A few years ago, I worked part-time with a boss whose office I visited on a weekly basis to update on the project we were handling at the time.
His secretary and clerk kept their dealings with everyone including myself professional, but the protocol officer was mannerless and unruly.
I would sign the visitor’s form like every visitor, waiting to see the boss who invited me, but his protocol officer would for no reason hold on to my form, and until he decides at his own time to take it in to the boss, I am left seated in the visitors room for hours, even when people who met me there get to see the boss before me.
For some time, I kept my cool. I refused to be offended or give the protocol officer undue attention. I didn’t banter words with him neither did I report him to his boss.
During one of my visits, the protocol officer pulled the same stunt yet again. He held unto the form I submitted to the secretary.
After about 30 minutes of waiting, I went to inform the secretary that I’m yet to see their boss meanwhile people who came barely a minute ago were already invited to see him.
The secretary quickly went in to inform the boss that I was waiting and he asked that they let me in immediately.
As I made to open Oga’s door, his protocol officer came out of nowhere and almost pushed me down in protest that his boss hadn’t called for me yet. I landed on the door and startled their boss who immediately flung the door open from the inside.
I was in tears, the secretary and clerk were apologizing to me and reprimanding the protocol officer who just ignored us all and went to sit down.
The boss held my hand and walked me into his office where I narrated all that transpired. He invited his protocol officer into his office, asked where he kept the visitors form I signed and he pretended to be looking for it on his boss’s table.
He even said he was very sure he dropped it on the table. His boss asked him to search his pockets, and there lays the visitor’s form I signed over 45 minutes ago. He felt like disappearing but not in any way remorseful.
His boss walked him out of his office and attended to me. Before leaving, I pleaded that he left instructions with his staff that I have direct access to him whenever I visit except someone is with him. A request he granted immediately and from that day, I had one hand access to the boss.
Fast forward to about nine years later, this same protocol officer saw me somewhere, unfortunately I was in the midst of heavily armed security men who stopped him from coming any further. He stood there calling out “Aunty Amaka” with the hope I hear him and I did. I saw him and smiled, excused myself so I could say hello to him.
I remembered his face, how he treated me with so much disregard and the humiliating and near physical assault that followed. My bad girl side took a hold of me, though I was still smiling but I pretended not to recall his face. Told him he looked familiar, but can’t remember from where exactly.
I proceeded to ask where he knew me from. He heaved a sigh! With shame written all over him, he told me his boss’s name and the incident we had. I smiled harder with these words small world. I said good to see you again sir. I thanked him and made to return to where I was seated, but he requested for my phone number which I gave him. He called to ask for a favour later.
We have had one nasty experience or another meted at us by superiors, aids, security personnel, parents, lecturers, neighbors etc. If it is not some overzealous security detail shoving us aside and threatening to shoot aside and heavens will not fall, it is one aid in the office speaking or treating you with so much disdain; as well as superiors displaying so much arrogance and nonchalant attitude.
It is instructive that we stop treating people with disdain because of the position we occupy. That you are the boss, gateman, president, senator, security personnel, secretary etc today does not mean we should treat people however we wish. Your work ethics should be strictly professional. This is also important in every aspect of your human interactions.
An infallible wisdom of life that should guide you always as we do new things every day, many of what we do remain unknown until our past speaks for us. Life can be funny. Tables do turn!
You will not remain in that position forever, someone will take over from you someday, and what if it was someone you treated with so much disregard?
Your children and spouse are inclusive in this list. Every One however little is Important. Learn from this and drop the fake power you hang on your shoulders. Arrogance is not a virtue, don’t let it ruin you.