Friday, 23 October 2015

"I DO" movie premiering on KNUST CAMPUS.


On the 30th of October (save the date) the biggest celebrity wedding ever would be premiered on screens! At the KNUST campus.



With stars like Van Vicker, Kafui Danku, Elikem Kumordjie(?), just say "I Do" and grab a ticket to go witness the whole event. Chances are, it's not going to be your ordinary event! There'll be suspense, intrigue and some good lip-locks (—it's a wedding after all).



RSVP for the biggest wedding of the year. And the biggest red carpet event in Kumasi (featuring all the movie stars! Come take pics with the celeb brides and grooms).



For tickets, call 0500026369 or 0573604517.

Plus I won't be missing it too. And trust me, Even in my suit, I'd outshine all the grooms and a few brides.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Fucking Interns: Fast and Furiously Effective (episode 7)




DAY 41
9.55 hours
“Nice and easy,” The bum wiped off the stream of saliva running down her chin as she shook the plastic cup she held and handed it back. “Your boss wouldn’t know my spit from his espresso.”

We shared a conspiratorial wink as I walked towards the revolving doors of the entrance.
I didn’t tell anyone this. I got visions. Every time I pushed through these revolving doors. An avalanche of memories would flood my head. Memories I’d rather want to obliterate.

I’d see myself sitting at the HR Judgement room. I’d be tensed, worried, my lips wobbly as I stared on at the firing squad of the magazine. I wouldn’t hear them speak, but I could read their lips: You Are Fired. And moments later, I’d be packing out of Glitz, saying goodbye to all my colleagues. Then I’d remember Claudia Sharpe, editor in chief, call me a dark horse. And as though a 'Reset to Factory Settings' button had been tampered with, my brain received a fresh start as I revolve into the lobby. Apprehension gone, replaced by a feeling of ease. I would no longer feel insecure. I'd walk with a spring in my step, slowly. A foot placed in front of the other in equal rhythmic precision. Tap. Tap. Tap.

On the ride up the elevator, I’d wear on a smile. Like I still did till this day. Grateful to be at Glitz. Always, I picked up from this fresh, new start and began my day in the magazine of my dreams.

“Kobby, you are late.” I was greeted by Winfred’s reproachful tone as I walked into his office.

I was just going to assume he’d magically forgotten he’d ordered me to do the coffee-run before coming into work. I wanted to keep my smile. At least, what was left of it. So I ignored looking his way, and went about the room to distribute the others’ coffees.

“As I was saying,” Winfred began. “before the distraction,” His pause was deliberate, but I was too busy—eyeing Maggie’s Victorian lace gown and the matching parasol she’d swung onto her neck as I handed her the coffee—to care. “I have a challenge for you today.” My ears perked up, moving on to Justin who looked right through me as he took his coffee—too attentive to care about the serf. “As a copy editor, running the online magazine would be one of your duties. The online magazine is frequently updated and you’d have lots of freelance journos emailing their pieces to be posted online.” Wendy smiled distractedly at me, shoving me lightly when I was spending too much time searching through my treat bag for the sugar-crusted donut she’d specifically requested.

“Today, you’d run your own online magazine. Maggie you’d take on fashion,” Maggie beamed. “Justin you’d take on beauty.” Justin hid his disappointment. So the secret cross-dresser was beaten to fashion by the horribly, inappropriately dressed Victorian-loving intern. The irony of it all was stunning. “Wendy you’d handle accessories—the easiest!” Wendy wasn’t proud either of handling the easiest. If joining in the lunch-break arm-wrestling with security was anything to go by, it was clear she sure loved a challenge. “And Kobby,” His pause was evident as he addressed me, again I was too involved playing stoic butler to care. “you’d handle true-life stories.”

Wait! What? I steadied the remaining coffees before they slipped through my grasp. Hours spent dissecting the love life of Lady Mary and Cousin Matthew was proving of more worth than the level of seriousness (—none at all) I attached to those broke waitresses in New York.

True-life stories meant more word-count and more work! If I was seething beneath, I wore a blank mask. (Woah. Downton Abbey offered more than they were letting on). I wasn’t going to make my boss think I’d find it difficult handling the section.

“So, you would all be creating a blog,” Winfred resumed, after dipping his hands into my pastry basket and retrieving the scones I’d bought for myself, ignoring the bagels he always had. I wore on a smile—tense at the edges though. You wouldn't find me complaining. “I’d give you the email addresses of the sections I’ve assigned you. The challenge is, you post more by the end of the day.” The others all shrugged in synchrony as though they'd been asked to tie as many shoe-laces as they could. I sipped my coffee to appear unbothered because I knew Winfred was keeping an eye on me as he continued to speak, “Like an online magazine, you are going to promote your blog, get feedback on your articles—as much as you can.”

The others shrugged. My coffee immediately flew to my lips.

“Oh, there’s a clincher.” Anxiety levels peaked at his devilry tone. “Whoever performs least compared to their colleagues would have to miss some of my lecturing. And that means, dealing with HR on intern-review day.” My palms began watering at the mention of 'HR'. 

“Oh, did I say the deadline of the challenge is twenty-four hours? Which in Glitz time is a full working-day of six hours?”

Immediately all the others scampered towards the exit. I made an attempt to follow them.

“Kobby?” I slowly spun at my boss’ call. “Get me coffee.” I stared pointedly at the one I’d just left on his desk seconds ago. He hadn’t just lost his sight, had he? “Oh, Kobby, don’t you see?” He rolled his eyes at me. “I want you to fail.” And with those words, his coffee leaped from his desk and landed into the nearby bin. “Oops, gravity’s such a bitch.”

Just like my horrible boss.
10.45 hours
If anyone should have found the challenge easy, it should have been me. I had been book-blogging for years. So after settling in my cubicle at the Intern Floor and finishing off the last of the scones I’d picked up on my coffee-run for Winfred, I spread my hands on my keyboard. And began.

In a few minutes, I’d created my blog. I’d signed into the email account of the true-life articles. I’d edited and hosted up the first article on my blog. And I’d been sitting for minutes waiting for someone to comment.

Cricket, cricket.

Of course, I’d known it would take some time for someone interested to drop a comment. So I copied the link of the post and shared it across all my social media. I sat down waiting for an interested party to give feedback.

Cricket, cricket.

I turned to look at the others to see how they were faring. Maggie’s eyes were shut, humming to herself, a gloved-finger piercing through layers of artificially-ventilated air as she hit what I supposed would be the high notes of the song. There couldn't have been a more effective way to communicate to the rest of us how easy she was finding the challenge. Wendy was staring seriously at her screen, till she beamed a couple of minutes later, and began jamming at the keyboard hitting the 'enter' key, with a finishing flourish. The reader to whom she was replying must have pushed the right buttons with her. I looked on to Justin, who had pushed his monitor away from our view and was sniggering suspiciously to himself. I was curious.

