THE PR CHICK

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Looks like I’ve been having a lot of confessions lately. Anyway, here’s my latest one: I changed jobs because I wanted something slightly easier. There, I said it. I wanted something easier. I was tired of carrying heavy equipment bags, having an unpredictable schedule and of not having much of a social life during the week. I was also feeling like I was suffocating in a job I wasn’t really enjoying any more, and I needed to get away from that before I started resenting the job.

So I decided to try my hand at PR. I became what I said I would never be: a PR person. And you know what? It’s not as easy I thought it would be. Damn! I’m actually finding it much harder than being a reporter! For instance, back when I was at Citizen, I’d work on average 12 hours a day, a good number of which would be spent bumming while waiting for my interview to be confirmed, or for my story to be approved by the editor, or for my turn to edit. I had an actual lunch break (didn’t matter what time, but I actually got a break), and even time to read the papers on most days. Once a story was done, I knew tomorrow would be a completely different day. Heck, I had time to blog almost every week!

Now? Now I barely have time to read the newspaper, much less watch the news. I work while I eat. I spend a lot of hours doing work that to be honest, I didn’t think I would ever do, and I’ve had to learn to keep my mouth shut because clients do not appreciate you mouthing off. And then I can’t actually blog about some of the things that I think would make for funny stories because there’s this thing about there being a chance that a client I need to vent about will actually read the blog and I could get fired. Plus I’ve learned to smile politely even when I want to punch you in the face. If I don’t complete a task today, it is carried over to the next day (the whole same shit different day thing). And I have a lot of violent thoughts. A lot! I need to pray about those by the way.

But it’s not all bad. There’s actually a lot that’s nice about my new career. Like the growth opportunities, meeting new people nearly every day, learning that patience and deep breaths can help one resist the temptation to turn to drugs because of all the pressure, and learning to use Excel (I’ve never been a fan of numbers unless I’m counting my money, and I never attended the computer class in uni where guys were taught how to do it so I just never learned. At least now I have a basic idea of how the thing works!).

Being a PR chick is not easy man. As much as I get to wear ridiculously high heels (couldn’t do that in the newsroom) and play around with outfits and colour and try to be stylish (couldn’t do much of that in the newsroom either) there’s much more to PR than sending press releases and wearing those 6-inch heels. I confess, I never thought that when I was in the newsroom. And because there’s so much to be done, I work my ass off! This past week has been one of those. It’s not even in the hours worked, it’s the mental strain involved. I’ve been so tired! The other day I was leaving a bit early to make it to a meeting in time, and the house girl just looked at me and shook her sadly then said: “Hii kazi yako siku hizi ni mbaya kuliko ile ya TV. Unatoka mapema, unarudi usiku and hata ukirudi unawasha laptop uendelee na kazi. Afadhali hata urudi Citizen.” 

To be honest, I once considered it. Then I changed my mind because I figured it would be opting for the easy way out. So I stayed. Sometimes I wonder how things would have turned out if I’d stayed in TV. And I do miss it once in a while, but I don’t think I’d go back.

PR has turned me into a workaholic. I’ve become that chick that talks about work all the damn time! It’s actually pretty annoying even for me. I want to talk about other things, but half the time I can’t think of anything else! I must change that. I can’t drive Mr. Nice Guy or my friends away by boring them to death. Because then I won’t just be a workaholic; I’ll be a lonely workaholic. And I might turn to breeding cats for company because they’ll listen to my stories. And I’ll be the creepy PR lady who smells like a wet cat. Ugh!

I don’t know whether it’s the stress or just feeling youthful but these past couple of weeks I have been a teenager again! I think I’d missed going out with my friends but I’ve probably more than made up for it. One Saturday, what started out as hanging with friends in Karen turned into me getting home well past 9.00am after a dodgy decision to leave Karen and go to ABC then to Qs (no judging). Weh! Sometimes the youth is just not worth it. On the bright side though, I don’t drink to get drunk so no hangies to nurse, but the exhaustion after that night was unique.

So while I try to get my balancing act right, I ask that you people in my life that love me understand when I can’t see you during the week. I’d also appreciate it if you threaten to slap me if I talk about work and nothing else. I’m making a lot of effort by the way.

And Mr. Nice Guy, while you’re busy enjoying my cooking, be careful not tell me this (see picture below) or you will STARVE!

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