I attended a symposium sometime ago, I got there an hour before the stipulated time so I had to wait outside. Luckily for me, there was a relaxation centre, I didn’t have to stand. I grabbed a seat and enjoyed the cool breeze that cold morning. The place was so serene that I decided to surf the web and do some research just to keep tabs on new trends. I got so engrossed in my mini-study that I didn’t notice a thing. Few minutes later, I heard footsteps from afar and behold, two young ladies invaded my space (LOL).
It was like everything I had on my mind that moment was wiped off. One of them dragged a chair while the other in the process of clearing the area threw a piece of paper at me. I cared less because I felt it wasn’t deliberate. They settled down and started this extremely loud and disturbing conversation. I made gestures just to avoid being rude or harsh, these ladies didn’t catch the gist. For crying out loud! They barged in on me and didn’t have the decency to say good morning, I thought to myself. In the process of contemplating on whether or not I should speak out, another friend of theirs joined the conversation. Oh, I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to do something about it. May I inform you that as at this time, the relaxation centre was already getting rowdy so I couldn’t get another corner to sit.
I pleaded with them to lower their voices and one of them spoke in Yoruba: Ki lon se eleyi? (What is wrong with this one?). A lot of people have told me I look like an Igbo lady, well, I believed that day. They probably didn’t know I was a Yoruba lady. The other two laughed so hard and boosted their friend’s morale. Well, it was their time to shine. I checked my wristwatch and it was already time to attend the program I came for. Quietly, I excused myself and pretended not to hear a thing.
You might begin to ask yourself why I’m taking so much time narrating this story. Hold on, I’m getting somewhere. The program had started and somehow I saw these ladies again. We were all asked to network and get to meet each other. Unexpectedly, I bumped into my lecturer in school and with so much excitement, I walked up to him to catch up. Ghen Ghen (like Nollywood movies would express themselves), one of them ran towards us and started greeting seriously. For a moment, I was stunned “Are these not the ladies I saw this morning, am I seeing double?” Much later, I realised they craved his help for something so important, they heard he’d attend that program and thought to reach out to him there. My lecturer noticed the look on my face and asked if I had seen them before. If I had said yes, he would have perceived they did something bad, he would have probed further and probably would deny them what they came for. I couldn’t afford to be a contributor to their failure so I told him no reluctantly. I’m sure some of you think I should have exposed them, yeah? After the program, I beckoned to them and narrated the whole story. Well well well, they felt sorry after the long message.
Of a truth, we are in the 21st century but we should not forget to uphold high moral standards. Sometimes we blame people for our failure forgetting we have a huge part to play in marketing our brand (which is yourself). I have heard true-life stories of people who lost great opportunities because they lack courtesy. Not everyone will feel bad about implicating you so you should watch it. The five magic words are still powerful and efficient and they go a long way in shaping our destinies. For the purpose of those who don’t know them, I’d mention them. Saying: Please, Excuse me, Sorry, Thank you and Pardon me won’t make you feel less than you are so, start to see the prospects in them.
If you are the type that feels old school as a result of your cordiality, I’d say don’t relent. People might say you are too sluggish, trust me, the rewards are tremendous. I believe strongly that someday, we’d all begin to develop soft skills that will unlock extraordinary ways for us.
I wish you all a lesson-loaded October.