When one joins the Corporate world which to Ugandans is getting a job in the banks, NGOs, parastatals, public service and other government agencies , this is the most warm news to be received by any fresh graduate and their families.
The Corporate world is indeed good. The relative good pay, societal regards , high esteem and other benefits that come with working in the Corporate are irresistable.
The work place soon turns into a family. One’s identification then shifts to the work place . At all formal meets and introductions one will have to mention “Am so and so working with Barclays Bank now ABSA”. (Infact you will find that many employees of the now rebranded ABSA bank don’t know that ABSA is an acronym of Amalgamated Banks of South Africa). Any way it is all fine and the esteem of working with such a bank is rated high. The work place further enhances the aspect of the family through team work, outings and yes all is well.
In the last two decades, the idea of Corporate branding and visibility came to be appreciated. All Corporate organisations for the quest of visibility do invest highly in this area. The corporates don shirts and drapery with well coloured organisation logos and brand colours on Friday as a thumb rule. All this enhances and creates a culture of identification with the organisation.
It is common to see the corporates on Friday having the best of themselves. This is when their second hand Subaru Forester cars will hop from one bar to the other. The excited girlfriends tow in line with the muscular bodied corporate boy friends clad in tight fitting T shirts. The English accent used is indeed next to the Birmingham palace!
The places of abode are usually apartments in now the leafy peri-urban areas of Najjera, Buwaate, Namugongo, Nalya, Mbalwa and other areas of Kira Municipality. This explains the growth of night life and entertainment hubs in these areas. Housing warming bashes on taking up tenancy in these apartments is the order of the day. Here all tribes of drinks and meat roasts are served as the ‘owner’ of the house ushers in their guests to show them the different spaces in the house from the master bedroom to the balcony overseeing the swimming pool at the apartments.
Oh yes indeed life is good. The boys laugh with such hoarse and deep voices as they imbibe the different drinks on table. The other person’s of the fair sex are all bent over discussing the latest dress fashions and they flip through the Vogue magazines scattered on the Persian rug in the sitting lobby.
With time all can’t be the same. The job becomes so demanding, babies come in, school fees drop in and then one ends up in rent arrears. Many of the landlords owning these apartments use services of lawyers to pick up the rent dues. This means they hardly interface with their tenants.
As the demands of the job and other family obligations set in, the salary and wage received wanes because of the high expenditures. The last nail in the coffin is when the money lenders set in!.
Many of these corporates work half day on Friday. This is the day money lenders set in to demand for what is theirs. To the extreme it’s on Friday’s that many debtors are arrested to compel them pay lest they spend the weekend behind bars. The worst comes in when the organization decided to retrench, restructure or even when one is sacked from the job.
Life after losing a job or retiring is indeed another transition in life. This is when all the friends and relatives that the Corporate used to hop from one ‘happening’ place to the other show their true colour hues. The number of calls drop, people look at you as a social misfit, every time you meet your former workmates they develop ‘guard’ instincts thinking one is going to ask them for a favour and many think you might not have had a meal last night!
Most corporates buy cars from the car bonds strewn around Nakawa and operated by Pakistanis on salary loans. In the event the Corporate loses the job , it has always been hard for them to complete the payments of these car loans. A number of times , people are seen haggling with debtor collectors and bailiffs in traffic jams which at times end up in violent brawls. These are the bailiffs and recovery agents who are enforcing attachment of the vehicle. Yes this is the corporate world.
It does not end with attaching the revered Subaru Forester, rent arrears set in. The corporate who prided in inviting their buddies for goat and pork barbeques at the apartment pool side no longer does so. The once proud ‘owner’ of the house now enters the house after midnight and moreso after negotiating with the guard who is always given notices to serve you from the law firm that manages the apartments. The world indeed becomes thin.
As we work and get all the satisfaction from these Corporate organisations, one should always plan and work having it in mind that one day you will exit that organization.
Lumuli, Butagaya Jinja district.
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org