Upper Hill School before enrolling in The Unversity of Nairobi for his undergrad in B.Sc. Actuarial Science.
Upon graduating, he tried his hand in selling insurance, rearing quails, amongst other ventures which tanked. In August 2015, he founded his own digital marketing outfit and has stuck to it ever since. The company has a board of directors who prefer to operate as silent partners. By 2019, the company had served more than fifty clients.
The Boss is a chilled-out dude who’s not so chill when you don’t do what’s expected of you. This one time I decided to take a French leave on a certain Friday afternoon to attend to a pressing matter in the belief that nothing important was bound to transpire. It was Friday, after all.
Long story short, that Friday afternoon was as busy as a Monday morning and I was virtually nowhere to be found. During the next office Zoom meeting, he made sure to put me on blast. He was Hulk angry!
That day I learnt the unwritten rule (or is it the golden rule?) of the corporate world: Whatever you do, do not cross The Boss.
He is also an honourable man. My contract ran for five months and for all five months I was paid. Sometimes there would be slight delays in remittance and he was transparent about it. He would notify us in good time and request anyone with urgent needs to personally get in touch with him. His communication lines were always open.
He also writes… kind of. He’s only written one article in close to a decade but it’s a beautiful piece nonetheless. You can check it out here.
However, what I admired most about him as a leader was how he managed to keep the vessel afloat during the partial lockdown early in the year. Businesses closed down. Business owners broke down. One of the company’s paying clients even pulled out owing to the Presidential Directive. I honestly expected heads to start rolling internally at this point. But still The Boss was somehow able to keep the whole crew intact with zero pay cuts. It’s one thing to run a business, it’s another to run a business during a pandemic.
The Accounts Manager helped refine my content; gently correcting me anytime I errored. She gladly took me through how to compile a monthly report twice even though she had been thorough the first time. The second time I listened with a pen and paper in hand. Learning never stops.
Another time, I had forgotten to fill my skeleton calendar, the task had honestly slipped my mind. And she had my back – buying me time during the actual submission meeting by scheduling and convening another follow up meeting later on in the day. Company duties and responsibilities aside, she bakes and is intent on turning passion to profit while at the same time running a spiritual blog. Get encouraged here.
The Head Content Creator, who has been doing this for quite some time, was instrumental to my growth. I came in completely green, he oriented me and taught me the ropes. He is always on top of his game and would share with me game changing tips and tricks which not only apply to copywriting, but also here. Can you see it?
One time, during the first month, I had forgotten to schedule the day’s post and only realized it in the evening. I informed him late in the evening as I prepared myself for a dress down which would most likely end with him informing his superiors about my laxity. “Just post it tomorrow morning, the usual time,” was his reply. I couldn’t believe it. More importantly, I made sure it was the last time such a mishap happened.
After a hard day’s work, the Curry fan and Bronsexual unwinds by watching basketball, gaming, or with a good book.
The Junior Graphics Designer, who I worked closely with, is a class act. He always found creative and innovative ways to bring my ideas to life. Not once did he complain when I requested him to do redo a post because of the slightest of grammatical errors (keeping in mind how much of a Grammar Nazi I can be), or if a finished post was rejected by the superiors and a new one had to be created from scratch.
He once shared his life story during one of the encouragement sessions and indeed it is inspiring. Additionally, I thoroughly enjoyed his encouragement sermons. My favourite one being that of the Priceless Stone. You can check it out here.
Outside office life, he is a dancer who has worked with various artists in the music industry. You can watch him break a leg here, and feel free to join in as well. It’s a great song with an even greater message.
The Admin (now Account Executive) was a courteous and professional moderator who brought office meetings to order. She is also the brains behind the witty ice breakers. At the luncheon, she revealed that she’d recently picked up abstract mobile photography as a hobby.
The Outgoing Community Manager runs a Christian contemporary podcast. I had never really listened to a local podcast before hers. Instantly, I was impressed with the top notch production; crisp clarity and zero distortion. She’s also got a great voice, wonderful projection and diction. I recently discovered that she’s an amazing singer as well; a rockstar for Christ.
Next up is a content intern, who was already a member of the team, and a friend from campus. It was beautiful reconnecting with her at the luncheon, especially since we both enrolled in the same university, at the same time, and were among the last batch of students from our admission year to graduate. We still keep in touch to date.
The other Content Intern, with whom I was recruited, is exactly what The Donald had in mind when he talked about a great employee. Community management guidelines state that response time should be within an hour (ideal is 30 minutes); she takes 7 minutes or less. She once even handled community management for my account without me requesting her to do so.
Apart from being a content writer, she’s a creative writer with a blog which she updates every now and then. You can check it out here. (My favourite article so far is Coming Out.)
I did not have much personal interaction with the Sales Rep. (now Admin) owing to the nature of our jobs, but going by his Monday Morning Motivation presentations, I could clearly tell he is kind. His inquisitive nature about others makes one feel special. Pure hearts like his are rare.
The only interaction I had with the Part-time Graphic Designer was at the luncheon. What I first noticed about him is his loyalty. He supports Arsenal and confidently showed up in the team’s home jersey. I mean, to support such an ambitionless side? It doesn’t get any more loyal than that. I also found out that at some point we studied in the same learning institution. Him in primary, me in high school.
Together with his committee of boys, they run a YouTube channel where they have candid conversations about various issues from a millennial’s perspective. Check the trio out here. (My favourite episodes so far are KUUZA BARIDI PT. 1 & 2.)
Lastly, there were two other interns who came aboard later on the following year. We only got acquainted virtually, and it was a pleasant experience.
Thank you Socialmeds Digital.