“Justin, care to share?” I asked casually.

“Oh, it’s nothing. Just replying to my sixteenth comment on my eighth post.”

An electrifying jolt sent a shudder through me. The others had also heard and seemed bewildered too.

“C’mon,” He shrugged like it was no big deal. “I figure you guys are way ahead of me. You are just teasing.” In his heart, I knew he knew we weren’t teasing. Modesty had never been his forte.

“What have you been doing, Justin?” Wendy asked dubiously. “I’ve posted my fifth article and I’ve only had one comment.”

“I’ve posted my eight article and have had one comment.” Maggie supplied behind me.
Their figures were making me dizzy. Dizzy enough to want to pull off a glove from Maggie and retch in it. Where have I been all this while? Oh, yeah, getting sodding coffee for my effing boss. I must find a way to catch up, else… I shook my head, banishing the possibility of facing HR again. I distracted myself with words coming out of Justin’s lips.

“… you guys are doing it too, aren’t you?” Justin seemed genuinely surprised. “You are sending private messages to your three-thousand Facebook friends asking them to comment on your posts, aren’t you?”

My curiosity was piqued. “Isn’t that cheating?”

“It’s…” Justin looked up at the ceiling as though it held an answer. “… effective. And at this moment, you need effective, guys. We are being realistic here. No one is going to comment on a blog you just created in six hours. Unless you are the Dalai Lama.

“I thought the purpose of a challenge was to challenge us—“

“Shut up, Kobby.” Wendy snapped before I could continue. “I do not have three-thousand friends. But I have quite a number of guys persisting to go on a date with me.”

She stood from her computer and asked if she's got some of her scarlet lipstick on her teeth. Justin told her not to worry, scarlet didn't really make a striking appearance against yellow. She glared at him and headed for the guys in the IT department across the hall.

I stared at my friends list on Facebook. The triple digit count made my stomach lurch. I can’t have been on Facebook this while and only garnered two hundred friends? Besides why was I even considering this? There was no way I would be cheating. What if Winfred found out? I had an image of him pulling me by the ear. Which was enough to cause me to shiver.

In between my moral dilemma, I missed Wendy’s return. “Oh, I’m so booked for this year. I have no social calendar than going out on dates with geeky guys who’d be concerned about how forthcoming I was with algebra solutions in class five.” She turned to her computer screen. “Oh, there’s a plus though. Sixteen new comments on my first post, sixteen on my second… oh, heavens, this is all EFFECTIVE!” She shared a crafty smile with Justin

From my peripheral vision, I watched Maggie stand up, hoicking up a mass of her ridiculous outfit. “Well, I also can work a room too.” She stomped off.

“Maggie?” Justin called, a tint of mockery in his tone.

“What?”

“You left you parasol.”

“Oh, yeah.” She covered the space between her cubicle in long steps. “Might come in handy.” She was off as Justin and Wendy were heartily sniggering into their palms. I wanted to join in, only my laughter would seem fake and rehearsed. So I turned to my Notebook.

At first, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Had someone replaced my monitor when I wasn’t watching? “Guys, I’ve had a comment!” I announced excitingly. “An honest one, not like what you all have.” I jeered at them as I clicked to see the comment. “Kobby,” I read out, alternating my gaze between the Notebook screen and the others, “could you... get me… coffee…” my voice trailed off. My eyes immediately settled on the avatar of the commenter. I mentally squished the image in between my thumb and my index finger.  

How the fuck was I supposed to moderate that? I hit the delete button and threw my hands at the heavens for giving me the worst boss on earth. How was I supposed to get the challenge done and run his errands at the same time? Oh, yeah, I remembered, he was rooting for my failure.

I stood up from my cubicle, ignoring the snickering from the others. I quickened my steps towards the elevator only to halt when my eyes fell on one beauty intern. The beauty intern we’d dubbed ‘Selfina’ for her tendency to take more selfies in a minute than the heart would beat for the same time. The beauty intern with a tablet I couldn’t help but eyeball.

How was I supposed to get the challenge done and run his errands at the same time? Oh, yeah, there was a solution.
11.45 hours.
I couldn’t remember a time my neck hurt this much. Who knew taking so much selfies could ruin a tendon in your neck? I didn't. I was grateful though for the tablet I clasped in my hand which might appease the pains a bit. So you wouldn’t find me giving a stern leccture to the Chinese tourists snapping away all around the choked pavements.

“Mum,” I yelled in my phone hooked between my neck and a wobbly shoulder as I balanced my boss’ coffee in one hand and Selfina’s device in the other. “I could do with a little help from you.”

“Help?” My mum said on the other end. The sound of a vacuum cleaner almost drowning her out.

“It’s about work, mum,” The moment the words escaped my lips I regretted them.

“Fuck off, Kobby.”

“Mum!” I shouted over her before she could disconnect and found myself engaging in a two-step with a man uncertain of a side to take. “Please, it’s really serious. I need you to get on a blog I’ve created and comment.”

“It’s too much work, Kobby.”

There was a reason my mum had ‘given up’ her high-flying career as a nurse to be a stay-at-home mum. She always held this against my dad. No, we didn't want to know how many nurses would give up getting glasses of water to octogenarians every five minutes (—but she told us anyway, "A few, OK? A brave few."). We all knew if there was a list of words she wished the Queen hadn’t made up it would be ‘occupation’ along with 'earning a living'"It’s a waste of space, you know, that phrase,” I heard her complain to an old colleague who came over once. ‘Working for a living. Eek. As if there aren’t other, better ways to live.’

“Kobby, I’m engaging in thorough housework. I can’t leave that to attend to you.”

I couldn’t help but snap, “Oh, you and I both know you are following your hired-help around!” She ended the call, part in annoyance, part in shock that I knew of her long-kept secret. Next time she'd know not to disregard the photographic mind of a toddler who watched his mother wrinkle her nose in disgust as a stranger change his nappies (—"Does mama think ma poopy ish schmelly?").

I looked at the next on my list of people to call as I headed back for the Glitz building. There were so many friends who weren’t answering my calls from the moment I landed an internship at Glitz since they'd be spending all of summer in banks, in a tele-marketing jobs and behind a store counter. I certainly wasn't phoning Bob the Builder. So, I called the next on my ‘Family’ list, hoping they’d help.

I had no chance with my dad. He was enjoying his lunch break, playing golf, his android was running low and he wanted to make the last pocket, turning on his data would mean losing his game, but I should ask Isaac, kids our age had a full battery, he doubted crushing candy would hold so much interest to us, millennials. Isaac, my older, die-hard competitive brother who hated me the very moment he found out another baby was resting in his old crib, told me to, “Screw your asshole, asshole.” That’s Isaac. Very, err, selective of his choice of words.

