From Home

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I’m not doing much writing now. I’m reading the Bible. [More about this tomorrow]. So I gave Eddy Ashioya this week to talk about his life at home. You know, Eddie, right? He was here a while back.

Eddy?

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By Eddy Ashioya.

What’s that?

Oh. That’s the sound of your boss not shouting in your ear. Bliss.

The thing about working from home is that there is no working at all.

Unlike in the office where you’d spend 5 hours online shopping and visiting myjobsinkenya.com (oh that’s just me?) and switching browsers every time HR or Njeri-The-Office-Snitch passes by.

Now you don’t even have to roll your eyes while force laughing when your boss cracks a Sahara Desert joke to keep your job. Or dealing with Kevin who counters so close to you, you can hear his thoughts as he tries to sell you on one of those multi level marketing fliers at the coffee machine. Social distancing Kevin. Social. Distancing.

This force majeure situation has all of us wilding…sending warm regards tucked under a duvet.

Au contraire. I’m living my best life, despite this remote working not even remotely working. Home becoming the new office was only fun the first day.

The freedom of fulfilling your professional obligations while wearing sweatpants and aloofness is now replaced with claustrophobia. From a husband to a houseband, you’re locked down during this lock down.

It’s Day Two and I have just realized my neighbor has green coloured hair. Who has green coloured hair? This isn’t a holiday. Is it? I also found some nail cutter souvenirs I lost in 2005 that I swear my ex had taken. Do I feel guilty? No. But will I be a bigger person and call her? Also, no. Besides she must have taken something from my house. I know it. I just can’t place it.

But such details are trivial in these lingering times.

It is tough fighting with the neighbours for the hanging lines. Especially, if you live on the first floor. Previously you never cared how clothes get dry. The Kisii chaps who stay on the 12th floor always wake up late. That means they hang their clothes after you – those fading Kaunda suits oozing banana yellow drops on your white shirt. Sometimes, you have to remind yourself it’s just not worth the jail time.

Newsflash: Remember when you used to wake up late and block the whole apartment with your car? Well, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

If you’re like me, you’re probably adjusting to your new coworkers – mosquitoes, Netflix or family – who may not be as focused in their careers as you are.

If anything, this work from home thing is filling the evidence-in-favor column of why your spouse is still not promoted and up to six figures.
Even the boss washed his hands – literally and metaphorically, and left this matter to the Lord.

Every now and then I would think about the IT man employed to watch what I do on my browser all day. I would intentionally visit potentially harmful ‘news websites’, and deliberately pick borderline alarmist articles just to spoil their day.

When you work from home, which does not play out as advertised, waking up is no more than fifteen minutes before any meeting. Making money without getting out of bed is the Kenyan dream.

Walking around naked (1 star – would not recommend if you have kids ) – is risqué and only fun if you live alone. Or in a gated community. Always remember to turn your BlueJeans off, or wear your blue jeans.

Speaking of, can all the grown men stop playing Fifa online? The Internet is lagging. Seriously. Find somewhere to g…oh.

And you know Kenyans with technology is like…well, Kenyans with technology. A shared presentation on BlueJeans spells trouble.

From Mwangi the Account Manager filling the screen with his face to your boss joining the presentation half an hour late – and asking for a ‘clarification’. Never mind that your Internet is a whole 10 seconds behind and you have to keep saying ‘Huuuuh?… Huh? ….Oh, ha!’

And who is that typing with a goddamn hammer?

Or that awkward moment when you realize halfway into your presentation that you’ve been on mute. As I watch my bank account slowly drain from lack of maturity (you too?) it really is hard to work from home when everybody is at home.

That means you have to be friends with James from Door 4 who you’ve been avoiding since you moved in. Something about him always disturbed your chi.

This is real, even if it remains surreal.

Because misery loves company, your nephews all want to stay with their ‘cool’ uncle who they perilously relieve of his salary. That’s you.

Now life is an operetta of kids fighting – who did what to whom, when and why – testing your reticence to the core.

