Give It To Me

Why do so many Nigerians feel the need to constantly ask others for things they know they shouldn’t ask for?

I visited my aunt and while staying with her, her housekeeper asked me to give her my phone! I felt backed into a corner so I told her I was using it and then told my aunt about it. My aunt then called her and shouted at her and now I feel really guilty for telling her about it.

I keep thinking, it was just a simple phone that I don’t really use and I have other better phones so why couldn’t I give it to her, but at the same time, I think it was really inappropriate in the first place.

I don’t know. I’m just left nursing a guilty conscience and feeling like a selfish, greedy brat.

Did I do the wrong thing?

Update: Just to clarify, she didn’t ask for my phone because she NEEDED a phone – She already has one.

The phone in question that she asked me for just happens to be a nicer model than the one she has so she just wanted it.

Also, when my aunt asked her about it, she told my aunt that she asked me for it because she wanted to help me sell it. O_o.

Obviously I don’t really believe that but even if that was really why she asked me for it, isn’t it bizarre to just go about assuming that people want to sell their possessions (without them informing you first)? And even if they wanted to sell their possessions, why would you assume that they are incapable of selling them themselves? I mean, is she some kind of super duper sales agent that we don’t know about? The explanation she gave my aunt was all kinds of faulty but I do feel bad about telling my aunt because she got yelled at and I don’t want to put her job in jeopardy.

The thing is, my aunt pays her well and it’s not like my aunt just pays her something random. When she came to work for my aunt, she sat at the table and my aunt let her negotiate her salary. My aunt asked her what she wanted to be paid and that’s what she’s paying her plus she gets a lot of freebies/bonuses/extras on top.

I wouldn’t have told my aunt if I’d thought about it more but I was just really shocked/surprised by it and I was taken aback and my aunt and I are really close so I just mentioned it to her.

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  1. Lara

    I have no problem with you telling your Aunt. Her employee asked you, her employer’s guest for a phone. WDDDA? That a lot of domestic staff do this (I’m assuming this happened in Naija, if not, then you MUST tell) does not make this right. At the very least, your Aunt has been put on notice that her employee has “big eye” and has a problem with boundaries.

    People are often quick to express shock when domestic staff go rogue. There are usually red flags that the employer does not see.

  2. Nne

    Welcome to the club, my dear. The thinking is, as I have encountered, is that ego ala bekee wu ego i na-eri nri, while the naira is the one that you work for and save and budget carefully. I know of a grown man that worked at an oil company, doing extremely well, and yet, asked my brother – a student – for gas money for his car. If you literally said yes to everything, you would come back to the US with literally nothing – some will even ask for the clothes/shoes that are on your back, though they appear comfortable. When my parents first moved to the US, my uncle said that my dad should be sending even more money back home (mind you, my uncle was doing well as a contractor) because in the US, the government will take care of us, my brothers and I. I have had someone ask for my cheapo N10,000 phone while they were sporting BB’s. Anyway, not enough time to share the countless examples. For now, my excuse is that I am just a mere student or to be proactive and ask them for their stuff before they ask for mine.

  3. HoneyDame

    I kindda see where you are coming from. The only thing I would have asked you to change will be the timing. I think you should have let some time pass before telling your aunt.Since you said you are close, it is inevitable that you’d tell her. Plus if it was an outsider the maid did that with, they would have gone with the impression that she was being underpaid.
    Just to reduce the awkwardness (I cant even picture you being awkward), it might have been better if you waited a while before telling your aunt….
    But what is done is done!

  4. Madame Sting

    Look at this chic sneaking into naija….or am i wrong? I assumed u were here until i read the comments.

    Anyway, it’s obvious u didn’t think of the implications before telling your Aunt. She might have been looking to upgrade her phone and figured u didn’t need urs since u have others.

  5. sugabelly

    @fluffycutething: Abi? Seriously, she just put me in an awkward situation.

    @Luciano: She already has a phone o!

    Nne: WOW!!! But you know what? I’m not even surprised anymore.

    @HoneyDame: What do you think might have been different if I’d told her later? And I’m also concerned that she’s doing this to other people because it gives a really bad impression, and she’s not underpaid.

    @Lara: My Aunt’s housekeeper has A MILLION red flags. Seriously, I have alarm bells going off in my head about her.

    @Sting: Heh heh!! No comment!! ^_^

  6. Class factotum

    I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile. I know that I had more money than any of the women I worked with, but it still annoyed me that the woman to whom I sold my refrigerator when I left the country NEVER PAID ME. She was supposed to give the money to my roommate, who wasn’t leaving until three months after I was, but she never did. When I returned to Chile five years later for work and saw some of my former co-workers, the first thing I said was, “Tell Carolina I WANT MY MONEY.”

    Then, as I was getting ready to leave, my co-workers started asking for my clothes. MY CLOTHES!

    I finally said, “You know, they wear clothes where I am going.”

    Nobody likes to feel cheated or taken advantage of.

  7. sugabelly

    @class factorum: Wow, your clothes? I’ve had people ask me for my clothes too. It’s pretty ridiculous. And not paying for your fridge was pretty low. A deal is a deal not so?

  8. HoneyDame

    @Sugabelly, nothing might have been different but I think it would have reduced the level of awkwardness for you. Cos if it were someone like me, I probably would wait till I have left before telling my aunt cos I avoid confrontations. But like I said before, I cant even picture you being awkward.

  9. Ginger

    I would only say telling your Aunt wasnt necessary cos you could have told her off yourself. Its just a lack of professionalism in our low income workers who tend to think the world owes them for being poor.
    It doesnt..

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