MAKING IT BETTER: My Own Personal Rant!(3)

As I left the shores of the mother land, our great nation, full of hope and determination, thinking about how at the end of the day regardless of any other nationality I may be able to claim, Nigeria is my true home and the only country I can truly say is mine; I was given a quick reminder not to be too nostalgic and over sentimental. My bubble was temporarily burst and I came back to the ground with a big thud!

I have always been struck by the oddly schizophrenic tendencies we are prone to exhibit randomly. I’m talking about how you can have the same person or people bestow upon you the warmest, most respectful sounding greetings and well wishes in one minute and in the blink of an eye you can be on the receiving end of torrents of abuse, ridicule and curses for a variety of reasons sometimes only known to the person doing it out.

You might have been thought to be a potential benefactor. Like most predators everything in their sight is fair game, but once it’s been established you have ‘no value’, you are immediately treated with contempt, disdain, anger and great hostility. This could stem from disappointment, possibly dashing their anticipated hopes of being the beneficiary of some imagined gain they had conjured up in their fantastical minds,  that you would provide. So now, you are to be derided and even punished if they had their way for wasting their time and not allowing their warped fantasies to be realised. I find this juxtaposition quite fascinating as I struggle to understand how this is conceptualised in their minds.  Furthermore they are perfectly happy to return to their original position of pure unadulterated, stomach churning adoration if there is any inkling you might still provide something to benefit them. It’s akin to a light switch being turned on and off. It’s fascinating to watch it in action but it is equally disgusting and abhorrent. The lack of shame and self dignity!

The other rant I have to share (I’m on a role here!)Is the absolutely mind boggling, hair-raising attitudes of staff in small shops (thankfully the supermarkets are stepping up their game). Almost all the small shops I visited had exactly the same problem with their staff. It sometimes makes you wonder if there is specific training they receive in this behaviour. They practically all had the same brand of ‘helper’ who dispensed dry, bored, irritated, uninterested ‘service’ to the customer. They were further provoked by my audacity to enquire about the product I had come into the store to purchase.

I had to ask one young lady who was busy on her mobile while I stood patiently in their over cramped store that was clearly suffering from an identity crisis. I couldn’t tell if it was a chemist, supermarket, actual fresh food market or something else.  I understand these times we are in and vendors want to be prepared to cater to every one’s needs so the hustle is real…I get that. However if you are going to do that please for the love of God put people in charge who know what the contents in the store are and where they can be found at the very least. I suppose it would be too much to ask to expect that they might also be a bit enthusiastic. Okay i was pushing my luck.

Back to my young lady at the counter; I asked if she was busy as she didn’t flinch for the several minutes I stood in front of her. I think i’m pretty hard to miss (not said with any vanity but I do have a bit of swagger going on here). She eventually grudgingly looked up and asked what I wanted. I told her and with that came the standard quizzed, disgruntled look that one has sadly come to recognise as a kind id sign language to mean ‘you are one of those oppressors, disturbing my already disturbed, mundane existence and why don’t you just leave me to be miserable’. Well as you good people might know, I’m all about change and I have a funny bone, so I thought how I could alter that look instantly. I knew if I could suggest in some way that she might be on the receiving end of a ‘dash’ I would be guaranteed a complete personality change, royal treatment no doubt for the rest of my time in the shop.

So as I pondered on my next course of action, my young lady mumbled that she didn’t know if they had what I had asked for. To which I responded if she expected me to be any wiser about their stock through divine intervention. She glared at me for minute and I could practically see the cogs in her brain turning trying to figure out if I was just some crazy ‘aje butta’ or I might ‘be somebody’ or maybe even know her ‘oga’, since I was being so belligerent. I immediately saw her body language and attitude changing. I was really enjoying myself now.

She called out to her male colleague who was feeding his face with one hand as he moved their merchandise around the shop. He waltzed up to me and asked what I wanted. I told him I had told his colleague already so he should ask her. At this point I had both their attention and they were in a conundrum. They clearly hated my guts but couldn’t take the chance I might cause them some hardship in some way which they couldn’t yet work out. On my part I decided whether they had the product or not I wasn’t parting with my hard earned money in this establishment. However I wasn’t through messing with them.

The young man searched fervently under a mountain of goods for the product I had asked for and retrieved one. It was dented from having so many other items placed on top of it. I showed him the dent and asked for another one. At this time it did occur to me I might need some body guards to get out of the store as I was feeling fresh hostility and passive aggression in the air. As the young man channeled his hostility into energy for looking for a replacement product for me, I decided it was time for my curtain call, the final act! As he emerged triumphant with the product I calmly walked out of the store saying I had seen the same product in the shop next door so I was going to purchase it there instead. I briskly walked out feeling very smug and satisfied.  I’ll be back in a short while to do it all over again!

Make yourself better, make someone else’s life better, make the world around you better.

Gloria Ogunbadejo writes a weekly column for Punch Newspaper. She is a Psychotherapist, a life coach, a holistic counsellor and an ordained Minister. She can be reached at

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One Response to MAKING IT BETTER: My Own Personal Rant!(3)

  1. Olakunle Olajide November 17, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    My night has just been made reading this. The way these attendants behave at times can be frustrating. I will take a leap from your actions and do the same. Make them work hard to get it and then walk away.
    I will make life better for people around me.
    Thank you ma’am.


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