Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Do not call me dear, if I don't call you honey.

It's common place around here to greet an elderly person or 'egbon' as they love to bear 'good morning' and he or she lifts up a hand to give you a dismissing 'how are you?'.  Nigerians are well known for answering questions by posing another question, so it's almost permissible to respond to a greeting by asking a question.
When asked "how are you?", you will think the answer matters to them, they really do not want to know if you are fine, broke, busted, or hungry. Not like they care. It's just the 'egbon' syndrome. Egbons ask the younger ones 'how are you?'... I am yet to see anyone fire "how are you?" at the boss when he or she comes in and says good morning. The chorus would automatically be 'good morning sir/ ma'. "How are you?" has been reserved for the younger or subordinate.

Some add endearment to theirs, 'how are you, my dear'....Most occurrences, the 'dear' is a girl, woman, or a small child especially when it is coming from a non-relative. The younger men get "how are you my boy?",  "how are you my brother?"
Office environments are no longer kept official especially when it's a first name basis relationship, Nigerians go the extra mile to stop being official but endearing. That we relate on first name basis doesn't mean you are special to me or I am to you in  the office. Do not call me dear, if I don't call you honey.

So there is this new elderly man at the office security post, he should have been around for close to a month. For every 'good morning' or good 'anything' I extend to him, he replies with 'xxxxxxx my dear' , good morning my dear, good night my dear....I thought he was going to change.

Last week, 'the good night, my dear' almost spoiled my evening. I am your boss for crying out loud and I am not your sister or grandchild. Oh! yes! he is old! old enough to be a grand dad! old enough to be this and that...but this is an office, and you are not my dad and I am not your dear. I got into hubby's waiting car and told him how I felt with this oddity.

I was looking forward to the following morning for the greeting so as to deal with it. He didn't show up for another one week. Then this morning, he was there. As usual, he answered my greetings with a 'how are you, my dear'? .  So I looked straight into his eyes and told him, 'Oga, when next I greet you, just answer me good morning. Do not call me dear, I am not your dear'. He was shocked, his colleagues and supervisor were shocked, I was shocked too because normally, I endure all manners from the aged, but for crying out load, I'm tired of being everybody's dear.

Case closed!


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