I was with a friend yesterday and we needed to get an item for her birthday shoot coming up at the end of the month. I called an okada guy to drop us at the junction so we could find our way to the mall since all the UBER and BOLT guys we were ordering were asking us to cancel the ride from our end for one yeye reason or the other.
After the okada dropped us off at the junction, we paid him and I said “THANK YOU” sir in my usual cheerful manner (When I am not cramping or having one of those my annoying mood swing caused by being a girl syndrome)
After we moved some steps further, my friend said why did I tell the okada man “thank you” when he was just offering a service that we paid for with our hard earned money? She said “He was only doing his job and does not deserve extra thanks for anything because he did nothing extra or out of the ordinary” She continued that after all, the ride wasn’t free or even smooth sef… (there are many potholes on the road and the guy tried to swerve a bit to avoid landing inside the death holes at some point).
I asked her if she could carry me on her back for a kilometer without injuring her spinal cord or ride the okada to lift school children who patronize the services of the bikemen daily after school? She said NO and I said I thanked him because he did what I cannot do, even for all the money in her wallet at the moment.
I learnt how to thank vendors for any service rendered when the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) in universities went on strike while I was a student in the university of Ibadan. During the strike action, the restrooms, hostels and even the whole school premises were in a very terrible state of jagbjanthisim. The refuse and dustbins weren’t disposed and everywhere was just filled with filth and a very nauseous aroma that I couldn’t comprehend.
When the strike was called off, I realized the importance of the manual job being done by those people most times, for meagre sum of money. They really help to maintain sanity in the society and so they deserve to be thanked for their effort at all times. There was even a time the bike men and taxi drivers went on strike too while I was in school….I walked from the school gate to my hall of residence because no one (any form of transport) was working and I almost fainted and couldn’t even go for classes or attend any extra-curricular activity outside campus till the strike was called off.
For me, I feel that gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy. Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart. So when next someone renders a service to you, it wouldn’t remove a penny from your pocket to show appreciation.
Truth is that most people detest their jobs especially those who are doing menial jobs…some are just hanging on to the job till they get a better job, fatter paycheque or more favorable work conditions. Don’t make life more difficult for them with your nasty attitude or talk down on them, your words and action might just be the trigger that might make them give up on the journey of life.
Other ways you can be courteous include but are not limited
- Always be polite and kind to EVERYONE (Don’t be discriminatory about it)
- Be on time (African time sucks)
- Listen and don’t be all about yourself Ask the other party to speak too and genuinely mean it.
- Use names and don’t call people hey, hiya, eheeeeeh, bros etc.
- Watch your mouth when you are joking. Some jokes are crude and can offend a sensitive person.
- Don’t use swear words biko. It sucks.
- Avoid gossip. It is irritating.
- Give compliments and mean it. Don’t exaggerate or blow things out of proportion.
- Learn how to do introductions properly. Use the right title when and where appropriate. Don’t use Mrs for Miss.
- Don’t touch other people first without permission. It is rude and scary.
- Be careful with your opinions. Swallow some opinions if you need to or have a leaking mouth.
- Don’t judge others. Respect their privacy and opinions.
- Learn phone etiquette. Don’t involve innocent people who would rather be left with their thoughts in your unsolicited conversation.
- Radiate positivity.
- Know basic table etiquette. Seeing someone eat when you are hungry is annoying enough. Don’t make it worse than it is already.
Abigael says you should be nice. You won’t lose any hair in your armpit if you are courteous.