“Kobby,” my grandmother had barked at me as I tried to give her the link to the website, 

Double-you-tee-eff, I am sick and tired of kids of your generation abbreviating every single thing. If you do not have the time to say aitch-tee-tee-pee in full, then I’m thinking you do not need my help as much. Oh-em-gee! If you keep this up, it wouldn’t take long before I YOLO one of these days! The loud disconnection tone stung my ear.

12.45 hours
I was going to fucking cry! If I assumed Winfred would be wearing me out because of the word count of true-life stories I was wrong. There was just so much sadness one could take in a day.

The others were already on their fifteenth (Wendy) and twentieth (Maggie) and fortieth posts. And I was on my desk, battling my third article wondering why there was so much sadness in the world. Why was that woman’s lover gunned down by her husband? Why did another have to be caught between a truck and a bin lorry and still survive to write to Glitz? Why could another woman not bring herself to pulling the plug on her son? (The latter was irritably dragging).

I massaged the kink in my neck wearily. I refreshed my blogger page to see if I had a comment. My eyes widened at the number of comments I had. Or rather, the number of comments I was supposed to have but didn’t! Grr. I wanted to yell at something: I have fucking stated you should comment! I took my time and told you to please fucking comment after reading this post! What more do you internet junkies want?

“Kobby,” Winfred was at my cubicle. Everyone looked up from their computers at his arrival. I immediately smiled so he didn’t notice my tension. It’s all really going fab, boss, these internet junkies are loving me! “Get me lunch.” He spun and headed for the elevator.

“I’m so exhausted, can’t I have a break?” Unfortunately Winfred heard what I’d intended to Maggie only.

“Did you say you want a break?” He rewarded me with his best withering stare. I nodded tentatively. “Oh, you would now? How about I send you some warm juice to go along with this break? Or, you’d prefer a massage? Perhaps, I could send in the magazine’s glam squad so you guys engage in exciting chatter as they braid your pubic hair?” He was off.

The others were giggling. I shot them my best withering stare. They were still giggling.

I stood up from my desk, went in for Selfina’s device—“Oh, my neck’s hurting, can we fucking not do this? Thank you!”—and headed for the exit. At the ground floor far out of reach of so many important eyes, I screamed, I stabbed at the heavens, I asked why my boss was so unbearable.

“Oh, there’s the boy who always smiles when he comes into work.” A security guard said to his colleague.

Despite myself I smiled.

13.05 hours
I was beginning to feel the heat when working hours were drawing to an end. I was nowhere near my fourth article. And I was flickering through the email unconcerned. Why did the stories have to be all so sad and weary? Why could I not sit still without getting momentary flashbacks of myself facing the firing squad?

“So, you know why they had to kill off Patrick Dempsey in Grey’s Anatomy?” I had only realized I was in Bummy’s shed when reality caught up with me, staring at the cars that plied the street a few feet away. I didn’t want to go up there to another errand from Winfred. “It's so wrong for someone with so many wrinkles to be called McDreamy. Heck, where do those dreams begin and where do they end?”

Great, I was whiling my hours away chatting TV shows with a bum. Why was succeeding at Glitz so difficult for me? Why did I always have to go through many trials in a day? If I didn’t step up, HR was going to get to me! I’d be fired! Was that what I wanted?

“Kobby? Kobby?” Bummy was calling. “You seem a bit distracted.”

A bit?! That could well be the understatement of the year if she got knocked down by a bus after here. “I’m doing this challenge. If I do not get it right, I might be fired from here.” I confided.

The bum gave me a surprising look which was easy enough to be translate: Why are you always worried about being fired? “What’s this challenge about?” she asked instead.

“It’s a whole lot, really.” The exhaustion was evident in my tone. “I’d have to create a blog, then post articles, then get people to comment.”

“Why have you not asked me?” she seemed genuinely affronted. “Oh, you think just because I’m poor, I’m dumb as well?” She reached into the breast pocket of her tattered blouse, took out a smartphone—for my eyes only, and immediately stowed it back so no passerby saw it. I wasn’t even going to ask how she was able to afford that on her monthly salary.

“It’s not that.” I said too quickly. “It’s just… I am assigned to the true-life segment of articles to put up on the blog.”

“Oh, lemme guess, lots of sad stuff?”

“Tell me about it.” I rolled my eyes. “Who do these fucking writers think I am? A lending ear to all their woes?” I was in the middle of my rant when my phone pinged to announce I had received a text message.

Winfred: Where are you? And why are you still holding my lunch hostage?

I winced in remembrance of his errand. I stood up. “I have to run. I have an angry boss to feed.” I took a few steps away from her shed. “Oh, and one thing. Could you please comment on the blog for me?”

“Am I not supposed to be poor and dumb? The lethal combo for every hobo out in the cold?” She grinned as I feigned a glare. “Oh, I’d do more than that.”

13.30 hours.
I was back in my seat and I was posting as many articles as I could. At least, if I believed I was, nothing could take that away from me. It was just that after my errand with Winfred I’d come back to a fresh batch of emails. In these emails, I’d stumbled on one true-life article that wasn’t sad. I’m telling you! It was funny and enjoyable. A woman was relating her experiences on how she lost everything because of a husband who liked to drink, gamble, and make nasty comments about the size of her arse.

“I had had it,” the woman had written, “had he been playing with my emotions when he’d stated so many times before I married him that my huge arse was all he’d want to cuddle up to?”

I ended the article with a laugh as the woman noted to herself: ‘Opposites attract. Just don’t think someone from a rival political party is a suitable match.’ Refreshing my blogger homepage, I found out, there were already two comments to moderate. Bummy had kept to her word.

"All of you." Winfred was at our cubicles. "To my office now."

I immediately hit publish on Bummy’s earlier comments and was about to run with the others when another comment popped in. It was my grandmother. I sat back in my seat. ‘I did it. I did it.’ The comment read, followed by lots of grinning emoticons to show she’d finally mastered the art of commenting and the internet in general.

I smiled and edited the comment: 'I read it. I read it. Laughing My (shrivelling) Arse Off.'

14.04 hours
Winfred’s eyes were scrunched onto his computer screen for endless minutes as we sat in anticipation waiting for him to declare who the winner of the challenge was. Though we all knew it would be Justin who’d posted a whooping sixty-five posts and had over a hundred comments. He knew this and was fanning himself in his seat like he mattered and he couldn’t care less if Maggie and I were staring daggers at him for deliberately slapping his fan at our faces.

“I guess it’s clear to you all who the winner is.” Winfred looked up from his computer finally, turning to look at Justin. “Maggie, your performance was close. Wendy you had lots of comments who happened to be spammers. One had even added they’d be thrilled to go on a date with you this Tuesday, you’d only need to bring your amazing personality, he’d said, and your share of the bill.” Wendy clenched her fist, not on her life was she going Dutch on any date, it was clear she was thinking. Winfred turned from her. “Kobby, you are the winner of this challenge.”

