“…..Almost made you love me, almost made you cry
Almost made you happy, baby, didn’t I, didn’t I?
You almost had me thinking you were turned around
But everybody knows, almost doesn’t count……”
The above is the opening verse to Brandy’s song titled “Almost doesn’t count.”
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016.
I wake up rather late for the test. Anyway, who cares? Aptitude tests have always been a piece of cake to me, or rather, as easy as ABC. I had always longed for that day that I shall step into PWC towers, and that day had come only that I was not going to PWC. Mark you, I had attempted the PWC aptitude test, and I failed, and it became the first one in my life that I had ever failed.
PWC Towers at Waiyaki Way, Westlands, Nairobi.
Image Credits: SkyscraperCity
So today I am at the PWC towers on a different mission but the same agenda – to get employed. I had almost given up on the company because I had applied for the vacancy over two months ago and there was no communication from them regarding whether they had received my application. However, right now, all that is in the past. At least, I am glad that I have been invited for the first phase of recruitment.
I enter the fully packed room at exactly 8.47 a.m. At the reception, I can spot a tough looking security guard. If he were an American, he would simply pass for an ex-Navy Seal. There seemed to be no trace of warmth around him as I approached the reception desk.
“Confirm your name on this list and sign against it,” he commanded (I must use the word “command” by virtue of his description).
I manage to locate my name, and I append my signature with the utmost confidence. It seemed like I was signing a 221 million cheque (if you know what I mean, heheh) written in my favor. I then proceed to the next room as I await further instructions.
So we are like 100 contestants. I can spot schoolmates and classmates from campus. We exchange pleasantries and our conversations center on tarmacking.
“Ata wewe bado unatarmack?” One of them asks inquiringly.
“Hivyo ndio kunaendanga, heheh,” I mutter sarcastically.
In two shakes of a lamb’s tail, our conversations and interactions are cut short by a lady’s modulated voice from the sound system within the building. We are instructed to take all our luggage into a separate room and get ready for the test.
“Who carries luggage to an aptitude test?” I ask myself sardonically.
Surely, who does that? (In DJ Shiti’s voice).
DJ Shiti of The Real Housewives of Kawangware.
Image Credits: Mpasho
After the preparation commotion is over, we enter a room full of computers and sophisticated workstations. Oooh! Where have you been all my life?
A day trader’s workstation.
Image Credits: desktopped.com
Immediately, I begin to see myself trading behind one of the workstations. Swiftly, I move from dreamland into reality. The reality is that I have to pass the aptitude and probably three face-to-face interviews before I live my dream of trading behind one of the machines.
Traders office set-up.
Image Credits: Cosmotech
We then sit behind the computers. We are then issued with passwords to the aptitude system. Then a plump lady walks into the room. She is wearing a brown official lady suit. Her hair, although shorter, reminds me of Whitney Houston’s curly locks when she released her album titled Whitney in 1987. I’m sure members of that SACCO are satisfied by what they see in her even though time and again we know that they never get satisfied. Their modus operandi is usually, “onto the next one.”
The late Whitney Houston in 1987 when she released an album titled Whitney.
Image Credits: Pinterest.
Based on the instructions she gives us, I guess that she is the HR manager. I say so because she kept referring to a set of instructions that had been attached to the email inviting us to the aptitude test. She finally gives us the go ahead.
The test is to last for 40 minutes only, and it is composed of mathematical and observation questions. I know you are wondering what observation questions are. Okay, these are the questions that test one’s observation skills. For instance, you may be given a box full of words which are written in different colors, and you are instructed to observe the box carefully. Then after you answer three to four mathematical questions, you are asked to identify which one of the words are written with the wrong color. That’s a tough challenge, isn’t it?
As we continue solving the questions, some of the employees begin streaming in. I manage to find the opportunity to steal glances at them. Based on what I see, I can tell that there is a sense of freedom. It seems like the employees are given the liberty to operate based on their free will. It also seems like they are free to wear what they want. I am particularly impressed by one of them who is dressed in a pair of shorts and casual sandals. He drags himself to the coffee vending machine.
Focus! Bryan! Focus!
Back to the test. The questions are tough as that four-letter word. I regret saying that aptitudes are easy. Anyway, I encourage myself through adopting a positive mindset. At some points, I am forced to trust my gut feeling. Being a phlegmatic, I also use my sense of intuition in solving some questions. What motivates me to play Russian roulette with the questions is the long known trick of succeeding in any aptitude exam – finish all the questions.
“Chicago report coming in. I repeat, Chicago report coming in. Check mail. Over and out.”
A silken, sensuous, rumbling baritone voice is heard emanating from the room’s public address system. You know that kind of masculine voice that can make a lady’s knees to wobble like jelly? Yes, that’s what I’m talking about. I guess our sisters from another mother could not get enough of the voice. To put things clear, the voice sounded like Barry White’s (Do you really know what he did using his voice?). I guess they would have wished for him to talk on and on. Anyway, who am I to be quick to judge?
The late Barry White.
Image Credits: PRX
At the 40th minute, the chubby HR manager orders us to stop. From where I am, I can see that the room is half empty. I guess some of the contestants gave up on the way. But then again, who am I to be too quick to jump to extraneous conclusions? Well, blame it on my phlegmatic nature. What a relief!
To be continued……
[NB: The story is to be written in three phases].