Its a rainy morning. The muddy road from the house is like a potato ground yet one must find his way to the office. No matter the weather, situation and trouble, one must be available for work. After a horrific and dangerous motorcycle ride, one arrives at the office, opens the morning papers, reads emails, replies and dashes off to meet a source. The source will in one way or another come be late. Since the source is late then all other daily appointments need to be adjusted.
After meeting the source, it’s time to make a few phone calls to verify and give the story some more flesh. The calls will be turned down or endlessly referred to someone else.
“Call me back in 20mins’ and then 20mins later ‘I will call you back’. And they won’t. So you have to go through the same process again and again until a response appears.
For others you will send an email and they will ignore or bluntly tell you “I did not receive the email” or “I have been too busy to reply” yet they hold fancy phones that they flash around in public.
Others will tell you how they cannot respond but will be quick to send you information on how their company has donated one computer (used) to a school. Huh!!!
By the time one decides to stretch, its 1pm which typically lunch time. By this time you have out spent yourself in terms of airtime (Blame the telecom companies), transport and drinking water. The day is more or less halfway so you dive into endless research material. There is so much information to read and only a few hours later its 3pm. It’s time for to some event/press briefing. You arrive on time but the event starts a after an hour (4:30pm). At the event you are showered with corporate jargon and numbers. You ask a question and it’s ignored or “Please note, that question is not relevant to this event.”
To make matters worse, you are “bull shitted” (Not sure whether this word is formal) and taken for granted by the PR agency. Take note that after a few days your phone will be buzzing off the hook, “where is my story?” someone from the PR agency will stalk your phone endlessly, yet you had not made promises.
6pm and it’s that time when people are going home. The editorial deadline is approaching and there is nothing to show the editor.
You ignore your meeting friends for the evening and decide to get some work done. You type away on the laptop and by the time 1,000 words are completed, its 8pm. Its dark outside and you are the only one in the office. Time to close-up, the cleaners have walked in the office. Time to shift the office your one roomed home.
As the office is locked up you realize that the tummy is almost empty. But while walking home, all the thoughts are on the incomplete work and the interview you have to do in the morning. You get home, only to be welcomed by a heat wave (backspace x2) darkness. The power distributor has decided that due to the shortage in generation then having power is a liability.
Since its 9pm, you rush to the nearest bar, plug the laptop power cable in the socket and type away. Hungry. At 10:30pm you decide to get back home. Back to darkness. You get a cup of tea, sip and bite some white bread. The alarm is set for midnight so you can wake up to do some work. You sleep (rather take a nap). At about midnight the alarm goes off. You snooze it for about 30mins. At 1:00am, the covers are off and back to work. Tick tock. 1am, 2am, 3am, 4am and then you slide in between the sheets at 4:15am. At 6am you are up to polish the story and 8am its back to the daily routine of a scribe.
“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”