Chioma Nnani: Staff Come in Different Shades
So, in one of my previous articles, I talked about how I found it really bewildering that a number of Nigerian business-owners tend to treat their staff horribly. And I got a fair bit of feedback – especially on Facebook.
A lot of business-owners bewailed the fact that their businesses were plagued with incompetent, lazy, money-grabbing staff.
There was the hotelier, who bit his (virtual) fingers as he recalled his experiences with his staff, and how they had nearly driven his establishment into the ground.
There was the young woman, who insisted that she literally had to hover over her staff, like a temperamental hawk, before they carried out even the most mundane of tasks.
There was also an enterprising lady who had been waiting for a so-called artisan to deliver some furniture for about a year. The craftsman appeared to have a truly unfortunate relationship with death – each time he was supposed to deliver this furniture set, someone in his family died. Or so he said. And these bereavements prevented him from completing the job. In the course of the three or so months of “I promise it's nearly ready”, he lost his father-in-law, grandmother, cousin's wife, uncle, niece and neighbour's cat. I think one of his uncles died twice. He also blamed the weather. And he kept swearing in the name of god – you remember what I said about Nigerians ripping a person off, while basking in religion, right? When he finally showed up, it was with half of what she ordered. Dude begged for more time to complete and deliver the rest, and then asked her for more money to correct a mistake he had made.
And there was the employer who was labelled an anti-Christ who does not want me to serve my god, when he gave someone a query. The said someone – who knows her work hours are 0800-1600hours, Monday through Friday – took off for church, without telling anyone or taking permission. On a Tuesday morning. Refused to answer her phone, bounced into work around 1100hours, had the nerve to tell her mellow boss that she “went to church”. I'd have sacked her and given her the opportunity to 'serve god' on a full-time basis. Let it not be said that because I don't subscribe to religion, I don't want people to follow their religious paths, as wholly as they desire.
Getting decent staff in Nigeria, it appears, is a bit like … I'm not sure yet what allegory to use. But I know there are decent ones, who are often over-worked and inadequately compensated – partly because they are so few, partly because of the prevalent mind-set of “You're staff, I'm your boss. I am better than you.”
Chioma Nnani is the award-winning author of FOREVER THERE FOR YOU. She holds a Law (LLB) from the University of Kent, Canterbury, was nominated for a BEFFTA in 2014, and has a Postgraduate Certificate in Food Law from the De Montfort University, Leicester. You can connect with her via facebook.com/ChiomaEstherNnani and @ChiomaNnani
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