Anger can often be expensive.
So, can you afford the consequences of your anger?
When I was working in the bank, at some point I was cash officer. I was in charge of money deposited and money paid out to customers. My work was to ensure that the vault was balanced every day and that the tellers worked accordingly. Basically, the physical money ship had to sail successfully.
I was in a market branch which meant lots of cash. This also meant people coming in with money after we have closed officially. The bank accommodated this kind of cash. We could not give customers credit for it as our systems were balanced. But we would roughly count the cash in the presence of the customer and provide a box. The money would be placed in the box and locked up with a padlock provided by the customer. It was called boxed cash.
Stay with me. I dey go somewhere.
Now, this money had to be ‘bundle counted’ so that you have a rough estimate of the cash. Let’s say the customer brings 500 thousand naira in 1000 naira notes. We would count the wraps which would be five wraps containing 100 thousand naira each. We would not tear it open to see if each wrap was complete. It had to look roughly like 500 thousand naira.
The whole idea was so that the customer would come the next day; open the box in your presence for a precise count before they are credited. The caution was because people can be devious and argue the amount brought.
Now, for the story.
There was a teller in that branch. He was a weak teller. Not very smart. Easily frazzled and once he was under pressure, he would make the most mistakes. It was almost comical because the seasoned boys and girls that brought money for their masters could always tell a weak teller. They would queue before him even if other tellers had openings. They could take advantage of his weakness to pilfer from their bosses.
We gave him a nickname that literally meant ‘error’ or ‘mistake’.
So, he was not a particularly brave or competent young man.
This evening, a very beautiful girl familiar to us as the cashier to a customer brought money for boxing. I was watching, as his supervisor. He counted the money in her presence but then he left her with the cash to get a pen or something. Thereafter, he came back and asked her to lock up the box without reconfirming.
Cash left with a customer alone is always unconfirmed cash. I saw it all. I intervened and asked him to count the cash once more (the rough counting).
To my SHOCK, this guy stood up to me and said he wasn’t going to do it. It was obviously so that he could impress this girl. I pushed and he pushed back. He meant business. I was surprised, to put it mildly.
I asked him to step aside and reconfirmed the cash by myself and did what had to be done. When the girl left, he came to me immediately and started begging for forgiveness.
Of course, I wasn’t going to listen to him. I did not even scold him. But I had a plan on how to adequately sanction him for insubordination.
We closed from work and he knew he was in trouble. I started getting phone calls from his mates and my superiors. He was asking every person he could to beg me.
He deliberately stood up to me. Without counting the cost of his action. In that moment, only his ego was important and he obeyed it.
Because he was immediately contrite (and I kind of got it, it was a man thing); I queried him and his punishment was not severe.
But it baffles me.
Don’t people pause to count the cost of their actions or the outcome of their anger?
If you have one source of income and have not made plans for another source; why would you let your anger lead you to lose your job? I don’t get it.
Vex is costly.
It is not for the poor.
You cannot slap a person without being prepared for what may follow. Sometimes you cannot afford even your righteous anger. Your temper should not hold you by the leash.
But this is why we as a country have found ourselves here.
Tweets were deleted.
In a fit of ‘let us show them who we are, you banned millions of people from using Twitter.
You forgot that not only dissenting voices are on Twitter.
- Your wheels of propaganda are on Twitter.
- People make a genuine income from Twitter. From influencers to social media handlers, vendors who source for business there, etc etc. In a country that you are struggling with so many unemployed; you snatched a whole platform to sanction a company that can do without you.
- Twitter has become an effective tool in mass communication.
- A lot of missing persons have been found because of awareness on Twitter. Remember Hiny who was killed because she was looking for a job. Well, social media caught that guy. Mainly the tenacious grip of Twitter.
- A lot of money has been raised for people in need on Twitter.
The biggest probably would be that you forgot that international perception is very important to a country that desires investors and also seeks loans.
Your pride and your anger to show one man who was boss has left you worse off. You will now have to find ways to redeem yourself… Already, you are qualifying the ban as temporary which you hadn’t done at first.
To top it all, Nigerians did not stop tweeting.
Dear Federal Government of Nigeria, you cannot afford this anger. Do what my teller did. Beg us and restore back to settings.
This is not a fight that will make you come out looking good.