With the help of an overactive imagination, a long period of self-isolation and YouTube clips of ghosts ‘caught on security camera’, we’ll be fine.

Unless you have a child…

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77 Comments
  1. The one with green hair is called Muthoni, a Kenyan carpenter who has great creativity! Watch her utube-channel…(even if you have kids)

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  2. Wueh, this working from home is on a whole new level!
    Claustrophobic, yes!
    I’m waiting to hear about your Bible reading – Biko

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  3. Not what I expected this working from home business, not at all. And we just got started. We might not come out the way we came in, this might mark us for life

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  4. Hahaha watu wajuane sasa!
    @Biko, if you find answers bout this doom that has befallen us from your bible reading, please share.
    Its such a nightmare, whats up with 2020? May God intervene

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    1. Someone suggested that knowing how f***** up it already has been, there is no need of waiting to see what is in store for us and we should scrap this year and hit 2021! And I agreed,you?

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  5. Quite frankly i am going nuts, i thought it would be cool to work from home, but i grossly under estimated the impact that the physical distance between the office and the house has on mindset. There is a greater need for structure, discipline and PATIENCE (All parents say AMEN here). But then again the ability to be flexible, to change as the world changes is a skill to be learned. Let’s all repaint the picture we have in our minds called “work”. Stay safe…

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    1. I am losing my mind!!! I am trying to work on stg whose deadline is tomorrow..but I keep refilling my glass of wine. I won’t even start on the Boredom. Netflix is not cutting it. And for us who live alone, we thought our houses would love to have us around..wapi..
      I. AM. LOSING. MY. MIND.

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      1. Haha that makes the two of us,, My FOUR COUSINS literally lead me to the FOURTH STREET, this is not just a lock down its an attempt of self-rehab

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  6. Hey, Eddy, Good one. Word of advise, unless the nephews are taking knives, leave them to resolve their own drama with their fists. Its a hard knock life… and it is better with a watchful uncle, What is the fascination with people walking around naked in their homes? Note to self, try it. Learning to use Teams, Zoom, plus all the fascinating bloopers, enjoy, this is so much better than reality TV. Thank you for a worthwhile read, enjoy the “Karatin”

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  7. Seriously, if you diss our banana coloured kaunda suits e’er again, we’ll stop by first floor – and you’ll reach ground minus benefit of the stairwell, achi ach .. hi. 🙂

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    1. So many distorted and disjointed informations…(yea, i just made up that word),,,,not Biko at all, though English iko juu kiasi, like this composition is going to be marked….37 over 40

  8. No Travel, no football, no work.,no money, no Tusker, No fun and now No Bikozulu! Woi.,Corona can really stop Reggae !

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  9. Its insanley hectic working from home; i got my son from nowhere hunging on my neck then “mama watoto” asking “niwachilie nywele ama nishike hivi?” & mind you anaenda soko to restock groceries!!!! JESUS CHRIST ! Jays friends are on the door whith tricycles asking for his company. Worst part is that you cant Shut yourself in the bedroom without your attention swaying from the excel sheet and background YouTube music to Jiji.com searching for cheap and usable subarus impress-her then boom the status in ur bank account hits u hard like a tsunami. Im now watching a movie with whiskey on my left.Working from home Isssa scam!

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  10. I love your articles. They speak to me. It’s like being there when am reading them. And humor. ooh my, I just look forward to a new one like waiting to get that zucchini ice cream I love so much.

  11. It’s the first time I’m reading Eddy and I love him. You’re good Eddy. Keep on keeping on.
    As for working from home, even us introverts only enjoyed it the first few days, now we realize that socializing is actually good, and we didn’t realize it until we lost it!

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  12. At least y’all are doing all this in your choice environment. I m currently under mandatory quarantine because I arrived yesterday. Can’t tell you how much I’d rather be in my house.
    Any way its time to make some lemonade from these Covid-19 lemons. See you all in the outside.
    And Eddy, thanks for a good read!

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  13. Thanks Ashioya.
    Stuck here, delayed passport, borders closed, bills piling, but nicely cheered up by this article.

