Sunday July 13 2014

The triple tragedy

By Stella Riunga

There are days I call ‘no-days’- and I’m experiencing one of them at this very moment. Days where the odds are stacked against my ability to be an efficient employee.

Firstly, I think I’m hosting intestinal worms because I’m so hungry that I can feel my stomach wall being digested piece by piece to appease the insatiable gods of hunger. This is despite having had a hearty breakfast at 8.30 a.m. and a snack at 11a.m.

Intestinal and other worms aside, there is a power blackout. Umeme, in all its kindness, has decided we are not worthy of that privilege known as electricity. This is nothing at all, after all ‘This is Africa’ (TIA) and in particular, ‘This is Uganda’ (TIU). That leaves us with our generator- a monster of a machine that is noisier than a pig farm at feeding time. When it is on, this is how conversation sounds in the office:

Amos! Amos! Amos-iiii!
Yes Grace!
Good Morning!
Oh! Is that you? I didn’t hear!
Yes! Well done!
Better doing!
And we are all rendered temporarily deaf.

Related to Problem 1- Electricity- is Problem 2- Internet. No electricity, no server. Apparently, the two go hand-in-hand. No Internet means we cannot respond to email queries from clients, many of whom are outside Uganda. And no response means they turn into that scary creature called ‘Irate Clients’.

Intestinal worms, umeme and internet problems outside, there is no water. Which means we either ‘tie’ until further notice or gather all our human strength to reign in our overstretched bladders and walk to a nearby mall or office for sweet, blessed relief. Most people end up taking the undignified, low road, but I will not delve into that here for the sake of delicate sensibilities among us.

The only thing preventing me from picking up my handbag and walking out is the aforementioned hunger. Ah well, let me sit here and wait for the roof to collapse (an extended clan of cats has been breeding and romping about in there. I think they are now in the third generation), then maybe we can go home.