Over the weekend, I was at an event. As is usually customary to free events, the snacks and food were not free. After a tiring 8 hours, I managed to get out of the overwhelming human traffic and made my way to the Snacks Bar. Now, I hadn’t had a good pack of small chops since the GTBank Food Drink and so decided to buy one or two packs from the vendor selling.
“Madam, how much is your small chops?”
“Aunty, it is only 500 naira o! And its delicious, you’ll even come and buy more when you’re done.”
I rolled my eyes and wondered if there was a book on how to talk your customers into buying your food and snacks – every Nigerian vendor seemed to use the same lines lately.
“Is it ready? I’m in a rush o!”
“Ah, yes aunty, just give us two minutes. Now now, it will be ready.”
Because I didn’t want to leave without feeding my crave, I decided to wait. Two minutes turned into five minutes and then metamorphosed into ten minutes and somehow, fifteen minutes went by before I got – no, not the both – one of my small chops pack.
“The second one nko?”
“Ah, aunty e dey come now now o! Na only the samosa still dey fire.”
It was another five minutes before my small chops pack came, however. Standard attitude, I thought, but nonsense all the same.
“Errm, aunty. The samosa no reach o, and the chicken too don finish. I fi add more puff puff?”
“For how much?” I asked, not even in the mood.
“Na 500 naira na, I don tey you before.”
Notice the transition in speaking, from the ‘it will be ready’ to ‘e still dey fire’ to ‘ I don tey you before’. As she don see money now, she fi dey talk anyhow.
“500 ke? For a pack of puff puff and springroll?” I laughed within me and couldn’t even begin to understand the audacity of this woman, 500!
“Aunty, e go sweet o! I promise you.”
But I wasn’t told that puff puff and springroll was 500 na, it was a pack of small chops for 500 naira that was on display. “I won’t buy it o.”
Almost immediately, her voice changed. “Ehn, no be the same small chops?”
In annoyance, I took my one full pack of proper small chops and left.
But throughout the day, I kept thinking, why do Nigerian vendors do this thing? How will a pack of small chops for 500 naira that was meant to contain puff puff, banana puff, springroll, samosa, and barbequed chicken suddenly becomes a pack of just springroll and puff puff for 500 naira? And the funny thing is that they expect us to just dash them the money and carry the more than half empty pack and be going abi?
Nigerian vendors, biko, mbok, edakun, ejoor, don’t give less than what we pay for. It’s heartbreaking, irritating and definitely not good for business.
Don’t let me talk too much.