“Yesterday is gone. Another day has come. Do something new in my heart.”
LOL. Who remembers this song? When sang by the right person and in the right atmosphere, this song can break the conscience of a seared sinner and make him pledge allegiance to the lamb.
What has this song got to do with today’s post? Nothing.
It came to remembrance when I was about to start this piece but here’s a connection: last week is gone, this week has come. There is a new #HardGirlBut post in town. Enjoy and do not forget to share.
Riddle! Riddle!! I am a part of the organization, just like you. But because I am invisible no one acknowledges the part I play. Who am I?
Yesterday, as I walked in the forecourt of the establishment I work in, I noticed something. In fact, it is one of the reasons I chose to have my internship here. It had been there all this while except I never paid attention as I did yesterday.
The place was squeaky clean – it always is.
It was the St. Rose’s Senior High School kind of neat. That neatness you would have to scrub trees, highways and gutters to achieve. Yes, that kind of neatness.
Unlike Rose’s, I did not contribute anything to make this place glow; not a stick of broom on the floor or a bucket of water to mop the place. The immaculate nature of the place creates a serene environment for workers and patients.
Who are responsible for this? Not the medical superintendent. Not the Administrator, Head of Finance or Head of Pharmacy.
The people who are responsible for this spotlessness are the John the Baptists of this establishment; they wake up at dawn to go sweep and scrub the place ahead of the day’s main work. Yet these people are considered auxiliary and are treated as our hearts and feelings please. They are invisible and the only time we acknowledge their presence is when we need their service.
We live in a world where literates will say “It is my duty to give the cleaners work to do. I will therefore leave this litter here” or “Don’t they pay the cleaners to do this job?” when they are told to clean their mess. Humanity is lost to us. I am not saying we should all be cleaners. I do not want to be a cleaner. All I say is we should all be humane to our fellow humans.
Now, let us widen the range a bit. How do you treat maids, servants, gatemen, waiters, gardeners, hawkers and trotro mates? How do we treat them, especially when the world is not there to be a witness? To rub salt in the injuries, a great number of these people are underpaid.
I call these people the invisible army. A powerful force to reckon with, yet the most vulnerable of all workers. They may not be seen. They may not be appreciated. Because most of them are ignorant of their rights, they may be treated badly. One thing we cannot take from them is their contribution.
Dear manager, like a puzzle, every single person counts. We all, cleaners, orderlies and drivers inclusive, contribute to getting the work done. We should not relegate them to the background and blame them unnecessarily at any chance we get.
Dear C.E.O, they are your workforce. They keep the place in shape and in order. It will not hurt to give them the praise they deserve. Make them know you appreciate their input. It will not reduce the respect they have for you.
Dear passenger, discipline yourself. He may be disheveled and smelly, but it gives you no right to treat the mate like he is less human than you are.
Dear Madam, yes, they are there to serve you. Before becoming your servants, they are humans, treat them as you would a fellow human being. Give them food to eat. Buy them clothes, hand down your old clothes before you send the rest to the orphanages. Charity begins at home.
Dear customer, that you are paying them does not mean you are doing them a favour. The money is for a good or service they rendered. Treat them right. Enough of the cheating, pay them as you should.
The next time you think of treating someone like trash. Put your feet in their shoes and see if you can bear such humiliation if it were meted out to you.
Till next week, I remain Able Delalie, the Hard Girl. There are times I may falter. There are times I may make mistakes. There are times I may treat people badly because of a bad mood. I accept that I am human. But I will do my best to treat everyone alike. I promise to give honour to where it is due and remember that irrespective of their ranks and educational background, they matter.