ATB Just for Laughs – The one with the pdf – by Mitchell Odhiambo
This joke was the great highlight in 2015, 2016 and now I hope, 2017
‘The most embarrassing moment after high school was when I was working at my cousin’s Cyber (internet cafe). I wasn’t actually working; it’s those moments when you are done with high school and your parents want you to experience a new environment before you start increasing the population around with young girls you met back at drama festivals.
So I’m in the cyber and it’s like 2 months since I left home and I’m enjoying life to the fullest. I’m scanning, photocopying, printing, typesetting, binding, and all the activities that typically goes on, in a cyber . My cousin used to leave for lunch at around 11.45am.
So this day, I’m on the main computer at the counter browsing like a boss, and every computer in the cyber is full of customers. I’ve got my headphones on watching proper hip-hop videos on YouTube then I hear one client ask, “Boss, hii comp yangu ikona pdf (does this computer have pdf)?”
That question caught me off guard. For the 2 months I’d been at this cyber, I’d never heard the word PDF. Cuzo (My Cousin) hadn’t informed me nor told me about the existence of anything called PDF, during my orientation.
So I react as you do in that moment when you’re in class and the most feared teacher enters a lesson and asks, whether the class has completed the assignment from last week? And you have no idea what assignment s/he is talking about but 99% of the students raise their hands and you are in the puzzled one percent.
So I’m looking at this customer and I know there’s no way I’m going to admit that I don’t know what a PDF is. So I stand up and walk tall towards his computer and I’m like, “Hii PDF niliaawacha hapa kando kwa comp. (bending over, full of confidence, I continue). Emu niangalie kwa hii space kama inaeza kuwa imeanguka chini.” (I left the PDF next to the computer, let me check under the desk, perhaps it fell to the floor).
By now, the whole cyber cafe has broken down into laughter (did I see someone clutch their ribs)? But I could not care less, for I was going pull out that PDF from under the table, come what may.
So my cousin walks in and I walk straight up to him and I’m like, “Cuzo, ile PDF nilikuwa nimeweka hapo kwa meza ikicharge, iko wapi???” (Where is that PDF I left charging on top of the table).
This was too much and by this point, the clients are roaring with laughter and my cousin gives me that look that suggests, “This Kid has been smoking illegal substances since he came to this cyber. I’m okay if he continues searching for the PDF under the table, but I am not allowing him to call me cuzo in front of my clients. I am not taking that kind of shame.” It seems identifying him as my cousin was more of his concern that me under the table searching for the pdf.
Upon seeing this, my cousin walks to the client’s computers, clicks Windows, Start, Menu, then opens Adobe pdf Reader. That’s when I realized that PDF was actually a software, like Microsoft Word or Excel. And here I was, having informed the client that I was charging a PDF and claiming it had even dropped under the table as I was searching for it. The shame was with me the whole day when I realized how stupid I must have sounded.
From that day, customers started walking up to the counter when my cousin was at lunch and I was alone and they would ask: “Boss, hii comp yangu ikona Mozilla Firefox ama pia hiyo umeiweka kwa charger??” (Boss, does this computer have Mozilla Firefox or have you plugged it in the charger as well). Needless to say, I resigned 3 days later.