All I wanted that Monday evening was a quiet ride home. It had been a long day, I had a headache and was only dreaming of going home to collapse into my bed.Yeah, like the lady in the picture. What I got instead was a noisy argument between the driver and a passenger over whose shirt was more expensive. Life isn’t fair abi? Sigh.
The argument lasted the entire trip. And here’s how it started.
Driver told ‘madam’ to put on her seatbelt. She was seated in front. Madam proceeded to do so but not without rudely asking if the seatbelt was clean as she did not want her shirt stained. Driver insisted that it was clean and said he’d strapped his own seatbelt across his shirt all day and his shirt was clean. Madam’s retort was what threw the floor open for the argument.
“Even if your shirt was dirty, what difference would it make? You can’t compare your shirt to my shirt.”
Cabbie would not take that lying low. No way!
“How much is your shirt sef? Is it more than two thousand naira?”
“Two thousand naira? I won’t wear a shirt of two thousand naira! You can’t even afford the kind of shirt I wear.”
Oh wow. Madam dealt a low blow and Cabbie fired back.
“I have a wife who is like you. If I can feed woman like you, who says I cannot buy your shirt?”
Ahh. Madam got really angry! And the tone of her voice carried it well
“All these women that will be enslaving themselves and becoming house girls in the name of marriage! How much do you give your wife? Abeg! You cannot afford my shirt!”
Cabbie wasn’t in the least perturbed. His demeanour remained calm whilst madam kept popping veins in her neck and raising her voice.
“My wife can pay your salary. She has a big shop.”
Ha. More veins popped in madam’s neck.
“Till she dies your wife cannot pay my salary! If na so she get money reach, why you dey drive taxi? She no even fit give you cloth to wear!”
And it went on and on. Cabbie kept insisting that the woman was not better than him in any way and madam kept trying to prove that cabbie was beneath her. I kept silent and was calming taking notes on my phone, knowing I was going to come share this on my blog.
This general idea that we’re superior to some of these service providers is something I find utterly ridiculous. As much as we complain about the bad attitude some of them have, I can’t help but think that often time, we bring out the worst in them. Drink water first and calm down. I know some people naturally have a sour disposition and a terrible attitude. Like they really hate their job and if they had a choice, they would not be doing it. I get that. But you can’t deny that we’re responsible for their sour dispositions sometimes. I wrote an article once on this category of people which I titled “I respect them” and I think you should read that to get an idea of what I’m on about.
If the lady had just put on her seatbelt nicely without feeling the need to be condescending, the driver would not have attempted to assert himself like that. No one likes to be disrespected. Yet for the most part, we forget that respect is reciprocal. We’re condescending to drivers, cleaners, house helps, security men and then when they give off an attitude in return, we get angry and feel slighted.
You want to know the truth? The measure you give is the measure you will receive. Maybe not 100% of the time but I guarantee you, most of the time.
This is just a little reminder. Never be condescending to anyone who is seemingly ‘beneath’ you. The only difference between you and that cleaner is opportunity.
P.S I saw the lady’s shirt, it looked like something I’d buy for N800 from my Aba brothers. If I wanted to be nice to them.