Saturday, September 12, 2015

For sh28m, I'll Be A Dogsbody!

Whilst at school – The Grange School, though we didn’t know it, we in the junior ranks were dogsbodies to the seniors in the fifth and sixth forms.

I was a dogsbody to Kalundi, - one time director of The National Theatre and my duties were clear cut. School was in the highlands of Kenya – Limuru where the nights were cold. As a dogsbody, I would lie on top of his bed as a bed warmer while he, (Kalundi), was in prep so that when he was done, he would come to a ‘heated’ bed.

Other jobs we did included polishing shoes, putting toothpaste on tooth brushes, standing outside the showers holding towels while the bosses showered, making their beds and laying out their school uniforms.

It was the way of life. Nobody complained because as juniors, we knew that when we got to the fifth and sixth forms, it would be our turn to have Dogsbody at our beck and call. And it wasn’t all work for there were certain perks to be reaped. In my case, I became an untouchable – from bullies to prefects.

On the verge of joining the fifth form, Dad however messed things up by taking me to a different school. My would-be-dogsbody – Martin K, who is now an architect, had gotten away with it.
The closest I have gotten to acquiring a Dogsbody, is with House-ee. When I got him, he made me tea in the mornings, lay my bed, switched on the television, handed me the remote control and so forth. He’s never complained – probably because he was getting paid and perhaps the tasks – though sometimes ridiculous, were not too demanding?

However, in today’s world order, nobody wants to be a dogsbody especially for Celebrity because it’s seen as ‘the job from hell’.

Recently Premier League Sunderland footballer, Jermain Defoe, found himself at the centre of controversy after placing a job advert for an Executive Personal Assistant.

The job entailed stocking his fridge, organising his wardrobe and taking care of four family members and their pets. For that, Dogsbody would be on call 24/7 and get paid £5,000 (sh28m) a month. By the way, a top end Dogsbody can earn as much as £12,000 (sh70m) a month.

But the advert was taken down almost as soon as it went up because of the ridicule and uproar it generated with many criticising the footballer for trying to outsource every part of his life to Dogsbody.

Mbu the job can be ‘incredibly demanding, at times demeaning - from going to the supermarket to getting a call at 3:00am asking where the pencils are kept’ so cries Ben Arnold, co-founder of Sorted Personal Management. Really!

Another found her boss demanding because she had to book his holidays, do his shopping, house-sit while he was abroad and look for a particular brand of champagne that she had to source from Harrods or bring his Lamborghini at short notice. If that was bad enough for Dogsbody she further moaned about how she had to arrange for a nightclub to open at 3:30am so the star could go in when everyone else had gone home. One task she found utterly unglamorous was, having to buy her boss’s white cotton underwear briefs.

I really don’t need a PhD in economics to know that sh28m-a-month is some serious dime. Heck, if I had seen Defoe’s job advert, I would have wasted no time in sending off my CV and if people went around belittling me and calling me House-ee, Biatch, Pleb, Dogsbody or my boss called me at 3:00am to go buy him white cotton underwear from Nakumatt, the sh28m-a-month pay cheque is a justifiable and moan free incentive for me just get on with the job.

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