Guys we don’t ask for much, we can’t ask for much, we were taught that we shouldn’t ask but we should go out and take. Asking is for pink pant wearing sissies. Guys that ask are the same listening to Celine Dion in traffic, and smiling at the driver that just cut in front of them. They get manicures, pedicures, sync their periods and have their weaves retouched by mama Wambui at the local saloon and wear an avocado mask to bed so ati their skin exfoliates.
But when we do ask we ask for only two things. The first is for a fine mama with booty from here to rio, cooking skills like Jamie Oliver, head like a blessing from God, raspy voice, shining eyes, a cushioned chest, makes six figures, Christian but not religious, friends with your mother, loves doing dishes, laundry and ironing, doesn’t argue, let’s her friends flirt with you (really not too much) to call you up on a Wednesday and tell you they miss you and that you should go over and “see” them. Even if it only ever happens once.
The other thing guys ask for, and should always ask for, is a girls number. The pain and pleasure in not knowing if she will say yes or shut you down like a malfunctioning laptop is the beauty of it. Also there’s this statistic that I purely made up that says only 19% of girls say no. That means 70% will give you their number and the other 11% you already have. Also above all it’s respectful and respect is earned as much as it is given yes? I mean you can’t get respect if you don’t give it. It’s not taxes and you’re not KRA.
Say hello to Laura fine girl by all standards, walks into a customer service shop, fills forms, airs her issues, gets served and goes home. Pretty routine, something I’d do and something you’d probably do. There’s really not much to think about, what do you even think about? Maybe Carol’s smile, the one who heads corporate or Jamo’s cologne coz it was breezy and the guy behind smelt like chewed batteries. Maybe the guy or lady that told you her station wasn’t busy so you could jump line even though she was handling sim replacement and your issue was more data related. These are faces even though pretty and memorable you forget the minute you walk out because it’s business, it always is, that’s how it should be.
Maybe the same happened to Laura, and she walked out; maybe satisfied by the service, maybe not. But at around five pm she receives a text from a number she doesn’t have. She probably checked the profile picture on whatsapp and it didn’t ring any bells so she let it go. Maybe even ran it through True caller and when nothing clicked she chose to let it slide. Hours later she decides to reply, after all what’s the harm right? The guy simply said hi, usually a conversation non – starter for me but maybe it hits Laura’s buttons. I like the more straight approach where salutations don’t exist, we just dive into the conversation like a main meal no appetizers – but this isn’t about me.
It’s 11 pm, at 11 pm I am probably on my eighth pint or sixth double. At 11 pm a kid somewhere in Nanyuki is turning in his cold bed, the mesh eating through the thin mattress and marking his body and he is dreaming of chapatis on the next visiting day, at 11 pm the devil is taking a nap so temps in hell are a degree point give cooler, at 11 pm there’s booty calls being ignored, girlfriends being dumped, guys asking “uko wapi?” And generally a whole lot of other things that could, should and would happen at 11 pm. For Laura it was a turn of events, a breach in privacy and the realization that the world doesn’t give a rat’s left butt cheek about your woes.
Said guy texts back. Sends a picture of himself taken at the office in uniform and a quick clarification that he served her that same day at a customer service center. Maybe in his head it played out romantic, knight in shining armor saving a damsel in distress out of her boredom and a bad love life. Or maybe he just wanted to get to know her and be friends, there’s people you meet whose charm rubs off on you and you just must see them again; or their utterly obnoxious, like a nagging 3 year old neighbor’s kid – a neighbor you don’t even like. Maybe Laura is the likeable kind, exudes charm and charisma, maybe guy was genuinely smitten – a quick peek at her avi confirms this.
But Laura knows better, she knows that this is not normal, customer information is private. Companies have been sued for sharing their client data with outsiders. So she’s straight about it and tells the guy that he is breaching her privacy and the guy, complacent, maybe even naive, has the nerve to say “not in a bad way”. How? When is breach of privacy not in a bad way? The fact that he used those exact words means he knows it is wrong, but if the ends justifies the means then why not right? She’s just another girl that walked into the office, out of a hundred? Thousand? Hundred thousand maybe? Heck she should feel so damn special that he chose to text her.
But no Laura did not feel privileged she felt violated, her information was being misused, god knows what else she put on that form. What else would this guy do? What steps would he take? All these are valid fears. She has a right to worry. She has a right to bring up the issue with his superiors; but he defends himself saying he did not want to get involved at the workplace. Maybe he knew it would’ve been inappropriate, maybe the backlash would’ve been worse, maybe a manager would’ve been summoned and matters escalated up the chain of command, he could not risk that, and what? Lose his job? So the better option – pun intended – was to text her. Another clear violation of company policy but one he was most likely to get away with. Actually one he should’ve gotten away with if the response on social media is anything to go by.
So what does Laura do? Use the quickest avenue to get attention in Kenya right now, social media. She uploads the conversation and asks the telecommunications company why they allow their employees to retrieve client information for personal use. Valid point raising security concerns; anyone I’m their right mind could see this. But immediately that went up people turned against her, the victim, , the one whose rights had been violated. They called her antics as attention seeking, her genuine concerns were brushed off as a self serving tirade to get followers, she was expected to be a good woman and accept the advances warmly or – ignore and block. Because in the 21st century we don’t report when things are not right. We smile and wave like the penguins of Madagascar hoping everything will, be alright.
The worst part of it all was the women, not that I excuse the men I will do a letter addressing the men later, but the women who full of vitriol bashed Laura are the biggest culprits. They of all should have understood that in a time where male privilege is strife there was no better time to stand up for their fellow woman. But no, they called her cheap, other unprintables, shameless, and to top it all off that she’d never get a husband. Some said she would not react the same if it was some CEO instead. That she would’ve been enthralled to indulge in their niceties. I say bullshit. Another woman was proud to declare how she even gets hit on by her gynecologist – how is that even normal? Have we forgotten Mugo? Is that even something to brag about? She should’ve been on the forefront of also exposing other dubious characters who are misusing their positions for whatever reason.
Let’s be real, that guy crossed boundaries. There’s no excuse for it. He did it in full knowledge that what he was doing was wrong. He probably read the wrong vibes off of Laura. Laura, was not his first. He’s done it before and gotten away with it, so much so that it felt normal to him. He’s other victims, yes victims, did not speak up which does not make it right. Laura was among the few who did the right thing and now she gets vilified for it? If he loses his job that is not Laura ‘ s fault that’s his fault for breaking company policy and your fault for letting him keep doing it because it is “normal”.
And to Laura; you were justified in standing up for your rights. No amount amount of insults will change that. To me you’re a hero. We need more like you.