A Series Of Highly Undeserved Expectations

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ExpectationsI had just arrived at the University Of Houston campus … fresh from Nigeria. I probably still smelled of the stock fish that my Mum made me smuggle bring into the country. Anyway that has nothing to do with this story…

I needed to buy text books for my freshman classes but when I received the cost of the text books I thought it was my school fees! The books were expensive. The one that stunned me the most was the $150.00 price tag for a Math’s text book. Unless the text book came with a calculator, GPS navigation system and ability to solve equations on its own … I was not buying.

I was probably going to have to steal a textbook to pass!

I was swimming in text-book-expense disarray when my room-mate asked me what was wrong….whoops sorry for not introducing my room-mate. Anyway I told him about my situation and how the text book costs were all extremely high, especially Mathematics. I was mid-way through my rant session when he interrupted and informed me that he actually did have that exact Mathematics textbook available.

I was ecstatic, what are chances that the most expensive textbook on my list was something that my roommate had available for free. $150 saved just like. He even brought out the book to show me, I don’t remember the title but I remember the color, blue … deep blue and as big as a bible. I was about to reach out for the textbook when words from my roommate hit me…

“I can sell it to you at a good price.”  

In my head, I was like “good price? But you are not even using it anymore, that’s just pure wickedness!”

…but it was not wickedness, it was capitalism. The same capitalism that makes the American Economy boom was the same capitalism that some years ago felt like wickedness.

I never did buy the textbook from my room-mate, I don’t even remember negotiating or where I got a text-book from that semester. But I do remember how I felt… and how I felt was angry. I had an expectation that as a room-mate (who I barely knew),  he should have given the book to me for free…because he was not using it. You could say I had a highly undeserved expectation.

I don’t know where I got that from…Okay okay I lie …

I suspect I got it from Nigeria because on several occasions, people…friends, family members and just people in general will ask me for money.  And the way the money is asked for, is with an air of expectation. You are my friend so therefore wire me money.

Back then I would help people out, but then soon it became a bit too much and I just had to stop. Not that I don’t help people out again, but I don’t just give money out without an exchange of service (where applicable). Let me explain…

If someone that sells flowers for a living asks me for xyz amount of money, rather than sending the money to them just like that. I would instead buy flowers from their company. If they don’t have a flower company, I would ask them to do something for me in exchange for the money. It does not matter how small.

By doing this overtime, what happens is that I am able to reinforce the lessons of capitalism albeit on a small scale. Lessins that say you you need to work to get money, that things are not given to you for free, that even though your ancestors lived on a piece of land (I am talking to you Omo Nile and MEND) you should not expect to be paid for that,

But I think this disease has bitten deep into the core of our society. So what ends up happening is that people like me with the Mathematics textbook have a series of highly undeserved expectations. The security guard hailing you expects to be paid by you, the Police Officer greeting you is expecting something, the family member that hears about your success wants a cut, the cycle just goes on and on. But the person who can break the cycle is that one that gives out the money … by requiring work in exchange for money just maybe we could reset the cycle of expectation to a cycle of capitalism.

PS: What are some of the highly undeserved expecatations have requested from you?

twitterWritten By Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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Ofili

Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
Follow him on Twitter
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18 comments on “A Series Of Highly Undeserved Expectations

    • Ofili
      Ofili on said:

      It depends on the strength and length of the hailing. If the chairmannnnnnnnnnn lasts for 10 seconds, then you are expected to dash them N100 =P

  1. I agree. Although expexctations when it works out I am always grateful. Do you think this expectation also exists in the America society with the system.of Tips in the service industry. Especially in the food industry.

    • Ofili
      Ofili on said:

      The system of tips is put in their receipts, it is to be given for exemplary service. And waiters/waitresses can never never ask for a tip, it against their rules.

      • Abbiba on said:

        Ofili God bless you. You took what has been in my mind for a very long time. I am Ijaw, (Rivers state) to be precise, my great grand father has been involved in this Ijaw struggle as far back as 1923, but never did they envisage that our young people will become freeloaders leaving off federal government.

        Yes, there are a lot of injustices in the Niger delta, our very source and way of living as a people has been snatched away from us (fishing and farming) due to oil spillage, but source of living and culture is not static, it evolves, if you can’t fish you go to school and be educated, start your own business but to take arms against the state and then drop the arms achieving what you said you were fighting for is criminal.

        Today, has environmental degradation being solved – No
        Do our people have resource control – No
        Do our people have more money in their pocket – No
        Instead, we have created a bunch of idiots as role models, tom polo, ateke and co.
        Our young men now think that the way to make money is to carry out arms against the state, is that life?

