On ‘TRUST ONCE BROKEN…’ By Mwangi Ndegwa

Allan was excited. His search for a job was over. He had not only found a job, but also his choice of a job and to crown...


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Allan was excited. His search for a job was over. He had not only found a job, but also his choice of a job and to crown it all,  his dream company.

Skylit was a production company dealing in film production, professional photography, graphic design, printing and advert production. Allan had cleared college a year earlier and had been doing some small contracts here and there to keep him going. When he saw the advert for a job vacancy in the local dailies, his heart skipped a beat. He knew this was his opportunity and there was no way he was going to let it slip away. So when he applied and was called in for interview, he knew that his star had started to rise and shine.

This all was a year ago and he was just flashbacking. It was almost a whole week and not a single client had called him or even brought any editing or design work. His reputation was heading south and he was staring at a job dismissal. His boss’s patience was wearing thin. During his first months at work, he was very apt and thorough in his work. His designing, editing and even his photographs had a professional touch and his clients kept referring their friends to him. Tips were the order of the day and soon he was swimming in money. The sudden financial windfall coupled with fame soon got into his head and slowly he started neglecting his work.

He started drinking heavily sometimes leaving the bar in the morning straight to work. Sometimes, he would come in late, leave early and didn’t care about the urgency of his clients’ work. His professionalism soon started dwindling and soon he started doing his work in a very mediocre way. The clients could no longer put up with his shoddiness and soon they started giving their business to Allan’s fellow workmates, while others sought services from other companies. His reputation became so bad that it even started affecting the overall performance of the company.  His boss sent him several memos but this didn’t change anything

It was in this state that his boss found him one Monday morning. He was lost in his own world and the alcohol he had imbibed the better part of the weekend way late into Sunday night, didn’t help matters. When his finances started dwindling, he had started consuming bootleg alcohol to sustain his habits. This morning he had a splitting headache and he felt like his head would burst any minute. His boss observed him for a moment before shaking him and waking him from his hullucinational reverie. He was shocked when he saw his boss standing near his workstation with a brown envelope in his hand. He wore a pathetic look and his once week pressed suits were now crampled and dirty. He had a bad odour coming from his body, a sign of someone who had not taken a bath for a while. His boss was an understanding man and he knew that Allan was very talented and could be very productive if only he could get his act together.

When Allan was alert, his boss asked him to follow him outside. As they were walking, he told him some simple but tough sounding words.” This is the last opportunity I am giving you. In my hand is your contract termination letter. Always know that it is active and one slight mistake, and I will simply sign it.” He took him to a dumpsite where there were some large pieces of glass (from some renovation work), had been dumped. He took one large piece of broken glass and dropped it on a stone. It fragmented into small pieces. Then he told Allan that he was willing to give him a thousand dollars if he could return the pieces back to the original one complete piece. Allan shock his head for he knew that was impossible. It was here that he learnt a lesson that he could use for the rest of his life.

“Allan!” his boss started “people do business with people they trust. If you break that trust, it’s like these pieces of glass. You can never put it back together and if you are lucky to get, it’s not to the 100% it was before so guard and protect it. Right now, you have broken the trust that clients had with you and you have to work extra hard to get even a little bit back. You have to pull yourself together and try to salvage what is left of your life.”

His boss then walked away. It was at that moment that Allan made a resolve that he would take his performance back to where it was, if not higher. He knew it was a tough call but he was ready to go through the long winding road of self rediscovery. I conclude with these simple words ” Trust is like glass. If you break it, you can never put it back together in the perfect form it was in, before.” To read more posts by Mwangi, click HERE

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