Last week I went shopping for exactly one item. I held a hundred shillings in my hand because I was certain of the price.

I walked into the estate supermarket. NB: This is a chain that, on more than one occasion, has listed a different price on the shelf from the one at the cashiers’ when you are ready to check out. In addition, it is having liquidity woes and has closed most of its branches countrywide. It is a Kenyan company, so I thought I’d do my civic duty to help keep it afloat by patronizing it despite the aforementioned. Also, my nephew worked there part-time and I wanted to be sure he would get his allowance at the end of the month.

At the cashiers, I was told the item cost 115/=. That I expected although it still rankled, so I exchanged the note in my hand with a 200/= one. The cashier, looking thoroughly harassed, asked me if I had 15/= coins on me. I didn’t. He gave me back my two hundred note and informed me he did not have the change. I blinked and paused. Then catching myself, I walked out and got the same item from a kiosk at the 100/= I had budgeted for initially. In hindsight, I wonder why he had not thought to ask me if I could pay the difference via mobile money.

And there ended my patriotism and patronage. All nice and indignant, I lamented the arrogance of city folk and travelled to the village where people know how to run businesses. Now my village is hot and dry so a cold soda is always welcome. Day one. Super excited to be home where everyone says hi to everyone else even when you do not know each other. I go to the nearest shop, grab a soda from the fridge and lament that it is not cold. The shopkeeper agrees with me on the temperature of the drink. No apology or explanation just agreement.

Determined not to be a city slicker, I was going to power through a warm drink and requested a bottle opener. “We don’t have one.” Pause. Blink. I opened the fridge, that was not on, and returned the soda. I walked a further ten metres and had my cold drink. The following day, I was sure the elusive bottle opener would have been found. Nope. So for the next 5 days, I just walk the extra ten metres and get what I want.

Do they not see what they are doing to themselves, chasing away clients? How can you contribute to your impending joblessness so casually? Don’t you care that if your company makes constant losses you will lose your job because your employer will have to shut down? On the other hand, what kind of horrible employer are you that your employees feel nothing letting money walk out the door every single day?

I know it is Friday and the weekend is here but I need you to contemplate this seriously. What are you doing to yourself? Granted it may not be your father’s company hence you’re not obliged but this is where you are earning a living right now. Do you realise that if the business goes under, so will your source of income? Meaning, your dreams of personal financial management or of financial freedom will no longer be viable? No cash to be managed hence…

Are you doing right by your employer/employee or as the Swahili say, are you cutting off your own legs?

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