Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business. Yes, and that is also true if you are a housewife, architect or engineer.
‘Oga driver abeg na, make you pass Ajao side go Airport I am running late’ I said to the driver after two hours in traffic. There had been an accident on the third mainland bridge and I was nowhere near the airport for my flight to Benin.
I had been trying to secure an appointment with the Minister of Works and Housing for close to three months and I had just found out from a reliable source that he was attending the wedding of an Edo State dignitary’s daughter, Obehi. Obehi and I had been good friends from our days at the University in England so I had an invite.
It was Saturday the day of the wedding and I was not going to miss it for anything. I had a well-crafted plan nicely thought out and I was going to give him an elevator pitch, thirty seconds that would leave him longing for more information, then I would strike.
The minister of Works and Housing was known for his ingenious ideas and out of the of the box approach to tackling problems. I was sure my ideas on affordable housing would impress him, if only I could get him to hear them.
I was all set in my grey Kaftan, my ipad and an overnight pilot bag. I knew I would need to spend the night in Benin, at least party with Obehi and her husband. That was secondary, my mission was the minister, Dr. Raji Tongo.
I looked at my watch again, it was 11:30am, my flight was originally a 12 noon flight, but the airline had called to ‘reschedule’, the flight was now scheduled for 1:30pm. This they did at 9am when I had already checked in online and headed for the airport.
I had cursed and sworn at them for a while, but now I was grateful they did as there was no way I would have made it to the airport for 12 noon.
Fifteen minutes later we were on the same spot just descending the third mainland bridge and I knew Mobolaji Bank Anthony was an unreliable route to take, it would always be traffic jammed at this time on a Saturday. The fuel stations at the roundabout were always the major cause of the traffic, and then the Catholic Church at the turn to Mende would most likely have a wedding going on.
So I emphasized again ‘Driver, please take Oshodi and enter through Ajao’ I said.
‘Oga, I no deaf na, I hear you the first time’ the driver said irritably. He muttered inaudibly under his breath.
The day had started off badly. I woke up a bit later than I wanted to. My flat mate was supposed to take me to the airport from our apartment in the estate before VGC, but that was not to be as his car failed to start.
After several trouble shooting attempts, I quickly resorted to call a Car hire company. While two of them said the time was too short and there was no available vehicle, I found a winner with the third and I quickly showered and waited.
It was almost 9am and the cab was meant to pick me up at 8:45, so I called the company again.
‘Hello, my name is Onaivi I booked a cab earlier’ I stated. ‘I am still waiting for it even though it was meant to be here at 8:45am’
The lady on the other end answered in a very bored tone ‘It’s just 9:55 na, be patient, I am sure the driver is on his way’ she said ‘You know Ajah is far, if you were in V.I or Lekki it would be easier’ she succinctly reminded me that it was my fault for not living in the better part of the Island.
I was about to say something rude or explain that the Chevron round about was not Ajah but thought better, so instead I asked ‘Please can I have the driver’s number so I know where he is’.
She gave me the number and hung up almost immediately. Poor service was the least of my worries at that point; I just wanted to get to the airport in time.
I called the driver; I dialed three times before he finally picked up his phone.