What the… my head had taken a u-turn, before I knew it I’d snatched Justin’s fan and was fanning myself as fast as I could. What did he say?

“You have to be joking.” Justin was laughing by now, addressing Winfred. “You almost had me falling for that. Look at you! Hahaha.”

“The essence of this challenge wasn’t to post as many articles as you can.” Winfred silenced Justin. “As a copy editor, you are paid to be choosy. To be choosy of the material at your disposal, making sure you are not printing shit. Justin your site was crammed with shit articles, but Kobby—"

“This can’t be happening, I’m next in line. I had the second highest posts.”

“Maggie, your posts were shit. But Kobby,” Winfred turned to me, “you went by your high editing standards and chose quality over quantity.”

“I did?” I was looking anywhere but him with a silly expression of worry mixed with excitement mixed with oh how the hell was I supposed to know when I couldn’t stare in a direction for more than a second!

“Belle Vinci?” Winfred was saying “The penname of the journo who’s article you last published?” His tone was inquiring, I nodded insanely. “She’s one of the magazine’s finest freelancers. She mostly dabbles in fashion and beauty. I’m quite surprised she does real-life too. But anyway, your choice is in line with what I’d always go in for. Belle Vinci is one of my best, and if she’s yours…” His expression took on a contemplative one. “… I now see why Claudia Sharpe called you a keeper and a dark horse.”

I was smiling now. I couldn’t believe the news. Was this really happening to me? Was my boss not evil after all?

“All of you leave,” Winfred waved his hand dismissively at the others. “You do not deserve to be called my interns.” They left. But Justin returned to snatch his fan and fix one final glare at me.

“Kobby, you are in charge of the online magazine.” Winfred announced casually like it was nothing.

I stared at him as though he’d suddenly grown a third head. “The Glitz online magazine?” I asked in disbelief. When I realized he wasn’t going to respond, and he’d turned his focus away from silly me to his computer, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" I said. "I can't Thank you enough.

I know. But coffee would be a nice start.” He mumbled, feigning non-commitment.
I shot out of his chair with so much speed. I was never ever going to complain for being sent on an errand. Because I, Kobby, was now the magazine’s online editor!

“How did it go?” Bummy asked as I headed back to the offices with Win’s coffee in hand. Win! Win! We were definitely pals now! All the resentment towards him had drained on my run to get the coffee. Perhaps we’d bond very well after here. We'd discuss his entranged nephew and I'd tell him not to worry, weren't all boys like that at that age, would he like a foot massage? Yes, he very much would. Win and I would be besties!

“It went great.” I said with a reminiscent smile at Bummy. “And thank you for everything!”

“Everything?” She was thrown for seconds, not realizing what I meant.

“Yeah, the comments.” I found myself narrowing my gaze at her. How could she have forgotten? Then I realized the look that had flitted across her features had been something far from forgetful.

Belle Vinci…? The penname of the journo who’s article you last published…? I shook my head at the rush of Winfred’s words. I immediately checked to see an arse. An arse someone would lie they’d love to cuddle up to.

I gasped. “You are a fucking freelance journo!”

She looked horrified for a split-second. She regained her composure almost smoothly. But it was too late. “I have no idea what you are talking about. Who the hell is Belle Vinci? Who in their right minds would call themselves that?”                                                        

I smiled lightly. I wasn’t going to tell her I hadn’t mentioned the pseudonym to her. But I wanted to hug her anyway. I reached for her and she stepped back.

She pointed at the coffee in my hand, looking for a swift escape from the subject. “Should I spit in it?” she wanted to know.

I thought for seconds, then shook my head. Winfred had been good to me. And though he never noticed he was sipping on a bum’s saliva (who was also his celebrity journo, so nothing to really worry about), it didn’t feel right to keep this up. “I don’t think you should.” I blew her a kiss and turned on my heel. She’d never know how grateful I was for her.

Now if I’d known what was waiting up for me in Winfred’s office, I wouldn’t have run up to him. I would have taken all my time in the world. I would have put one foot before the other in rhythmic precision. I knew all this was just so good to be true. But perhaps, running had been a good thing.

 “An intern editing the online magazine? You don’t think it’s too huge for him?” The fashion director all the fashion interns dubbed 'Cruella de Ghana' was saying to my boss as I walked into his office.

They were facing his expansive floor-to-ceiling window with a nice view of Accra’s skyline beyond.

“I don’t.” Winfred’s answer made my lips stretch endlessly. His confidence in me was so intoxicating, I wanted to pull out a chair and urge him not to stop on my account. “He’d get by. He’d handle it like a pro.” He paused, I watched the two exchange a smile. “At least, that’s what I’ve made him believe.” My pulse began to quicken sensing worry.

“You are so shady, Win.”

“I am, aren’t I?” Winfred shrugged pompously. “I just cannot have him around here. Claudia Sharpe called him a dark horse. That’s scary enough.” A pang in my chest. Something inside was tearing.

“So you gave him the job the last senior editor held before he was fired. One mistake in the online magazine and he’d be sent packing?

“He wouldn’t have to worry about HR. Claudia would be onto him before he’s realized he’s misspelled ‘the’.” He sniggered villainously.

“Score one for Winfred. Score none for the fucking intern.”

The two were disappearing from my view, becoming smaller and smaller as though a force was deliberately wedging distance between us. It was then I realized I was back-pedaling out of the office. And doing the only thing an instinct dictated I must:


I run. 


Author's Note: Thanks for reading. Very grateful you've stuck with me till the seventh episode. Not many have :). I do not publish comments on the blog. If you want a reply to your feedback send it all to kobbytettehgyampoh@gmail.com. So till next week, thanks for stopping by.



Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Fucking Interns: The Devil's Assistant Wears Prada (episode 6)

AUTHOR's NOTE: This post is inspired by true-life events. Thanks for reading. Please send all feedback to kobbytettehgyampoh@gmail.com if you want a reply. I do not publish comments on this blog.



DAY 38 
8.15 hours.
Sometimes, the little solutions to problems we ignore could make us take bad decisions which further complicate these problems. Of course, I didn’t know this when I got out of my taxi stuck in unmovable traffic.

“You are the worst passenger I ever had!” The taxi driver was yelling at me as I proffered his money through the window. “I should have taken the main road. I shouldn’t have listened to you. There’s a whole lot of bad luck following you!”

I’d advised the driver to take the shortcut route since there was report of an accident on the major highway causing the kind of traffic I wouldn’t need this morning. Taylor was waiting for me to get to work on time. And I couldn’t be patient enough to keep her waiting because in my hand contained the magazine’s Style Guide. The magazine’s Style Guide I’d nicked with the other copy interns because my horrible boss didn’t want us anywhere near it. Taylor was to return the Style Guide to its stash. And I had to get to her early before my boss got to work or—worse—security found out this Style Guide was missing.

