I saw the movie “something new” on Friday night and I was going to blog about how I loved it…the heroine who was black fell in love with a white man. She ran away from it for a long time because it wasn’t cool and showed that she was not “down”. Like she said in the movie, “Its not prejudice, it’s just a preference”. In the end, she shook off what society said and walked into the cotillion ballroom (akin to walking off into the sunset) with her man. Awwww…
Well, the post about how pleasant and nice the movie was has turned into a post about how I get nothing but prejudice. I get it at work, on the street and especially when I have to deal with artisans, junior staff and my fellow sisters.
I had to go to work on saturday and an issue involving the drivers was brought to my notice. True, I am not exactly their contact person, but since the issue was reported to me, I had to handle it.
I left my desk to seek out the driver in question. Made sure I heard him out, played out the empathy bit and then pleaded with him to continue to perform the particular function he was to perform until Monday comes…a week day which will bring with it official e-mails that will either relieve him of this duty he so badly did not want to do or ensure that he carries it out to the tiniest detail.
He agreed and asked me to call some one else who his company actually liaises with to talk to him and confirm that he should continue carrying out the function. “O.k”., said I, “I will get X to call you and confirm” With that, I left on what I thought was a good note. About 30minutes later, I go outside when he is supposed to leave the office. His fellow drivers are there, and he has started being stubborn about it again. In fact he even raises his voice when I approach him. Said that there was no way he was going to perfornm the task we had alread agreed on.I ask if X has called him. No. I call X to remind him and a few seconds the driver’s phone rings and he starts talking to “Oga X”. Oga??? Oga X and I happen to be on the very same level in the office. Hell, we were even in the same university together and matriculated and graduated in the same respective years. I say nothing. After speaking to “Oga” X, he turns to me and says that he will do as he was told. That’s when I got upset. And asked him if what X asked him to do was different from what I asked him to do. Of course he could not answer. And this is what I have to deal with a lot of times. Normally, I would just let it slide because I feel that drawing attention to it just makes it worse but I was so pissed off!
This might not seem like much of a case, so let me take you down my memory lane. I started noticing this sort of behavior when I moved to Port-Harcourt to work. I spent about 8 months there and I was self-conscious half the time. I had a really nice car to drive down there and I somehow tuned in to the fact that a lot of people tend to look at your wedding finger when you are driving. Hmmm, I thought it was just my imagination the first few times I noticed it. My doubt cleared when it was constantly repeated, especially when I was driving that car. I mean, for a young girl like me to drive that sort of car, a man had to have settled me big time for services rendered. And they did not stop there, a few times I had to drive into the university and the security guards would regard me with derision. Not that I am even a funky dresser. They jut feel threatened when they see a relatively young girl rolling in what they perceive to be a ride that is too nice. And this was a tokunbo!
When my husband-who-never-was (story for never) and I were setting up house, the work-men that came to fix up the place were so guilty of this behavior. Whenever I ask them to ask about something or I am talking to them, they would turn to him to either reply (hello, I thought I was the one that spoke to you) or even seek his approval to carry out my instructions. this happened so may times that I had to draw his attention to it. He thought I was imagining things until he took time out to actually notice these things. Haba!! Or was it at the beginning when we were looking for a place for him to move into? The estate agent showed ME the kitchen and said that since that would be my ???office??? I should be the one to look at it. That would have been really nice and courteous behavior if it had been that I was moving into the house or the man was not so ernest about it. And he knew that the house was for the bobo only o!
One of my future posts will be on how a LASTMA official did the obirin ni thing. Silly people driving me crazy.
Sad thing is that I get this from women as well. I had a neighbor in P/H who had 2 kids under the age of 3. Her philandering husband left one day on the pretext of traveling to a nearby town to collect on a cheque. Claiming it would be faster there. I mean this is the sort of guy who probably used the age old excuse of the dog ate my homework. She KNEW where he really went, especially as he was a no show that night. She even told me as much. And imagine, he left her about N100 and almost no food in the house. This was a man who worked in a company that people aspire to. And it was not his first time. Few days later she was talking to me about a woman that lived in the same neighborhood and said to me that she was a really difficult woman and that it was clear she was frustrated because “she isn’t married”. How I kept the laughter that was bubbling under the surface back, I don’t know. I mean, if they ask married women to stand up and form a queue, this girl would hustle her way to the front. This was her general view of unmarried women…and she was not alone at all. Loads of girls (married and unmarried do this).
A friend told me that she a girl in her class was rumored to have gotten married and she (my friend) immediately started viewing the girl with new found respect. In her words “it was as though a halo appeared around the girl's head”. I laughed long and hard at that. Then she went on to say that she had later learned that the rumor was spurious. In her words again “the halo immediately disappeared, scheeew(loud and long hiss) ” My friend is still currently unmarried. And she is not a bad person at all. Just someone that has let societal pressure get to her.
I refuse, I refuse, I refuse to feel like less of a person because I am female and /or unmarried. Why? because, I rise!!
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