        They gained nothing concrete for the people except their selfish gain.

        There are structural discrimination in the Nigerian project against the Ijaws. We are the only ethnic group balkanised into 6 different states, rivers, ondo, benin, cross rivers, akwa ibom and delta.

        Bayelsa is the only Ijaw dominated state in Nigeria and it was only formed in 1999.
        Oil licenses, banking licenses, power licenses how many were given to any of our people? None

        Especially Oil licenses nobody should tell me that if this oil was in Ibo, hausa or yoruba land, they will accept that 99% of those who own the oil licenses are non – indigenes.

        They are real injustices but freeloading on the federal government is not the way to go, government dependency is bad, it breeds laziness, a dearth of imagination and innovation, but the ideas behind their struggles, are real.

        So do not diminish it by saying just because oil is on your land, don’t do that. The injustice is real, because of the environmental degradation there has been depopulation in the creeks, you can’t have enterprise in an empty place.

  2. Femi @ least the person you’re tipping has rendered a service abi? Here in naija most people expect a handout for doing nothing for you. I pity ‘celebs’ the most, people will tell them na we dey buy your film/music and expect them to drop something.
    I rarely experience people asking me for something for nothing, my face too strong.

  3. Hmmm! I think I’ve been rather too “generous”. Sometimes when you get hard and say “NO” they label you as being “stingy”. True lots of folks, family, friends, relatives, coworkers, etc all have this expectation mentality. Its the reason politicians in Nigeria steal the way they do! Family members and friends would ridicule them if they leave office without lots of cars, houses, and investments to “show” for their years in office. Same thing with the street beggars who feel you are obligated to give them just because they are beggars. It’s a sick mentality that I feel should stop! Thanks for pointing this out Ofili! I’ve taken cue.

  4. The first time I stayed overnight in Ibadan for an interview. I didn’t know my way around. An elderly distant family member (who is a car dealer) came to pick me at the park to another aunt’s place to stay. I paid for his transportation to get back home. The next week (which was Christmas) he called and said to send somethhing to him as he had prayed that the interview would be successful. He even sent his account details. He kept calling till I stopped picking.

  5. You know, I used to feel really sorry for people who asked for money by ‘hailing you’. But I think my breaking point was when it occurred to me that they are even reluctant to offer any service to you(which was already committed to them) without some assurance or hunch that you’d be ‘settling’ them.
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  6. I call this ‘the entitlement mentality’ and we see it in so many ways. I heard a story about a close family friend whose younger siblings wouldn’t go out and look for jobs after graduation because ‘their brother’ was working in an oil company. It’s the same thing we see with guards or traffic controllers who expect you ‘to give them something’ for simply doing their jobs!
    Like you, the blame lies with those who continue to feed the habit. Let them label you ‘wicked’ or ‘stingy’. It’s fine. But let the lesson be taught – You are entitled to nothing in this world. The world owes you nothing. Work with your hands and make something out of your life.

  7. Nigerians have this sense of entitlement that I don’t understand.
    We need to realize that no one has to anything for you. No one is obligated to give you things.
    People try to pass on doing things because they have a cousin/sister/uncle/friend who can help.

    Accept that no one owes you anything and you’re not entitled to anything

  8. ufuoma on said:

    visited a ‘joint’ in warri , a classy one, said to be owned by some Chinese fellow. the way one of their staff treated me was awesome that when I was about to leave, I gave her sth, just #200 sha o but u need to see the way she reacted as if I was going to land her in trouble, cos there were cameras. i was shocked but tot…u really should be served well

  9. Iganya on said:

    Ofili, you will have to forgive me for being petty but are those typos I see in your post?!…good read anytime though.

  10. Ayodeji on said:

    Years back ℓ̊ had to help a lady and her friend with cash whom ℓ̊ thought was stranded and its almost very late into the night and of course they gave me the story of still going far only for me to notice them still at my side of the bus-stop minutes after ℓ̊ have religiously given my cash out and enough to transport them to their claimed destination (expecting God to make me the next president for my act of kindness).

    I felt duped, robbed and raped all at the same time and since that night ℓ̊ made a silent vow that ℓ̊ will be very very very pick and consult an ifa priest to look into the athenciticity of the claim before ℓ̊ give my money out. Chairman hailers don’t even count.

  11. alegtony on said:

    Hmmmm….
    The security guy @ work….the cleaner @ the office complex…my neighbour who does not seem to have enough transport fare mid month…
    Yep it goes on and it just struck me how to make them all work for the tip.
    Am having a laugh………

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