A short drama on a woman’s change of attitude under the present economic realities written by Fola Daniel Adelesi.
Before the recession, 50 naira charge on deposit and other CBN brouhaha…
Woman walks into a store to pick a few items and the conversation goes like this:
Woman: Who’s here? (as though she can’t see any attendant even when one is conspicuously in front of her)
Attendant: I’m here ma. Good morning and welcome to Efizzy Store. What would you want?
(Woman then becomes indecisive …)
Woman: Let me walk around and see what you have. (She says with some really classy swerve and then turns around slowly to explore the store.)
Attendant: That’s fine ma. (The attendant said with her eyes glued to the woman and her head picturing herself in the position of this woman of class. Woman returns in 30 minutes, interrupted by several unwanted questions thrown across the room to the attendant who can’t help but pity herself, with a filled cart. Attendant heaves a sigh of relief … with the hope of pleasing her boss and the expectation of guaranteed salary.)
Attendant: How do you intend to pay ma?
Woman: (Turns to look at who spoke with a scanning eye which immediately returns to her wallet. She pulls out a debit card and flaunts it to the cashier without a word.)
Attendant: Ok ma. (Now respectfully collects the card, inserts in the POS and starts fumbling with it.) Current or savings ma?
Woman: (accent suddenly changes to that of a Western woman) cuuuurrent, off course! (With a look that seems to ask, ‘why would you even ask in the first place?)
Attendant: (returns to fumbling with the POS, raises it a little and tilts towards the window)
Woman: Why are you always having problems with your POS?
Attendant: Ha! We are sorry ma. It will be completed soon.
Woman: That’s what most of you always say.
Attendant: (Now presents a stronger defence) It’s not our fault o. It’s usually the network. Oh, thank God! It has gone through ma. (She pulls out the card and returns with a receipt to the woman. She also packs the items neatly into some branded disposable bags of the store.) Thank you for coming ma. Please visit us again.
Woman: (Collects her debit card and the items. She then catwalks towards the door with the purchased items in one hand and flashing her debit card with a sleek phone in the other. She pauses a few inches before the door as though she didn’t pick a much needed item before.) How much is this one?
Attendant: It’s N58,735 ma.
Attendant: Let me show you ma. It’s really nice.
Woman: Some other time. I’m running late.
Now that CBN deducts N50 on every transaction and there’s recession…
Same woman walks into the store, this time with a list… and prices already checked out on the internet. The following conversation ensues:
Woman: (Walks into the store smartly and pulling out the list of items to buy) Good afternoon, my sister. How are you?
Attendant: Haaa Madam, good afternoon. Long time! We have missed you o.
Woman: (Not going to fall into the trap of cheerful flattery, she proceeds with questions about availability and prices of what she wants to buy. The attendant responds without mixing the figures up.) These your prices are a bit high o. Haba! On Jumia, it is lower. On Konga it’s even a lot cheaper. Deal dey is even doing promo (now quoting prices as if to intimidate the attendant to give a discount though some of her figures were made up).
Attendant: That’s our price ma. Ours is still the best. You know we also sell quality. Most of those products you buy online are from people you don’t know. They’re just using the big names of the online store. They have no guarantee and once you buy, you don’t know which store to go back to. We give you…
Woman: (interrupts and wouldn’t let the attendant finish her sermon. Runs through the store in ten minutes and returns with everything she needed.) Here you go.
Attendant: How do you want to pay ma?
Woman: I’ll use my card jare… (hisses and reaches for the card)
Attendant: (Her POS is now responding at the speed of light.) Total is 78,650 ma.
Woman: Haba! Why? What… what did I buy? Kilode? (She pulls out each item and demands to know the price. She points at a few items, instructs the attendant to remove them and says… ) These ones are not even necessary. We still have some of them at home. One has to be prudent these days.
Attendant: Current or savings ma?
Woman: Current ke? People are no longer using current o. It’s savings jare.
Attendant: Please enter your pin ma.
Woman: It’s 1234 my dear. There’s nothing to hide there. Just make sure the amount you entered is not more than what I’m paying for o!
Attendant: (Smiles and still trying to figure out the sudden openness and thorough monitoring of every payment step.) Madam don’t worry.
Woman: Let me worry o. Cos I don’t even under this our money again. It’s as if the thing just comes and disappears.
Attendant: Madam, it’s this dollar o. God will sha help us sha.
Woman: It is well (collects her bags and hurries out of the store.
*** store gossip ***
Attendant’s friend: Why was your customer shouting like that?
Attendant: My dear, recession ti ba ni jare (recession has hit her).
Attendant’s friend: Ha, so rich people sef dey feel am?
Attendant: Who is not feeling it? If you see this woman before! She just walks into the store and hardly talks. Ask her what she wants, she go just point. How do you want to pay, she go flash card. But now, recession ti la l’ohun (recession has opened her mouth.)
(Both burst out in laughter. Just then, attendant in shop 2 breezes in and whispers, ‘your oga is around.’ She suddenly starts rearranging herself while her friend dashes towards the door. She takes one more look around the store to be sure everything is in order)…
*** the end ***
Fola Daniel Adelesi
+234 803 416 3006
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