I paid the driver, leaving him to cuss at me for making him take this road and wouldn’t it have been OK to sit tight listening to him suggest proper solutions for the country’s dire economic state, huh? Huh? 

Balancing the huge leather-bound book in my hands, I was headed for the Glitz building, which I spotted from its lightning rod, was just a couple of blocks away.

Then I heard it. The crackling engine of a motorbike roaring behind me. It happened too fast for me to step away, and for a brief moment my life flashed before my eyes—work, school, church. Vagina! Vagina should be somewhere in there! I was dying, and I hadn't even had sex with anyone who wasn't me!—work, school, church, lube. 

Except this motorbike had no intention of running me over. It had zipped past, a beige scarf flying behind its driver’s helmet as he swerved through the jam-packed vehicles on the route.

I was safe. I wasn’t hit. I was alive. But my hands were shivering so much I had to stare at them with hopes of steadying them, slowing my pulse, calming myself. This was just another near-death experience better for sealing amongst memories of other similar experiences to be recalled at a later date, I consoled myself. Then I realized my hands were empty. There was no Style Guide.

Work, school, church, jail. I looked around hopelessly. Now where was a reckless driver when you needed one?

8.45 hours.
Taylor was glaring at me from the sharp bangs that shielded her eyes. Justin was furiously kicking a bin at a corner of the restroom. Wendy blew on the lacquer she’d just applied (“Because If I look up from my nails, I’m going to fucking kick your arse, Kobby.”). Maggie was throwing a wry smile in my direction. It was a nice change, this smile. Though it did nothing to cheer me up.

I knew I did wrong. I knew I shouldn’t have taken the shortcut, the easiest route out. If I’d been on the main highway, there was no way this would have happened. But there was no telling these people. I wasn’t going to take the blame for this, even though a part of me wanted to. 

“Guys, let’s be calm and analyse this…” I broke off as I heard my phone pinging, as well as all the others’ expect Taylor’s. We all suspected who was texting without getting our phones.

“I did analyse this Kobby, I did,” Taylor spoke perched against a stall’s door, a sob was evident in her voice. “You’ve ruined our internships. You’ve ruined any possible chances of us working at Glitz. I don’t want to look at you now. Just thanks very much for trashing my dreams.” She picked herself up, then walked to the door. “I’m sorry to say this, but I wished I'd never involved myself in your mess.” She directed this at everyone. “If you’d excuse me, there’s still a lot of work to do before I get fired.”

Fired, the word was heavy. The kind of word that settled in with the atmosphere and made you shiver out of fear. I wanted to reach to her, to pull her close and tell her if anyone would be getting fired it was me. Only because I was having suicidal thoughts. I would do anything in my power to prevent anyone from being THAT. But it was too late. It was like reaching out to a fleeting spirit; you didn't have hopes of getting a hold of it, so you just let it go. I let Taylor go.

A lour was spread across Justin’s dark features as he followed Taylor out. Wendy was next. She refused to leave without showing me her middle-finger. I thought of complimenting her on what nice lacquer she’d used, but given the situation, I was not sure it would have been appropriate. 

“Kobby, it would be ok.” Maggie walked up to me. “We just have to pray Winfred doesn’t know the Style Guide’s missing.”

8.51 hours
“I know the Style Guide’s missing.” 

I managed a sharp intake of breath, watching my evil boss move around his desk to meet us halfway. He towered over us, tugging at his suspenders, glaring down at us like the giant probably did when Jack had nicked his beans. Except we were in no fairy-tale, and in our story there would be no happy ending. I fucked up, and I was taking everyone tumbling down the beanstalk with me. Fired. I was getting them fired

“I have proof one of you stole it.” He began, letting his gaze shift among us. “I’ll give whoever by the close of the day to return it, then I’d have to dredge up the kindness that’s stashed somewhere inside of me—I’m sure of this, to prevent myself from calling the police.” His gaze rested on me. 

The sounds of sirens approaching the building made my heart skip a beat.

“Oops. I think I might have gone ahead of myself and dialled one-nine-one already.”

9.35 hours
As I walked into Winfred’s office which had been transformed into an interrogation room, my eyes fell on two men beckoning me to two armchairs at a corner. If I thought they were going to let me sit, I thought wrong. Because these guys, with pimply faces uglier than the infamous cow everyone was known to abuse, had a thing for sadomasochism. They were distributing this trait by ordering me to stand with my hands tucked behind and my legs apart. It didn’t help that they were all dressed in leather.

“Do you have anything against your boss?” Ugly Cop 1 asked.

Yes, I wanted to say, everyone who experiences emotions such as hurt and anger would. I worried if I responded that way, they’d pull out whips they were hiding and find thrill in watching my pain. “No.” I said simply.

“Do you think you’d want to steal the Style Guide?” Ugly Cop 2 asked.

Yes. In fact, if I could re-enact the whole heist again, I wouldn’t hesitate. “No.” 

They stared at me for seconds, as though trying to goad me into making a confession. The silence was unnerving.

“So if we’re done here, can I leave?”
Ugly Cop 1 lifted a finger, the universal hand gesture for ‘gimme a sec’. “What do you think about this video?” 

A tablet was handed to me. I watched a video of myself rummaging through Winfred’s office, looking under these armchairs, moving the potted plant at a corner, trying hard to yank open the locked chest of drawers, then defeatedly banged his desk when I couldn’t. If I was surprised I didn’t show. I kept my face as blank as possible. “I... don’t think at all.” I answered vaguely with an ounce of pomposity, handing back the tablet. 

“I think you stole the Style Guide.” Ugly Cop 2 laid it to me. “And that there is an incriminating video—though not enough evidence to press for an arrest. But listen,” he leaned in closer, “your boss is threatening to let this go to public. Public opinion has been known to be the strongest court. Your mum’s going to judge you and find you guilty, your dad is going to judge you and find you guilty, your cat is going to find you guilty as well—"

“I don’t own a cat.” I said as firmly as I could.

He reclined back in his seat, surprised, then shot me a look that said, how can you not own a cat? “Well,” He cleared his throat. “Everyone is going to judge you!Even your future employer! You know what that means?”

I put a latch on the gasp that threatened to escape. I knew what that meant. The next job I might land would be in construction. No one minded a mason with a track record. I tried not to panic. I swallowed hard. “If we’re done with this interview, I think I would go.” 

Without waiting for a response, I walked slowly with shaky legs. If I broke into a sprint, I’d be found guilty as a dog would a stranger who took to his heel.

“You think he’s the one?” I heard Ugly Cop 1 ask when he thought I was already out the office.

“Yeah, the whole time, he avoided our gazes, did you notice?”

