breakfast with the boss
One of the most priceless pieces of advice D received during orientation was to time our flights in such a way that we’d arrive in Nairobi Thursday night. On Fridays, the Embassy closes midday – just enough time to stop by, pick up admin paperwork, and meet coworkers, leaving the rest of the day and the whole weekend to settle in and get over jet lag.
Even if our circadian rhythms had not been out of whack, D would have been up with the sun. The new Ambo decided to institute a monthly “Breakfast with the Boss” and requested that D attend. So D was up at 6am, picking through his recently unpacked suits, trying to pick the one that looked the least in need of pressing.
D’s predecessor picked him up at 7am to ensure that they would arrive 10-15 minutes before the rest of the guests so that D would have a chance to meet his new boss. After exchanging a few pleasantries, Ambo looked at D askance and said, “Nice tie. Jos Banks, right? I have one just like it,” and before D’s sleep-deprived mind could think of anything witty to say, Ambo reached forward to check the label himself. D resolved to henceforth bring an extra tie to work – a resolution that would have served him well if he had stuck to it.