My first day in uni was meant to be magical. However someone up there in the heavens had something else in mind. That day was the precursor to the most horrible weeks I was destined to experience later in life.
I do not know who or what injected the rotten idea that those old enough to be your parents or grandparents have the right to be thoroughly mean to the youngsters. This behaviour, as I have observed, is common in government owned institutions or service providers and it has to die.
Here is a preview of what I had endured occasionally in my partially miserable university life:
Event 1: the mean janitor.
I had woken up late for my morning class and I had a cold that made my head throb. After climbing five flights of stairs, I was finally where I was supposed to be. The janitor, a thin angry man in his late thirties to early fourties, was mopping the hall way. I carefully tiptoed on the sides so that I could not mess up the cleaning. I checked the room my lecture was to be held but it had another group of students. I did the same to the next room till I came to the fourth door but the students were unfamiliar .
As I locked the fourth door I stood in the middle of the hallway, looking for my spectacles in my backpack. Someone with a mop,with hands held akimbo, stood before me, breathing in fury.
I said “hi” and smiled. In my mind I knew I had not done anything wrong to offend him. All of a sudden and unexpectedly, he vented in Swahili ( …but I will translate it for my readers)
“What is the matter with you? Eeh? What is your problem? You came here to spoil my work? If you don’t have anything to do, go back where you came from!”
Wow! That was rude! Not cool . Politely, I told him I was looking for my lecture class . He sneered and ordered me to disappear. I did . When I exited that hallway, I saw a group of students I recognized in the opposite hall . I found my lecture after all that struggle.
Event 2: the rude guards
I was from visiting a tin roofed hotel that served good food outside the uni. My belly was full and my brains had stopped working after surviving 5 hours of chemistry and 3 hours of mathematics. I had my school ID in my hood’s pocket so I had no worries getting through the guards from hell.
Unfortunately there was a guy who didn’t have a good start for the night. The gate was crowded ,students moving in and out, some with bikes, others with luggage and a few, like me, with nothing on their person but clothes, and objects that could fit in the pocket.
This is what went down;
“Boss, iko wapi ID? Huna? Bila ID hukuna kuingia. Songa kando. Ati nini? Unadhani mimi mamako? Nilikuambia usahau ID kwa nyumba? Kijana, usilete fujo. Enda gate A ,wanadeal na jokers ka’ wewe. Ghasia!!! Unadhani mimi na wewe ni rika moja? Sitaki national ID yako ! Kwenda huko! ”
( Sir, where is your ID? You don’t have it? With no ID I can not let you pass. Stand at the side! What? Do you think am your mother? Did I tell you to forget your ID at home? Young man, do you want to start a fight? Go to gate A, they deal with jokers like you. Ghasia! Do you think we are agemates ? No, I do not accept national ID. Go away! ”
The young man looked like a rained on chicken. He had no choice but to disappear. The next person did not have an ID but I guess they were buddies for he let him through with nothing but a fist bump.
Event three: the student adviser.
Every new academic year is an exciting walk to the bank to collect the student loan. However, it involves a tiresome procedure of collecting signatures from a few academic staff.
It was my turn to see the student advisor. I gave him the document as soon as I sat down.
“Do I have hands?
“Yes sir, you do.
“Did I ask for the document?
He threw the paper at me.
“Now, give me the document!
I did what was ordered, I handed it over….again
“Did you read the terms and conditions?
“Yes I did
“What does number 31 state?
I was blank….
“Go back and read it ! We might be signing a death warrant. ”
I disappeared for one hour in which I went through 100 terms and conditions . Confidence led me back to the office, the line was way longer than the time I had left. It took half an hour to see him again.
It was my turn. I did not repeat the same mistake.
“Where’s your signature?
I pointed at the bottom of the page.
He threw the paper at me once again.
” Look where your mistake is.
He sneered at he glared at me. I had signed on the official dash. My bad. He proceeded to lecture me for another twenty minutes, threatening to take down my admission number and dig out every skeleton in my closet.
I had made two copies of the document. I signed at the right space and he did the same.
As I walked out of the door he spoke loudly, ” The youths of today, very useless. Next! ”
Those are just a few examples of the worst situations. Anyways,no hard feelings. One day they will find themselves in my office.