Oh no! I pushed the door and stepped back into the office. “It’s hard not to stare at your faces and not wonder if shit had a face this is what it would look like!” I braved a smile through my defiant stare. Their shocked expressions were reward enough. “Good day, gentlemen. I’d urge you to stop by the beauty closet on your way out.”

10.10  hours.
“Guys, really, I’m sorry this happened.” I broke the deafening uncomfortable silence that had been wedging itself between the others and me all morning.

We were at our cubicles on the Intern Floor. All the interns around us seemed hyper while we in the copy department stared endlessly at our computers, refusing to speak to one another because we were afraid if we did, a full-blown argument was bound to happen. 

Despite being the one who should be solely blamed, from the corner of my eye, I could tell regret was eating at them all. Why did we let Kobby have the fucking Style Guide? Wendy’s furtive look to Justin had said. Why did we even steal the Style Guide in the first place? Justin shot back. Maggie would bang at her keyboard in frustration and when we all looked in her direction she’d smile effervescently like she wasn’t fighting the urge to throw something at someone and admit that I was a total plonker for letting the Style Guide slip from my hands. The anger was so intense I was beginning to swelter despite the air-conditioning.

Together, the three looked like they’d endured the interview better than I did. But of course, there was no incriminating video to tie them to the whole thing. They would be free of their cat's judgemental eyes. They wouldn’t have their whole life blown apart after this event. But I would be sweating buckets as I shovelled waste out of gutters across the city looking up at the sunny skies and cursing the day I was born. 

So I had to find a solution to this. I just had to. But first I needed to apologize even though I felt it was not fair all the blame was being pushed on me. And after I did apologize, things got easier from there.

“We’re not going to sit down and mope.” Justin instructed. “We’re going to find this Style Guide. Kobby, tell us everything that happened, every little detail.” I just wished he felt as hopeful as he sounded.

I began my story, how everything happened, Wendy letting me pause in between my tale requesting I slow so she jotted it all down. Justin had charged her to do so. Maggie was made to type—“We are in the digital age, after all.” Justin had said after she'd given him an odd look. 

“Guys,” We were distracted by Selfina, a beauty intern who was known to idle away taking selfies on her spare time, on company time, on every time. We all looked up to glare at her as if to say, What is it Selfina? “I came to Maggie,” she said pointedly and headed for Maggie. “I took so many pictures of yesterday’s show. Your appearance at Take A Look At Me Now.

Yesterday, Maggie had made an appearance as a contestant on Take A Look At Me Now, a show that was a replica of Style Network’s How Do I Look. Though effort had been put to transform Maggie into a glamazon, she’d reverted to the intern who paired tulle gowns with knee-length lace-up boots and colourful Nicki wigs.

We watched as Maggie faked interest listening to Selfina give a running commentary of photos she swiped through on a silver Samsung Galaxy Note she wielded. Wendy cleared her throat occasionally, telepathically communicating to Maggie to tell the girl to Fuck off, we had important business here. (Justin and I would have done the same, except we were being honest with ourselves, there was no way we were getting the Style Guide back.) But Maggie wasn’t having any of what Wendy was trying to tell her, because she really did look like she was paying attention to what Selfina was showing her, until she snatched the Note from the girl and thrust it at us.

“Guys, you should see this.” She brandished the Note at us. On the tablet was—unsurprisingly—a Selfie of the Narcisstic girl beaming behind Maggie being worked on by a glam squad. We would have said no, we’ll pass, but the fierce look in Maggie’s eyes was enough to warn us if we refused, she’d whack our faces with the device.

I took the tablet, and the others drew closer to me as I flicked through endless pictures of Selfina. Till I noticed what Maggie was on about. In each photo was Selfina at the grounds of the show alright, but in some photos, over her shoulder was Maggie on the phone, and not far away from the latter was a dark image. A dark image glaring at her. A dark image we all found, after later swipes, was Cruella. But what this meant to Maggie we had no idea.

“I was on the phone, calling each one of you, yelling at you to provide any information on the Style Guide, but every time your phones went to voicemail.”  Maggie stated with an accusatory tone, though not entirely directed at us. “So Cruella knows as we were at the show, you guys were back here trying to steal the Style Guide.”

“That explains everything!” Justin screamed behind me. “This is simple. Winfred has the Style Guide. I mean, why would anyone steal the Style Guide if they didn’t know what it was? C’mon, we are in Ghana, no one fancies reading that much to whisk a book away from its owner.” I do, but I didn't  point this out. Instead... 

“So you believe Cruella, Taylor’s bitch of a boss, told Winfred and someone was sent to get the Style Guide from me?” I said doubtfully, though after seconds of pondering on it, it did make sense. Winfred has the Style Guide…

“And we’ve got proof!” Wendy sounded ecstatic. “So we go show this to the cops? God, they are ugly. I’m not sure why they keep popping in every hour to check on us. But it would be nice seeing less of them.”

But Justin was shaking his head. “This isn’t proof enough guys.” And he was right.

“This is proof, this is solid proof.” We hadn’t realized Selfina was still present. Christ, did she have any idea what we were on about? With the clueless expression she was trying to hide behind affirmative nods, it was clear she didn't. 

“Fuck off, Selfina.” Maggie said over her shoulder. And she was gone with her Note taking selfies as she made irritable kissing-teeth-sounds on her way to her cubicle. Hashtag Pissed Girl Selfie.

“That was a surge.” Wendy remarked exhaustingly, collapsing back into her seat. “But now, we are back to stage one.”

“Though we do know Winfred has the Style Guide.”

“Did I hear my name?” Winfred had appeared from nowhere after Justin’s declaration. “Anyway, what do I care?” He levelled his mocking gaze at me. “Kobby, get me your last coffee before you go to jail. We’d miss you around here.” Then he was off before I had the chance to tell him what sort of a horrible, horrible boss he was. The Kevin Spacey kind.

“When the day’s over, he’s sending a story to the press,” I began shakily, looking anywhere but the curious expressions of my colleagues which I knew would evolve into pitiful looks after they heard me out. “He’s going to put out a story reporting the missing Style Guide. He’d add that I was the one who stole it. I’d be fired from here, obviously.”

All three fell silent, not knowing what to say. I smiled wryly at them. Should this be the moment I said my parting words?

“Kobby, go get his coffee.” Maggie ordered, knowing what I had in mind. “And while you are at it, do not forget to get one for me too.”

I smiled at her. It was nice that she was making an effort to cheer me up putting up her Evil Winfred impression.

“Oh, and confirm my salon appointment when you are done.” Wendy rolled her eyes at me indignantly, exactly like she used to when she used to boss me around for being a butt intern. 

“Remember, you’d always be lower than us.” Justin continued. “Now get your arse off your seat and do as we say.”