    Also rereading Green and others to cheer me up.
    PS. Biko, I need to write a rejoinder to Green. Blue.

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  14. I actually liked it quite a lot . . .. unfortunately it came to an end just when I was adjusting my seat to get comfortable. Biko you should let this guy write once in a while. We can use a good laugh once in a while! no?

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  15. I am living my best life. Full stop All the best mummies and daddies, wifeys and hubbies.. Cheers to all the happy singles out there as we quarantine

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  16. ……cant wait to see the aftermath, no beer, no EPL, cant watch coz cartoons are the order of the day
    pekejeng is the only source of entertainment.
    ……..habari ndio hio

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  17. Such a cool post! Working from home is a fairy tale. Homeschooling from home is a bigger myth. We started fine, now we just watch movies, eat all the time and pray this virus will be shipped to Pluto or Neptune or even Mars; it just has to get off this planet! The catastrophe it is causing is not even funny.

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  18. i cant imagine having to be home on quarantine. i have toddlers so as bad as i feel about going to work because we provide “essential services” to the nation…im a little happy i dont have to spend all my time with those brats who are relentless from being indoors all day.

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  19. I always thought that all that time saved from my commute would allow me to finally write my book. Now I spend my free time on YouTube autoplay.

  20. Unless you have a child/ren who completely understand that this Corona period is not a holiday thus no need for the multi colored braided hair n those funny looking attention seeking haircuts.
    Unless you have a child/children who understand that it’s working from home and not a leave from work.
    Unless you have a child/ren who are so focused that one will not have to supervise their online study cum interaction with their teachers.
    Unless you have a child/ren who understand that you trying to stock the house is for just in case of a total shut down and not for them to have a mini party every time they wake up.
    Unless you have ………

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  21. Watu was diaspora, what is your toilet paper situation? Huyu Coronavirus has turned ordinary Americans into master hoarders of TP, it has become as rare as diamonds. Luckily I usually buy it in bulk la sivyo ningekuwa natumia matawi ama sijui what people use in this paperless age.

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  22. Am stuck at James of house No. 4 who disturbs ones chi…. Nyumba kumi initiative …utajua neighbor ukihang your white shirts and the one above washes blue/black fading jeans…aaah

  23. I have never shared a blog as much as I have this one. Literally stopping at every paragraph to send someone a link. I was late to this party but see you tomorrow, Biko. I mean, there are only so many pages in the Bible.

  24. Working from home takes more than discipline. It’s not like clock work. Say you are at the edge of a cliff while you have your girlfriend and 20million hanging from you right and left hand respectively. If you’re able to stick to one decision that you get to pull up to the top after much deliberation, in that instance, then that is how. How you choose to be deliberate about your priorities while working in doors. How amid all the uncertainties, you have steadfast hope that Covid-19 is not here forever. Nothing ever is anyway. Start simple, what reason do you give yourself each time you choose to stay care free. When the kids are yelling and the dishes aren’t done – let’s assume there’s no help- plus you have to meet a ‘work-from-home-deadline’. You realize some order has to come around. Why had that order not been in place at the first place. Maybe you chose not to deal with one deadline at the time it came to your attention. If it’s personal, work it out and then things will begin to clear up. Just don’t sweat out all this ‘to-be-done’ patches for long. Because not one thing is permanent , even Rona.

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  25. Walking around naked (1 star – would not recommend if you have kids ) – is risqué and only fun if you live alone.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………….
    Am on day two walking around the house naked.the real meaning of “minding my own”

  26. A good read Eddy. But you should vacate your comfortable bedsitter to a gated single room in Kileleshwa . Otherwise, Kauda suited Kisis will vaporize your room with their boiling unpeeled bananas

  27. Hey Eddy, when you Stepped into the podium and took charge I had my fingers crossed because of what these aundience is used to. But with the help of your overactive imagination, our long period of self-isolation and your YouTube clips of ghosts ‘caught on security camera’, we are fine.