After chomping at the leash of Oga versus Employee in my previous place of employ, one of the coolest aspects of my new job was the open door policy, with everyone on first name terms. We hung out together and basically chilled as a team when out of station.
On one of my earliest trips to South Africa, the Onboard manager suggested we all had breakfast together – there was this coffee shop she discovered where the cappuccino was heavenly… Remembering my previous experience, I advised my Naija colleagues to take cash along.
We all ordered, and I noticed how some chose the lower priced items. I lackled (cross between a laugh and a cackle), for though it made sense – why spend so much on breakfast when there was lunch and dinner – experience had taught me logic went out of the window sometimes. The coffee was really good, and they made a mean club sandwich!
When the bill came and was split equally 10 ways, the look on my colleagues’ faces were priceless. Shock! Indignation! Mild surprise! Confusion! Incredulity! And a few the English language does not have words for, yet. But they paid, albeit grudgingly. Nobody wanted to offend Oga. I was, to put it mildly, amused.
Humans are fundamentally a superstitious and vindictive lot. When something bad happens to someone else, we hope it will appease the gods and they will overlook us; if it happens to us we sit and watch hoping same or worse will befall our neighbors.
We fixed to have breakfast the next day at 10am, but my Naija peeps re-scheduled for 8am and somehow forgot to tell Oga.
Failing to have breakfast as a team, Oga called round to tell us of this amazing place where we could have seafood for 450Rands each. She must have thought us really strange when 3 of us suddenly remembered we had seafood allergies; another had a dinner date; another a movie date; and some others were not reachable. Needless to say, we all begged off.
It was not about spending N8000 on seafood, ok maybe it was a little, but it was more the principle. As we say in my neck-o-woods: if you fall Maga once, shame on them; if you fall Maga twice, shame on you!