“Thank you, guys.” I stood up from my seat, smiling at them. They eventually smiled back, conceding it took our Horrible Boss more muscles to smile than frown. “But I have to go. These coffees wouldn’t get themselves.”

10.35 hours
Though I was panicking anytime my eyes rested on my wrist watch, I tried not to think of what Winfred might be up to as I walked back to the office to deliver his coffee. On my way back, I found myself staring all around me at everyone who had blue-collar jobs. The scrap-collectors who dragged their carts by me, the vendors who plied the streets with loads on their head and their babies on their backs. Maybe I would be like an African cliché with a worst job, ripped clothes, and discoloured teeth. Tourists would take pictures of me and go back to their countries yelling at conferences: These are the realities in Africa. These people need our help!

I wasn’t going to make a fuss about it and cry. At least, I’d cry behind closed doors. I just had to brave the day and wait for the moment my face would be over every newspaper, ‘You Cannot Employ This Guy. Ever!’ I wouldn’t breakdown on every body’s watch, not even the bum by the Glitz entrance I used to pay to spit in my Horrible Boss' coffee till her prices soared higher than the building. I noticed she was smiling at me. I halted in my tracks. Must have done something wrong.

Hmm, come to think of it she’d been smiling as I rushed out to get everyone’s coffees. Did she have some sixth sense that I was going to turn up like her? Tears welled up in my eyes. I know I’d promised not to cry, but no one would want to turn up like Bummy down the street. Christ, I’d look terrible in her clothes. Was bad breath even going to smell good on me? I made an attempt to keep my head low and walk by hastily, but my phone trilled just before I could walk past her.

“Taylor?” I was surprised she was calling. “Look,” I walked the few feet from the bum to the revolving doors. “I know you are pissed. But you are in the clear. There’s nothing tying you to the Style Guide. I’m sorry I involved you—"

“Whatever the hell are you talking about?” There was the Taylor who’d introduced me to Accra nightlife and instructed me to stay put because she might just as well take up that guy on his offer to blow him in the gents. The Taylor I knew, not the one who’d been glaring at me all morning. But she followed her question with something more surprising. “Kobby, you said the biker was wearing a beige scarf?” I nodded—she knew me enough to know I could hardly mumble a word when transfixed. “Get to the African Regent Hotel now. The magazine’s having a shoot there. I’d be at the ground floor waiting for you.”

I stared at my phone in shock.

“Is anything the matter?” Bummy came by me asking with a silly grin splayed across her charred lips. Again, I was haunted by the realization I might have teeth as bad as hers…

Not if I have anything to do with it!

I dumped the coffee in the bum’s hands. I flagged down a taxi and I was off to African Regent Hotel. Whatever Taylor had for me, it had to be good. 
But, oh, why did the bum have that stupid look on her face? Crying out loud, we weren’t alike, I’d make that clear when I got back. To think I’d ever fancy wearing a skirt that had holes the hobo-chic community would decide were the new polka dots. Shivers.

11. 30 hours
I run into the lobby of what Trip Advisor called one of the finest hotels in the country upon searching directions to the place. I met Taylor who ran into the nearby elevator upon recognizing me, I followed in quickly before the doors shut close.

“I’ve seen our guy.” Taylor spoke on the ride up. Like me, her breathing had no regular pattern. “I’d tried so hard pretending everything was alright and he wasn’t metres away. He’s a photography intern. He owns a bike. Did you see it down the street?” I shook my head. The elevator doors opened. We stepped out. “Anyway, I know he’s our guy, I’m sure of it.” She didn’t sound so sure because, just as I, she was thinking everyone could own a beige scarf, everyone could have a motorbike could to go with that scarf. But I told her about Selfina’s pictures and Maggie’s story so she’d have little faith we were about to bust our guy. Christ, it had to be him.

We passed a thick-carpeted corridor on a floor that was labelled ‘Executive Suites’ and bundled into our destination.

A group of models trudged around in their underwear as fashion editors rummaged through endless rows of hangers pulling out clothes for them at the orders of Cruella de Ghana, the magazine’s fashion director. At the centre of the room which a four poster bed with heavy sheets occupied, a set was being arranged, and a stiff male model in an unbuttoned long-sleeved shirt was being tidied by make-up artists who acting all giggly. He was killing two birds with one stony gaze, I surmised.

And there—there was a beige scarf tied around the neck of a guy who had his back to us, testing the lights, adjusting equipment. He spun around with an air of satisfaction probably about to announce to the whole room he was done, but his gaze fell on me and his mouth snapped shut. There was a guilty man.

He looked over our shoulders to the door, planning how he could make an escape. But Taylor was too fast. She pulled him by the end of his scarf just as he zipped by. A choking sound erupting from his mouth made me wince. He immediately broke into a confession of being the one who stole the Style Guide. He confessed how Winfred had told him to stay around the building and wait for me to arrive, how he drove his bike past me and pulled the Style Guide from my hands. I glared at him. He could start by telling us something I didn't know.

“Are you recording this?” Taylor asked over her shoulder.

“You bet I am.” I responded firmly and threw the guy my best withering glance. “So where’s the Style Guide?”

“Christ, I don’t know.” He sounded honest. “I thought I stole it from you. But then I was caught in traffic and turned around to find it missing.”

“You can release him now.” I ordered Taylor who’d just been holding on to the guy by one wrist. I know, what a wimp.

I hit stop on my smartphone to end the voice note and thanked Taylor so much. I turned to the guy and told him to zip up his underwear. A dark park had been running down his jeans all through our interrogation. I run for the door and soon rushed out of the elevator speeding towards the hotel’s exit.

I didn’t have the Style Guide in my hands.  Though what I had was enough to keep Winfred’s mouth shut. And I do not mean the issue of Awake a Jehovah's Witness had handed over blocking my path.

("Go to Hell!"

"Technically speaking, there's no Hell.")

12. 45 hours.
I run out of the taxi preparing to confront Winfred. I pushed through the entrance. But something was bothering me so I had to run back out and face Bummy.

“Why the hell do you have that smile on your face?” I yelled over the sound of a speeding Vintage Citroen as I met her on the pavement.

“Oh, crying out loud, Kobby.” She threw me a look that communicated just how stupid she thought I was. “Don’t you ever watch movies? Naturally, if a character has a smile like mine—“at a demonstration, I cringed—“they have something the protagonist might need?”

I reeled in shock. Protagonist—a huge word for a bum. I regained my stance. “What do you have that I could possibly need, huh?” 

She smiled that unnerving smile again. God, I hated this bum. She could kiss away the coins I dropped in her box every morning. Immediately, I was thrown off course as a thought occurred to me. This bum had something I needed!

“I thought I stole it from you... but then I was caught in traffic and turned around to find it missing.”

The biker’s voice rang in my head. I squinted at the bum. She nodded affirmatively with that smile I realized I would need to implore her to quit. Shit, they don’t make teeth like this anymore.

