What do you do?
The question that makes me want the earth to open and swallow me when asked. In all honesty I used to get major anxiety attending a family function with those uncles and other relatives who feel the urge to ask what you are up to.
In a matter of seconds, the conversation goes like:
That relative: Hi Njeri ” as he or she hugs me happily”
Me: Good! How are you?
Them: Fine thank you.
Them again: Where are you nowadays!!
Me (In my head): Jesus Christ what brought me here?
Me: I’m still at home “looking.” That’s the answer I want to give because it is easier than saying what I do because the follow-up questions after saying what I do will be aggravating.
*Side note* I have gained a lot of experience from giving the “Still at home” response severally so allow me to take you down that road to show you why that was a good answer but why I still won’t give it.
Them: Where are you nowadays!!
Me: Still at home “Looking”
Them AGAIN: Haiya! You’re not anywhere?
Also them: Do you know your uncle so and so?
Me: Shyly says No.
Them: Haiya? You don’t know uncle so and so? His mother and your grandfather are cousins.
Me: Rolls my eyes invisibly.
Them: Calls uncle so and so. The one I don’t know. He too thinks I look familiar but he’s not sure whose child I am.
Them again: Imagine Njeri hasn’t found “somewhere”
Them again: Send him your CV. He works at this and this place he can get you “somewhere”
Them again: Exchange numbers and emails so that you can send him your CV.
Them again: You know your cousin (their daughter/ son) works in Nairobi too with the X organization.
Them AGAIN!!! When you go back to Nairobi ask them to show you how to apply for jobs. You guys talk right?
Me: My eyes have met my brain at this point and I have maintained a grin too the whole time – trying to say respectful crap the whole time.
*Another Side note* After I send my CV to this uncle, and call him a few times to see if he got it. That’s the last time he shall contact me.
See why I won’t choose that answer?
So what answer do I go with?
Them: Where are you nowadays?
Me: I’m in between jobs
Them again: Your mother had mentioned that you were working with XYZ company.
Me: Yes!!! But I know my mother could have lied for me and she forgot to tell me what she told them to get them to quit with the questions and give me a break. I don’t even want to get started with the I am a blogger story because that will not go well.
Me Again : Just crossing my fingers and hoping someone will come and interrupt this pointless conversation.
Them: You know the place you get just hold on there and then you shall work your way from there.
Me: Yes, *Inserts correct noun.* I think they are calling me in the house. Let me go see what they are saying.
Me again: Phew!!!
Let’s face it though, they rarely let you go that easy.
Now if you have chosen to go the business way it gets worse. There you are with your new start-up but in your mind it’s a whole empire and here comes the relative / family friend with the unsolicited advice.
Them: Njeri what are you up to nowadays?
Me: I decided to start my own business
Them: oh really? * with lots of dismay on their face
Them again: What is your business about?
Me: I pour my heart out and give the profound explanation emphasizing all the things that inspired me and how I believe in and love what I am doing and how I am so so happy.
Them again: You know you should be very careful with a start-up you need some real work experience before you get into business.
Me: (In my head only) Have you heard anything I have said? Why do I even talk to you?
Me Again: (In real life) Yes!! inserts the same grin from before. * The one suggesting I’m glad I talked to you but I honestly can’t wait to get away from you.
In all seriousness, I do believe that we should be proud of whatever it is we are doing but if you are one of those people with pestering questions, please ask cautiously and take notes in your head and go home and google that what they told you they do. Even better don’t ask unless someone genuinely volunteers the information.
Back to my outfit: This cute number has really brought out the girly girl in me.
Photography: Mwaniki Weddings