When Fiolina, the laugh of my life, was profiled by the current deep state at her work place, and sacked on suspicion that she was sympathetic to the previous regime, we knew that life would be a little rough.
We just did not know that there were many malicious people at her workplace who seem to have sworn an affidavit to make her life hell on earth.
A few days after her firing, I was unable to reach her on phone. Last Wednesday, I decided to travel to Kakamega and find out what the issue was. For the first time ever, I found Fiolina in the house. For all the time she has been in Kakamega, I have never found her in the house. She has always been away.
Though sad, Fiolina was happy to see me. She hugged me for the first time in close to two years. I asked her why I had been unable to reach her.
“Can you imagine they took my phone? Yet everyone who has left the organisation goes with the phone they have!”
She told me she had been ordered to return the laptop and when she did so on Monday, they took the phone claiming that it was company property. That was not all: “They are also saying that the screen of the laptop was cracked and that I will be expected to repair it. I also did not find the mouse I was given and that will be charged as well.”
That afternoon, she was called by someone from the company’s IT department who informed her that a new mouse would cost Sh11,000 and that they would need Sh18,000 to repair the cracked laptop screen.
“This cannot be! We must fight this!” I said, exasperated, and unable to hide it. “Who does he think he is? How can a mouse, a mere rat, cost Sh11,000? How?” I told Fiolina that I would go with her to the office the next day.
That afternoon, I went around computer shops in Kakamega and managed to buy a mouse at Sh500. The next day, I accompanied Fiolina to her former offices. She was given a long clearance form that she needed to fill by moving from office to office. Initially, they refused to let me in, but as it turned out, the watchman at the gate is a former student of mine and he allowed me in. This is one of the advantages of being a teacher with former students in high places.
Once in, we first went to IT. I had not wanted to speak, just wanted to let Fiolina handle the matter, but when the IT person insisted on Sh11,000 for the mouse, I had to intervene.
“What do you mean a mouse is Sh11,000? Kwani what kind of a mouse, is it?” I asked then pulled out the new mouse I had bought and gave him. “If you want a new mouse, take this one.”
“I will not take this fake thing,” he said. “We gave out Dell laptops that come with a special mouse and that is what we expect, nothing else.”
“Do you know who you are talking to?” I asked, giving him a mean face. “You will have to accept this mouse or else you will know who I am.”
I did not know that I could scare anyone, but to my surprise the IT fellow accepted the mouse I had, and did not even ask anything for the screen. I do not know if he forgot about it.
I accompanied Fiolina to other offices to clear, and she got all the needed signatures without a problem. All was well until we went to the finance offices. “Are you Fiolina? We have been looking for you,” said some man at the first desk. “Go see Mary,” he said when he returned, and showed us her office.
Mary welcomed us. She introduced herself as the financial manager of the company. She asked Fiolina if she had been given a card when she joined the company. “What was it for?” She asked Fiolina when she answered that she had the ATM – as she called it. Fiolina told her it was for sales operations, and that she had used it to buy meals for customers or the sales team.
“I have always divided receipts whenever I have used the card,” she added.
The finance manager said she had been reviewing her receipts and had some questions. Fiolina asked her what the issues were.
“Your card was used to refill gas at a petrol station, buy things at a supermarket while in some cases the receipts were fake,” said Mary.
Fiolina asked for the date when the card was used to refill gas and when she was told, she said her boss had the card on that date.
“At times we shared the card and he even knew the Pin of the ATM,” Fiolina said. “I don’t know what fake receipts you are talking about.”
“You are the one who signed against the card,” said Mary. “Your boss had a different one and there is no sharing the card. Anyway, you need to refund the business Sh38,467 for us to clear you.” “I cannot pay for what I did not use,” said Fiolina. “If my boss used the card badly, please charge him.”
“Unfortunately, the expenditure was made on your card and we can’t ask someone else to pay, we will charge you!”
“What do you mean?” I said, confronting her. “I will not allow you people to stress us!”
“And who are you?” Mary asked me.
“What do you mean who am I? You do not know who I am?” I went on. “I am Fiolina’s husband, and I will not stand back as you stress her!” I declared.
“Please Mr Husband, I do not recognise you,” said Mary calmly. “I will only deal with our former employer.” She made a phone call and before I could say “My Wife”, two security men arrived and carried me shoulder-high out of Mary’s offices and out of the building.
That evening, Fiolina arrived home crying, saying the company was not only refusing to pay her her final dues but it was also planning to arrest and charge her for theft.
“Everybody in the company uses the ATM to buy personal things and entertain their friends. Why are they picking on me?” She asked.
I told her I would not allow that to happen.
“I will get you a good lawyer who will defend you and the company will pay dearly,” I said.
I already know the lawyer I need for this case. I just do not know how to reach him. Someone please share with me Danstan Omari’s contacts. There is money to be made here.