“You have the Style Guide, don’t you?”

She frowned. “Is that the same as a big white book with a spine the size of my calf?” There she went back to being an unknowledgeable African bum. “I thought it was a photo album.” 

“Could I have it?” Shit, I knew I shouldn’t have betrayed the urgency in my tone. "I mean," I shrugged my shoulders feigning non-committance. "If you don't mind giving it to me. It's not like I would need it or anything..." I petered out at a cocky brow raised in my direction. It was too late, she already knew it was more than a photo album.

Again, there was that smile. “First I have a proposition to make.”

14.06 hours
“Kobby, you are late.” Winfred deadpanned just as I walked into his office with his coffee in hand. I noticed the Ugly Cops still occupying their positions on his armchairs. 

“Gentlemen,” He stood up from his desk to meet me. He snatched his coffee. “Could you please follow me?” The men reluctantly got up. “Kobby, do so as well. I wouldn’t want to have a duplicate footage of you turning over my office, would I?”

In the elevator he pressed the button for the last floor. I knew where we were heading already. If he only knew.

“So, we are going to The Cellar,” he explained to the clueless cops as we stepped out of the elevator onto the floor. “The Cellar’s where we store very private company information. It’s in the Supply Closet,” the men nodded on as though they understood the rocket science formulae he just as well might have been rambling. “It’s surrounded by cameras. How the fugitive behind you, managed to sneak in to steal the Style Guide, I have no idea.” I would have given him an idea, and let him up to speed with current events. Except he didn’t give me a chance as he droned on and on to the cops. “So, we are going to let ourselves into the Cellar and I’d have you two confirm with me that the Style Guide has been moved. I want to believe you'd back my article with a few words." They nodded. "I would have loved to rely on your investigative skills. But let’s face it,” He halted at the door of the Supply Closet, gave the two cops his gravest expression and said, “Ghanaian Police Force are shit.” He pushed through the Supply Closet just as I gave the policemen a sympathetic expression, hoping to convey, he really hadn’t meant what he’d said. Though in my mind you’d hear me chanting, He is right. He is right. He really, really is right.

Once we were standing in The Cellar with walls encasing documents labelled with stuff like Shoot Ideas, Futuristic Layout of the Magazine, The December Issue Ideas, Winfred walked over to a safe across the room. He spoke to the Cops as he accessed the code, not bothering to look on the keypad to give the impression he did this on a regular basis. Well, I do this on a regular basis too, Winfred, I resisted the urge to smugly shout.

“So, gentlemen,” he stepped away from the safe, “look into it, and confirm there’s no Style Guide.”

The cops looked on. “Um,” Ugly Cop 1 spoke, “Is that the same as a big white book with a spine the size of my pimple?” He joked good-humouredly, pointing at said pimple beneath his chin. Eek, I had thought that was a double chin. 

Winfred winced. He'd probably thought the same. “Yeah, yeah. I described it to you in my report. Just confirm it isn’t there and leave…”

The guys looked at each other confusingly.

“But, it is there.” They said in unison.

“What?” If I had been writing that down it would have been punctuated with an exclamation tailing the question mark. I almost repeated to Winfred words he’d used in the Style Guide: ‘Always correct the fashion editors. They are so much fucking eejits they think a punctuation mark could be used in the succession of another’.

Winfred looked into the safe and he took steps back in shock. Ugly Cops were right, he found out. As if to be sure he wasn’t dreaming, he touched it. 

“Gentlemen, leave.” He growled as I did my best to hide the shit-eating grin that was threatening to break out on my face watching my boss' features really, really turn red.

Ugly Cops scuttled away, and left after they’d told me, “If it makes any difference we knew you weren't capable of stealing anything.” They thanked me for the countless skin-care tips they’d received from the beauty editors at the Beauty Closet. They’d go back and re-interrogate all the prisoners they’d jailed when they had flawless skin.

“What the fuck are you playing at?” Winfred had covered the space between us and took my hand in a grip.

I wrenched my hand out of his obstinately. “I could ask you the same,” I spoke deadly, returning his glare. “But I wouldn’t want to cuss in front of my boss.”

Together we engaged in a stare-down. A stare-down I hoped was enough to convey that two days ago, I’d found out he was hiding the Style Guide, I’d found out he had no intentions of training us to be Copy editors, I'd found out our programme was one big sham.

He sighed defeatedly. “What do you want, Kobby?”

Sometimes, the little solutions to problems we ignore could make us take bad decisions which further complicate these problems. Of course, I didn’t know this when I took the risk to steal the Style Guide. A risk I could have done away with had I manned up and stood up to my boss. Interns, learn your lessons. Stand up to your mean bosses!

“I want you to quit being deceitful and horrible.” I laid it out to him. “I want you to teach us how to be Copy Editors. We want to be able to consult the Style Guide any time we are in need of your expert knowledge.”

He lifted his coffee to his lips, and sipped for the first time. He brushed past me, heading for the door. “Kobby,” he spun on his way out. “You’d have what you want. You’d be a copy editor. You’d have access to all of my knowledge. But there’s one thing you’d never be…” he paused for effect, “me.”

It was then I realized my horrible boss was horrible all along because he was insecure. Insecure one of us would get better at copy-editing and take his job. Something I would have known if I had confronted him in the first place and asked why he was the way he was. I was seconds away from consoling him, we had no intention of taking his job, he would be like Claudia Sharpe, the editor in chief of the magazine, she was hitting her fifties and still got better with age. But…

“I love this coffee.” He stared at the disposable plastic. “I would never want you to ever stop doing the coffee-runs, Kobby. You might never be me, but you sure as hell can make my coffee taste great.”

I returned his sarcastic smile and watched him laugh on his way out. What an arse, I thought. If only he knew…

13. 49 hours
Again there was that smile, the smile from the bum that made me wish I could pay for her dental surgery. “So does that mean our deal is on?” she wanted to know.

I took out money from my pocket, and handed it to her. “Yes, just never smile like that again. It makes my stomach turn...” I paused after a thought. “Although not as much as my boss’ would if he drank this coffee.” I pushed open the lid of the coffee I’d just run to get, and brought it closer to the bum’s lips.

After watching her spit mouthfuls into the coffee, I shook the plastic cup to dissolve any phlegm that might be swirling on the top. We shared a conspiratorial wink as I pushed through the revolving doors and stepped into the plush ground floor.

I headed for the elevator, all the while humming Imagine Dragons’ I Bet My Life for the little sod-you moment I’d have for confronting my horrible boss later.

AUTHOR's NOTE: This post is inspired by true-life events. Thanks for reading. Please send all feedback to kobbytettehgyampoh@gmail.com if you want a reply. I do not publish comments on this blog. If you enjoyed this episode please share #FuckingInterns and check out these others: