Pulling up the driveway in their expensive cars wearing expensive designer clothes with lunch grease stains on their pants, almost everyone has a story to tell about their current or even past bosses.
When I casually asked an aroid reader to share her stories of her queer employer, Tshepiso didn’t hold back. Whether you go in outrage or burst out laughing in relation, recognition or familiarization, just be glad it’s not you.
It’s a typical busy Thursday afternoon, just a day before Good Friday at a local financial institution.
Being a half-day, as the norm, Tshepiso is busy conducting a high profile meeting for one of their biggest clients as she is standing in for her absent boss. Meanwhile, her boss is somewhere at a local upmarket restaurant, in the capital’s Central Business District, entertaining some old clients at the same time, gigging it up with his old school friends. Right in the middle of the meeting Tshepiso walks out of the boardroom to answer an urgent call from her boss.
Her boss, she explains, is a self-proclaimed e-mail man. He had first sent her a text message instructing her to check her e-mail.
By the time she got to answer her phone she realised that e-mail was in her inbox that contained only two three words, ‘please call me.’
So being an urgent call from her boss she thought it better be important. She then answers her phone as she walks away from the boardroom.
“Tshepie! I’ve been trying to get a hold of you! I need you to do something very important for me.”
“Yes, Sir!” she replies exasperating. “You have to call the restaurant manager right now because it’s really important.”
“Is everything OK Sir?” she asked curiously. “Yes, but please kindly request him to send someone to our table immediately. I have an airlock and we haven’t seen our waiter for the past half hour and I really need a drink.”
This was not the first time. Tshepiso says he had done something similar before. Tshepiso narrates how her boss loves to entertain his friends. He once invited Tshepiso and her boyfriend to a party he threw at his new house in Phakalane. Tshepiso foams with giggles that her boyfriend was so excited, because he was going to bum off some free drinks that night.
She says her boss insisted how pretty she looked in her Ankara dress that she wears to the office and further recommended that she wears it to the party and so she did.
When she arrived, her boss introduced her to the caterer as the waiter and showed her boyfriend to the bar counter where they would both be working, serving the guests with drinks.
She says that her boyfriend got so drunk and passed out and the boss and his friends started serving their own drinks.
She knew it was finally time to go home when her boss cracked a silly joke to his friends and said, “When you start hitting on her, you’re too drunk to drive home.”
They burst out in laughter, so she took her staggering, drunkard boy friend and they went home.
When he is sober, Tshepiso describes her boss as a deep pocketed family man who is otherwise relaxed and easy going.
But she repeatedly comments that he is very stingy with money more especially during working hours at the office. She says she once caught him retrieving foam cups from the dustbin.
“He literally shoved them back in to the cup dispenser in the water cooler. He didn’t even bother to wipe off some which even had lipstick on them,” says Tshepiso.