So, the other day, I staggered into the bank, tired. GTB of all banks, Uniben branch for that matter. I had just left a queue — a real one o, by Naija standards — for National ID enrollment and was praying that GTB would be a breeze. After all, I just wanted to empty my dormant account and close it for good.
Guess what? It wasn’t a breeze. Not even close.
Fate had other plans for me. When I entered the bank, frankly, I thought movie producers were doing a retake on the Exodus. Only the absence of donkeys, baskets and men in long robes dismissed my assumptions. The queue I met was one person away from getting outside the hall and there weren’t any chairs. Just imagine my frustration. Hanging my bag containing my grinding stone of a laptop over my left shoulder and exercising some faith, I walked up to the last person on the queue.
“Bros abeg I’m behind you.” He nodded and so did I.
About 10 minutes later, I felt someone tap my other unoccupied shoulder. I turned around to see a middle-aged woman, possibly late forties, smiling broadly.
“My dear I’m behind you please. Let me quickly fill this slip.”
I nodded. I had lost the zeal to say any word to anyone beside the cashier, that was if I got to meet one. A couple of minutes later, she came back, saying several random things in my ear that I can’t even remember now. Chai! What will it take this woman to see that I wasn’t in the mood.
After a while, the old tortoise queue metamorphosed to dead tortoise queue. Argh! I was getting really fired up. Well I wasn’t the only one. Eventually, Mama Social took the leap forward and approached one of the cashiers. I didn’t hear their conversation but from the gesticulations and mouth movements I saw (I can read lips to an extent sha) I knew she was complaining about the stagnancy. I don’t know what the cashier told her but she seemed to relax a bit and was now coming back to the queue. Only she never came back.
I could only stare in amazement as the woman managed to sympathize with fuming Uniben boys and secure the 2nd position on the queue. She was 19th before o! How she did it, I don’t know because anyone who knows Uniben students when they are fuming knows they lose every sense of reasoning in a flash. In my head, all I could say was ‘Mama the mama!’
Eventually, I got to the front of the queue. She was still being attended to at that time. She turned slightly and saw me.
“Ahhh you just got here?”
I looked at her and sneered. Not out of disrespect o. Just think about that question. Guess what she said next. This one blew my mind.
“You were slow na, that’s why.”
Ha!! SHE broke the rules. SHE cheated. SHE did not follow the order. I got scolded.
That experience got me thinking about this word – order.
That’s one word that has come to lost its meaning and importance in modern day culture. When people think of ‘order’ now, all they think of is that magical experience of sitting on your couch and upgrading your kitchen, wardrobe and social standing without lifting more than just a finger. All it takes is one click — as the catchphrase goes.
A couple of years ago, maybe decades, ‘order’ meant much more than that. People respected authority, behaved maturely and co-ordinated themselves as the homo sapiens that they were. And life was much more peaceful then. Fast forward to the 21st century; ‘order’ means a lot less than that. People are in more of a hurry, have hotter tempers and are generally louder than ever before.
Well, I still went on to withdraw my ₦944.63 from GTB sha, though they could only provide ₦940. Let it be in history that GTB owes me ₦4.63. Before you say ‘haba’, think, why didn’t they give me ₦5 and let me owe them 37 kobo? Ehn?
But seriously though, what can be done about this? What is the one-for-all solution to all this senselessness and organized chaos? How can man be homosapiens once again?