I have been privileged to work for the Government and I have observed that people treat government work with a different attitude from how they treat their private business. There is a lot of nonchalant attitude that is being exhibited in public service.
We all know that every business requires dedication and hard work (among other factors) to grow and thrive. But when people are working for the government, it appears that they take it as though it’s none of their business. They come late to work and go home early, they do their duties haphazardly with no motivation, passion or commitment.
I keep asking myself if there will ever be a change in the way things are now because of how bad the situation has become. The other day, one of the workers in our office decided to go home by 2pm even when she came to work late. I told her to stay back till 4pm when we will close, but she refused despite the fact that she saw there still some patients to attend to. If she leaves, I will be left alone to do all the work, mine and hers put together. I simply told her that I don’t have the energy to do all the work since I was already getting exhausted.I was shocked at her reply.
“Just lock the door and go, may be by 2.30pm if you can manage and stay up to that time. Just go and drop the key in the central pharmacy”
I was speechless.
I finally responded with simple question, what if there is an emergency and they need a drug urgently will we allow a patient to die?
“Don’t worry, no patient will come again, they have finished coming for today, didn’t you notice they were much this morning. When you finish with these ones, go. Patients have finished, me am tired”
I became weak!
How can you conclude that patients have finished? Do people give themselves time to be sick or need help? We are meant to be there till a certain time when another person will take over and you just want to lock up and go. I wont deny the fact that the work was a bit stressful and we were tired, but the ‘I don’t care attitude’ is what made me sad.
Funny enough, what I predicted happened (I didn’t know it will happen, I only said it because I have been met with similar situations in the past). Few minutes after she left, someone rushed in, a patient had gone into hyperglycemic coma and they needed insulin urgently. It was so urgent that I just had to give them without them paying because the pay point was some distance (they later came back to pay). I just kept wondering what would have happened if I had locked up and gone home.
The point am making is, when you are serving people, they are precious people. They are precious to God. You must never forget that. You are accountable to the government and also accountable to God. That your pay cheque comes in at the end of the month whether you worked or not is not a reason to neglect your duty post.
It has become an unwritten norm in Nigeria and it’s not helping anybody. It has gotten so bad that I often wonder if we can make a difference. Sincerely, sometimes am tempted to join everyone and do as I like, but I remember that government work is God’s work too. I remember that people deserve to be treated well, that’s just the simple truth.
Let me not even talk about what our ‘oga’s at the top’ do. That one is another story for another day.
The same person I told us about left her work the next week and said she was going to church without getting permission from our HOD. It’s sad though but we need to change our mindset about this work, don’t say because its government work, you will do as you like. You will misappropriate funds, lie, and do a shabby work. It’s very wrong. The fact that it is government work is the same reason you should do it well, its Gods work too. Treat people well, do what you are meant to do even though it seems that it makes no difference, do it anyway. Leave God to decide who made the difference and who didn’t.
Your job is to do your job and do it well. I know the system is messed up, I know things are tough and doing the right thing could be difficult and most times seems of no use, but we cannot all continue in this way. A little good here, a little there. Your good attitude to work can go a long way to change the course of things.
Let’s drop the excuses that ‘this is Naija’ ‘nothing is working in this country’ ‘Nigeria is corrupt’ and all the reasons we have given ourselves why we can’t do the right thing. We can choose to do it well from now on. I have forgotten who I was listening to sometime ago and he gave this illustration: if you teleport all the people in Lagos to a foreign country, say, Singapore and transfer all the people in Singapore to Lagos. Come back and check after 10 years, the city of Lagos will become like Singapore and that of Singapore will be like Lagos, why? It is the people that make the country what it is. This is funny but it is the fearful truth.
There is nothing wrong with our Country, there is only something wrong with our mindset, mentality and attitude.
We can choose to allow God change Nigeria through us, I believe its very possible.
We are Nigerians and we do the right things!