“Madam, how can I help you?”
“I’d like two portions of jollof rice and chicken please.” I tapped my fingers against the counter as the waiter picked up a foil pack and began stuffing it with rice. After filling it, he sealed it and stood, as though awaiting further instructions.
“I said two portions not one,” I reminded him.
Nodding his head, he began to fill another foil pack. “Anything else madam?”
“Do you have coleslaw?”
“We have it ma.”
“Okay, I’ll have two portions of coleslaw too.”
My food all packed and ready to go, he started punching numbers on the till. He stared intently at the receipt that was printing and then shaking his head, tore it in half.
“What is it?”
“Sorry o, I made a mistake. I no add the coleslaw.”
“Oh okay, let me see the bill.”
I noticed he entered jollof rice four times. “How come you entered jollof rice four times? I asked for two portions not four.”
“Ehen, na two portions dey the receipt.”
“How is this two portions? One, two, three, four…that’s four portions.”
“Na you say you want two portions o madam!”
“Yes, two portions as in two packs.”
“Oh oh, na this kind thing I no like. You don begin change mouth!”
“I beg your pardon?!” I stared at him in disbelief. I wasn’t sure which issue to tackle first, his bad attitude or lack of intelligence. Calm down MEE, it’s just a miscommunication. I tried to reason with him.
“When I said two portions I didn’t mean a double portion. What I meant was two packs.”
“No madam!” he screamed at me, “no be wetin you talk be dat!”
I clung to my patience.
“Okay, I don’t want two double portions. I want two single portions. Please sort it out.”
“Oh oh, which kind nonsense be this? Wetin you want make I do with the rice wey I don dish?!”
I let go of my patience.
“You can pour the rice on my head! What kind of stupid question is that?! Are you alright?!”
“Madam I dey alright o. Na you no sabi wetin you want. Which kind double work you wan give person? I tell you say I no get work?”
“Thunder fire you, you are crazy! Didn’t they teach you one two three in primary school?! One, two, three…count am make I hear you! Olodo! Is this how you treat your customers? If you’re too lazy to correct something as simple as this then you might want to think about quitting your job. Nonsense!”
I snatched my handbag off the counter and marched towards the exit. A chorus of “madam wetin happen?!” followed me but I wasn’t interested in explaining anything to anyone. Getting to the door, the doorman wouldn’t open it.
“Madam I beg no vex. No mind am, na so him dey behave. I beg no vex.”
“Please open the door.”
“I beg madam no go, you never chop now!”
“Get out of my way!” Like I needed reminding that I was hungry and had nothing to eat. I grabbed the door myself and yanked it open.