It was actually in 2007 as a manager of a hotel in Owerri, Imo state that I was thaught the meaning of work by the hotel’s car wash staff!

This particular staff Nnamdi, was the only applicant that applied with a First School leaving certificate as his highest qualification & specifically for the job of a car wash!

It was a 65 rooms hotel including single & double suits. On average 40 cars pack in the car park daily on weekdays & about 60 on weekends.
We weren’t charging fees for car washing. It was purely complementary.

In about a month of his resuming, I was getting excellent reports from guests & supervisors on the good conduct, attitude & professionalism being displayed by the car washer in his work. Within that period, there was an opening for a supervisor in the cleaning department. The number one candidate for the position that came to my mind was the car washer. I called him into my office & informed him that he will be resuming as a supervisor in the cleaning department with effect from the next Monday & that a new car washer will be resuming with him the next day for him to train in our ways of washing cars.

To my surprise & shock he declined the offer begging me to allow him remain as the car washer & citing his deficiency in education & good communication skills as inhibitions!

I allowed him to remain as the car washer but it raised my curiosity. I started to study his work as a car washer. What I discovered shocked me to the marrow & changed my orientation & definition of what work is & who actually is working!

On average he washes 60 cars a day including those of suppliers, contractors & customers that came to the hotel in the day time! Since the hotel complementary only covers washing the exteriors of cars, he collects a personal special fee of not less than 1k to wash the interiors of cars for customers that request for it. He gets an average of #500 per car as tips from appreciative customers & guests. All this translates to the car washer making on average 35k per day. If he shares 15k to his 2 assistants, he still makes 20k per day which translates to 600k per month where as my own salary as manager then was a little above 100k.

Another shocker I discovered was that this guy was actually a graduate but decided to apply with FSLC & specifically for the position of a car washer! What this means is that he knows exactly what he is doing, what he wants & what he was going to get from the beginning!

Why this story?

Because we have a wrong idea of what work is in this country & that’s why so many graduates & young men are roaming the streets jobless with ear phones in their ears, rucksacks on their backs & sagged trousers blaming the government for unemployment when millions of high paying jobs are staring them in the face at every turn! I know of roadside tailors that charge 20k to make a ‘senator’ caftan & could make 5 of them a day. I know of roadside seamstresses that charge 100k to make a simple wedding gown & could collect up to 300k if they are baking the wedding cake as well. Jobs everywhere but we give excuses with lack of power, government grants & loans as if those who are making millions everyday from these skills & trades got preferential treatment from government.

We don’t believe we are working unless we wear tie & suit or customs, immigration etc uniforms & go to offices every morning & swell the ranks of those agitating for 30k a month minimum wage even when the opportunities to do legitimate jobs that will pay us that in a day is staring us in the face at every corner!

These jobs & enterprises produce goods & services that grow the GDP, the economy generally & provide employment.

We need a change in orientation!

We need a new progressive way of thinking!!

Richmen Ronald

You can share this
We help you make sense of an increasingly complex information world with a wide range of perspectives and stories that will allow you take an informed decision. We are proud of our African heritage and keep our eyes on the world. As online media, we see digitalization as the foremost opportunity to reach new readers, customers, and African emerging markets. We are independent in our approach. Our philosophy is grounded in the principles of a free society, which Africa is coming to terms with yet not losing the essence of what makes us African, which is our culture. ….showcasing the best part of us! www.etimes.com.ng ======================== info@etimes.com.ng ======================== etimes.nigeria@gmail.com Phone: +234 802 893 1940