How absent-minded colleague embarrassed himself in meeting
BY MCA Gwinso
Ever since I vowed never to fall for fellow MCA Chonjo’s hare-brained schemes, I must say I have been safe. You are about to learn how I narrowly escaped what would have been an embarrassing situation for me. You see, both Chonjo and I belong to two important House committees —Tendering and Public Service. This has not gone down well with many of our koliqs, sorry, colleagues, but wata do?
So it happened that both committees were scheduled to have a meeting on the same day, at the same time. “Gwinso, tutajipanga aje? asked Chonjo.
“No problem. Just attend one and I attend the other,” I opined.
He looked at me as if I had uttered the most idiotic words ever.
“Bwana Tycoon, your pockets are so full that they can’t take any more money?”
“Why?” I asked, puzzled.
“If you get sitting allowances for both meetings, you will get a heart attack?”
Now this was an idea I wasn’t going to buy into. I had heard of MCAs in other counties attending more than one meeting at the same time! I plainly told my friend I wasn’t interested in his nefarious scheme.
“Sawa. When you see my lifestyle changing, don’t say I have joined a cult or something,” said he.
Utter shock to panellists
On the meeting day, I went to the Public Service meeting. Not finding Chonjo there I guessed he had first gone to the Tendering committee. The main agenda of our meeting was to interview applicants for teaching positions in Early Childhood Development Education centres. I found the task quite interesting. I enjoyed the way the applicants made spirited attempts to convince the panel on their suitability for the positions.
“I just love children. That is why I have seven, and I am expecting the eighth in 10 months’ time,” said one, to the amusement of the panellists.
The ability of some applicants to communicate well in English was in doubt. Take, for instance, this fellow who was asked if he had made any attempts to understand the new Competency-Based Curriculum, given that he had been trained in the old curriculum.
He said: “ Yes. I have made any attempts. In fact, I know the Competent-based curriculum properly.”
One of them, to the utter shock of the panellists, lost his temper upon being asked why he had never married, at the age of almost 50.
The man glared at the panellist and roared: “I don’t think it is right for you to ask me personal questions. Who do you think you is?”
It took the intervention of the chair to calm him down by explaining it was relevant since the job involved dealing with children.
As soon as the interviewee calmed down, in walked MCA Chonjo. He took a seat and gave me a see-I-told-you look. I then saw him try hard to catch up with the proceedings. A few minutes later, he seemed to have lost concentration. It was clear he had a lot in his mind.
“What do you consider the most important need for a child?” a panellist asked an interviewee.
“Well, that is a very good question. Actually, it is very relevant. It shows this panel is very well informed and competent. Some misguided people out there think MCAs are not well educated, but I am impressed by the kind of questions you people are asking. Thank you.”
Everybody in the room was puzzled. I looked at Chonjo’s direction to gauge his reaction. To my amusement, the ward rep had dozed off. The chair must have noticed this, too.
“Chonjo, do you have any question for the applicant?” he asked.
On hearing his name, my buddy almost jumped from his seat. He opened his eyes wide.
“I haven’t signed it,” he blurted out.
“Signed what?” asked the chair, perplexed.
“The meeting attendance list,” Chonjo responded, to the amusement of everyone.
“No, Bw Chonjo. I wanted to know whether you have any question for the applicant,” said the chairman.
“Ok,” Chonjo responded and turned to the interviewee. “Now tell us. What did you consider before awarding the tender to that company?”
“What tender?” asked the befuddled candidate.
“Sorry, MCA Chonjo, this is not Tendering committee meeting,” said the chair. “That committee is meeting in the other boardroom.”
Looking extremely embarrassed, Chonjo apologised and walked out of the room.
Aibu ndogo ndogo nazo?