I find the complete arrogance and impudence shown by people who have tiny jobs such as security guards, cleaners, secretaries, nurses, bankers and so on mildly disturbing. They seem to love to wield power even though they have little of it. I first wrote about this three years ago in a blog post I titled Misuse of Power, you may check it out here. Perhaps that was not an apt title because these people do not really have any power, they are just angry people who like to give others a hard time.
Sometimes bankers, especially tellers, are the worst. They are like those dementors in Harry Potter, they soak away ones happiness and replace it with moodiness and edginess and an urge to snap their necks. One of the most interesting things about bankers is that none of the monies they bandy about is theirs. Can you imagine being able to see all that money but not being able to touch any of it; it is kind of like being a door. Doors are what I consider to be the saddest, SADDEST things in the history of sad things. They let people into the party but they never attend the party themselves. Lucky they have no feelings. Bankers are like doors the way they are able to see but not touch. It does often seem like such a sad job and this is why sometimes one cannot blame them when they act like utter idiots:
‘I want to deposit some money.’ Person says to a teller whose face looks like a painting palette: There’s more makeup than face.
Teller stretches her hands. Badly bleached. Black knuckles. Black wrists. Fair arm.
Person hands teller some money as well as the deposit slip.
Teller hands it back. ‘You should give me the money first before the slip.’
‘What difference does it make?’ Person says.
‘Are you teaching me my job?’ Teller says.
Person takes a deep breath: Hands teller cash, then shortly after, hands teller deposit slip.
Teller looks through the slip. ‘It is not dated.’
Person collects slip and scribbles the date: Hands back to teller.
‘You did not write the account name properly.’ Teller says.
‘It is my account, I am depositing some money to myself, besides, what do you need the account name for, your business is with the account number.’ Person says.
‘Excuse me;’ Teller shouts. ‘I will not tolerate you teaching me my job.’
Person takes a deep breath, collects slip, looks at the clearly legible account name and draws a line over it then rewrites it above the cancelled one. He hands it back to the teller.
‘I am sorry,’ Teller says. ‘This is too rough. You will have to fill another deposit slip.’
Person asks for Account closure form and closes the account. One customer bank loses one customer.
This is such a bad thing, it runs from the security guards who stand huffishly by the gate with their stained white shirts and their dark blue trousers and tell you that you cannot go inside and ask ‘what can you do?’ and ‘Who do you think you are?’ when you attempt to argue with them, to the secretaries who wear Ankara prints from the last Ileya festival to work and tell you in their saucy, impertinent voices: ‘you cannot see Oga right now because Oga is in a meeting, you must go and come back tomorrow or the day after or next year or never ever.’ Or ‘You must be stupid to think that I will let you into my Oga’s office, do you want to fight me? Come and fight me now, useless man. I will call the security to get rid of you. Nonsense!’ Meanwhile Oga is in his office and has absolutely no clue what his dumb secretary has been saying to his visitors. This impudence on the part of tiny, miniscule, insignificant employees trickles all the way up, quite unfortunately, to nurses in hospitals. High-heeled and brainless are many nurses on most working days especially in public hospitals. They spend all day shaving their nails and painting their faces and talking about other people’s businesses and shouting abuses at poor, miserable patients who have no choice but to tolerate the maltreatment. ‘Doctor is busy right now. You are going to have to exercise some patience. You are going to have to tell me what your sickness is. What are your symptoms?’ They say, as if they have anything inside their head, shaking their overly made up faces so vigorously, you fear that the makeup would fall out of the face. It is often irrelevant what the severity of the patient’s plight is. The doctor is always busy. If you can’t tell me what your problem is, then you may die here for all I care. Sometimes, nurses are the worst.
On a final note, I do have some friends who are nurses and it is fair to say some nurses, just as I am sure it is with a few bankers and some secretaries and some security guards, are absolutely delightful and lovable human beings. The problem is that it is easy to generalize when some parts are bad. I mean, what would you do if I gave ten berries and told you three were poisoned?