Saturday June 21 2014

Mixing business and personal issues

By Eugene Mugisha

I’m currently on suspension for overstepping my “limits”, as she put it. My limits, in this case concerned insubordination, not recognising who the boss is; She has this annoying habit of waiting for the last minute to do her makeup, before every meeting.
Why she waits for the last minute, always, baffles me, but why she even feels the need to do retouch is beyond my comprehension. I have seen girls go to the ladies, and reappear transformed, and I have no problem with that. This woman does not do that.

She does it right there on her desk, in her office. It is a big office, she is in senior management, and as far as am concerned she can do her makeup on the moon if she wants to. What does not sit well with me is her timing.

After sometime, we had all grown accustomed to her always walking into meetings several minutes late, and then proceeding to take charge of the meeting, without even bothering to find out what had been discussed as she worked on her vanity. It is always make up, nothing important, because I have found her in her office several times, unconcerned about people waiting for her, her office, dubbing at her cheeks and peering into a hand mirror.

This time round, she was exceptionally late. We had decided to wait for her so that we would not have to re-do everything when she showed up. But after more than half an hour, I took it upon myself to start the meeting. The plan was to keep it short and straight to the point- we had deadlines to meet, this woman would not remember that when she was evaluating our performance.

She eventually showed up when we were wrapping up. Again, taking it upon myself, I proceeded to outline what we had discussed as a recap to the meeting, and for her benefit. But then, with a wave of her hand, she shushed me and restarted the meeting. I was dismayed.

Normally, i would have simply switched off and sat through the meeting, but this time, something else took over. This was not acceptable, even though she was the most senior person in the room. I raised my hand, and without waiting for her to acknowledge me, I asked her; “Excuse me madam, but what is wrong with you?

What makes you feel like you need to pretty-up for a work related meeting, where you are older that almost every one? Is there a message you are trying to pass on, or are you simply trying to attract a particular person’s attention?” To be honest, I don’t know where the words came from, but when I was done, I felt relived.

I knew I was in trouble, but the satisfaction of letting it out was worth it. She immediately postponed the meeting, and ordered me to find her in her office immediately. I took my time showing up in her office, I was weighing my options. In as much as I was right, she had every power to fire me. She could fire me simply for not liking how I looked at her, if she so wanted to.

In her office, she didn’t waste time. She told me to hand over all company property, and get off the premises as I awaited her decision. That was two week ago. Even though I was right, I can’t trust her to be logical in her decision.
I would stand a better chance if it was a man. But then, a man would not have gotten us in such a personal situation in the first place. Feel free to call me sexist.