Ugly Matatu behavior in Kenya, disastrous, first hand experience

By Silas Nyanchwani via fb

Every time in life, I try to be rational, understanding, and sympathetic. Especially where business is involved.

For instance, if I am in a matatu, and mid-way, they run out passengers and they decide to transfer the few of us, I always look at it from the point of view, “what if I was the driver and the conductor since they have a daily quota to meet?” Sometimes it comes at a great inconvenience especially for a tall man like me who can only sit in very specific seats.

Or when a waitress brings the wrong order, I try to imagine the pain she has to go through, and sometimes I have to take what I did not order.

But this attitude always works against my interests and very counterproductive. Sometimes, a driver without consultation chooses to use the wrong route and it costs me more money and time to reroute myself to where I was going. Sometimes, I have to eat extremely bad food, just because the waiter didn’t take the right instructions.

Or something that happened to me yesterday. We are taking kids to an amusement park. My cousin is supposed to drive to my place so that we can go together. He is taking a bit long, and since it is running late, I text him, let me carry on with the journey and he can catch up with us. But it looks like he didn’t read the message.

Because just when I had ordered a taxi, is when he arrives.
I tell him, since the taxi is here, let me take the taxi and we both drive to the place. It is a decision I make purely out of sympathy for the taxi driver.

I should say that when ordering the taxi, I had checked both apps on my phone and I realized Little Cab(which I rarely use is cheaper by Sh 70) than Bolt(which is my default app).

So, when I order the taxi, first the driver doesn’t seem eager like he sort of wants me to cancel. He hangs up on me, and I call back, and he says, he sure can take me there. When I tell him where I am standing with the kids, he is reluctant, I even offer to walk to where he was. And then we board, we start the journey. He chooses to use the longest route to the place, and I want to complain, but I sense, it won’t make much difference because of the price estimate. In other words, I decide not to be petty.

When we arrive, I realise, I have used Sh 125 more than the original price estimate, and Sh 60 more than what Bolt would have charged me. As if this is not annoying enough, kids had stepped on the car seat, and it is not like their shoes were muddy or anything, in fact with the rains, the pavements were clean, they didn’t dirt the seats in any way, nothing a dry towel won’t wipe off. But this Little cab driver raised hell, and I regretted that I should have sensed trouble when he was reluctant to drop me. I should have sensed trouble when I saw his hairstyle, some afro, as well-trimmed on the sides, he is a slay king. I should have sensed trouble when he deliberately stayed on the wrong lane to get an extra two kilometres.
So much for trying to be kind.

I have learnt two things in life. If you have two options and your decision is pegged on the price and you want to save some little cash, better go for the expensive one. Cheap is expensive. I have lost two valuable phones for trying to save Sh 50-100 bob, in a space of the year. I have taken really bad food because I was either trying to save a waitress some trouble or trying to save some Sh 100.

Secondly, being kind unnecessarily doesn’t warrant reciprocity. You have ever boarded a matatu, because the touts and the conductor begged you, and even agreed on the fare. But along the way, the conductor changed tune, charged you more and any attempt to remind him, he became excessively very rude..Yeah, that is how life works.

I will be more professional, a little ruthless, and a bit unkind moving on. And of course, a bit selfish.

What do you think?

Written by Mighty Diamond


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