Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Dime Is Tight

In this tough economic climate, one thing that is universal is the need to avoid frivolous spending. While Daniel, who I have known for years, is no economist, he has a simple three point plan to getting through the crisis.

1. Don’t spend if you don’t have to, but make sure you position yourself so others spend on you. 2. Be in the right place at the right time. 3. Take advantage of invitation cards to corporate bashes for there is always something to eat and drink and that solves the supper issue.

He has a point. But if white collar workers feel the pinch, what about the blue collar worker? How do they surf out the economic survival wave?

I politely asked Waitress to toss the tooth pick that dangled from her mouth into the bin as she served the TML. However, the interpretation I got from the roll of her eyes that shot back at me suggested she was not going to do it. A further message in her eyes read something along the lines of: “What is your f*****g problem, do you pay my wages?” I too retorted and berated her – and ended the tirade with something along the lines of: “If you didn’t have lunch, why don’t you have chips?”

When it was time to go and the bill presented, the word ‘chips’ appeared on the fourth line. Chips? I didn’t eat chips so I called Waitress back. She obviously knew what ‘the problem was’ and had an answer ready to roll. In a tone designed to quell any confrontation I might put up, she said: “Naye you told me to order chips.” Hmm! I tried to tell her that I was merely being sarcastic and not knowing the Luganda translation for sarcasm didn’t help. Because she was unrepentant and insistent on the chips, there was a need to firmly put her in her place with a mouth full of my finest Luganda swear words to drive the message home.  

Moving on, we go there once a week usually on a Friday because the beer price tag is sh2,500. But I am not going to tell you where it is because you will all come and spoil our ‘good thing’.

That evening, PL gave me a bag of t-shirts that were leftovers from a campaign he had been working on. 

Obviously when my boys saw the shirts, everybody wanted one and helped themselves. As we made merry and the night wore on, when Waiter served another drink, he cleared the bile from his throat and tapped me on the shoulder. He was straight to the point. “TB, you gave Doc and Anus a t-shirt, but I didn’t get one.” I think there is a need to repeat what he said just to make sure we are all on the same page - don’t you? “TB, you gave Doc and Anus a t-shirt, but I didn’t get one.” Yep, that is what I thought he said. What he missed is that Doc and Anus are my tights and he is not.

Was this a case of being in the right place at the right time like Daniel said? I would have swung him a shirt but like Waitress, it was his attitude - an attitude that he deserved one and that if I did not have one for him, he expected it the following Friday. I let him be.

During the week, my Samsung replica phone rings.

Caller: TB, don’t forget your promise.
TB: “Who is this and what promise?”
Caller: “It’s me. You promised me a t-shirt.”

It was Waiter. Had his airtime not run out, my finest Luganda swear words were set to roll.